Follow us
Artwork for Sale
Paul Mahder Gallery Logo
ART for the Imagination

Search

Out of Isolation #14
Exploring the world opened up by a work of art
This week’s showcase:

Patrick Graham

Further Studies: Lark in the Morning 

Mixed media on board, 35″ x 47″

The following are excerpts from the artist Patrick Graham about the making of art, not specifically about the work featured here, but about the making of art as he has come to know it.

I simply love and exult in the physical charge of making art, the coming together of a mark, from heel to full arch of the arm and hand, and the “full chorus” around mind, body, and spirit emptied out…to silence and stillness which is both the beginning and the end…

In this world of silence, no truth exists, there is the abandonment of power that truth manifestly becomes in that other world of dogma, ideology and aesthetic certainty.

Art really is a religious notion. And the function of art is to redeem us in some way, whereas nowadays, we reduce everything.

. . .

Like all conversations, essays, or indeed explanations on a topic, the demand is almost always for a conclusive rationale, whether political, religious or academic. As well, these conclusions/opinions have an element of defense and are nearly all locked into the protectionism and the ‘aboutism’ of this or that and never of the fact that some things just are and are beyond the claims of reason and logic.

. . .

I know that I know lots of stuff. Brought to a canvas, this became an impossible barrier to a truthful mark or the near possibility of such. I’m not talking about anything big or revelationary here. Presently I work in a great deal of hope and some amount of faith. This present and maybe simple belief is much more hard-earned than is apparent in its easy saying.

There is a death in art that you won’t hear much about. Neither will you hear too often that knowledge can become a prison and finally death to creative hope. In arriving at this point is the great paradox. All of one’s learning about art, all of the knowing that it is possible to squeeze from the history of art necessary until one knows what the God of art is, and where every mark is a plea for affirmation and consent both from history and from the critic. The great paradox is that this knowledge itself tells one that to go on one must free oneself from its harness and suffocating weight. Knowledge, knowing, and cleverness can all too easily become theatricality and cunning in art, and truth replaced by or with style, always remembering that great historical admonition. “Style is the enemy of art, all style is the enemy of all art.”

In coming to terms with this conceit, there is the hope of a resurrection to nothing and grace. In nothing is hope. Those who use knowledge as a tyranny will demand that you must know and explain, the idea is all and that art without certainty is meaningless.

. . .

For me, then, I believe art is not certain things. Not an entertainment. Not the playground of academics, critics, and curators. Not another ‘ism’ to end all ‘isms’. Not a new history but part of an older history made by those who saw in the dark.
Finally, it doesn’t matter anymore and one is at ease in the no-man’s-land between knowledge and nothing.

There have been times of grace, great beauty, (visceral and primal, transcendent and timeless) and thinking always. There was the failure of heart, mind, hand and eye in their own times. But when all sang together there was always nearly something.

. . .

Suffering to know things, dying to feel things, fearing our end, loving in spite of it all, that’s pretty much the whole of it, then, isn’t it now…?

OUT OF ISOLATION #1

Out of Isolation #1 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Lawrence Gipe, "Thames, 1946" Oil on canvas, 48" x 60", 2017-2018 While it is evident that these merry souls are not practicing proper "social distancing", they certainly do exude a familiar sense of isolation in an otherwise dark and moody time. To be more precise, Gipe's [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #2

Out of Isolation #2 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Wosene Worke Kosrof "Queen of Words II," Acrylic on linen, 25" x 20", 2017 The world according to Wosene Worke Kosrof is one of non-stop talking. Everything and everyone can't seem to get enough of the latest gossip of a thousand story tellers that fill the canvas [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #3

Out of Isolation #3 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Elena Zolotnitsky "After the Shower," Oil on paper, 24" x 23.25" custom framed Time to reflect is an unexpected luxury of "Isolation."  An expansive opportunity made possible by being forced to stop . . .  then listen, look, imagine, feel . . . repeat. Until suddenly, one [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #4

Out of Isolation #4 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Oscar Camilo de las Flores "El Gran General"  Conte crayon on paper, 79" x 50.5" The "Big Macs" are his balls. . . . but wait there's more, much more. . . . OMG, TMI. Made you look. Too much information can be disturbing, deadly in [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #5

Out of Isolation #5 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Nikolai Atanassov "Last Days of the World"  Oil on canvas, 70" x 207" Spoiler Alert! Isolation Mandate to End on "The Last Days of the World." In the Apocalypse According to Nikolai Atanassov, his painting brings all humanity together melded in a sea of vibrant Turner-esque [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #6

Out of Isolation #6 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Harry Carmean "After the Bath"  Oil on canvas framed, 33.5" x 27.5" In this time of Isolation, to touch — a basic yet potent essential life force — has become fraught with hesitation, anxiety and fear. "Art is a form of contactless consolation when the most [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #7

Out of Isolation #7 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Chris Blum "Fake News"   Mixed Media Diorama Framed in Box - 13.5" x 13.5" x 4.25" Art is work. It doesn't just somehow happen to us. It provides new material, new places, new paradigms with which to think — And the rest is up to [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #8

Out of Isolation #8 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Patrick Duegaw "The Builder Removed"   Acrylic, ink, screws, and polyurethane on sheetrock with aluminum frame, 23.5" x 16", 2008 Patrick Duegaw's 2008 self portrait "The Builder Removed," is oddly prophetic, revealing just how ahead of his time he really was, and really is (mask and [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #9

Out of Isolation #9 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Carlos Gomez Mojica "Dialogo Con Mis Excesos"  Charcoal on canvas, 55" x 71"  Coping in a time of Isolation and unease — as seen in Art. Carlos Gomez Mojica's "Dialogo Con Mis Excesos" (Dialog With My Excesses) posits as many questions as it answers. Still, this mesmerizing charcoal [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #10

Out of Isolation #10 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Christie Marks "Everyday India 5" Mixed media, paper bags, ink, oil, acrylic on panel, 30" x 24"  "All lives don't matter." "All colors are not equal." Ah, the power of Now, that even two broken pots can be seen as an emblem of protest. You bet! And why [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #11

Out of Isolation #11 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: John Anderson "Untitled 1978-12" Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 96", 1978 "Cradled in deep space and warmed by the sun, from earth we see the heavens in their spectacular display. We have been nurtured here and protected by some extraordinary fate. I am in awe at [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #12

Out of Isolation #12 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Yasser Dib "Shaam" Acrylic on Japanese rice paper, 7' x 7' Every good Mandala worth its salt (or more notoriously, sand) is an ephemeral meditative journey towards enlightenment, peace and transcendence — big concepts indeed, all in short supply these days. And numerous Mandalas also dangle an alluring sidebar [...]

OUT OF ISOLATION #13

Out of Isolation #13 Exploring the world opened up by a work of art This week's showcase: Rodger Roundy "Don't Get Above Your Raisin' " Acrylic on mounted panel, 24" x 30" Ah, the wonderfully weird and wacky world of Rodger Roundy. At first glance it's akin to children's fairy tale fodder filled with action and fantasy. But don't be fooled. Rodger packs an adult wallop, [...]