One of my favorite activities, when I’m not in my studio, is visiting museums. On a recent trip to Denver I went to the new Clyfford Still Museum. It is adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, its straight lines and solid mass contrasting sharply with the DAM’s angular walls. The Brad Cloepfil designed building houses almost 94% of Still’s total output (paintings, works on paper and sculptures).
Clyfford Still Museum - gallery
The path from representational depictions of farm workers in the 1920’s and 30’s to his fully realized Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 50’s until his death in 1980 are beautifully displayed, several to a gallery.
I was in college during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. I was not as aware of Still and his contemporaries as maybe I should have been, (no Jackson Pollacks in my collection), but I was greatly influenced by one of the group, William Baziotes, who was my teacher at Hunter College. His discussions of how to “see” the world around us in terms of color, shape, line and texture influenced the direction my own art would take.
Clyfford Still "PH-272", 1950, detail
I have always said my work is about those “relationships.” As long as you understand that, you will be comfortable with the absence of object or narrative in my work.
Cecelia Feld #249 Sienna, acrylic painting, 69x53", 1983
Cecelia Feld #1209 This Must Be Your Lucky Day, collagraph collage, 8x11", 2009
See what I mean?
It’s official. Dallas’ Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which most people will call the Calatrava bridge (at least until Calatrava bridge #2 is built), is finished, ready to wed together the two parts of Dallas never comfortable in bed together. Over the course of one riotous weekend, thousands of Dallasites and visitors, plain folks and luminaries experienced a thrill never to be repeated, walking across the bridge. This bridge is designed for traffic, of the vehicular variety, which Dallas does not lack. There is no pedestrian walkway – too bad. That might have messed up Santiago Calatrava’s vision. So…if you didn’t walk across it on opening weekend you missed your chance. You can look at the bazillion pictures posted to every imaginable site.
I had the good fortune to photograph the bridge last May from the construction site – you know, “up close and personal.” With my shiny yellow hard hat on I wandered under and around the structure photographing the gleaming white arch with its partially strung cables, intrigued by the linear patterns they made against the intensely blue sky. Stepping back, I photographed the bridge from the surrounding fields along the Trinity River wondering when the development of that area would take it from paper plans to reality. Parks, play areas, walking and biking paths, water activities. One can hope.
I tried to capture the sculptural quality of the bridge in its state of “becoming.” To experience it through my eyes go see the exhibit of my photos at the Dallas Center for Architecture www.dallascfa.com , through April 15, view the slideshow at www.architectsandartisans.com and visit my website www.studio7310.com (Photographs tab, Urban Seen).
Do what you love or you won’t love what you do.