May 29, 2012

Garden and Gun

Article by the incredibly talented, funny and downright great writer Julia Reed. I am very happy about it to say the least.

December 2, 2011

Sculpture Magazine

A Conversation with James Surls: Paradox is All We Have
By Susie Kalil

Sculpture Magazine
December 2011
Vol. 30 No. 10

November 2, 2011

Masur Museum, Monroe, LA

I am currently in Louisiana for an opening at the Masur Museum in Monroe, LA. Shows like this mean a great deal to me.

Seeing and Believing: Recent Works by James Surls
November 3, 2011 - January 28, 2012

June 17, 2011

Poet with an Ax

I was informed that something had been written up about the show at Grounds for Sculpture. I was honored when I read it. I would like to share it and say thank you to The Artful Blogger.

May 3, 2011

Show up at Grounds for Sculpture

 I have a show up right now at Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey. Linda, James C. and I were out for the opening. I am very pleased with the way it looks. 

James Surls: In Balance
Museum building 05/01/11 - 10/02/11

Grounds for Sculpture

April 5, 2011

Time lapse video of Construction and Installation of 3+3

Molecular Three and Three from James Surls on Vimeo.

Time Lapse video. 1 minute 43 seconds

"3+3" was built at James Surls' Colorado studio, then installed in front of the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston on March 28, 2011.
Stainless Steel.
"3+3" was constructed by James Surls and Tai Pomara.

From a documentary in progress, produced by Greg Poschman, Director/ DP.
Additional camera work and editor: Danny Brown
Shot with Canon 7D for video, Canon 20D and Nikon D300 for Timelapse.

Power of Five

USA Trip April 2011 (C) 2011 Charles J. Dukes: All Rights Reserved

March 28, 2011

Giving and Receiving: A Collaborative Exhibition of Contemporary Artists from China and the United States 

April 8, 2011 - July 22, 2011

Giving and Receiving: A Collaborative Exhibition of Contemporary Artists from China and the United States features distinguished contemporary Chinese and American artists exhibiting together as a cultural and artistic exchange. The CU Art Museum is pleased to host the American side of the cultural exchange following the 2007 exhibition titledCorresponding and Responding: United Exhibition of Chinese-American Artists, which was mounted at the National Museum of China in Beijing. A major symposium is planned for Saturday, April 9, 2011 in conjunction with the CU Art Museum exhibition on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The symposium will feature presentations by many of the Chinese and American artists participating in the exhibition who work and reside in Colorado’s Aspen valley; Houston, Texas; New York City; as well as in Beijing, China and Shanghai, China. The symposium and exhibition are designed to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and discussion about artistic concerns, aesthetic approaches, and relationships of art to society in both China and the United States. 

The exhibition features: 
Cao Jigang, Jiang Dahai, Lin Yan, Wang Huaiqing, Wang Nanfei, Wei Jia, Xiao Bing, Zhou Changjiang 
John Alexander, The Art Guys, Robert Brinker, Charles Dukes, Linda Girvin, Jody Guralnick, Pamela Joseph, Charmaine Locke, Tai Pomara, James Surls

This exhibition is generously supported in part by the Compton Foundation, the NBT Charitable Trust, the CU Art Museum benefactors and members, as well as by the CU Boulder Student Arts and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) fees. Additional support for the related symposium was also generously provided by the James and Rebecca Roser Visiting Artist Program and by the Center for Asian Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Organization of the exhibition and symposium was directed by Lisa Tamiris Becker, Director, CU Art Museum. Special thanks to Julie Segraves of the Asian Art Coordinating Council of Denver for assistance with coordination of the exhibition and symposium.

March 27, 2011

From the vault cir. 2003: The Execution of "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes"

The Execution of "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes"
by Charles J. Dukes

On August 9, 2003, under a withering sun in steamy Splendora, Texas, Louisiana-based artist David Bradshaw fired nine shots from a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol into the second edition of the James Surls’ print "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes."

The shooting, which took place behind Surls’ studio in Splendora before about 70 onlookers, was the result of a creative decision made by Surls that was also expected to put an end to a brewing controversy over the creation of the edition.
The following is a story about how and why the decision was made. (See photo captions and links at the end of this story.)

Controversy Erupts

March began in a heady way for Surls. His artwork, most of it made during the previous 12 months, filled half the exhibition space at the two-year-old Meadows Museum in Dallas. Surls considered the show one of the most important in his 38-year career. The reviews were good and the response to his work, particularly in Dallas and Houston, reinforced a close bond that has long existed between Surls and his admirers in Texas, a bond that had been somewhat strained by his 1998 move to Colorado.

About a week after In the Meadows: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints of James Surls show opened, an unexpected telephone call from Houston art dealer Hiram Butler shattered Surls’ sense of serenity.

“He said a collector from Houston had attended the Meadows Museum show and had spotted a second-edition print of "Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes" ("II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes") on display there. We had included the print in the show almost as an afterthought,” Surls said.

“As an owner of a first-edition print of "Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes," the collector objected to the very existence of a second edition of the print. He felt the existence of a second edition devalued the first edition.”

Surls said Butler, a former business partner in Houston, warned him that "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes" should never have been made and would harm, perhaps even destroy Surls’ reputation among collectors of his work.

It wasn’t long before that call was followed by another from Mark Roglán, Ph.D., curator of collections at the Meadows, who had also received a call from the Houston collector. Roglán first viewed "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes" at Surls’ Colorado studio and decided to include it in the Meadows show.

“I would have taken any call like this from a gallery owner or museum curator seriously. But Hiram is very knowledgeable about things involving prints; I consider him an authority,” Surls said, “I was stunned; the calls caught me completely off guard.”

Momentarily on the defensive, Surls said he told Butler that if a mistake had been made, it was one of love for the print and naiveté about the process.

“I would never go out of my way to upset or harm the interests of a collector; I don’t need collectors going around bad-mouthing me.”

After several more conversations with Butler, Surls said he decided to contact the collector directly. “I called the guy and offered to take the issue off the market as a courtesy to him. I made a second edition of the print out of love for the image. I had no commercial thoughts in mind when I did it. Most of the prints were still in my drawer, all except for some proofs, one that was auctioned to raise money for a charity, and a couple that were sold to friends. The rest I was planning to keep for my daughters. I was not out on the market hawking them. But the collector refused my offer. He wanted the whole second edition recalled and destroyed.”

Surls struggled to find a solution that would end the impasse without sacrificing what he considered his rights as an artist.

“I am an artist. I depend on collectors to buy my work, but the artist is the creative force. Collectors need artists to make art, but artists are the drivers of the creative train. Collectors fuel the train.”

Artistic Decisions

Surls said the woodblock of "Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes" was made during the summer of 1986 at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado.

“I spent a week that was very important to me with Chip Elwell of New York City, one of the best woodblock printers of his time. As the week was coming to an end, we still didn’t have anything we really liked. We decided I’d cut another block. It took me most of a day, but the result was "Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes." Chip printed it on Okawara paper by hand-rubbing it with a bamboo spoon.
“We hung the test print on a wall to look at it. Usually when you hang a test print, you look at it and criticize each little detail that’s not exactly right. You make decisions about what you’re going to do to make it better. In this case we were elated with what we had and decided to make no changes. We took it down and both of us left Anderson Ranch the next day.”

Surls said Elwell took the woodblock and the unsigned test print back to New York City with the intent to print an edition, but the print was never made.

“Chip died unexpectedly within a week or ten days of returning to New York City,” Surls said. “I got a call from his sister. She said I should come and get the block right away, and that’s what I did.”

Later in the same year, Surls took the block to the Houston Fine Arts Press in Houston where 20 prints plus proofs were made. The sale of the edition was undertaken by Butler, and it was sold out within a year at $1,000 per print. Fifty percent of the price went to the artist. “And I was happy to get it,” Surls said, “Back then a thousand dollars was a thousand dollars.”

Thirteen years later, in the summer of 1999, Surls returned to the Houston Fine Arts Press on other business. “While I was there, someone reminded me that my block was there and asked me if I wanted it. I loaded it in my truck and took it to Austin where I was planning to meet with Katherine Brimberry of the Flatbed Press. I had not struck the plate to guarantee that another edition would never be printed.”

Surls said he really liked the block and asked Brimberry if a second edition of the print could be made simply because he liked it.

“She said Flatbed had never done a second edition, but if they did it, it would have to be clearly marked as such. It could not be an extension of the first edition. Each print would have to bear the Roman numeral II which would clearly mark it as a second-edition, as a second state of the print.”

Each of the 15 second-edition prints and printers and artist’s proofs were made on Arches “cover buff” paper using Daniel Smith Permanent Red Relief ink, according to the print’s documentation.

“We used a different paper, a different ink and a different printing pressure,” Surls said. “We all thought this was sufficient to distinguish the print from the first edition.”

After the print edition was completed, Flatbed printer Patrick Masterson personally delivered the prints to Surls in Colorado where they were signed and deposited into Surls’ massive print cabinet. There they remained, except for private viewing, until Roglán’s visit in connection with the Meadows show.

Shaken by developments and the collector’s refusal of his offer to simply hold the second edition off the market, Surls said he began investigating his situation. He called lawyers, print makers, fellow artists, galleries.

“I decided I had done nothing wrong,” he said.

Others tend to agree. Bud Shark of Shark’s Ink in Lyons, Colorado, said the main difference between the second-edition print in question and others was the amount of time that had passed between the time the first and second editions were made. “Second editions are made all the time,” he said. “Usually it’s when an artist likes the print, experiments with it and decides to produce it in a second state. It might be on another paper or in another color. It’s usually done at the time of the first print.

“In this case the difference was a separation in time and in the materials used, and in the documentation since it wasn’t made at the same time.”

On the other hand, Shark said, collectors usually take the words “limited edition” to mean a limited number of prints will be made and a block struck.

Mark L. Smith of Flatbed Press said, “We didn’t publish the print. James was the publisher, but we did what we felt we needed to do to do it right. As a favor to James, we clearly documented the print run and recorded it as a second publication. Each print was marked with the Roman numeral II. It certainly does not look the same as the first edition print. The color is very saturated and the coverage was very good. If he’d done this at the same time (as the first edition), there wouldn’t be any question at all, or we’d have the same question.

“Still, I’m not sure Flatbed would ever consider doing anything like this again.”

Enter David Bradshaw

Responding to the controversy, Surls said, “There was no attempt or intent here to deceive anybody. The print was clearly marked as a second edition. I recognize there are print purists who say second editions should never be made. I understood where this collector was coming from. The collector is trying to protect the value of his investment and he thinks the second edition will devalue his print. I disagree with his approach to the problem, but I respect what he’s saying.

“I told my dealer, “My god, he just wants me to shoot the damned thing!” He wants me to destroy them. That’s when the idea of shooting the prints and getting David Bradshaw to do it came to mind. The idea to shoot them was a creative decision.”

The collector has refused to comment publicly on the issue, but Surls said his conversations with the collector led him to believe that transforming or destroying the second-edition by shooting the entire edition and striking the block would be sufficient to satisfy the collector’s concerns. Surls then began planning the August 9 event in Splendora.

“Texas was the only reasonable place to do this given our state’s reputation for solving problems by executing living things.”

Butler did not wish to comment at length on the controversy, but wrote in an e-mail, “ 'Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes' is among the best prints made in the eighties. James Surls has told me he is taking the block and impressions and firing a bullet through them to create a conceptual piece…it is brilliant.”

As he prepared to “execute” "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes," Bradshaw, 58, of Cecilia, Louisiana, who has long used dynamite, C-4 plastic explosives and firearms in his own work, and in collaborations with the likes of Robert Rauschenberg and William Burroughs, said, “I disagree with James somewhat on the stand-alone veracity of this print. There was nothing wrong with it. During a print run with Robert Rauschenberg in Captiva (Florida) in 1971, we made an edition of 29 and 20. One was green, one was brown.”

Bradshaw said he knew of an edition of lithographs that were sold as an edition despite the print block cracking while the first print in the run was made. “The crack got a little wider with every print, but Robert said to keep on printing. The edition ended up being, in effect, a set of monoprints,” he said, implying that "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes" might be considered in the same way because of the way he expected his bullets to affect the prints.

On the morning of August 9, while Bradshaw, in his role as ballistics expert and national-champion pistol marksman, carefully experimented with different bullets and firing-powder loads, Surls and Smith meticulously collated the entire edition of "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes", including all the numbered prints. They stacked the prints face down on the woodblock used to make them just as they were printed. The duo, with the assistance of friends, neighbors and colleagues, created a kind of press to hold the block and prints to keep them from moving when being shot. The second edition was then escorted without ceremony, but in the manner of a condemned prisoner, to the rear of Surls’ long-time studio where they were shot by Bradshaw, who used dots carefully placed on the prints by Surls as aiming points.

Bradshaw said, “James wanted this done by someone with a certain amount of dignity. Someone couldn’t just pick up a gun and do this. Many people view pistols and firearms as tools of violence, and they can be. But I view them as tools that involve control.”

In addition to carefully controlling the speed and mushrooming of the bullets used as they punched through the prints and block, precision was desired in the execution of "II Cut Hand/Hurt Eyes." Bradshaw said that’s why he used a “Les Baur Model 1911 .45 caliber ACP originally designed by John M. Browning. “I can put a group (of shots) into the area the size of a coffee cup at a hundred yards with this pistol.”

But Bradshaw, who sometimes makes sculptures by blasting large sheets of metal with explosives said, “You can overdo this. If you look for too much precision in art, you do it at the expense of spontaneity.”

After the execution, the transformed prints and block were returned the studio where they were carefully parted, signed by the now co-artist Bradshaw, and returned to their owners. The block, along with Surls’ copies of the prints, were loaded into a pickup for their return to Surls’ print cabinet in Colorado.

Outside the studio, people dug in the dirt and leaves behind the execution ground to retrieve the bullets that had shattered the block. Several left with mushroomed, full-metal-jacketed souvenirs that had been designed by Bradshaw to fall harmlessly to the forest floor.

“I was totally satisfied with the whole event,” Surls said, “I got out of it exactly what I wanted.”

Jack Massing of the Art Guys of Houston, who with his partner Michael Galbreth videotaped the event, said, “James built this into something special. It was nice the way he allowed the public to participate in this moment of creativity. “Usually people don’t get to be a part of art until the creativity ends.”

“As far as I know this is the first time an edition of prints has been shot and a plate struck by shooting through the prints and striking the plate,” Surls said.

Sinclair Hitchings, keeper of prints at the Boston Public Library’s print department said, “Prints are multiples. The whole object of making prints is the prints. But the wood print lends itself to confusion. I’m sorry the prints were shot; there was no reason to do it.

“I’ve never heard of such a thing before,” he said in reference to the way the block was struck.

“This will certainly make it a limited edition,” said master printer Sheila Marbain of New York.

Masterson of Flatbed Press, who now resides in Houston and who owned a printer’s proof that was shot by Bradshaw, said, “Considering the controversy, this was a perfect response to the situation. Prints are very precious. For James to be willing to shoot this thing is very special; it’s what printmaking is all about.” (end)
For more information about Bradshaw, search "David Bradshaw" on Google or your favorite Internet search engine.

March 26, 2011

Contempoary Art Museum Houston

This coming Monday morning, March 28th at 11 AM, Tai Pomara and I will be out in front of the Contempoary Arts Museum in Houston. We will be installing a new sculpture which will be on loan for 4 to 6 months. It will be there while Charmaine and I have our two person show at the Jung Center on Montrose just a couple of blocks away. The Jung Center exhibition opens the first of October of 2011.

I am pleased to be front and center at the CAM in Houston.

March 24, 2011

In NYC for the show at Gerald Peters Gallery. Looking forward to visiting with some great friends. I will get home on Friday, then Sunday it's off to Houston. We are installing a new work infront of the Contemporary Arts Museum on Monday. I can't put into word how excited I am. If you are in or around Houston I invite you to check it out.

March 18, 2011

Arab Spring

Arab Spring was a glow on the horizon, a light rising in the east. So much hope, so exciting to see the beginning of Arab Angles Rising to stand strong against the Arab Demons. An awakening of a thousand years coming. The whole world was watching with excitement the coming of a new dawn, the kind of beginning that changes history.

But wait, a Twelfth Century Thug, a full grown male criminal of the highest order has sic-ed the dogs on his people, he robs them, he rapes them, he pillages and plunders them, he kills them by the thousands, all who gets in his way are to be taken out. We wittiness an Old Patriarchal System coming up for air and fighting for his dieing breath, he is  being as mean a he can, as deadly as he can, as fast as he can, doing the most damage while the world turns its head. 

Where are we today? Are we willing to watch a kid get killed on the street and do nothing? Are we as a global society ready to all stand by and watch, as the Mad Dog nut case who blows 747's out of the sky, is now bombing "his" people? Does he own these people he hold in his prison country? Are any people "here or there" at the whim of the Goon paying other Goons to go out and just kill the people? Are we really going to make no effort to stop the "Play Ground Bully" who has grown big on the land to the point that he is central to the world. 

Excuse me folks, this is embarrassing, this is shameful for all of the world who will do nothing but whimper and wine about all they can't do. Folks we as a people ought to really think hard about all that we stand for. Do we really want watching thousands of people who ask only that the Troll/Goon/Thug/Criminal is gone from their lives and that they want freedom. And we don't understand that, and we are willing to say, "sorry folks" there is just nothing we can do. So we have decided to just watch you die. We really wish we could help but we just can't get involved, so you go ahead and kill who ever you want to and by the way, "how much for your oil?" Yea, just call us when you get this Death March over with. 

World, I am ashamed of you. You gathered to watch the Arab Garden Bloom. You set by and watched the Arab Spring go dark and loose its blossom. This will come to haunt us all if we do indeed do nothing, how stupid and sad. We are at a turning point of the first magnitude, but the old males can not turn loose, can not let go, can not Give to Receive, they still rule the old way. And, we are still accepting it. What a serious bit of B S this is.  

This is a sad time.

James Surls

January 19, 2011

Here and there and yonder.

Out over vast expanse of mountains, gullies, ravines and canyons, all covered with snow, a white landscape as far as the eye can see. Flying over western Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California where the land turns to the dark blue of the Pacific. We are on our way to an island sticking up out of the deep.

An island, the feel is that being on an island gives the sense of being centered on a spot on this earth, we are always on a spot on this planet, but on an island you focus on it. You know the longitude and the latitude, you are standing in the crossing of lines marking this place the here and now of "being in this moment".

We walk along the oceans edge, pressing weight deep in the sand for miles, we watch waves of patterns being formed before us, ever moment being made at once.

The horizon is jagged green strung out side ways below the blue above. Clouds billow big and roll toward their center, catching themselves, gathering in from their edges. Telling us we are here, we are all here. Same as days gone by, same as the night before, same as the morning after, same moment again and again, over and over. Here comes the sun again, here is the moon again, on the water again, as far as waves can stretch. Action begets action and vision begets vision, how many moments can we live again and again.

A dove walks across a pressed table cloth, around and among the wine glasses and silver ware. The dove knows freedom and flight. The rainbow knows moisture and light. The wave knows the moon and terrain and the weight and wash of moving mass over great distances to crash here in this place. I wash my feet in the deep grindings left by a world returning to world, going back into the dust and silt again and again,

We set high over the shine, waiting for the rise of a dark spot to show itself through the reflection, ever so brief and it is gone. I saw it out there and left it out there, it was and I say it so, a spot, a spot. Where did it go when the surface is still?

Back a few months, while at a formal gathering in New York, a young sculptor came up to me and ask, "do you touch your art"? At first I didn't really get the question so I just looked at her. I was baffled for a moment. The silence was broken by someone saying, "there are those who don't". Some do not touch their art, I thought and pictured all things touching. Today we stand where all things touch, and we witness the grinding of time. What seems the state of steady is in motion. To touch and retouch, the tide pool lives by the moon, we are touched and we touch.

Charmaine and I make our way in a line of people, moving toward a big boat, we are going for a ride from the south side of the island to the west side of the island. It starts smooth and we are thrilled to see up close turtles, dolphins and whales, but the farther we go the rougher the water. As we round a projecting beach and start for the west side of the island, the surface of the ocean turns to mountains, mountains of rolling water pushing to the shore line of black rock reaching thousands of feet up like giant spires of  great cathedrals.

The beauty is broken by the reality of the mix of ocean and mountains, the open ocean brings water the size of rolling mountains and I loose the bottom, I loose the top, I loose the edges, there is no level in my ears. Up is gone, down is gone, I turn inside out, every thing is gone. I watch me dissipate into vapor.

I am ready, a new reality is close at hand.

December 25, 2010


If today were last night, I would fold my pillow a little different so my head would have been laying a little softer against the night,  I would not have woke up in the middle of the night, I would not have looked out the window at the circle rainbow glow around the moon and wondered of the world. I would not have thought about how stupid some of the things humans do really are. It seems to me that keeping the human race upright with sails open to the heart is a constant concern.  We have to work at it. Sometimes we are like a living gyroscope on the whip side of a hurricane, tilted to the extreme under the prevailing pressure of passage.  We are not dead yet,  but caution is needed in making ready the up right. There are those among us who state, "I did not do it, I had nothing to do with any of it, so don't expect me to help get the ship upright in the storm". OK, I don't expect those people to help, but some one has to pull on the pulley or the load want shift.

December 18, 2010

On Being and On Being Home

Big changes coming, the holidays bring Christmas and the new year, children will drive in and fly in and our house will be full. Charmaine has started to wrap small and large boxes and then pack them into larger boxes with bubble wrap, tape them up and UPS them off to children and grand kids on the far side of the mountains. It is snowing and our kitchen smells like all the good stuff that makes a house a home. I love being here.

It was just a week ago that I drove in through an icy Leadville to get back before the sun set. A day or two to rest and get ready for the exhibition up at Anderson Ranch. I was pleased but most pleased to be back in the studio. I had been down in Athens, Texas visiting my relatives. I also had a reception over in Tyler, Texas. I had installed a commission called, "All Flowers" on a great wall in an office building. My first show in an art museum was in Tyler, that was back in 1974. The director at the time was Ron Gleason. Ron is not the director any more and has not been for a long time, but he was there. It was so nice to see him. Ron has been a friend of the Texas Art Scene for as long as I can remember, and has facilitated more on the grass roots level than any one I know. I love the guy, and it was really nice to shake his hand and say hello.

Tyler is not a big town any more, it is a serious small city, with all that goes with the word "city". It is just 30 miles from where I grew up, and it was the place every one went when they needed something. It still is.

As I was driving back home to Colorado, I went through Abilene to pick up some sculpture for Charmaine,  Tai and Laura and one of my own. That only took a short while and soon I was back dreaming my way across West Texas, where pick up trucks, vast distances of cotton fields and wind generators, cattle and oil field pumps ruled the horizon.  I listened to the FLATLANDERS and thought of all those guys from Lubbock that write music and sing. It makes no difference where you are, or what kind of terrain you are plowing through, music just rumbles its way to the surface.  Terry Allen, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, man they are as good as it gets. Jimmie Dale is at the top of any list I ever make of the great singers. That boy can sing.

All those big ass wind generators start to take on a certain field of play, they start to turning into something else other than what they are. There were two lone ones sitting out about a half mile on a little ridge that ran around a curve. One of them turned into Dave Hickey ware-ing his Ass Hole Suit, he was bobbling and shaking his arms at the other big wind generator, that had turned into a giant Jesus laughing and mooning him. It made the drive through Lubbock a lot easier for me. Sometimes it is painful seeing all those sale barns that have been turned into cowboy churches, and all those seriously ugly prefab building that meld into each other to the point that you can't tell the difference between a welding shop, a honky tonk and Babtist church, except that some of the Babtist churches have a mail ordered steeple stuck on them. Now there is a distinguishing factor, other wise how would you know. Thank you big Mooning Jesus for all that creative capital that goes to make up the Singer Song Writers out there on the high plains.

It was nice to see the Rockies rising on the horizon, snow capped and calling. I am going home through Leadville, this time of year that is slow going. It is always snowing up there, so no need to get in a hurry. I just take it easy and dream my way to the house.

I am here, I am all here.

December 1, 2010

Drawing on the wall for an upcoming exhibit at Anderson Ranch Arts Center

I spent most of the day today up at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO, drawing on the wall for an upcoming show.

James Surls: The Black Arts
Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, CO
December 14, 2010 
5 - 6:30pm
This exhibition will feature drawings and large-scale sculpture and commemorates the 20th anniversary of Surls’s groundbreaking wall drawing, To Touch the Center, created at Anderson Ranch. On view December 6, 2010 - February 25, 2011 in the Patton-Malott Gallery. 

November 29, 2010

A note from a daughter lead me to this...

Cities, nations and empires have fallen through out history, but art has never brought one down, Art has only brought them to greatness. When there is a choice to be made, I will go with ART every time.  

Type in your name in the search box and you will get the news clip.

Today I return from the hill.

I  return from the hill with paradox as my being. "All I ever really wanted was to go home with you" a truth that happened and a dream that came true, but life is a moment by moment reality. I know the me in stability while being in paradox  following  the flow-line closely, reflecting on the space between body and soul. Body knows weights and lengths and is governed by the pull of the earth. Soul moves beyond the tides rush and knows no boundaries. Both are bound at the heart, but one is of flesh and blood, the other gives rise to beliefs governing the spirit of action, where by making the incorporeal the center of feelings and thoughts that measures vastness,  distance to distance.   Sometimes I stand alone between here and there and know that Wise Blood flows deep and gives me the gains from many. I gather close and stand ready on the joint bar, all the while tracking through the spin-drift of the horizon. 

There are many things that fill the soul, questions that whelm the core of intuit, the living language from below all levels, under the outward-ness of the eye. Questions  made of moments reduced from patterned waves washed from currants rushing,  moments layered along the rise of log jams in bows, bends and banks.  Maybe we all follow the flow of the minds river bed, where the rise and fall of edges marks our being with scarred reality giving proof of the processes of deeds done, transformed into mantels of belief. Art being the residue of lines drawn and boundaries set. The time is now to make the cut with deliberate intent and with full knowledge of how the hammer comes down and the axes deliverance being one to one with the specifics of goal. I gather the residue carefully and mold it into solidity with wood, steel and stone, objects that hinges us to the next order, I bond with the bones of history and seek the blood of forever as my truth. I don't ask, "whose truth", or "which truth" I except the vision as my on, I count me in. There are few who hold the hand of forever and come back to show the way of what is below the level as it is above the level, subconscious and conscious having a conversation. Me speaking with me, it is truth time with lots to cut away, lots to change and lots to release. It is not easy when the flow line rises and passes through each, there is a fight for survival and some are lost in the wash. Yes there are many things that fill the soul in personal battle and survival depends on the trust of the ignition, that set going moment when intuition takes the driving wheel and steers me on. I have a long way to travel today, I must be on my way.