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do i mean it

Post #673 • December 1, 2005, 6:51 AM • 11 Comments

There seems to be some confusion about the Real Painting press release.

I wrote it - that's probably obvious - and I mean every word.

Now, the headline is humorous. At first read, it seems like we're saying that real painting, thanks to us, might finally appear during AB/MB, otherwise it wouldn't. The subhead clarifies that the exhibition title is "Real Painting" and that it will appear during Basel week.

The joke ends there. It's overwritten and designed to get a reaction. It's a press release; it's supposed to. But we believe in non-overwritten versions of these sentiments. I do, anyway. This really is some of the best work being done in Miami.

Would real painting have appeared otherwise? Of course it would. I'd venture, though, that among shows of works made in the last year or so, this is the one most squarely aimed at the visual aspect of visual art to the exclusion of other concerns.

So no, it's not a prank. Our tongues are not in our cheek. It's not that our "ideas are pedestrian and poorly-argued;" this is about a love of painting that is its own justification, as all loves are. One does not justify love via well-argued proof. One simply feels. (See, Kathleen? We're the Dionysian side of this equation.)

Should this group generate another event and I have any say about it, it will not adopt the same antagonistic tone. This is the kind of thing that's okay to do once. To do it again would amount to, what we call in the martial arts, leaning on your opponent. If you want to define yourself, you might start by asserting what you're not, but in the end you must clarify what you are.

In conclusion, yes, we think that most of the art you all are making is crap. But an enormous percentage of any endeavor is crap, so don't take it personally. Even we have bad days. But they're not in this show. This is a fine, fine show. Check it.

PS - Saw AB/MB. Franklin is happy. More later.

Comment

1.

oldpro

December 1, 2005, 7:28 AM

We got there late for the "vernissage" and did not have time to get to all the good parts, but, amazingly, there are good parts all over the place. As usual it falls off drastically after the first half dozen rows but there are treasures galore: whole rooms full of artists like Avery, Miro and Morandi and surprises like a terrific Braque Fauve and a couple of wild Hofmanns and an eye-burner of a Gottlieb (I just got up and am not remembering everything) and much more. There seem to be a lot fewer of the wall size, stultifying photographs which took up so much space last year. We are going back, something we have never done. Basel is worth seeing this year, for sure.

And so is "Real Painting". You can hate it if you want to, but it has been presented in total sincerety. I'm glad Franklin straightened that out.

2.

wwc

December 1, 2005, 9:27 AM

Your release didn't seem so out there to me at all - how can the art world be ok with a shark cut in half or whatever the latest prank/tantrum is but get all bent out of shape from a well-written manifesto like this? Visual art has to work visually - that's radical? Not to me, but then I was just in a show called "True Defenders of the Craft".

3.

oldpro

December 1, 2005, 10:13 AM

wwc, you write "Visual art has to work visually - that's radical?"

Unfortunately it is now. It is our version of the academy, supported by the delusion that the mainstream can also be the avant-garde.

4.

oldswish

December 1, 2005, 10:29 AM

where is "Porto Rico"?

5.

Jack

December 1, 2005, 10:55 AM

the delusion that the mainstream can also be the avant-garde

Yes indeed. It's such an irrational stance that it's downright laughable, but hey, it makes the establishment feel young and oh-so-with-it. As if.

6.

Miami Harold

December 1, 2005, 10:56 AM

off-topic (sorry)
but I want to draw attention to Franklin's letter in today's Miami Hurled
regarding the ongoing disgraceful business at UM
where the journalism student is getting hassled by administration.
Excellent job, Franklin,
and a damn good rebuttal to the overwhelming jock-sniffing contingent
that dominates UM's national image.

7.

Franklin

December 1, 2005, 11:17 AM

Boy, they edited the shit out of that letter. That was "poetasters," not poet masters. I guess that's what spellcheck suggested instead. Stupid paper. Thanks all the same, Harold.

8.

oldpro

December 1, 2005, 12:04 PM

I'll bet they edited your letter. If I had written one (and I wish I had) about this ugly, shameful and embarrassing incident they probably would have burned it.

It was one of those stories which was so unbelieveable that you had to read it twice to make sure you did not misunderstand it.

9.

jordan

December 1, 2005, 5:54 PM

Wow! what an exciting new painting you have at the 23rd st. (across from the new Lombardi condos) 'REAL PAINTING ' SHOW.

Franklin, perhapes your monetary donations should only go directly to the Art department.

Maritza Molina has an opening at Leonard Tachmes gallery on Saturday night that is worth seeing.

10.

ahab

December 1, 2005, 8:00 PM

First, it looks from the internet post that the "Real Painting" exhibition is one worth seeing, and I regret being unable to attend. I am especially interested in seeing those samples of work by White, Ware, Massengale, Gambrell, Celman and Bannard in person.

I am dismayed, though not very surprised, that the press release write-up was received with such animosity. There is nothing written in it to take issue with. It has all been carefully worded so as to ascribe specific sentiments to 12 particular painting practitioners. It is as close a characterization of the hows and whys of painting as can be possibly agreed upon between a dozen individuals (never mind artists). And the level of rhetoric is too low to be on the order of a manifesto.

All naysayers do so only out of an unfounded fear that bold declarations of reality or of quality may jeapordize their own deeply rooted and unassailable beliefs; or that such statements may upset the current balance of power. As has already been said, the avant garde mainstream is the great delusion here. The finger-pointers who have unquestioningly received the traditions of pomopeecee-ism are the new radical fundamentalists.

To the "Real Painters," keep working on making your paintings better, and keep struggling to find words to better describe what you're doing. There are no sentences that will work always and everywhere for everyone - the only thing that does is a cliche. Congratulations on creating a stir.

oldpro, are there any online images of the work by artists you listed as seen elsewhere in the AB/MB?

11.

oldpro

December 2, 2005, 9:26 AM

Thanks, Ahab. I was surprised by the reaction too, although I should not have been.

I don't know if any images of any of any of the artists works I mentioned in AB are on line. It would be great if everything was, because one could work up a map and check list of where to go.

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