I am a little bit obsessed with my upcoming solo show. I want to have a cohesive body of work in textile, glass, and printmaking, and that goal presupposes that there is some element that drives my output.
I had a lucky opportunity to obsess even more today after my car died and I was awaiting the nice Auto Club man for a good chunk o' minutes.
My phone battery was perilously low, and I had nothing to read but an issue of the periodical Art in America that happened to be in the car (I guess you never know when you'll need reading material). I had canceled my subscription, as the magazine is a bit too installation-of the-New-York-minute for me.
However, in this forced-attention-moment, I found, to my delight, a review of an exhibit of the work of Jan Schoonhoven, who is regarded as one of the most important Dutch artists of the 20th century.
Oh, my. I have written of my fascination with the element of line in art, and this fellow's work is all about line. Many of his works can be seen here: http://www.artnet.com/artists/jan-schoonhoven/past-auction-results. And here is the work that was featured in the magazine:
© Art in America, April 2011, p. 126
Here are a few other works:
Line, line, line. I was reminded of the work of Canadian artist Dorothy Caldwell, who taught a week-long workshop on mark making at Nancy Crow's Barn in Ohio that I was fortunate enough to attend. Dorothy's work is all about line, as seen in this photo of her work from the homepage of her website:
© Dorothy Caldwell 2012
So, this little car trouble gave me a swell opportunity to reflect, and I came home and looked over my digital files to see if I could discern any linking element (hopefully, line, now inspired by the Dutch artist's work). Here's what I saw.
First, I saw the red glass piece I showed at the beginning of this post. Line, yes! Then I looked at some of the exercises I did in Dorothy's class.
First mark, on paper, covered with a piece of silk I had brought to class that I had dyed with faint marks in it; cloth stitched to paper.
Kantha-type stitching (right), my Dorothy Caldwell workshop rendering of one of the figures I had created for Figure and Ground (2011) -- hmm, gestural lines, architectural lines, maybe I have an inner line-gene...
...and fast forward to 2013 and my recent printmaking escapades...more lines?
My review was, as I wrote, an attempt to glean some overarching element that can tie my works together. It may not be readily evident to a viewer, but think it's there. Line.
Who knew that a quiet interlude with an art magazine would result in such a nice exercise. Thank you, Jan Schoonhoven, for such an inspiration.