Friday, May 20, 2011



Another find from the Nevelson master, this painting above hopefully illustrates the downtrip. If you compare the two similar pictures you will see that the arrows signify the direction that the lines and forms carry the viewer. In the painting below, the upbeat, the lines and forms rise up from the lower left and churn up towards the upper right. In the painting at the top of the pamphlet the lines and forms carry the viewer down hill. The paintings are directional. Some of you were having a hard time figuring this one out, I hope the new artwork helps.

A few quick biographical notes on the life of Dirk Van Assaerts;

As an arts administrator Dirk was spending an awful lot of time shuffling paper and he really wanted to further his art career, so he began working on his masters degree in fine arts. The day care ministry paid his tuition, and promised him a raise when he secured the terminal degree in his field. Uncertainty nagged poor Dirk, he already had one degree and that didn't help him become a full time artist, why get a second? However many people did, and it was the usual way of doing things. Besides he could always teach and with that masters degree, he could maybe secure a job at the Peoples Conformity District art school.

At his home, children were being born and beginning to knock things over. His wife gave birth to twin sons. In those days fathers didn't join their wives as they struggled and complained giving birth. Fathers paced back and forth in the waiting room, smoking cigarettes and reading Argosy magazine. As he paced, Dirk wondered how everything had gotten so complicated and expensive, he was going to have to find a way to increase his income. With four children now, the little house by the fetid canal was starting to get mighty cramped, and his carriage hardly fit them all, particularly since his wife had now more than doubled in size. She also bought a small dog like the rich Hollywood starlets prefer, that snarled and bit Dirk whenever he got too close to her

So on weekends (instead of painting, incidentally) he and his humongous wife hunted for a larger house, with four bedrooms and in a neighborhood with better schools. The schools were all exactly the same, the state consistency monitors decreed that. But some of the suburbs where the swells lived did seem to get better average test scores and place more students into the prestigious bureaucracies. People insisted they weren't actually better, but they were nicer.


Bob Carter said...

For those still struggling with this, note that in the downward trip example the trees are leaning curiously to the left, as if they were about to tumble downhill and crush the charming windmill in the lower left corner. In the upward example, the trees have righted themselves, even leaning slightly to the right to fight the force of gravity and spare the threatened structure.
Now, as to to the fate of our hapless art academic wannabe (the esteemed Nevelson master), I await Phil Koch's comments.

Philip Koch said...

Speaking as a hapless academic wannabe, I'd say I've seen both excellent and dreadful work from lots of different sorts of arists.

Some artists come out of the the university/art school system that grants degrees. Others come out of the atelier/classical studio training tradition and make do without earning a degee. Both have their share of successes and failures.

What matters is that one finds a way to connect oneself to authentic experience and to express that through form and color. It will always remain mysterious why one artist succeeds at this and another fails to produce excellent work.

I always remind myself that nobody has figured out how to put the magic of art into a bottle and store it. said...

Hi Philip, maybe that's why they call is "art"? It is all a mystery and hard work.

Simone said...

Is some of this stuff in your "Manifesto" which you wrote while hibernating in a little shack somewhere up near Sunday River?

Steve Baker said...

I see it now. Yesterday I was focused on the slop of the ground, the silhouette of the trees, the line of clouds. When I pay more attention to the details of the trees I see what you're talking about. Yesterday I only registered as a vague sense of disharmony. I suspect that is due to the fact that the branches seem to cut across the prevailing line, where the "uplifting" picture all of the lines flow in the same direction. To my eye.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I hope they got it. It seems hard to explain this, I guess I have. I don't want to leave anybody behind.

Stapleton Kearns said...

IKn this case Dirk, he just wanted to paint pictures and sell them. The art school system is not terribly good at training for that.You are the exception that proves the rule. Most people (I think) get masters so they can teach..

Stapleton Kearns said...

Paint and sell, or die. Whats the mystery? Great commitment brings great results.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You know about the manifesto?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good I hope everybody got that one. It is a little hard when the teacher can't see the perplexed looks on the students faces. It is hard to know if you are getting your ideas across or no.