Friday, June 06, 2014


BRIEF THOUGHTS ON ART AND DESIGN: From a time with film and photographic art, to now with work in painting and drawing again – on the edges, if there is an edge - I like to think about two things – enframing and mystery. Design itself, so long in dominance in the arts, doesn’t do it for me, in itself or for itself, no matter how wondrous the technique, unless what’s going on in a work takes me outside the frame.

DERRIDA VS GOTTLIEB: I’m drawing on Jacque Derrida’s notion of “enframing,” which in a painting is the thing within it that takes one out of the boundaries of the physical work and resets the frame (or disappears it). Mystery, an intangible, is something personal, and maybe I’ll try to explore what I mean by that sometime, but one thing I can say is that it’s part of what makes the frame disappear and brings about an internal vista.

I recall in the ‘60s looking at Adolph Gottlieb’s work at MOMA wondering when the mystery and that which would move me within the work would happen – even with perhaps understanding the notion of the alchemist in his work – Barnett Newman too. The lot of them: Rothko, Motherwell, Kline but not Diebenkorn and his versatility of approaches to a “subject.”

THE BLAUE REITER: Just to briefly sum up what I think I’m getting at, I think Kandinsky, Marc and others from this movement have a closer affinity to capturing the re-enframing and mystery I feel I want to see in a work that uses design as a key element and focus.

This is only sketchily developed, obviously ...

I’m not thinking about some of the extremes Francisco Goya went to in his paintings, but I think the so-called fine art of painting and drawing needs to open more spaces to address the impact of social and human rights issues ... I feel so passionate about this. I don’t know where that passion is coming from but it doesn’t matter; what matters is that it be expressed.
As a footnote – my youngest daughter is an extremely knowledgeable published art historian Ph.D. who also runs an MFA program in The Netherlands and so I write this understanding that that intelligence might descend on this and have a response that would open my eyes wider. But for now, this is it.
(c) 2014 Wes Rehberg

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