Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Milton Resnick: Food for Thought

Resnick @ Cheim and Reid, 2008
A Question of Seeing (Paintings 1958-1963)
One of the best shows that year...look at that big painting!

Agnes Martin, circa 1961, from
Agnes Martin Interview (20:00 version, 1997) from Chuck Smith on Vimeo.

"Painting has to become what you really are doing and not what you are reacting to outside of it. And to do that, a great deal of changes have to happen to you. The only way I can tell you what the most important change is, is that the unity, the thing you say makes the painting 'work,' -- if you still say things like that, I don't know -- but it has to happen to you.  You have to become complete in some way; a universe, a complete thing in yourself in order to reach across and breathe some unity upon this thing that you're faced with. If you intentionally avoid that unity within yourself, then you will intentionally avoid doing that in your work. You can say that if there's no unity in your work, then you have deliberately made yourself into that kind of person. You don't want that unity in your work. You've made some kind of satisfactory relationship with your culture. You stand guard with your culture. Your culture demands you bring some kind of crisis to your work and therefore you cannot bring any unity to it. In order to bring crisis to your work you have to bring it to a state of expectancy. In other words, you have to leave your work in the state of mind of being a question. Nothing in the world excites the culture today so much as a question. A question seems very appropriate to whatever you have in mind. Allowing your work to remain questionable is a way of satisfying your cultural condition."

From Out of the Picture: Milton Resnick and the New York School
Compiled and Edited by Geoffrey Dorfman
Midmarch Arts Press, 2003
1972, "Small Thoughts Can Be Beautiful," lecture, p. 184

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