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July 07, 2011

Field Trip

Super great art day today in Nashville. Met a friend for coffee and some bastardized version of biscuits and gravy that was so very wrong. Biscuits and Gravy are perfect as is. Two components. One conjunction. The end. I don't care if some backwoods troglodyte subculture slathers eggs and cheese on a perfectly respectable plate of biscuits and gravy, it's still wrong. What's the point? I know wtf cheese tastes like. Repent, Sky Blue Cafe, repent. I muddled my way through it, but I should have ordered the granola. We are gathered here today because a perfectly good plate of B&G died for a wheel of cheese. A moment of silence please.

After which we went to The Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk and received a generously informative personal tour of the Stieglitz collection. I'm a sucker for modernist watercolors, and in addition to the Marins, there's a beautiful Grosz, which you may or may not remember me gushing over a Grosz on my last trip to NYC. Later back at my studio while thumbing through the essay, An art that eats its own head by Barry Schwabsky, I came across Greenberg's: ‘Whereas one tends to see what is in an Old Master before one sees the picture itself, one sees a Modernist picture as a picture first,' and realized that whenever I see a Grosz watercolor, I am seduced into looking at how it's painted before I look at what it's about.

(The gallery does not allow pics for various reasons, but the Nashville Arts link below includes few pieces as part of their article. )
For more about the Stieglitz collection:
http://nashvillearts.com/2010/07/29/the-alfred-stieglitz-collection-at-fisk-university/
http://www.wnpt.org/productions/thegift/index.html
And a host of links on the fate and controversy surrounding the collection via Lee Rosenbaum at Art Journal. 
Supposedly a decision will be reached this summer.


Had a decent day in the studio. Coffee break at 3 (late) with a coffee from the shop across the street. The kid at the counter asks me what I'm painting today, which caught me off guard, because although I stop in there at least once a week, looking totally disheveled in my grungy paint clothes, I've never been asked by anyone "what I'm painting today"- as if I would be painting something I could call by name on a particular day. It's a funny question, or so I thought.  The funny part is that it's not really that funny anymore because I realized that I could tell him exactly what I was painting today: I was painting the view outside my studio window. When he didn't say anything, I thought I needed to clarify that I was a painter of the artist variety rather than the house painting variety, because truly I've lost count of how many times people still need further distinction when they ask me what I do and I say, "I'm a painter," so I explained I had a studio across the street and that I was painting the view outside my studio window. He said yes he knew I was a painter and that he was a painter too and he would love to stop by sometime, so I said sure. Then I asked if his art was up in the coffee shop, because what coffee shop would be complete without paintings and he said he had had just taken the one down that had been hanging over the sugar and creamer station and installed it at Fido, another coffee shop, as part of a solo show. I was genuinely excited and simultaneously relived because I liked the painting above the cream and sugar station. He should jack the prices up and get a show at a gallery around here. 

6 comments :

Tibi said...

I like the serendipity of this post -- I was at Fido couple of days ago and was looking at the paintings hanging there. Definitely material worth of a show in a more established gallery.

Steven LaRose said...

"ooooh. . . my cousin is an artist too. You give her a picture and she can make it look totally real."

Dane Carder said...

hey, i know the fellows now showing at fido... both good with their materials, and threesquared is likely to show one or both of them... so, one of them sells coffee?

Elaine Mari said...

Isn't it a great thing when you, by surprise, find a painter whose work you like. hmm, perhaps it's always a surprise.

Mary Addison Hackett said...

I've opened myself up to liking things that wouldn't have interested me in the past. That's the surprise for me. Plus, it's uplifting to see potential in the work of younger artists, especially when you find them in an alternative space, such as a coffee shop. Soft spot in my heart for artists who start out at a coffee shop. After seeing students charging 10 grand for work while still in school, it's also refreshing.

Elaine Mari said...

I agree, being open to more is good. I've shown in coffee houses and may again, who knows? I have seen some work I like in coffee houses but, so far, not too much.