Begrudging Acceptance: I have often said that the only thing better than going to art school is getting thrown out of one. And yet, my experience as a graduate student at Indiana University’s (then) prestigious painting program of 1986 was that I got to see real paintings up close, and not merely as pictures in books. The third dimension of oil paint rising off the canvas like a topographical relief came as a revelation to me, although I was so obstinate at the time that I failed to realize the full impact of this revelation. I have only achieved intermitted texture in my paintings since then, though I now understand that the objet petit a of a painting resides, in no small way, in its physical intrusion into our settled world. In other words, a painting is a spirit object and not an image.
Fish and Gravity (oil, acrylic, and cloth sculpture) 1986: I continued to work in my experimental style during my first year of graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington. This painting was featured in a group show in IU’s SOFA Gallery during that first semester. Visiting artist and renowned Modernist sculptor, James Surls, gave a lecture in that gallery, and when asked what he thought of the exhibit, chose only my work to spotlight. He said (and I remember it): “I should not like this painting, but I do.”
Killing Waters (oil) 1986.
Songbirds (oil) 1986. The theme of this painting follows Killing Waters and The Letter, where I got my heart good and broken during the first year of graduate school. This version of this now-destroyed colossal canvas has been significantly (and favorably) altered in Photoshop.
The Letter (oil, cloth sculpture) 1986. More poison pills.
Fowl Lick Sin Bowl (oil) 1986
Nightmare in Rubber Clad (oil) 1987. Early work on oil ground. Beginning here, with paintings made over the summer of 1987, you see a marked change in my approach to artmaking. This is also the first painting I made with Rapid-Set painting medium (more on this later).
Self Portrait (oil) 1987
Pagan Women and Applied Science (oil) 1987
Ancient Cleansers (oil, acrylic, and cloth sculpture) 1987. This is the last cloth scupture painting I made. It is presented in counterpoint to the left hand side of the picture, which, like the other oil paintings created in the two years of graduate study, is applied with Rapid-Set medium.
Modes of Fossil Thought (acrylic on paper) 1987
Picnic Minus Forks (acrylic collage on paper) 1987
Infant’s Tilt Upon A Teething Sea (oil and acrylic collage on paper) 1987
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