Summer is almost here (in Texas, anyway), which means my birthday is not far behind. September 25. No, you may not ask how old I’ll be (please don’t ask my kids). It’s a big number.
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).
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.
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.
See what I mean?