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: the mythology of newness: was re: jurying, etc.

updated thu 20 may 04


Lee Love on thu 20 may 04

Wes Rolley wrote:

> Pottery, on the other hand, can never escape its traditions. There is
> always the fact that most pottery making has been the production of
> vessels (generally round) intended for use and that such production is
> most productive when using a wheel of some kind.

Function is never a hindernce to the innovation. Function is simply the
frame that the painting fits into. Two of my favorite painters are
Gorgio Morandi and Milton Avery. Their work is so much more effective to
me than pure abstract work, because you get all the variation in their
work that the abstractionist do, but their choice of framing their work
in the form of: still life, portrait, and landscape, keeps the subject
in a human/humane reference, and not simply as a mental exercise.

Recently we saw a show of the work of Emil Nolde*, whose etchings,
woodblock prints, and watercolors contain abstraction within the form
of landscape, portrait and still life. Before that, in Tokyo, at the
National Modern art museum, we saw the work of Oshiro Onchi*, whose
abstraction in wood block print was also framed within form.

> When a potter tries to continually make something new, maybe to get
> into a bigger show or better gallery, the result is too often "silly
> pots" that would have a future archaeologist wondering about the
> decline of art in our age. Every really good "new" thing that I have
> made came about because I was improving my skills in one area or
> another. Maybe that is why I have consciously limited my choice of
> clay body, glaze components, etc. until I feel that I have truly
> exhausted all of the potential in them.

I believe, in any kind of creative work, it is far more important to be
"genuine" than it is to be "novel." Genuine deals with universal values.
"Novel" is simply limited to consumption and is the "Soma" in the
support of "The Brave New World."


New Web Journal (photos etc):

*Nolde, Emil , 1867–1956, German expressionist painter and graphic
artist. His original name was Emil Hansen. After teaching in Switzerland
(1892–98), Nolde traveled through Europe and in 1906 joined the Brücke
group of German expressionists. Nolde's explosively colored paintings
were continually refused by the Berlin secession group. In protest Nolde
wrote an open letter to Max Liebermann, president of the secession, and
thereby started a bitter controversy. In 1911 he helped found the New
Secession. Nolde's most powerful work was his exploration of the
supernatural (demonic heads, mystic appearances, and religious images).
His woodcut The Prophet (1912; National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.)
is a terrible, savage image of pain. He painted bold, arresting
landscapes and applied his expressionist technique to produce notable
oils and watercolors of flowers (e.g., Flowers, Mus. of Modern Art, New
York City). His mask like portraits conjure up a world of primitive
emotions. Violent, clashing colors are combined with exaggerated
distortions of shape. Among of his well-known paintings are Christ among
the Children (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) and Ripe Sunflowers
(Inst. of Arts, Detroit). Nolde's work was condemned and largely
confiscated by the Nazi regime.

*Oshiro Onchi (1891-1955)

The fourth son of Onchi Tetsuo, Koshiro Onchi was born in Tokyo. He
learned calligraphy from his father; a tutor of three young princes who
were to marry the Emperor Meiji's daughters. He first studied oil
painting and sculpture at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and in 1913
formed a print and poetry magazine Tsukubae to which he contributed
numerous abstract prints. In 1917, Onchi published his first collection
of prints and in 1919 participated in the first Nihon Sosaku-Hanga
Kyokai exhibition. Through the years he was active promoting
print-making as a legitimate expressive and creative medium, not merely
a means of reproduction. He established a great reputation as a book
designer, as well as a printmaker, personally designing over 1000 books
for publication. Active in progressive art organizations, Onchi was a
major force in the Sosaku-Hanga movement and the foremost abstract print
artist of his day.