Friday, November 19, 2010
Less is More, More or Less
The pristine white canvas I posted the other day is no longer virgin. I made my mark.
The canvas is scarred and must be mended by adding more marks. The minimalists wouldn't think so. They favored less is more and would probably think I'd already gone too far. They liked to exclude personal expression by cutting painting down to the most basic elements. But right now, I need more. I'm not a woman of few words, nor a painter of a single dot. My initial gesture needs others to make the painting comprehensible. Summer Woods is pretty comprehensible in this primary state. I get it. It's the woods. There's trees and underbrush and a foreground, midground and background. I could sign it and walk away. But I won't. At this point, I'm going for overdone--maybe even over the top? Depends on how the marks go. Art is a form of communication. I'm a chatty Kathy. I like to make myself perfectly clear. But perfectly clear could be too many marks and as boring as an all white painting without a single mark?
Take a look at Frank Stella's Black paintings. They say a lot about simplicity. They say a lot about design, (but nobody mentions that). Do they leave you wanting more? Or less? They never drew me across the room to take a closer look, I didn't have to get any closer. I could appreciate and admire the brevity of their grand statements from the gallery door.