Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reading Schutz

Dana Schutz, Yawn 2, 2012

I saw Dana Schutz’s new paintings. The back room of yawners sums it up. But let’s not focus on the negative.
This interview with the Brooklyn Rail reads well. Apparently, we are in a period that is more accepting of “expressionism.” There was a time there in the early 2000s when expressionism was considered haughty or immoral, referring only to a weighty canon in art history or to market-oriented work.
Now, as the line between public and private self blurs every day more, an expressive style – really how much you work with the material-ness of what you’re working with - doesn’t only mean feelings and personal bravado. You can be painterly and critical. You can be an expressive observer.
Schutz also talks about limitations that an artist can impose on painting, basically as a way to approach the question of what to paint. Guston used “what if” situations. So did Kafka. Metamorphosis is what happens if you wake up as a bug. The trick of course is being specific and at the same time symbolic. Schutz has drawn on impulsive thoughts, she says, and also language. Yesterday I jotted this down, “I want to make a poem that embodies the expression ‘pass the peas.’” I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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