Saturday, January 17, 2009

POUR FAIRE SIMPLE - ParisCONCRET, 5 rue des Immeubles Industriels, Paris, France - 17 January-7 February 2009

I was invited to submit a work for a group show at ParisCONCRET, a space run by Richard van der Aa in Paris.  The show was called Pour faire simple - 'to put it simply'.....
The show contained the work of 35 artists.  I sent a small oil on MDF work.  It sold!....

From the ParisCONCRET website -

Pour faire simple - anecdote :
Franz Kline and Elaine de Kooning were at the Cedar Bar when a collector Franz knew 
came up to them in a state of fury. He had just come from Barnett Newman’s first oneman show. 
“How simple can an artist be and get away with it?” he sputtered. “There was nothing, 
absolutely nothing there!”
“Nothing?” asked Franz, beaming. “How many canvases were in the show?”
“Oh, maybe ten or twelve – but all exactly the same – just one stripe down the center, 
that’s all!”
“All the same size?” Franz asked.
“Well, no; there were different sizes; you know, from about three to seven feet.”
“Oh, three to seven feet, I see; and all the same colour?” Franz went on.
“No, different colors, you know; red and yellow and green… but each picture painted one 
flat color – you know, like a house painter would do it, and then this stripe down the 
“All the stripes the same color?”
“Were they the same width?”
The man began to think a little. “Let’s see. No. I guess not. Some were maybe an inch 
wide and some maybe four inches, and some in between.”
“And all upright pictures?”
“Oh, no; there were some horizontals.”
“With vertical stripes?”
“Uh, no, I think there were some horizontal stripes, maybe.”
“And were the stripes darker or lighter than the background?”
“Well, I guess they were darker, but there was one white stripe or maybe more…”
“Was the stripe painted on top of the background color or was the background color 
painted around the stripe?”
The man began to get a bit uneasy. “I’m not sure,” he said, “I think it might have been 
done either way, or both ways maybe…”
“Well I don’t know,” said Franz. “It all sounds damned complicated to me.”
in Thomas B. Hess,

Newman, catalogue de l'exposition du
Grand Palais, Paris, 1972, p.76 et 77  

'Small Block 1' oil on MDF, 17cm x 17cm, 2004

Installation view courtesy ParisCONCRET

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