09 June, 2008

Round Up

TBR, May 2007

This may be an "open head - disgorge thoughts" post. The reason I put it that way is I'll be darned if I can find a common thread for all of them.

First, this Wolf Kahn interview is from The Brooklyn Rail, and WK has some new things to say. He gets into process versus results. I like what he says about his disagreement with Clement Greenberg on the subject of "flatness". And he pays homage to Hans Hofmann, his Modernist teacher. Do follow the link on Hofmann, which leads to a stunning
new website ( I think it's new, anyway).

Read the interview even if you're not that "into" Kahn, because he has a great lot to say about artist's self doubt and discipline. You can't help but feel good about your own work, even if you feel like a failure sometimes, if you adopt his attitudes.

And, the keeper quote from WK is this:
I’m not so involved in description because I think that the greatest sin an artist can be accused of is telling people things that they already know. And you can write that down and put it in italics. Our aim as artists is to use ourselves as agents for expanding possibilities; and if you’re just doing something that’s conventional and everyday, you’re not doing it right. Of course, we constantly struggle against our own conventions because that’s one of our worst difficulties—trying to avoid doing something that we already know how to do.

Wolf Kahn with David Kapp and Robert Berlind
On the subject of Washington State Art Bloggers, I missed a local artist in my last post who is blogging and has a fascinating life story as a fourth generation artist. Kathleen Cavender.

Over at my blog Pastel, I have been doing a Plein Air Project. I have an interesting plein airist to show you who works in oils, however. Jason Waskey, from Seattle. His usual fare is daily still life paintings, but he is on a road trip and posting his small daily works and a photo of his easel set-up in front of his landscape subject. And, as if that's not enough, he adds a map reference, too. Great fun.

Lastly, I have been keeping this blog I found a secret for long enough. Enjoy looking at Old Paint, which posts a dated artwork or illustration and labels it by artist and year.

6 comments:

harrybell said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Wolf Kahn interview. Fascinating as always. And the Hofmann website is, as you say, stunning.

vivien said...

I really like those paintings by Jason Waskey - thanks for sharing that link, I really like the way he catches the light and colour of the day

Deborah Paris said...

Really enjoyed the Kahn interview. He is as contradictory as Hoffman in many ways, and as interesting.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for reading, everybody.

This was a popular post. I have read the interview several times and the well of knowledge runs deep with WK.

Brian McGurgan said...

I've been mulling over parts of this interview since you posted it, Casey, and am glad you did. Kahn's comments regarding concentrating on factors other than emotional content in his art struck a chord for me. I tend to focus on aspects of composition, color, values, and texture in my own work and never give much thought to its emotional impact if any. I think, though, that I confused my terms when I came up with my Moleskine Exchange theme - rather than "Strive for Emotion" perhaps what I really wanted was "Strive for Expression" - where the goal is to respond more expressively and less literally to the subject. This personal, expressive response is more of what I had in mind, I think, than attempting to capture or communicate emotion. More to mull over, no doubt...

Casey Klahn said...

The metrics show it was a popular post. WK certainly has authority on art topics.

Sometimes I use the term, "sentiment". That's what I avoid in my own art, since it can get in the way of the formal aspects, IMO.

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