The Genesis of The History-Painting, circa 2001


07/27/01 3:53:11 PM

L. bought me a canvas, a Masonite board, a 6×8, I think, and I need to find out what to paint on it. To do this I need to find out what’s been on my mind lately. Well, I’ve been reading a lot. I read &#145Formal and Transcendental Logic’ by Edmund Husserl, so I have a bit of formal ontology fresh in my mind. Added to that is a book I just finished called &#145Art History’s History’ by Vernon Hyde Minor, published in 1994. That took me through all the ages of art history, and should be useful for a painting. I want there to be perspective, proportion. What are important icons in art history? How can I paint art history onto a canvas? I could stick with an abstraction and just give it tons of depths, fields, planes, all of the above. I want perhaps to stick to white and black, just make a Borduas-like historical painting. I could throw in some green and yellow or red. What would be the appropriate colors to use? What are the present colors in my consciousness? [colors present] The incipience of forms. Forms moving onto the plane of formal existence. The birth of art history. I have to think about this.

07/27/01 5:21:26 PM

Concerning the painting, so far I have a white background in acrylic. Form, painting. There’s something to be said right there, regarding forms and the art of painting. What exists between me and the painting? What do me and the painting possibly make together? What forms can I project onto the canvas from my unconscious or from my imagination? I’d like to paint a rhetorical figure, irony or something, maybe I’ll finally paint my first allegory.

07/27/01 8:17:19 PM

I decided to paint an allegory of history in red, yellow, and black squares floating over a disjointed white surface. Each square is a construction, or a discursive formation of sorts. The concept isn’t all figured out yet. But the painting, well, it’s pretty much finished, although I only worked 20 minutes on it. I’ll let it dry and work some more on it next week. The concept I will work on till then and maybe I can do a series of works and call it all &#145The Allegory of History’. It’s the allegory of history because I’m calling it history, and it’s an allegory because the discursive formations are separate and floating in empty space, or in a gridlock. Another allegory of history could be the portrait of a man, but a man who is all broken up. In history we have synchronies and diachronies. Each can be painted. A synchrony in painting is translated as a mosaic. That’s what I tried to make, but each piece of the mosaic is just an abstraction; I could have made them portraits, and at heart I wanted to make copies of famous paintings and call it the allegory of art history. That I’ll do on a bigger canvas. I’ll really concentrate on the space between the squares or rectangles.


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