“Mirrors, Tests & Turnings”

 

 

 

What to say? Another month and with it, the turning of a season, the yearning for a turn of tide. Seasonal changes seem to have sneaked up suddenly, although for weeks I have been observing bronzed, rusted leaves lying on the pebble-encrusted concrete pavement while continuing daily circular walks and spontaneous shootings of On The Ground phone photos (images and observations here).

ON THE GROUND 13 - prayers
        ON THE GROUND 13                              prayers

The new Anticipation exhibit is still up at SQD Gallery in Manchester, Vermont. A beautiful exhibit of the gallery’s six artists, it’s a pleasure to take part although I haven’t seen the installation in person.

The new Tükör/Mirror piece set off this past Monday morning on its long overseas trip, arriving in Budapest a mere three days later to join the work of 78 colleagues in the Society of Hungarian Painters’/Magyar Festők Társasága semi-annual juried exhibit Tükör/Mirror. The show runs from October 22nd – November 13th at the Újpest Galéria in Pest and will be opened by Hemrik László of the Ludwig Museum. Wish I could be there for so many reasons.

Meanwhile, new poems have collected themselves (here) as well.

Some words about work. Process continues to be of both conceptual and visual importance; it’s not about how, but why. The presentation of multiple steps in the working process bears witness to transpositions, transformations and transmutations of form and composition as the work grows, shifts and realizes itself. That this process echoes, reflects and illustrates my inner self goes without saying – it filters through me like a sieve. These metamorphoses are a vital aspect of the work. An action.

The actual making of a work thus having a performance aspect to it, any installation, be it physical or digital, needs to present the thread of development. Sequential processes as well as completed images of the new Tükör/Mirror piece can be seen (here).

MIRRORED TEST/TÜKRÖZÖTT TESZT (RECTO). 2021MIRRORED TEST/TÜKRÖZÖTT TESZT (RECTO). 2021

There had been, in preparation for the Anticipation exhibit, talk of filming me positioning and moving Black Rocks assemblage pieces on the floor, but the pandemic prevented that plan from being realized. Static photos remain the stand-in method of documentation of my works for now.

Art presented as process is nothing new: by necessity and preference, abstract expressionist painters flung, dripped, poured their paint or assembled and re-assembled large collage elements on surfaces spread out on the floor. They were filmed in the act. Pollack, Frankenthaller, Motherwell come to mind. Later artists functioning within more contemporary paradigms, such as ceramic artist Joyce Robins went further, incorporating performance as a core identity of their work.

 

Alongside work, things seem quiet lately. Some good walks; conversations about looking, about dried leaves and concrete, immobility, about crisis subtly shifting to a new degraded constant. How to deal with that? In the September issue of The Brooklyn Rail, Editor-at-Large Francesca Pietropaolo asks “How Long is Now?” At this point, other questions start to show themselves; the adrenaline slowly simmers down a notch, leaving a residue of acceptance or surrender. Searching for a new mode of functionality beyond crisis, a new normal must be created. A mammoth work.

 

I’d like to end with some latest paintings by my friend and colleague Albert Kováts, long-time president of the Society of Hungarian Painters / Magyar Festők Társasága. While similar in approach to much of his recent work, these newest images go further, distilling and expressing in an iconographic way, a much needed essence of reality.

 

Albert Kováts

KOVÁTS ALBERT. VÖLGY-VALLEY, 2021
      Völgy-Valley, 2021
KOVÁTS ALBERT. SZIGET-ISLE, 2021
       Sziget-Isle, 2021
KOVÁTS ALBERT. HEGYMOUNT, 2021
      Hegy-Mount, 2021

 

 

– Diane Sophrin
  Vermont (10.2.21)

 

 

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