Good, it's not just me
Post #854 • August 17, 2006, 1:54 PM • 8 Comments
Irving Sandler, from A Sweeper-Up after Artists.
Drawing obsessed Franz [Kline]. A young artist at the Cedar challenged him with: "What about Monet?" He retorted: "What about Manet?" As he saw it, neither he himself nor any of his contemporaries could draw. But then, he claimed, no artist in the entire history of art could either. He paused. "Well, maybe Picasso. But Picasso knew he couldn't draw, but he thought that maybe Cézanne could. But Cézanne knew he couldn't, but maybe Ingres. Ingres thought maybe Raphael." And so on and on, ending up with the cave painters. I once said to Franz at the Cedar that his approach to drawing brought to mind an anecdote about a chance meeting between Blake and Constable on Hampstead Heath. Constable was sketching. Looking over his shoulder Blake said, "That's not drawing, that's sheer inspirtation." Constable retorted drily, "I had meant it to be drawing. You want to have it both ways, Franz, don't you?" He looked over to the bartender: "Give this guy another beer." The painter Joe Stefanelli once remarked to Franz that his abstractions had no reference to past art. "Hell they don't," said Franz, "I drew and copied for years and I was good but never as good as the old guys. I sort of snuck in when no one was looking."