Carole Kim and I met in 2011 at the premiere of Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers at the RedCat Theater in Los Angeles, CA. She participated in the performance by contributing to the video presentation on the huge screens behind the stage where the musicians played.
Her work has always attracted me because she deals in the interaction of layers. In my own drawings, I think in terms of layers and outgrowths. In static drawing, in which I participate, I cannot create, motion and change and depth except in the act of drawing that becomes frozen and, in essence, unchangeable. Only in the viewing does the potential for an image’s morphing in the mind’s eye exist.
This video realizes a dream that I have had about how my drawings can be. Without Carole, I would never have been able to achieve that dream.
The concept of these drawings germinates once again in minimalism, the non-objective, and self-referentiality.
Self-referentiality was and is, for me, a mainstay in an artist’s orientation in approaching any work at all. Configuring it is a means to appreciate the process as it goes forth and increase the artist’s mindfulness of the direction of the process.
Each drawing is colored pencil on black gouache. Each measures 30 inches in height by 44 inches in width.
These black and white drawings are seminal to becoming settled in my new studio.
The branch from the dead tree outside the back door of my new abode was going to be thrown away. The person who sold me my living and working space was aware of my work; he held it up one day and asked me if I wanted it; I said, yes. And I drew a picture of the branch. It was the beginning shape to my new vocabulary.
These panels reflect my new environment. The mountain “lines” represent the Berkshires in MA. And the branches images come from a template I made of a drawing I did of a branch broken off a dead tree/bush once planted outside my door.
The incorporation of the drawings into the panel format demonstrates the influence of Japanese panel paintings from the turn of the 20th century.
In the 80’s, I did so many pastels, there was at least a half-inch of pastel dust on my first studio floor. I stopped doing them because the dust was going to affect my breathing and that of my family.
These pastels were quite large, up to 100 inches across. They were hanging on a wall in a storage of my house for almost 50 years. Now they are all rolled up in another place.
But many are in a portfolio. Some have been lost because they were not fixed properly and moved around so much that the pastel was smeared. The image directly below is one of the drawings that was smeared beyond recognition. It is called Abierto.
These two below have been framed since they were made so have been preserved.