Day 360- Marcel Duchamp- You Cannot Define Art

It’s Day 360 and now I actually have 5 left to go.  I’ve been putting off today’s artist for a long time because he’s one of my favorites, but I was so nervous about tackling his style.  I’m glad that I waited until the tail end of my project because I feel like I’ve learned/experienced enough to mildly pull it off.  Please join me in honoring Marcel Duchamp today.

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

 

Marcel Duchamp, French  (July 28, 1887- October 2, 1968)

“You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition.”

Chess Players- Marcel Duchamp

Chess Players- Marcel Duchamp

Few artists can boast having changed the course of art history in the way that Marcel Duchamp did. Having assimilated the lessons of Cubism and Futurism, whose joint influence may be felt in his early paintings, he spearheaded the American Dada movement together with his friends and collaborators Picabia and Man Ray. By challenging the very notion of what is art, his first readymades sent shock waves across the art world that can still be felt today.

Duchamp’s ongoing preoccupation with the mechanisms of desire and human sexuality as well as his fondness for wordplay aligns his work with that of Surrealists, although he steadfastly refused to be affiliated with any specific artistic movement per se. In his insistence that art should be driven by ideas above all, Duchamp is generally considered to be the father of Conceptual art.
His refusal to follow a conventional artistic path, matched only by a horror of repetition which accounts for the

Parva Domus, Magna Quies - Marcel Duchamp

Parva Domus, Magna Quies – Marcel Duchamp

relatively small number of works Duchamp produced in the span of his short career, ultimately led to his withdrawal from the art world. In later years, Duchamp famously spent his time playing chess, even as he labored away in secret at his last enigmatic masterpiece, which was only unveiled after his death in 1968.

Coined by Duchamp, the term “readymade” came to designate mass-produced everyday objects taken out of their usual context and promoted to the status of artworks by the mere choice of the artist. A performative act as much as a stylistic category, the readymade had far-reaching implications for what can legitimately be considered an object of art.
Nude Descending a Staircase- Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending a Staircase- Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp rejected purely visual or what he dubbed “retinal pleasure,” deeming it to be facile, in favor of more intellectual, concept-driven approaches to art-making and, for that matter, viewing. He remained committed, however, to the study of perspective and optics which underpins his experiments with kinetic devices, reflecting an ongoing concern with the representation of motion and machines common to Futurist and Surrealist artists at the time.

A taste for jokes, tongue-in-cheek wit and subversive humor, rife with sexual innuendoes, characterizes Duchamp’s work and makes for much of its enjoyment. He fashioned puns out of everyday expressions which he conveyed through visual

King and Queen surrounded by swift nudes - Marcel Duchamp

King and Queen surrounded by swift nudes – Marcel Duchamp

means. The linguistic dimension of his work in particular paved the way for Conceptual art.

Marcel Duchamp was raised in Normandy, in a family of artists. His father was mayor of Blainville and his mother raised their seven children and painted landscapes depicting the French countryside. Family time was spent playing chess, reading, painting, and playing music.
Fountain 1917, replica 1964 Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1999

Fountain 1917, replica 1964 Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1999

One of Marcel’s earliest artworks, Landscape at Blainville (1902), painted at age fifteen, reflected his family’s love of Claude Monet. Marcel was close to his two older brothers, and in 1904, after both had left home to become artists, he joined them in Paris to study painting at Académie Julian. His brother, Jacques Villon, supported him during his studies, and Marcel earned some income by working as a cartoonist. Duchamp’s early drawings evince his ongoing interest in visual and verbal puns.

After he withdrew from the art world, Duchamp remained a passive, if influential, presence in New York avant-garde circles until he was rediscovered in the 1950s by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Duchamp’s insistence that art should be an expression of the mind rather than the eye or the hand spoke to Minimalists and Conceptual artists alike.
It ushered in a new era summed up by Joseph Kosuth’s claim that “all art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in

Yvonne and Magdeleine Torn in Tatters- Marcel Duchamp

Yvonne and Magdeleine Torn in Tatters- Marcel Duchamp

nature) because art only exists conceptually.” The seminal concept of the mass-produced readymade was eagerly seized upon not only by Andy Warhol and other Pop artists who claimed Duchamp as their founding father but also, owing to its performative aspects, by FluxusArte Povera and Performance artists.

Portrait of Chess Players- Marcel Duchamp

Portrait of Chess Players- Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp’s radical critique of art institutions made him a cult figure for generations of artists who, like him, refused to go down the path of a conventional, commercial artistic career.

Though his work was admired for its wide-ranging use of artistic materials and mediums, it is the theoretical thrust of Duchamp’s eclectic but relatively limited output that accounts for his growing impact on successive waves of twentieth-century avant-garde movements and individual artists who openly acknowledged his influence.

On his attitude about art: “It is paradoxical. It is almost schizophrenic. On one side I worked from a very

Portrait of Dulcinea- Marcel Duchamp

Portrait of Dulcinea- Marcel Duchamp

intellectual form of activity, and on the other de-deifying everything by more materialistic thoughts.”

On the readymade: “The readymade is the consequence of the refusal which made me say: There are so many people who make pictures with their hands, that one should end up not using the hand.”

On chess: “I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art, and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.”

Biography is from The Art Story website.

I hope you enjoy my tribute to the great Marcel Duchamp today.  I had a surprisingly relaxing time creating it today!  I wanted to incorporate his love for chess.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 361…I’m going to try and have a relaxing rest of the day now. 🙂

Best,

Linda

Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Side-View Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Side-View
Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Strategy- Tribute to Marcel Duchamp
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Crackle paint on Canvas

Day 355- Marta Minujin- Everything is Art

It’s Day 355 and I had a blast doing today’s extra bold and colorful piece.  She did so many different forms of art, but I really wanted to do something insanely bright and colorful today.  Please join me in honoring Marta Minujin today!

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín (born January 30, 1943) is an Argentine conceptual and performance artist.

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Freaking on Fluo- Marta Minujin

Marta Minujín was born in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She met a young economist, Juan Carlos Gómez Sabaini, and married him in secret in 1959; the couple had two children. A student in the National University Art Institute, she first exhibited her work in a 1959 show at the Teatro Agón. A scholarship from the National Arts Foundation allowed her to travel to Paris as one of the young Argentine artists featured in Pablo Curatella Manes and Thirty Argentines of the New Generation, a 1960 exhibit organized by the prominent sculptor and Paris Biennale judge.

Her time in Paris inspired her to create “livable sculptures,” notably La Destrucción, in which she assembled mattresses along the Impasse Roussin, only to invite other avant-garde artists in her entourage, including Christo and Paul-Armand Gette, to destroy the display. This 1963 creation would be the first of her “Happenings” – events as works of arts in themselves; among her hosts during her stay was Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (later President of France).

She earned a National Award in 1964 at Buenos Aires’ Torcuato di Tella Institute, where she prepared two happenings: Eróticos en technicolor and

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

the interactiveRevuélquese y viva (Roll Around in Bed and Live). Her Cabalgata (Cavalcade) aired on Public Television that year, and involved horses with paint buckets tied to their tails. These displays took her to nearby Montevideo, where she organized Sucesos (Events) at the Uruguayan capital’s Tróccoli Stadium with 500 chickens, artists of contrasting physical shape, motorcycles, and other elements.

Marta Minujin

Marta Minujin

She joined Rubén Santantonín at the di Tella Institute in 1965 to create La Menesunda (Mayhem), where participants were asked to go through sixteen chambers, each separated by a human-shaped entry. Led by neon lights, groups of eight visitors would encounter rooms with television sets at full blast, couples making love in bed, a cosmetics counter (complete with an attendant), a dental office from which dialing an oversized rotary phone was required to leave, a walk-in freezer with dangling fabrics (suggesting sides of beef), and a mirrored room with black lighting, falling confetti, and the scent of frying food. The use of advertising throughout suggested the influence of pop art in Minujín’s “mayhem.”

These works earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966, by which she relocated to New York. The coup d’état by General Juan Carlos Onganía in June of that year made her fellowship all the more fortuitous, as the new regime would frequently censor and ban irreverent displays such as hers. Minujín delved into psychedelic art in New York, of which among her best-known creations was that of the “Minuphone,” where patrons could enter a telephone booth, dial a number, and be surprised by colors projecting from the glass panels, sounds, and seeing themselves on a television screen in the floor. She was on hand in 1971 for the Buenos Aires premiere of Operación Perfume, and in New York, befriended fellow conceptual artist Andy Warhol.

She returned to Argentina in 1976, and afterwards created a series of reproductions of classical Greek sculptures in plaster of paris, as well as miniatures of the Buenos Aires Obelisk carved out of panettone, of the Venus de Milo carved from cheese, and of Tango vocalist Carlos Gardel for a

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Geometria blanda, 2014- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

1981 display in Medellín. The latter, a sheet metal creation, was stuffed with cotton and lit, creating a metaphor for the legendary crooner’s untimely 1935 death in a Medellín plane crash. She was awarded the first of a series of Konex Awards, the highest in the Argentine cultural realm, in 1982.

The return of democracy in 1983, following seven years of a generally failed dictatorship, prompted Minujín to create a monument to a glaring, inanimate victim of the regime: freedom of expression. Assembling 30,000 banned books (including works as diverse as those by Freud, Marx, Sartre, Gramsci, Foucault, Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz, and Darcy Ribeiro, as well as satires such as Absalom and Achitophel, reference volumes such as Enciclopedia Salvat, and even children’s texts, notably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry), she designed the “Parthenon of Books,” and following President Raúl Alfonsín’s December 10 inaugural, had it mounted on a boulevard median along the Ninth of July Avenue. Dismantled after three weeks, its mass of newly-unbanned titles was distributed to the public below.

A conversation with Warhol in New York regarding the Latin American debt crisis inspired one of her most publicized “happenings:” The Debt. Purchasing a shipment of maize, Minujín dramatized the Argentine cost of servicing the foreign debt with a 1985 photo

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

series in which she symbolically handed the maize to Warhol “in payment” for the debt; she never again saw Warhol, who died in 1987.

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Laberinto Minujinda, 1985- Marta Minujin

Minujín has continued to display her art pieces and happenings in the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, the National Fine Arts Museum, the ArteBA festival, the Barbican Center, and a vast number of other international galleries and art shows, while continuing to satirize consumer culture (particularly relating to women). She is well known for her belief that “everything is art.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  My eyes hurt just a little after painting it, but I think it came out pretty nice.

I will see you tomorrow on Day 356!

Best,

Linda

 

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Laberinto del Arco Iris- Tribute to Marta Minujin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 312- John Baldessari- No More Boring Art

It’s Day 312 and I’m still on a high from my improv show last night.  It was so much fun!  I am super tired today, but I had a great time doing today’s piece.  Join me in honoring John Baldesarri today!

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

John Anthony Baldessari (born June 17, 1931) is an American conceptual artist known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. He lives and works in Santa Monica and Venice, California.

Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960s. In 1970 he began working in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography. He has created thousands of works that demonstrate—and, in many cases, combine—the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of the work of art. His art has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His work influenced Cindy Sherman, David Salle, and Barbara Kruger among others.

Baldessari was born in National City, California to Hedvig Jensen, a Danish nurse, and

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

Antonio Baldessari, an Italian salvage dealer. Baldessari and his elder sister were raised in Southern California. He attended Sweetwater High School and San Diego State College. Between 1960 and 1984, he was married to Montessorian teacher Carol Ann Wixom; they have two children.

In 1959, Baldessari began teaching art in the San Diego school system. He kept teaching for nearly three decades, in schools and junior colleges and community colleges, and eventually at the university level. When the University of California decided to open up a campus in San Diego, the new head of the Visual Art Department, Paul Brach, asked Baldessari to be part of the originating faculty in 1968. At UCSD he shared an office with David Antin. In 1970, Baldessari moved to Santa Monica, where he met many artists and writers, and began teaching at CalArts. His first classes included David Salle, Jack Goldstein, Mike Kelley, Tony Oursler, James Welling, Barbara Bloom, Matt Mullican, andTroy Brauntuch. While at CalArts, Baldessari taught “the infamous Post Studio class”, which he intended to “indicate people not daubing away at canvases or chipping away at stone, that there might be some other kind of class situation.” The class, which operated outside of medium-specificity, was influential in informing the context for addressing a student’s art practice at CalArts. He quit teaching at CalArts in 1986, moving on to teach at UCLA, which he continued until 2008.  At UCLA, his students included Elliott Hundley.

Early text paintings

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

By 1966, Baldessari was using photographs and text, or simply text, on canvas. His early major works were canvas paintings that were empty but for painted statements derived from contemporary art theory. An early attempt of Baldessari’s included the hand-painted phrase “Suppose it is true after all? WHAT THEN?” (1967) on a heavily worked painted surface. However, this proved personally disappointing because the form and method conflicted with the objective use of language that he preferred to employ. Baldessari decided the solution was to remove his own hand from the construction of the image and to employ a commercial, lifeless style so that the text would impact the viewer without distractions. The words were then physically lettered by sign painters, in an unornamented black font. The first of this series presented the ironic statement “A TWO-DIMENSIONAL SURFACE WITHOUT ANY ARTICULATION IS A DEAD EXPERIENCE” (1967).

Another work, Painting for Kubler (1967–68) presented the viewer theoretical instructions on how to view it and on the importance of context and continuity with previous works. This work referenced art historian George Kubler’s seminal book, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things. The seemingly legitimate art concerns were intended by Baldessari to become hollow and ridiculous when presented in such a purely self-referential manner.

Disowning of early work

In 1970 Baldessari and five friends burnt all of the paintings he had created between 1953 and 1966 as part of a new piece, titled The Cremation Project. The ashes from these paintings were baked into cookies and placed into an urn, and the resulting art installation consists of a bronze commemorative plaque with the destroyed paintings’ birth and death dates, as well as the recipe for making the

Tiger- John Baldessari

Tiger- John Baldessari

cookies. Through the ritual of cremation Baldessari draws a connection between artistic practice and the human life cycle. Thus the act of disavowal becomes generative as with the work of auto-destructive artist Jean Tinguely.

Juxtaposing text with images

Baldessari is best known for works that blend photographic materials (such as film stills), take them out of their original context and rearrange their form, often including the addition of words or sentences. Related to his early text paintings were his Wrong series (1966-1968), which paired photographic images with lines of text from an amateur photography book, aiming at the violation of a set of basic “rules” on snapshot composition. In one of the works, Baldessari had himself photographed in front of a palm precisely so that it would appear that the tree were growing out of his head. His photographic California Map Project (1969) created physical forms that resembled the letters in “California” geographically near to the very spots on the map that they were printed. In the Binary Code Series, Baldessari used images as information holders by alternating photographs to stand in for the on-off state of binary code; one example alternated photos of a woman holding a cigarette parallel to her mouth and then dropping it away.

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

Another of Baldessari’s series juxtaposed an image of an object such as a glass, or a block of wood, and the phrase “A glass is a glass” or “Wood is wood” combined with “but a cigar is a good smoke” and the image of the artist smoking a cigar. These directly refer to René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images; the images similarly were used to stand in for the objects described. However, the series also apparently refers to Sigmund Freud’s famous attributed observation that “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”, as well as toRudyard Kipling’s “… a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.”

In “Double Bill”, a 2012 series of large inkjet prints, Baldessari paired the work of two selected artists (such as Giovanni di Paolo with David Hockney, or Fernand Léger withMax Ernst) on a single canvas, further altering the appropriated picture plane by overlaying his own hand-painted color additions. Baldessari then names only one of his two artistic “collaborators” on each canvas’s lower edge, such as …AND MANET or …AND DUCHAMP.

Arbitrary games

Baldessari has expressed that his interest in language comes from its similarities in structure to games, as both operate by an arbitrary and mandatory system of rules. In this spirit, many of his works are sequences showing attempts at accomplishing an arbitrary goal, such as Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (1973), in which the artist attempted to do just that, photographing the results, and eventually selecting the “best out of 36 tries”, with 36 being the determining number just because that is the standard number of

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

shots on a roll of 35mm film. The writer eldritch Priest ties John Baldessari’s piece Throwing four balls in the air to get a square (best of 36 tries) as an early example of post-conceptual art. This work was published in 1973 by a young Italian publisher: Giampaolo Prearo that was one of the first to believe and invest in the work of Baldessari. He printed two series one in 2000 copies and a second more precious reserved to the publisher in 500 copies.

Pointing

Much of Baldessari’s work involves pointing, in which he tells the viewer not only what to look at but how to make selections and comparisons, often simply for the sake of doing so. Baldessari’s Commissioned Paintings (1969) series took the idea

John Baldessari

John Baldessari

of pointing literally, after he read a criticism of conceptual art that claimed it was nothing more than pointing. Beginning with photos of a hand pointing at various objects, Baldessari then hired amateur yet technically adept artists to paint the pictures. He then added a caption “A painting by [painter’s name]” to each finished painting. In this instance, he has been likened to a choreographer, directing the action while having no direct hand in it, and these paintings are typically read as questioning the idea of artistic authorship. The amateur artists have been analogized to sign painters in this series, chosen for their pedestrian methods that were indifferent to what was being painted. Baldessari critiques formalist assessments of art in a segment from his video How We Do Art Now(1973), entitled “Examining Three 8d Nails”, in which he gives obsessive attention to minute details of the nails, such as how much rust they have, or descriptive qualities such as which appears “cooler, more distant, less important” than the others.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today!  It was fun making it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 313.

Best,

Linda

Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View
Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Me in Blue- Tribute to John Baldessari
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Day 297- William Anastasi- Master of Accretion

It’s Day 297 and I happened to find this artist randomly and I’m so glad I did!  I was in the mood to do some conceptual art and I like the way this artist thinks.  Please join me in honoring William Anastasi today.

William Anastasi

William Anastasi

Untitled- William Anastasi

Untitled- William Anastasi

William Anastasi (b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1933) is an American painter and visual artist. He has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1960s.

His work is predominantly abstract and conceptual. Early works such as Relief (1961) and Issue (1966) incorporate the use of industrial and construction materials. His works are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, the National Gallery of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2010 Anastasi was awarded The John Cage Award, an unrestricted grant awarded biennially, from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Currently exhibited works include “Nine Polaroid Photographs of a Mirror”,

Subway Drawing- William Anastasi

Subway Drawing- William Anastasi

currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Biography above is from wikipedia.

American, b. 1933

William Anastasi, 60 Minutes, 1987

William Anastasi, 60 Minutes, 1987

A primary player in the first generation of American Conceptual artists, William Anastasi is a “classmate” of such artists as Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, and Hans Haacke. Though his name may not be as well known as his more famous contemporaries, his work is no less compelling. Anastasi’s formal education includes and is limited to high school, however he has lectured at numerous institutions including The School of Visual Arts where he taught for 18 years; University of North Carolina, and Yale University.

Well known for his delving concepts, the media of his work takes all forms. Anastasi’s subway drawings which prevail as some of his most

Pocket drawing 9.9.11, 2011 pencil on chinese silk paper- William Anastasi

Pocket drawing 9.9.11, 2011
pencil on chinese silk paper- William Anastasi

subtle albeit engaging works. Stemming from his Blind Drawing series, the Subway Drawings take their shape from the motion of the subway cars on which he rides. Placing the pencil on the page, the turns of the track and ridges in the wheels push the artist’s hand this way and that creating a cacophony of marks, reminiscent of a naive scribble. The chance taken in this manner of working is what drives the mystery and tension that is inherent to the process of making.

Untitled, 2013 one gallon of industrial high-gloss enamel, thrown- William Anastasi

Untitled, 2013
one gallon of industrial high-gloss enamel, thrown- William Anastasi

Anastasi’s work has enjoyed a star studded collection of showings nationally and internationally including Dwan Gallery, New York; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Stalke Galleri, Copenhagen.

Info above is from artsy.com.

One day, Anastasi was taking a ride on the New York city subway to play chess with a friend across town. He had his drawing supplies with him, so he taped a piece of paper to a board, put the board in his lap, held a pencil in his hand touching the paper, and closed his eyes. Then he let the bouncing and tilting of the subway car move the pencil. The drawing that he made on the way to see his friend that day was – in a way – a drawing of his trip.

When William Anastasi took art classes at school, he learned to draw in the regular way – with his eyes open, looking at the paper. He wondered what his drawings would look like if he didn’t use his eyes, so he began to experiment. He discovered that he liked drawing this way, and even liked the drawings themselves better than when he looked at what he was doing.

Sometimes Anastasi will tie a piece of cloth over his eyes like a blindfold and take a pencil in each hand, drawing for a specific length of

In Heat Portfolio: Semiconscious, 2007- William Anastasi

In Heat Portfolio: Semiconscious, 2007- William Anastasi

time. He calls these his “timed blind drawings.” That’s what he did at the Mattress Factory.

Untitled (July 25, 2010 Laporte), 2010 Ink & graphite on paper- William Anastasi

Untitled (July 25, 2010 Laporte), 2010
Ink & graphite on paper- William Anastasi

For one drawing, called April 15, 1989, 32 minutes, 4B, he held a 4B pencil in each hand. With his eyes covered, he moved from one end of the room to the other for exactly 32 minutes, marking the wall in big, sweeping movements as far as his arms could reach.

Excerpt above is from The Mattress Factory Art Museum.

Read this wonderful interview with him here on artsy.net.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  I painted with a blindfold on and with a timer for 10 minutes.

I decided to do it with white pen on a

Me drawing blind-folded...10 minutes.

Me drawing blind-folded…10 minutes.

black background.  There were moments while scribbling where I thought things like, I want to draw a bird, a face, a lightning bolt, a cloud, etc.  There is something magical about not knowing at all how things will turn out.  I love my end result.  It was a release!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 298.

Best,

Linda

10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Side-View 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Side-View
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3 10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3
10 Minute Blind Drawing- Tribute to William Anastasi
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Pen on Canvas