I've been busy writing up some art studio class proposals for the Figge lately. Staff there always wants good hands-on studio courses, so I'm currently trying to come up with a comprehensive plan to revive their printmaking facilities. I'm also thinking up some drawing courses for children - classes with a comtemporary spin, but still "for the kids." One will draw on my experience helping to organize the travelling exhibit post-hypnotic, and get them looking at and thinking about the fun, second wave of op-art that resurfaced in the late 90s. But the real interest I have in working with such museums is talking about the art on the walls, discussing art-making and art history. And this proves to be a more challenging yet fulfilling task.
I hope I come up with a good idea for a course.
This undertaking has lead me to my collegiate art history books, and some wonderful quotes – some of which I actually think a few of the "powers that be" here in the Quad City art scene need to understand...
Mark Rothko and Alfred Gottleib, an excerpt from "Statement," 1943:
It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.
Consequently, if our work embodies those beliefs it must insult anyone who is spiritually attuned to interior decoration; pictures of the home; pictures over the mantle; pictures of the American scene; social pictures, purity in art; prize-winning pot-boilers; the National Academy; the Whitney Academy; the Corn Belt Academy; buckeyes; trite tripe, etcetera.
Orange, Gold, and Red 1957