Monday, February 22, 2010

Thanks, Charles Burchfield

Various Artists - Dark Was the Night (lala)

At lunch, I snapped the above photo from the current Art in America so I could remember the painting, "The Insect Chorus" by Charles Burchfield, when I got back to the office. It illustrated an article about Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield, an exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, curated by the most curious Robert Gober, an artist whose work I will confess to not understand at all and enjoy all the more for it. I've never thought much of Charles Burchfield before, but I think I might be a fan. I'm sure I would be if I attended this show. Maybe, I don't know. Maybe the painting looks more enigmatic curving away on a glossy magazine page than on a well-lit gallery wall. I generally feel that way about the Gerhard Richter paintings I've seen in person. That candle looks so much better on the Daydream Nation cover than it did on the wall.

I do know that I have never said Burchfield so many times in such a short duration, and am likely never to again.

Here is one of those untitled Robert Gober pieces (1999, more info at the Walker Art Center website) that I like to not understand.

I don't even know if the drain in the ground is the piece, or if the photograph of the drain in the ground is, and I like that too.

In the same way, now I'm not sure if I like "The Insect Chorus" (which I have never seen in person) more or less than I like my photo of a reproduction of a photo of it. That roof peak in there made me think of one I saw in Eunice on Mardi Gras

and the Gober photo, a little of this photo of a pitchfork mounted on the side of a City of Eunice truck


and both are photos I like but didn't know what to do with until now. Thanks, Charles Burchfield!

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