Archives for posts with tag: drawing

It was around this time of year,  and I was walking on a gentle mountain trail with my absolute favorite person.  Yes, I’ll admit I have favorites. Happily, it’s a long list, and if you’re here reading this, you’re on it.

It’s wonderful how walking activates the mind as if the legs were cog cranks specifically designed to directly engage those tired cranial gears.   Being fall, I was less intent on noticing the birds, and started talking about ideas that were surfacing, wondering what would take shape.   “So, what’s it going to be?” seemed to be the question confronting me.  The “what” referring to creative output.  Out of my ramblings on the mountain came a perception of what I want the core of my work to be at its very best — what I want it to do for me, and ideally, for you.

The challenge, it seemed, was, and is, to create something positive, regardless of the specifics of what it might actually look like or by what means it might ultimately be made.  If it could impart some joy, perfect, or a sense of possibility and wonder, even better. I’d settle for a twinge of some ineffable connection.

My inner cynic is always ready to make an uninvited appearance, but I don’t find the snark’s offerings compelling or absorbing.  Don’t bring me down. Do I want or need to see more interpretations and fantasies of violence, abuse, and humiliation visited by humans upon everyone and everything?  Is it shocking? No. Titillating? Eh. Obvious? Yes. On the other hand, the optimist and idealist risk seeming naive, their contributions cloying, sentimental, new agey, utopian, obscure, self-important, simplistic, and again, obvious.  Personally, I decided to see what I could do while keeping my drawings non-objective, staying away from being literally descriptive, keeping my personal baggage in storage.  By eschewing the obvious, maybe I’d find a way to get a little closer to the ideal of making something  instrinsically positive.

It’s tricky.  Positivity and optimism are not the same thing, nor are positivity and skepticism mutually exclusive.  There are so many varied paths, and as I’ve kept this challenge in the forefront of my mind, I’ve taken more notice when I’ve seen it faced successfully in the work of others.

I was recently (half) joking about the arts and artists deserving a stimulus package and government bailout, when I found myself involved in one of those 140-character-or-less virtual conversations with a complete stranger who questioned whether art deserved any public money at all.  “Should the working class fund entertainment for the middle class through taxes?” he justifiably wondered.  I succinctly replied, “Tax $ 4 art: Funding entertainment? Maybe not. But art that inspires innovation, creative thinking, learning, problem solving?”  His next response was to call me to task to provide examples, and guess what?  Well, I have a few things I want to share with you.  They may or may not have received funding, though in my opinion they deserve it, but I can promise, they won’t bring you down.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Art on Library Walls including work by Maira Kalman (below).  Just about anything by Maira Kalman.

Let’s not forget Liza Lou, beginning with her glittering masterpiece, “The Kitchen” (detail below).

And so much more.

With that in mind, I’m off to the studio.

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My thoughts have returned to the superiority of first-hand over virtual experience.  By this, I mean looking at original artwork as opposed to viewing it on a computer monitor, taking off your iPod and going to hear live music, attending a dance performance, a play, a poetry or book reading, and yes, even just kicking yourself outside to move your legs, smell the flowers, and hear the birds sing.

The in-person experience and meaning of a large-scale work of art cannot be conveyed by a jpeg  any more than looking at a picture of a gourmet meal can compare to savoring it oneself.  Any more than typing XOXO is like kissing and hugging someone you love. This is the problem.  Seeing or reading something on-line is not an acceptable substitute for real experience, yet the more we get sucked into it, the harder becomes to pull away, unplug, and venture out into the physical world, where engaging with people and art and nature can be challenging and even messy, and slightly risky because you can’t just click and instantly transport yourself somewhere else.

I recognize the irony in writing about disconnecting oneself from the computer and other electronic devices, and then posting it on my blog.  Well, life is full of little ironies, including the one about how computers were going to save us all scads of time and make us all so much more productive (except for those Facebook and Twitter junkies who get themselves fired).

When psychiatric diagnosis-like terms such as “Information Anxiety” (coined by Richard Saul Wurman who created the TED conferences) and “Nature Deficit Disorder” start showing up, it’s time to acknowledge there’s a problem.   “We must keep in mind that information or raw data is not knowledge. Individuals achieve knowledge by using their own experience, distinguishing the important from the irrelevant and making critical value judgments.”

Today, people spend less time looking at a work of art itself than they do looking through the viewfinder of their digital cameras so they can snap a picture to post online to show others what they’ve seen – when they haven’t even really looked at it! This NY Times article by Michael Kimmelman hit it dead on:

“Cameras replaced sketching by the last century; convenience trumped engagement, the viewfinder afforded emotional distance and many people no longer felt the same urgency to look. It became possible to imagine that because a reproduction of an image was safely squirreled away in a camera or cell phone, or because it was eternally available on the Web, dawdling before an original was a waste of time, especially with so much ground to cover…”

“…The art historian T. J. Clark…has lately written a book about devoting several months of his time to looking intently at two paintings by Poussin. Slow looking, like slow cooking, may yet become the new radical chic.”

“Until then we grapple with our impatience and cultural cornucopia. Recently, I bought a couple of sketchbooks to draw with my 10-year-old in St. Peter’s and elsewhere around Rome, just for the fun of it, not because we’re any good, but to help us look more slowly and carefully at what we found. Crowds occasionally gathered around us as if we were doing something totally strange and novel, as opposed to something normal, which sketching used to be. I almost hesitate to mention our sketching. It seems pretentious and old-fogeyish in a cultural moment when we can too easily feel uncomfortable and almost ashamed just to look hard.”

I could go on, but I realize this post has just exceeded 600 words, and I don’t want to strain anyone’s techno-abbreviated attention span.  More importantly, it’s time to begin my weekly 24-hour, technology-free, official Day Off, so I want to get away from the computer as much as I want you to do so too.

So that’s it until next time, but ’til then, let’s all do something to get out there and remind ourselves there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby.

[Note: Extra reading – You also might enjoy Nicholas Kristof’s NDD-related article “How to Lick a Slug” if you missed it, and Brad Stone’s NY Times article, “Breakfast Can Wait. The Day’s First Stop Is Online.]

Timed nicely to dovetail with my open studio this Sunday, Manhattan Times, our city’s only fully bilingual paper, has featured my work in their hot-off-the-presses home delivery edition (this image on the cover, and article p.15).

In an effort to be helpful, I provided more information than the Editor could ever possibly use, given space considerations.  I’ll try to get a copy of the article posted on my website soon.  In the meantime, here’s a recap of the Q and A.

Title of artwork: This piece is so new, it’s not titled yet.  Occasionally a title will come to me while I’m working on a drawing, but mostly I have to wait and live with it a while before the title becomes apparent. For now, I just refer to it as ‘the new brown one.’ If you said that to me, I’d know what you’re talking about.

How did you create this piece? I draw working on the floor.  Starting with handmade, colored paper from Japan, I draw each bubble one at a time by bending over the paper and blowing a mixture of ink and water very carefully through a tube. I create my composition by crawling around the paper on my hands and knees, stopping from time to time to put the piece up on the wall, so I can check how it will look from the proper perspective. If you came in and saw me engaged in this activity, you might kindly suggest that I get my head examined.

Special materials or process: I had to create a formula to facilitate making bubbles with the ink and water.  But like many formulae, it’s secret! It took a lot of experimentation to get the formula just right, and I adjusted it and my technique frequently to get different effects in the drawing, such as tone, depth, and line.  There were some happy surprises along the way, but also many frustrating disappointments.  The humidity and temperature affect how the materials behave when I’m working, and I always have to take that into account or risk ruining a piece that has taken a very long time to make.

How long did it take to create? All my work tends to be very labor intensive and time consuming to make.  I dream about being able to just dash off a brilliant drawing one day, but in reality, the methods I come up with all seem to take forever.  In the studio, I am very unaware of the passage of time.  I often work concurrently on more than one piece, moving from one to another, which makes it harder to gauge how long it takes to complete any single work.   A California ceramic artist, Liz Crain, gives an excellent description of the two kinds of time that each piece requires. To paraphrase what she wrote: One part, hard time, is more active, involving the hands-on time actually applying ink to paper and dealing with creative and technical challenges posed by the piece and test pieces.  The other, equally important soft time that one puts in it is more hands-off, and involves research, contemplation, looking, waiting (for clarity, inspiration, the ink to dry), and a lifetime of learning and experience.

What’s the meaning of the work to you? A fascination with the abstract essence of nature is at the core of my work. I find that drawing helps me understand a deeply felt personal bond with nature: our place within it, our relationship to it, and our responsibility to care for it.  Lately, I’ve been contemplating water as both an inspiration and a drawing material. The bubbles are a means of making marks on the paper, yet they also become evocative of other things, like eggs perhaps, or clusters of stars or galaxies.  Blowing bubbles is one of the joys of childhood (and adulthood, for some of us), but it’s impossible to ignore that they are heartbreakingly fragile and short-lived – a metaphor, if you will. By using art to investigate and interpret the systems, structures, and wide-ranging ways that we connect with the natural world, I hope we might come to understand our crucial vulnerabilities and respond meaningfully.

What do you want people to see when they look at it? I would like people to see something that engages and excites them.  I hope to encourage a feeling of possibility, and perhaps wonderment.  Our sense of vision, like our sense of smell has the power to connect to things deep in our minds in a way that has nothing to do with spoken language.  I would like people to see something in the work that they realize they somehow recognize, without necessarily having the need or ability to name what exactly it is.

Why did you want to exhibit this piece in this location (at my open studio)? For me, the studio is the place where curiosity always trumps cynicism. The fun of having an annual open studio is that I can meet art-lovers in person in a more casual setting than a formal gallery show.  In the studio, people get a chance to view not only my current work, but some earlier work as well, and even some things that may have never been shown elsewhere.  Seeing the variety of ideas and approaches affords a broader understanding of how the work has evolved. An open studio provides a valuable opportunity to interact with the public about the work and its many layers of meaning.  In my experience, these exchanges strengthen the appreciation of both the creative process and the importance of the arts as part of any dynamic society.

[image above, Untitled, copyright Sky Pape, ink on handmade paper, 39”h x 25-3/8”w, 2009. Photo: Jean Vong.  See more like this here: http://www.skypape.com/folio.htm]

Things you can do with crayons and pencils if just drawing with them seems just far too ordinary:

Christian Faur makes pixelated images from hand-cast encaustic crayons.

Here’s one for those who think you might be able to erase a few pounds from the backside whilst sitting on it, doing nothing!  Pencil bench by the twin Boex brothers.

[Both sites via Monster-Munch, a site which may just have the most adorable favicon ever, plus tons of other wondrous stuff.]

Kay WalkingStick will be having a retrospective works on paper exhibit at the Grossman Gallery of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, opening March 7th. The show will remain on view until April 25th. The artist will be giving a lecture on the development of her work at 4:00 pm at the Williams Center, also at Lafayette College, after which there will be a reception.  [More information, PDF]

“The works in this exhibition were completed over a 20-year span and directly relate, often as value studies, to the paintings made at the same time.

When I look at these works, I see and remember different periods of my life, various states of mind. My mind.  Drawing is the most direct medium; it is as immediate as dance, and often as vigorous. Each of these series of works represents one of four rather distinct decades of my life, expressed very directly in marks, like a journal. The earliest are representative of the minimalism of the New York art world, and my involvement in it. The colorful group of oilstick works from the 1980s reminds me of my travels in the Southwest; the dark charcoals of the late ’80s and early ’90s are of loss and redemption; and the final charcoal drawings are about my life in Rome and the possibility of refound love. These drawings are a chronological representation of my life.” —Kay WalkingStick

[above image, copyright Kay WalkingStick]

Sure enough, people were lined up down the block on January 10th, waiting for Metro Pictures to open their doors.  If I were Bill Cunningham of The New York Times, I would have had lots of material for a feature on stylish glasses and fabulous winter hats.  Just marvelous! There was an idea floated out that there was a small fortune to be made if one were prepared to back up the offer of “Cocoa! Get your hot cocoa here!”  But at that moment, the crowd began to flood into the gallery for Postcards from the Edge, the benefit for Visual AIDS.  Obviously, at the preview party the night before, many savvy collectors had pinpointed the pieces they were intent on buying.  In a nonstop blur of activity, things flew off the walls.  My little drawing was purchased before I even located it myself.  This annual benefit not only presents work of surprisingly high quality, but it tends to be managed extremely well thanks to smart staff and va-va-voom volunteers.  The atmosphere is like a big party, and there really does seem to be something for everyone.  My hope is that Visual AIDS raked in scads of dough, and I’ll look forward to the recurrence of this event next year.

Our next stop was just down 24th St at Fredericks and Freiser, for John Wesley‘s show A Question of Women (through Feb 7).   My biggest exposure to Wesley‘s work in person was at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, and perhaps then my mind was just too caught up with the overwhelming presences of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin to be able to fully appreciate him.  This well-curated show was my Wesley moment of enlightenment.  It brings together a number of canvases from private collections that have not shown in New York before and some from the artist’s studio that have never before been exhibited.  Their collective impact is disarming, disturbing, and delightfully captivating.  Painted between 1992 and 2004, these paintings should be considered in context from an artist who, born in 1928, has been perfecting this style for over 50 years.  As cool and controlled as they may be, given the tightly drawn lines, the flat application of paint and the specificity of palette, they are startlingly dramatic.  Naughty and erotic in a slightly Betty Boop kind of way, the abstract elements of the canvases — the colors, the quirky shapes (those eyelashes!), the negative spaces — hold powerful sway in the overall experience of the paintings.  It is tempting to think that the simplicity of art employing a comic-book style makes it easy for digital images on the web to adequately stand in for the in-person experience.  That notion is particularly false with Wesley’s paintings and although I’ve included links, I would strongly urge you to go see the show before viewing all the images on the gallery’s website.  With 65 solo shows under his belt, this may be one of Wesley’s best yet, and that’s saying something.

The next stop was BravinLee Programs on 26th Street, where John Lee treated us to a fascinating walk-through of Bhakti Baxter’s exhibition After Certain Amounts of Breath (through Feb 14).   In order to enter the main room of the gallery, you must detour around the remaining fragments of sheetrock and metal studs that once comprised a dividing wall.  There’s a short, vicariously cathartic Youtube video of the artist creating (or should I say deconstructing?) it.  The wall, and all the pieces in this show, relate to themes of temporality, mortality, and the pure energy of matter as it relates to existence.  The featured work in the main gallery is a sequential series of large drawings on mylar depicting the gradual dissolution of the skeletal remains of a human couple, and their transformation or return to a kind of cosmic energy.  The back gallery continues the idea, but on a more conceptual level.  It has the makings of an intimate, yet spare, living room, in which one can sit and reflect a while.  The decor of the room is subtle, yet purposeful:  an Eames rocker invites the visitor with a possible reference to Charles and Ray Eames’ film “The Powers of Ten”, a film that looks at similarities of macro- and microcosmic views (Baxter offers another way to rock as well: there’s a cassette deck playing, for those of you who remember what cassettes are); wall murals channel Albers’ extensive series Homage to the Square, and ideas of harmonious proportions; there’s even a drawing of an agave plant to bring to mind the wonders of the Fibonacci sequence (a plus for this Fibonacci fan).  The references may be a bit obscure, but the ambition to coalesce themes of love, life, death, decay, harmony, scientific phenomena, art history, and even some gentle humor, is heartening, particularly in that cynicism and fear are nowhere to be found here.

Beating me to it, the New Yorker just highlighted Emna Zghal‘s exhibition at M.Y. Art Prospects. Emna’s work may have been under your radar, but not long ago, she won a coveted purchase award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This was her first solo show here of oils on canvas (as opposed to works on paper), and in the dead of winter, it gives you hope that Spring will indeed return. Without sticking to earthen tones or expected shapes, the bold colors and non-representational marks, lines, and gestures of these poetic canvases convey a love of nature: The rustling of leaves, the flow of water, the movement of a creature not quite seen, but sensed. They feel like fresh air and the outdoors without being sentimental or sweet. They express an energetic and layered space in a way that would have been impossible without Pollock, but which in no way seems derivative of him. This selection of work, finely done but never fussy, feels as refined and carefully edited as a sonnet.

Upstairs in the same building at Aperture Gallery (3rd floor) we saw It’s beautiful here, isn’t it…, photographs by Luigi Ghirri (through Jan 29).  This show views like a romantic symphony in several movements.  It is breathtaking to see the breadth of work by this important yet under-known photographer who died in 1992 at the age of 49.  The show is extensive with too much varied content to cover here, but if perhaps you’ve recently been to see the Morandi show at the Met Muse, Ghirri’s photos of the artist’s studio will likely seem especially poignant.  It’s beautiful here?  Yes, Ghirri shows us how true that is.

We braved on through the snow and weren’t disappointed when we arrived at Sean Kelly for Ressonância Resonance Resonanz, a three-artist exhibition by Iran do Espírito Santo, Callum Innes, and Wolfgang Laib (through January 31).  Missing from the show’s press release is a curatorial credit, and the pieces here have been selected and installed so successfully that credit is certainly due to the people behind the scenes as well.  The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installation pieces from three accomplished artists whose approaches, as the press release states, “…whilst seemingly very different, share many conceptual, intellectual, formal and emotional resonances.”  All three artists, whether using paint, granite, glass, crystal, beeswax, rice, or hand-collected pollen display an almost reverent love and sensitivity to their materials that emanates from the completed works.  The gallery seems transformed by this resonant exhibition into a sanctuary for contemplation.

It will be difficult to follow-up such a winning line-up of shows with the next gallery crawl, but I’ll see what I can come up with for February.  Advance notice of next month’s crawl will be posted here, and as always, all are welcome to come along!

[images starting at top: John Wesley, Question of Women, 1993, Acrylic on canvas: 42 x 49 inches; Bhakti Baxter, left to right: After certain amounts of breath 2008 india ink and dirt on mylar 59.25 x42 inches; Residual bodies 2008 india ink and dirt on mylar 61×42 inches; A dispersed way of being 2008 india ink enamel and dirt on mylar 61 x 42 inches; Emna Zghal Tree Threads, 2008, oil on canvas, 25 x 37 inches; Photograph by Luigi Ghirri at Aperture Gallery; Gallery view of Sean Kelly Gallery, detail of Wolfgang Laib’s piece The Rice Meals, 1983, 33 brass plates, rice and hazelnut pollen approximate length: 640 inches (on floor), and two Callum Innes paintings Untitled No 13, 2008, oil on linen 81 1/2 x 79 1/2 inches and Untitled No 30, 2008,oil on canvas, 81 1/2 x 79 1/2 inches.]

The Secret of Drawing: From the BBC, “This four part series, presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon, explores how drawing has shaped our lives. Join him to discover the history of drawing and its relevance to the modern world.”

Watch them via the links below (thanks to the Blog of Marvelous Things)

Episode 1: The Line of Enquiry.  “Andrew looks at artists who have chosen the natural world as their subject matter and explores how drawing has helped man to understand his place in the universe. The programme covers the Rennaissance, the Eastern way, Turner, Constable and contemporary artists Anthony Gormley and Richard Long.”

Episode 2: Storylines. “Drawing has always been an essential tool for the telling of stories. Andrew looks at the satire of Gillray, Goya and Hogarth and its influence on photojournalism, American comics, Japanese Manga and Hollywood storyboards today.”

Episode 3: All in the Mind. “Andrew investigates drawing as a primal human instinct and a learned discipline, looking at the earliest cave drawings and the work of David Hockney and Picasso. The programme uses the latest developments in cognitive science to examine why we draw the way we do.”

Episode 4: Drawing by Design. “Andrew explores the role drawing has played in technical design and architecture, studying complex structures such as the Guggenheim and Boeing 777. From Leonardo to Libeskind, he shows how drawing has been a crucial tool in the history of scientific and technological discovery.”

Enjoy!

Only two days left, and your voice matters. We need to send a POWERFUL MESSAGE to Albany before January 13 describing the potentially devastating impact of the Governor’s proposed $7 million cut to the NY state arts budget.

Click here to send an email to your legislator.  For more information, click here.

And once you’ve done your do-good thing for the day, treat yourself to some visual fun with a visit to Doodlers Anonymous [via Amplesanity].

Thinking with my heart, I’ve decided to heed the advice of last night’s fortune cookies, and stick to my path.  I guess that means I won’t be going into business with Mr. Ming Yang, who emailed me this morning with his almost irresistibly enticing offer:

Hello,
I am Mr Ming Yang,i have an obscured busines suggestion for you.please Contact
me for further details on my Email: (ming_yang805@yahoo.com.hk)

Kind Regards
Ming Yang
Private Email: ming_yang805@yahoo.com.hk

After a very lengthy displacement, I am thrilled to be back in my permanent studio, and back to my own “obscured busines” of making drawings in the environment that feels so right to me.  That room of my very own.  Here are some stoodles…very tiny drawings, studies, doodles, studio noodlings, that I enjoyed doing as soon as I could unpack and find my supplies the other day.  So sorry, Mr. Ming.  I’d love to help you but I’ve got other things to do right now.  And come to think of it, I hope there wasn’t any melamine in those cookies.  You can’t be too careful these days.




An aspiring writer, one of my towering, affable nephews blew through town recently.  We decided to grab some grub at the writer-owned-and-frequented watering hole The Half King (good brunch!) and then see what there was to see at the “art mall” at 529 W 20th Street.

I’ve been frustrated of late by encountering a lot of work that relies on accompanying written materials to justify and explain the artists’ intentions.  I’m well-versed enough in the language of art that I figure I should be able to “get it” without reading the manifesto, a.k.a Art Babble.  However, this recent visit to Chelsea had me thinking a bit differently about the pros and cons of the additional reading material and how it affects my experience and assessment of the work.

Walking into bitforms gallery, there was a show where the work itself was all about reading. Up until October 11th, the gallery is presenting Politics As Usual, the first US solo exhibition of composer, artist and performer R. Luke DuBois.  The room is filled with letterpress prints formatted like eye test charts, with large-lettered words at the top which decrease in size with each line.  A droning sonic hum permeated the gallery.  I looked around and my first reaction was to heave a sigh as I reached for the printed materials.  “Okay,” I thought, “bring on the manifesto.”  But in this instance, the written materials were concise and useful.  The letterpress pieces, it explained, comprised a series called Hindsight is Always 20/20, which “examines the history of American political discourse through the metaphor of vision.  Drawing from the annual State of the Union addresses given by Presidents to Congress,” each print culled words from their speeches, with the largest words being the most frequent to the smallest, least frequently used.  “The result is a startlingly clear snapshot of the lexicon of each presidency, containing a mix of historically topical keywords and rhetoric unique to each president and the time period in which they served in office.”  I couldn’t say it better.

George Walker Bush (2001-2009)

R. Luke Dubois, "George Walker Bush (2001-2009)", copyright the artist

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)

R. Luke Dubois, "Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)", copyright the artist

The exhibition’s soundtrack called SSB, is a recording of the national anthem as performed by soprano Lesley Flanigan and then “digitally stretched to last four years (the length of an American election cycle).”  For a dose of irony, “the resulting sound, with its repetition, echo, and microtonal nuance, is reminiscent of an adhan, or Islamic call to prayer.”

As we gear up to this election, what a fascinating perspective to have on our country’s history.  In spite of my initial resistance to reading the fine print, it made all the difference in this case.

I have found Howard Scott Gallery an inviting, intimate environment where I can reliably count on seeing sophisticated, strong work by confident, mature artists.  Encountering Tom Schmitt‘s works on paper seemed to confirm that expectation.  The works, mostly under 8″ square, were mostly from the past few years, with a couple of slightly larger early pieces from the 60’s as well.  The reductive, minimal works were full of nuances that engaged the viewer.  Colors, carefully considered edges, and subtle gradations were used to maximum effect, imbuing the small pieces with depth and mystery.  Architecture, nature, and iconic symbolism all came to mind from these non-objective starting points.  I looked at the exhibition check list, and all the recent drawings were listed as “ink on paper.”  The precision of the handling of the ink, especially the gradations really amazed me.  It was hard to imagine that even the steadiest hand could master such technique.  Turns out I was right.  Reading more of the gallery’s materials on the show, Arnold Lehman’s essay in the press materials states, “Forty years have passed since I first saw and admired Tom Schmitt‘s work. Since then, everything around us has changed. On first glance, so had Schmitt’s work, now created by computer instead of his steady hand.  Technology had been harnessed by the artist to serve the intrinsic nature of his work.”

Black Grey, 7.5 x 7.5 2008 (2006?).  Copyright Tom Schmitt

Tom Schmitt: Black Grey, 7.5 x 7.5" 2008 (2006?). Copyright the artist

I concur that the pieces Schmitt has created and printed using computer technology are powerful and in keeping with his overall artistic sensibility.  However, something about this didn’t sit right with me.  While on-line some of the work is noted as “computer ink on paper,” in the gallery, these pieces were identified as ink on paper, implying they were one of a kind drawings, which they were not.  These were, in fact, digital inkjet prints, which should bring up archival questions for potential collectors.  Also, I would think potential collectors would want to know if the artist plans to reprint an unlimited number of these pieces, and if not, shouldn’t each one be presented as a signed and numbered limited edition?  At any rate, they are not unique pieces, and not made by hand.  I had to ask myself, how much of the value, intrinsic merit, and importance of the work is tied up in its being a unique artifact made by a human hand?  It’s a thorny question that I’m still pondering, but the truth of my gut reaction was that I felt differently about the work once I had discovered the means of its production.  It also made me feel that, intentionally or not, there was some deception implicit in presenting the digital prints as unnumbered pieces of “ink on paper.”