Seeing Like an Artist

Sculpture is the main type of art I usually blog about. I’m going to switch gears a bit and blog about painting and art in general. Recently I stopped by the MoMA and ended up buying a book called “How to See” by the painter David Salle.

Mr. Salle’s book is a collection of essays he has written, over a long period of time, reviewing the works of other contemporary artists. What attracted me to the book is that Salle choose to avoid art jargon and instead describe the art and artistic process in everyday language. I enjoyed reading his essays but that fact alone doesn’t usually cause me to blog about it.

A common technique used to convey one’s feelings about a picture/book/album is to list examples of other better know works/artists as synonyms to illustrate your point(s). Mr. Salle’s choice of examples, highlighted his extensive knowledge of contemporary artists, forced me to realize how just how little I know about the subject; especially when it comes to contemporary painting.

I’m much more likely to read a music review than a review about a painting. Perhaps because of this, I begin to think of Salle’s lists of related work/artist examples as a sort of potential visual playlist. The more I thought about it, it seemed like it would be fun to write a series of posts listing visual samples of each referenced artist, attempting to convey the point I feel that Mr. Salle was making, along with an example piece of the artist being essayed. I’m setting myself this task as a way to bolster my limited knowledge of contemporary painting. Hopefully others will enjoy viewing the resulting painting “playlists”.

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