A studio visit this morning with critic and friend Kenworth Moffett (that's him all stylish on the left, with Jules Olitski and Clement Greenberg). He had come to Montreal for Peter G. Ray's new exhibition in his studio/gallery space in Point St. Charles.
In the course of our discussion, he expressed a desire for stronger marks which assert themselves more, inflect more stability, and lend greater cohesion to the composition. I surprised myself by replying not only with my usual lines about going further and seeing what lies past strength and cohesion, but my eeking out something about not having found a method to make strong marks that don’t just feel like another painter’s strength borrowed. That I am finding a back door to strength, or maybe ignoring the door altogether.
After an hour he acknowledged that the paintings are a “long look”, and that they come together after some time in front of your eyes.
It was lovely to find our friendship had grown out of the hero-worship stage.
I love having Ken to the studio, the conversation travels so many places from loneliness of painting to new possibilities in Beijing to my job at the Laundromat to the joy of friendships forged in a shared of love of painting. The possibility of an east coast painting junket next spring was suggested.
The delight lies in a temporary relief from the terror of action through the love of growing friendship. Maybe a bit polyanna, but Ken makes me hopeful.
Now I’m off to the Guido Molinari retrospective at the Maison de la Culture de Maisonneuve, it is two blocks from my studio.