The Painting's Edge artist lectures have begun with Patsy Krebs and Ben Weiner. Patsy spoke first, following a poetic introduction by Roland Reiss, the program's creator and designer. With a short reading from "Aspects of Form" (which I have never read) Patsy introduced her work which stems from a tradition of minimalist, geometric abstract painting. Her paintings, similar in visual structure to Joseph Albers, challenge one to let go of simple and connected methods of seeing and to adopt another. Roland brought up the California light and space movement and though Patsy declined the relationship, I was very excited by the though of her painting in relation to a Turrel skyspace and, in contrast to the masculine line, the idea of her paintings as being woven, layered and knitted. Ben Weiner's paintings are huge as are the ideas with which they wrestle-Descartes' musings on material identity, Plato's cave, commodified beauty. Ben spent an entire month sculpting and photographing common hair gel in detail and paints these detail images in monolithic proportion. I love that! (more than I like his paintings) I love that in order to take on huge ideas we turn to the mundane and the small. Paint as an archive-er, a preserver of a specific moment in time, as illusion of space and of lack space.
Tomorrow night a very nice man named Fred Tomaselli will be speaking and I am looking forward to seeing his work which, I am sensing a theme, is also obsessive.