I caught this Cy Twombly exhibition in New York just at the end of its run. The museum happened to be open on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
I’ve been getting interested in Cy Twombly on Pinterest because of his sketchiness and inclusion of handwriting in his work.
This monumental Treatise on the Veil (Second Version) is rarely exhibited because of its size.
I couldn’t take pictures in the gallery but I grabbed this one from the website.
I sketched out some couplets to capture my first reactions to the Treatise.
An imperfectly cleaned chalkboard
that opens to soft drips and imperfect coatings
At “eye-level” imperfectly applied lines of chalk
two evanescent traces of blue and blue
Scribbling – why? why is the artist’s
handwriting so atrocious?
Conscious enough to notice a mistake
in the interpretive panels –
I think they wrote 4
whereas he was writing 8
why one person’s traces preserved
the others a vast garbage heap?
I liked the patched together nature of the studies, loaded down with tape and scribbling, as well as stamped with dates and numerals. Trying to organize the nature of art.
Faculty of discrimination –
What is worth reading and what is not
What is worth paying attention to and what is not
What is worth listening to and what is not
What is worth spending time doing and what is not
Somehow life has become clogged by inputs and the discriminating faculty has been overwhelmed.
Then again, my starting point was pretty discriminating, so I don’t think I’ve regressed too much.
Interesting read over the holidays: Marie Kondo’s “The life-changing magic of tidying up; the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.” I picked up this small book on impulse from a bookstore counter display, a gift for me. It is quirky – or maybe just Japanese – and personal. Her method centers around the emotion of “a spark of joy.” The last chapter was so lyrical I almost felt tears start to form.
I found this quote today reading an article about Ray Johnson. It seems related.
Johnson’s operative principle that language and visual data form enclosed systems of self-replicating “codes” that preclude original expression and prevent meanings beyond their sound and fury.
So so so so much input is sound and fury and so little “spark of joy.”
More from the article:
art operates not as a reassuring by-product of existence, or a sole commodity produced by one isolated person, but as a collaboration involving many people, correspondences in a humanistic sense as well as an aesthetic one—art as an open-ended undertaking, a shared state of being present to someone else rather than art as a hallowed object to be hung on a white wall.
Direct communication may be the biggest fallacy of the instant messaging era.
Not Nothing, Siglio Press
…upon waking i immediately engaged in a holding ceremony. just so it didn’t get away from me completely. slow cloth involves some role playing. some sort of bonding is required. getting involved. commitment. acknowledgment of thoughts caught… the keepers of story.
Jude Hill, Spiritcloth, March 30, 2009
So amazing, so beautiful. Can this even be possible with paper? (let alone digital files…)
for me, it comes down to #1, catching a thought, and #2, staying with it. perhaps “the plan” is a lie, another untruth. one which generates the illusion that one can be in control. and perhaps this is the source of many sadnesses.
so i now see the creative process as always radiating outward, as opposed to filling up some predefined vessel with things. i think it is more about sitting in the center of a thought. and really being there. over and over, at each instant. with all your heart. and letting that instant color every movement and so….everything in your range is part of that thought, is related to your current journey and absolutely everything is there for you to use. and this process is a positive gathering of elements filtered through your heart and it is something new because of that and this is a happy feeling. peace.
and you continue on until you #3, finish ( oh, NO, there is no finish….another untruth…) until you are ready to let it go.
let it go, let it go, let it go. ( singing to the tune of “let it snow”….)
sometimes i get the feeling that developing and practicing a craft has far reaching implications in our personal development as well. ..a window of sorts. an edge and a meeting point between the inside and the outside. ….all things being similar, the patience to understand your material, the thought process involved in problem solving… the quiet determination that perfects a thought … the research to connect the dots and make a vision materialize…..
to understand just one thing through and through answers so many other questions for me, and it would culminate in the ability to share that feeling… my never ending quest to answer my main question, is communication really possible?
I am so taken with Jude Hill’s craft that I’ve started reading her whole blog back to 2006.
Side note: Blog software really needs to support rereading a whole blog in chronological order. Using the archives, I can read monthly in chronological order, but within each month, I have to read in reverse chronological order. It causes a whiplash effect as I see results then run into posts on planning, but it’s worth it.
I think my main question is related to hers. I would phrase it “is intimacy really possible?”
I am committed to developing personal symbols. This is a process of attention. First one: the heavy curly bracket.It really has an impact, even if there is nothing inside.
The question within is how can I as an artist encourage a cultural shift that ecologically aligns its self to benefit the well being and health of our planet for future generations?