11 comments


  • Richard

    I really enjoyed Jerry’s reply to Joy’s comment and I am very impressed with the way Jerry has evolved as a person. He seems to have gained a perspective through lifelong experiences that few of us have, starting with his almost unique educational back round and also his high level security assignments in the United States Air Force. I doubt too many people who would criticize his views can say they have had access to the type of information Jerry has. Joy, sometimes it is best to appreciate opinions that are shaped by the “voice of experience”.

    May 25, 2015
  • Mondrian’s story is, to me, encapsulated in one tree painting of his that’s the bridge between realism and geometric abstract. (“Grey Tree” 1912).

    See http://www.ruthiev.com/piet-modrian/ for the full story.

    May 27, 2015
    • Jerry Fresia

      Okay. But then how does that “bridge” advance the interests of ruling types? My answer would be that it helped dampen independent artists and their “subjectivity” (which was feared), by merging painting with design, and by displacing the artist-teacher in favor of the university. In other words, Mondrian fit within the corporate take-over of artistic production.

      June 06, 2015
    • Maria

      I just LOVE the article posted by Marion B-E … thank you! For the very first time in my life have I come to have a slight understanding of abstraction!

      Still love you, Jerry!

      June 08, 2015
      • Jerry Fresia

        Hi Maria. Hows life treating you? Painting up a storm?

        June 09, 2015
    • joy mccormack

      Thanks Marion for the Mondrian summary. His progression is so interesting. Really captures my imagination. Cannot imagine anything like that path for me. However, was he serving his “Corporate Masters” or following his own artistic discovery?

      June 12, 2015
      • Jerry Fresia

        Hi Joy, What I like about the Mondrian progression is that it is appears to be an unfolding, a becoming of who he was most. This is what we all need to be doing if it is done with the utmost sincerity. To say that he was “serving his corporate masters” would be totally off. As with Renaissance painters or Abstract Expressionists to a degree, Mondrian was probably sincere, doing his best to express who he really was. My point is that today, for example, plein-air painters can express who they are most, become who they are most, and be super terrific but they will never be considered “important” because what they do doesn’t line up with ruling class interests. That’s the point. Have you ever heard the story about journalists in this context? One might say: “Everything I submit for publication is looked at very closely. The headline is often changed. The substance is pushed to the end. I have to insure that I stay in the middle or advance various themes.” Another journalist comes along and says, “I’ve worked for CBS for 30 years. Never once did they change a thing. I say what I like.” And the rejoinder is: “You say what you like, because they like what you say.” The artist who says “what they like” will be advanced, whether that artist is totally sincere, or calculating or both. Power is ever present; that’s the way the world works!

        June 17, 2015
  • Very interesting response. I was surprised to learn how your life has gone through stages similar to my own. I guess a lot of us came back greatly disillusioned and looking for answers. Thanks for sharing.

    June 08, 2015
    • Jerry Fresia

      Thanks Bob. There many experiences in one’s life that challenge the myths everyone is taught in every society. The Vietnam era was huge for many of us. The take-away for painters, I would argue, is that these paradigm shifts are the kind of changes in our self-understanding that is needed to move away from the manufacturing of a painting toward the sense that the activity of painting is about self-expression and empowerment.

      June 09, 2015
  • marc

    Jerry,
    I am not sure if this thread is exactly the place to post this response. But part of it does seem to fit the industry of art.

    I live in a beach tourist area and there are several art leagues. Which in theory should promote art through education, facilities, and as a gallery. The largest and most prominent league in my area provides all of that, but not in any way that is useful to artists.

    The problem is that the league is operated by the donors and not the artists. So the artists who have the voice are of course their own family members who are “artists” for lack of a better term.

    My wife and I went to a show once for one of the artist and my wife asked me what was wrong with the works.. I told her it lacks humility, and the artist lacks humility. The journey for this artist was predetermined by the status of their family. So the notion of creation and enjoyment for the ‘self’ was never part of the evolution.

    Personally I would love the art league to have an open studio for painting in any medium. And my dream would be to have figure drawing sessions. Why they have an open group for writers and not artists is beyond me.. ( they limit themselves to visual arts.. ) So it must be a pet project of a donor.

    But I do enjoy your writings and point of view.

    Marc

    July 09, 2015
    • Jerry Fresia

      Hi Marc,

      Sigh. This is a big subject and it is a difficult one. Essentially it requires a critical analysis of entrepreneurialism
      generally – something I hope to get to one day. What you describe is the result of a kind of creativity that assumes a hierarchy, production for profit, and a concept of freedom and creativity that turns on climbing the ladder. The Impressionists inveighed against this sort of thinking endlessly and they had a name for it: bourgeois. However, if one were to launch into the critique that they all shared implicitly, one would be misunderstood and vilified – so strong and so widely shared are the assumptions that both make up our way of life and at the same time constrain and shape what we call creativity (and our access to it). Please continue to write in; it will help justify the articulation of critical thinking in the art world (which ironically, believes itself to be infused with critical thinking at the same time no one that I know of has ever seriously explored why it was that the Impressionists, as well as subsequent art movements, held the “bourgeoisie” in such low regard.)

      July 17, 2015

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