Visual Art Letter of the Day
posted by February 27 at 10:38 AMon
Your “Gray Area” artbiz spat article reminds me of the rancorous Fitzgerald-Hopkins Trial right here in Metronatural Seattle in the mid-1960s, when artists James Fitzgerald accused a younger artist, Robert Hopkinds, of imitating his (Fitzgerald’s) work.
One prosecution witness was the painter William Cumming, always ready for Drama, but this time I think in the wrong play. Sculptor and U.W. art professor emeritus Everett Dupen was one of the major Defense witnesses, and I remember sending a supporting letter from California where I was then on a fellowship residency.
Fitzgerald lost; and in Seattle magazine William Cumming was quoted, post-verdict, saying that Hopkins had better never be in any show for which he, Cumming, was a juror.
I detest the “Art Scene” … the Poops and Pedants and Promoters and Pretenderes … the incessant search for “new” “breakthrough” (bullshit) “insights” … DUNGbeetles digging for GOLD. (It’s ALL “imitation” … vapid revisions with witless statements of “concept.”)
Let us take notice of obscene (example the $90 million recently stolen European painting) prices for crumbling ancient daubs that “authorities” have designated timeless; and this local TWITFIGHT: it’s about MONEY, and EGO … not “art.” (I was able to buy back one of my own “works” last year … and I’d buy more if I knew where the hell they ARE.) Hey, Art Establishment: Get STUFFED.
And other Gray Area postscripts:
You should be aware that Lead Pencil Studio not only create “derivative” art, they SWIPED THEIR FREAKING NAME!!! In the 70s there was an extremely prominent team of artists in Seattle—Les LaPere and Frank Samuelson (sometimes joined by Ken Corey)—that went by the name…yes, you guessed it—Lead Pencil, or the Pencil Brothers.
And these artists weren’t exactly low profile. LaPere, Samuelson, and Corey showed regularly at the popular Manolides Gallery in Pioneer Square. A lovely LaPere illustration graced the cover of Tom Robbins’ book “Still Life with Woodpecker.” Samuelson famously won the top prize at the Seattle Art Museum’s 1976 Northwest Annual using the assumed name “Dustin Washington.” As part of the award, he was given a solo show at SAM’s Modern Art Pavilion at the Seattle Center in 1977 (together with internationally recognized photographer Richard Avedon). Corey was posthumously honored with a solo exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum in, like, 1995—with a substantial catalogue. He also exhibited at SAM’s new downtown facility earlier in that decade. Seattle’s original Lead Pencil were associated with the influential West Coast “Funk” movement of the 70s era—which included heralded artists such as William T. Wiley, Roy DeForest, Robert Arneson, etc. In other words, they made their reputations here, and they were highly visible. Samuelson still creates and exhibits his work. I very much admired their delicate renderings and it’s shameful that their memorable work has been usurped by these current Lead Pencil imposters.
Oh, and the term “artist-architect” should be immediately consigned to the gallery of oxymorons that includes “military intelligence,” “jumbo shrimp,” and “glass art.”
XO, Larry Reid
Continued on the jump …
i read your article about lead pencil and roy mcmakin and the rest of it. it seems like a mighty complex issue that could spin around and around, indefinitely. i was trying to find examples of other strikingly similar work that upon further investigation seems to be about different things. or at least, suggests different things.
genzken sculpture of a radio or at least it appears that way
nauman sculpture with a radio or tape deck inside of it.
You may have received this, but the show below at Priska Juschka looked mighty familiar after reading your article in the Stranger last week.
Jade Townsend, YARDSALE, 2008, at PULSE