A Wink and a Nod...


Three not entirely unrelated notes from this past week and a half:
Note 1: a Wink
I’ve been reading a book (much of my reading takes place on the bus these days) entitled Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, by Walter Wink. I won’t go into detail about the content right now, but suffice it to say it’s been shifting my worldview slightly…as well as my thoughts about the differences between “nonresistance” and “nonviolence”. For anyone interested in activist theology, neo-Anabaptist leanings, and a call to rid ourselves (as Christians) of the destructive myth of redemptive violence, I would highly recommend it. I certainly don’t agree with everything Wink is saying, but as the best writers do and the best writing does, Wink keeps the questions and discussions open. It is masterfully done, and highly thought-provoking.

Note 2: and a Nod
An artist whose work has been highly influential to my own over the last few months is Corey Antis. His work was featured in Tiger Strikes Asteroid’s January show, and its qualities have been resonating with me ever since. In fact, one Saturday as I gallery sat, I distilled some of what I thought was highly effective about Antis’ work, and re-defined it for myself as a form of several “New Year (work) resolutions” (it all centers on consistency and standards, essentially):
·         Paintings all collared and edged in same white paint.
·         Three at a time; colors between.
·         More steps and more creativity with tape usage.
·         More uniform sizes, and standard collar depth.
·         Edges of found surfaces, also edged in white.
·         Don’t be afraid of texture!
·         Be more disciplined with periodic making of panels.
I’ll talk more about this once I upload some pictures of my recent work.

Note 3: Class
Some of my more dedicated readers may remember my postings from this past fall and winter on the class I led at the Barnes Foundation, Investigating the Spiritual in Art. I am working on a syllabus/concept for a new class for this coming fall. The (rough) working title is Humans and the Modern Landscape. Briefly, it will deal with the two overriding concerns (as I see them) in the Barnes collection: the ensembles, which are wall arrangements which are both internally constructed and didactic, and also connect with the collection as a whole, philosophically, psychologically and formally (and I’d add, unsurprisingly, spiritually); and the two dominant formats of modern paintings (the bulk of our collection), namely, portraits or depictions of humans, and landscapes or depictions of environment or the natural world. The class sessions will be constructed of contrasts: urban/rural; civilized/savage; European/American, etc.
The Spiritual in Art class was loosely arranged around a wonderful book, An Art of our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art, by Roger Lipsey. The search is on for a book which could function in the same way, for this new class concept. 
Any ideas?

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