Monday, January 12, 2015

Facing The Wall


Recently, the Brooklyn Museum asked for reproduction rights to two fan-shaped pieces on handmade paper in their collection.  I was happy to oblige, and was reminded of the first time my work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York.


Facing The Wall

The Museum of Modern Art, in New York, organized an exhibition of works on handmade paper, in 1976.  
Kathy Markel, one of my New York art dealers, at the time, called  to tell me she was loaning a piece of mine to the exhibition. 
I was too busy with the Venturi renovation and addition to the Allen Art Museum to go see the show
until toward the end.  A friend who often helped me in the studio, Walter Bosstick, was in New York
about a month after the exhibition opened and reported back to me the following:
“The piece they are showing is beautiful.  It’s displayed in between a Jim Dine and a Robert Rauschenberg. 
But, you know, I thought I knew all your work and this one is very subtle.” 

I asked him to describe it, since I didn’t know which piece was selected.  He did and I was really puzzled. 
It didn’t sound like my work!  So, I asked how, other than by the label, he knew it was my work? 
“It has your signature right on it.”    

I was on the phone to MoMA as fast as I could dial. 
I explained to the curator that I signed my work on the back.  By the time I arrived in New York the
piece was properly presented.  It had even been purchased by an art critic.

My question is: which side did she pay for?   
                              
Sandy Kinnee
2002

p.s. I met the owner of the fan-shaped print and she answered my question this way:
"Which side do you think?"

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Pollock Over-Splatter Survey

In  2003 I noticed unexpected pink drips on Jackson Pollock's One, Number 31, 1950, at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York.

My observations were published by an online magazine.
I suggested these extra drips might be useful to Art Historians as a sort of Art DNA.

The numbered titles of Pollock's paintings are not necessarily related to sequence.
Uncovering clues to the order of creation may shed light on Pollock's thought process and decision making. The extra drips, which I call Over-Splatter, are unexamined evidence of the order.
Due to the size of his studio floor, one painting was completed before then next was begun.
Over-Splatter is paint that became airborne during the performance of Pollock's painting technique which landed any place other than the intended artwork he was currently creating. Over-splatter therefore could land upon any other ground than the intended canvas. It could adhere to the studio floor, walls, or more significantly, to completed art in the studio.

Thus far, I have identified only those paintings upon whose faces over-splatter appears.
Pollock, like other artists generally stacked completed paintings face to the wall. Those paintings with over-splatter on the face had been displayed during Hans Namuth's photographic sessions.

I am now in the process of surveying the verso of all of his paintings.  I suspect there is more
over-splatter on the back of canvases.  The layers of over-splatter in the studio also provide a color/pigment sequence; but that is a different task.


Link to the 2003 online mention of the drips

A follow-up article from 2011

2013 NYT article

The MoMA article about the pink drips 

On The Use Of Pollock's Errant Splatter

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Ponderosa Pine Next To The House

 The Ponderosa Pine Next To The House

There is sawdust and wood chips on the roof, in the 
same way the snow collected there months ago and the year 
before that and a long number of winters 
before the sawdust.
The house is well over a hundred years old 
and the girl who dug a little hole for 
a pine seedling is long gone.

The tree is now gone.  
Twenty-one days of rains saturated the soil 
and high winds rocked the tree until 
it was tilting like a tipsy drunk 
imitating a tower in Pisa. 
Gravity had taken over and the tree was going to fall. 
It was a matter of hours.






The Ponderosa Pin Next To The House.


There is sawdust and wood chips on the roof, in the same way the snow collected there months ago and the year before that and a long string of winters before this or any sawdust settled here.  The house is well over a hundred years old and the girl who dug a little hole for a pine seedling is long gone.

The tree is now gone.  Twenty-one days of rains saturated the soil and high winds rocked the tree until it was tilting like a tipsy drunk, imitating a particular tower in Pisa. Gravity had taken over and the tree was going to fall. It was only a matter of hours.

I suppose this is about a Ponderosa pine tree
I suppose it is about three little girls

The first little girl asked her daddy if she could plant the pine tree in the yard. She did, digging a little hole for for the seedling about two feet from the brick wall, just below the kitchen window.  She watered it and took care of her little tree and it grew as she did.
The tree kept growing.  It was still a young pine tree when the little girl became an old woman. Possibly she said good bye to her tree before she left that final time.  I like to think she did. I’d like to believe the tree shook it’s long needles for her.

Count the rings

How sweet the scent of the wood and gum released when the branches went into the chipper and came out the other side.  A fragrance so basic that strangers knew this was a special tree.

Count the rings, back from the outside until you reach 34, when another girl came along. She watched her cat chase squirrels up and down the trunk.
Standing at the kitchen sink, filling a glass from the faucet, she looked through the window and marveled at how the morning light illuminated the red bark or how the shadows at dinner time animated the valleys between the islands of bark. Or how the sunset caused an orange glow as if the tree was more than a big plant, but a friend happy to see her.

There is no more counting of the rings for the third little girl who by chance is the same age as the one who planted this tree.  This little girl points up at the man wearing an orange shirt. He has a blue hard hat, safety goggles, and muffs over his ears. “That’s my daddy!” He rides in a bucket and uses a chainsaw like a surgeon or musician.  Her daddy knows trees and he loves what he does. 
        
It is strange to go out the front door and down the steps to retrieve the morning news and not see the big pine tree overhead.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Another Lost Poem

 Another Lost Poem

I was on the train this morning and for some reason I thought that the words scrolling in my head would be easily remembered, they were so obvious that I could write the entire poem at once without taking a single note.

On the train I was confident I had nothing left but to record it when I reached my destination.  You know already that this lost poem matched the umbrella left behind yesterday on the same train.
As I left the metro the rain resumed.





Monday, July 7, 2014

The National Archives of France


Reconstructing France


Someone will have burned
a desk stuffed with receipts

A bomb will have fallen
there and exploded

She used paper scraps to build
a fire to keep her fingers from freezing

Others just threw everything out
during this revolution or that uprising

Otherwise each sheet of paper
and parchment that touched

the hands of  bureaucrats  
is boxed  here,

on high and low shelves
Inside silent warehouses.

If one if diligent one could
paste together the entire history

Of France, except where bombs
have fallen or fires were needed.