Artist Philip Hartigan talks about art, interviews other artists, and more
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Dessins de Paris: 4
I am sitting on the Paris Metro on one of the fold-down seats near the sliding doors. The train is travelling between the Grands Boulevards on the Right Bank, and Denfert-Rochereau on the Left Bank. At one of the stations, the doors open and a woman walks in wearing a coat of expensive looking dark blue cloth with a billowing white cold-repelling collar. She has a string of pearls around her neck, and her face glows with lots of immaculately applied make-up. She sees someone she knows, and her mouth and eyes open wide at the coincidence of meeting a friend or acquaintance at that time of day, in a Metro system that ferries more than four million people around and beneath Paris every day.
An artist’s studio, it has been said, is half science
laboratory and half Aladdin’s cave.
I was reminded of this when I visited the studio of Chicago
artist Connie Noyes recently, on the third floor of a grand brick factory
building that once manufactured Ford Model Ts. As soon as the steel doors swung
open, Noyes guided me on a pathway that led between old and new paintings concealed
in bubble-wrap and leaning against walls, tables laden with the recycled and
cast-off materials that she uses in her current work, and works in progress
standing against other walls, reclining on other tables, or lying on the floor,
amid pools of wet and dried resin that she pours in cascades over her
We talked a lot about process. Whether in a series of works
incorporating enlarged digital photos, pigment, resin, and hilariously gaudy
frames, or in a piece that cocoons hundreds of peanut shells in a bright
gold layer, Noyes spoke about finding her way by working with the materials.
The size and…
Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:
Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.
I first read Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with it. For the last couple of years, I have had the incredible privilege of teaching a class based around Hemingway in Paris -- while living and teaching in Paris itself, close to the Boulevard du Montparnasse, where most of the action of the novel's first half takes place.
Of the many things that one notices about the book, the colossal amount of drinking is something that stands out. These people didn't just drink like fish: they drank like whales, as if the ocean they swam in was alcohol and they had set themselves the task of drinking the seas of the world dry of it. During my read-through of the book before class started last year, I tried to underline every mention of drink in the book. And now, purely in the interests of science, I am listing the entire menu of booze mentioned directly by name. Some preliminary observations: Most of this is…