I've lived in my house for over 8 years, but in some ways it seems like only yesterday that I moved in - until I started getting ready to leave it. For now I can fully assess what happened here.
I made half of Vive Chrome, all of Take Off, all of the Richter Scale and Drape in this house. That’s over 75 paintings.
But what the house really provided was my first truly designated collage studio space. My long collage table never saw a cup of coffee or glass of wine, as in so many art tables of the past. All it held was a big, perfect paper cutter and my work. This studio made all of the Judd Montages, all of the Targets and of course, the Anonymous Women - plus other side projects like Joe is Home Now and friends turning 50. Altogether that’s at least 120 photomontages since I’ve lived here.
And now I’m going. One of the big parts of any move is not just what you sell but what you give away. The past 2 days I’ve been giving away art school paintings to those who will use the stretchers for scruffy projects or for students, this kind of thing. The paintings themselves must go and the whole thing has been a little strange.
That’s not because I think the paintings are good. What I miss is not the work but the person who made them - and “miss” may not be the right word. What I see is the Romantic who made them, who went to the Art Students League, that old building with all that history, where I climbed up to the roof and felt like King of the World. I had dreams of paint so vivid I couldn’t sleep at night. And even though I went to the Met every week to absorb and romance the best of the best, I still had no idea what I was taking on. There’s a lot I could observe about the actual paintings, the subject matter, where they came from but what strikes me most is none of that. It's my relationship with painting itself which feels very different.
Yet that is not the case with collage. Perhaps this is because the vintage aspect of the work never went away. Or the ease and ownership aspect of what I'm doing. I’m still tight emotionally with what I cut and paste - maybe more so than ever. Lately I am cutting from the late 60s and early 70s and that’s not really vintage to me. That’s my girlhood; it’s a Romantic and tender time.
I feel very lucky that it’s all made out of paper. None of those have to be tossed away. The piece above is from about 1982.