Friday, October 3, 2014

"The part I knew, I saw as a neighbor"

I met Willem de Kooning on
the fire escape, because a
black kitten lost in the
rain cried at my door, and
after the rain it turned
out to be his kitten.

     Later, I saw in some Greek temples
     contradictory forces operating pub-
     licly at full speed. Reading the Il-
     iad, the poem at the height of reason
     presented the irrational and subjec-
     tive, self-contradictory sweep of ac-
     tion under inspiration. I had missed
     the point in [talks with de Kooning].
     The question Bill was keeping open
     with an enduring impatience had been
     that of professional responsibility
     toward the force of inspiration. That
     force or scale is there every day here
     where everybody is. Whose responsibil-
     ity is it, if not your own? What he
     said was, "All an artist has left to
     work with is his self-consciousness."

  Next week, the Library
  of America will publish
  an indispensable reclam-
  ation of contemporary
  writings from the heart
  of mid-20th Century art.
  Here, Edwin Denby is re-
  constituting the evolu-
  tion of his friend's art
  from the germinaton of
  its conceptual rudiments.
  I do not know a more ex-
  citing project in art
  history than the volume
  which has lately fallen
  into my hands. We are
  closer than neighbors,
  to such wonderful things.

Rudy Burckhardt
The Flat Iron

Art in America
  1945 - 1970
  Writings from the
  Age of Abstract Ex-
  pressionism, Pop Art,
  and Minimalism
Library Classics of the
  United States, 2014©


  1. Hello, long time no see. Life takes over, photography takes over, but I think of you and hope you are well.

  2. When art can take the same space as life, that's not a bad deal :)