Thursday, June 9, 2016

To Infinity, and Beyond!





Dear Infinity,
How can I explain myself?  I hear the people, they say:  "It was amazing; it was awesome."  They say:  "It was the worst; I hated it."  These emphatic phrases are flaccid little balloons of emptiness, and I am left searching for words to persuade you by, because, dear ones, I am not convinced, after all these years, that a picture is worth a thousand words; in fact, I am not sure you could get as many as ten words for a good sized picture, from even the venerable old masters.  Talk is cheap, yes, but often people don't even look up.
Marks no bigger than a lizard's foot print.  An attention to precision that speaks of human frailty.  Repetition that allows one to see every hair is numbered.  The unspeakable beauty, the meaning of such marks as a dot in the center of a circle.  All the wonderfully open areas of space and time.
It isn't what it should be, this enticement and description of the wonderful retrospective of Agnes Martin's work at LACMA, but it might be enough to encourage you to drop by.  The thing, the absolute central thing, about Agnes Martin's work is that you must see it in person.  It simply does not reproduce in the camera's eye.  If you have seen her work, then you love her with a passion already, and you know what I am trying to say.  If you haven't seen it, then please step into the desert of her wide and generous mind by seeing these paintings- it is a real treat to see so many of them!  So many of the charming and shocking small works on paper!  I hope you are there already!
Oh!  But the beyond, I almost forgot the beyond!  You will not only appreciate these pieces as glorious testimony to the grandeur of life itself, but you will dash home ready to transform your jumbled and tangled objects and notions into glowing metaphor and shining statement.  No, really, I mean it!  You will be rattling around in your junk drawer for those old wooden knobs to make a sculpture out of, and you will sharpen your Way of the Dodo pencils to make a field of blossoming dashes and dots.  It really will inspire and motivate you!  Take my words for it.
As long as you are there already, why not take a look at these wonderful objects of excess too?  They seem in some ways related to Agnes Martin's work, don't you think?