Thursday, May 19, 2011

That Emotional Connection

Gateway, 2010, mixed media with encaustic, 24" x 66"

This painting was the first in my Running Stitch series and it has now been sold by Arden Gallery. I am happy to report the sale and thankful for Arden's expertise in marketing. At the same time, because it was the first of this series, I feel a strong connection to it, and seeing it go brings memories of its creation in the studio -- the excitement I felt as it came together and the pleasure it gave me as I added panels and watched it grow. I felt it could have gone on expanding forever. (Note: you can click on pix to see larger views or click here to see a better image on my website.)

Gleaming in late afternoon

Initially, I called this piece itself Running Stitch before I decided that it should be the first in a series of that name. I took the first picture of it in late afternoon as the light changed and made the copper strips in it gleam.

Detail of Gateway showing elements of  patinated copper, rubber, book pages, book covers and more

There were a lot of copper elements in this piece, most of them with a green or blue patina, but some just pure copper, and all set off with black encaustic.

I feel a bittersweet sense of parting from it that doesn't happen with every sale, but only with the pieces for which I feel a special connection. Farewell, Gateway!

Onward and Upward in the Arts
Tomorrow I am packing up my three works for the invitational sculpture show at Castle Hill that will run from May 30-June 9 in conjunction with The Encaustic Conference. This is the first time I have ever made anything that I wanted to be classified as "sculpture" and I am just playing around at the edges of the process. I think my aesthetic really lives somewhere between painting and sculpture in the twilight of 2.5D.

I'm just calling this "Red Piece" for the time being

So this one is "Blue Piece" until I think more about it

I've shown these two pieces on this blog before, but I haven't shown the third piece that will be in the show. That will be a surprise and is the most "sculptural" of the three. The real sculpture is building boxes to pack these pieces into. Fortunately, my very kind studio neighbor, Kathy Jacobs, is delivering them to Truro for me.

News of El Anatsui
After seeing and blogging about Anatsui, one of my most admired artists, at Wellesley College, I began following Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu's blog. Okeke-Agulu is an artist, curator and art historian as well as an assistant professor in the Art and Archeology Department at Princeton, and he participated in the public conversation with Anatsui at Wellesley. I learned so much from his explication of Anatsui's work that I wanted to read what he had to say about contemporary art, particularly from Africa.

El Anatsui, Intermittent Signals, 2009, photo taken at Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, Feb 2010

Today Okeke-Agulu's blog  had a post about Anatsui's show being installed at the Clark Art Institute in their new Stone Hill Center, designed by Tadao Ando. The works are from the Broad Art Foundation's collection. Okeke-Agulu has visited the Clark with Anatsui and on his own to consult on the installation, which he describes as "fabulous" because of the beautiful space designed by Ando. The show will run from June 12 to October 16 at the Clark in Williamstown, MA -- out here in the other side of Massachusetts where I now live. I plan to see the show and to watch the public screening of the new film about Anatsui by Susan Vogel on July 24th, which I posted about here.

His blog also linked to a new book to be published by Yale University Press about Anatsui's show at the Clark. The book is a transcript of a conversation between Anatsui and Okeke-Agulu as well as an essay by Alisa LaGamma, curator in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Met.


As my mother says, never a dull moment.


Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Congratulations on the sale. I relate to the feelings you expressed about seeing the work move into new hands. For me those feelings simply express the depth of connection to had with the work and the acknowledgement of the experience you had when it was created. How wonderful.

Stephanie Clayton said...

congratulations! it's an extraordinary piece.
i know that feeling, too- in fact, i recently removed a painting from my inventory because i just cannot part with it (which is rare for me, as i usually don't get attached to my work in an emotional way).

Tamar said...

This post is chock full of good news! Beautiful work and congratulations on the sale. The "red piece" looks terrific--love the patterning! Selling the first piece in a series can be both exhilarating and painful. And sometimes, I just can't let one go.
And thanks for the news about the El Anatsui exhibit at the Clark. I'm going to try to make it up there during the summer.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Interesting to hear the emotions behind selling this piece, I get it!
Congratulations on all your recent success. YOU ROCK!

Nancy Natale said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'm sure you've all been there. We have to invest emotion in a work to make it so there is bound to be a residue there when it's sold. Sometimes it's not worth the money and you just have to hold on to it - I agree, Stephanie. It's always a balancing act.