The Alpha Seer understanding true art

October 29, 2010

THE GREAT KNOX MARTIN AT WOODWARD GALLERY, NYC

Filed under: Uncategorized — MASTER BEN LAU @ 1:48 pm

Woman with Flowers, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Woman with Red Shoes, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 75.5 x 62 inches

Young Woman, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Bathsheba, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Woman with Flowers, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches


Grapes, Lemons and Tomatoes, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 58 x 44.75 inches

Woman and a Plant, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Woman Looking, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Mary Ellen, 2010, Acrylic on linen, 18 x 22 inches

Knox Martin
Woman: Black and White Paintings

September 15 – November 13, 2010

For nearly 60 years, Knox Martin has produced a singular visual language with roots in both the Old Masters and that great upheaval in mid-20th-century American art known as Abstract Expressionism. Now 87, he continues to paint with undiminished vigor, as the more than thirty paintings in this show—mainly from 2010—attest.

Martin came of age as an artist in the 1950s, alongside some of the leading lights of that era, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. But he has at intervals in his career wrestled with the ghosts of the Western tradition, most recently in a series of unframed drawings called “Caprichos” in honor of the fever-dream etchings of Goya. The paintings in this show also hint at other influences, ranging from Titian to Matisse, but ultimately Martin’s voice remains private, euphoric, and a tad inscrutable.

His fondness for the female body is everywhere apparent, from the high-heeled shoes to the outlines of a comely derriere to the repeated circular shapes that are sometimes breasts and other times possibly a pair of looking eyes. The works invite comparison with de Kooning’s “Woman” series, but Martin has a more playful touch; his attitude is one of admiration and light-hearted lust rather than ferocious ambivalence. At points in his career—such as murals he has done for Neiman Marcus and outdoor spaces in New York—Martin edges away from allusiveness to extreme metaphor, but he always seems to come back (at least in easel-sized efforts) to a more easily seen iconography that is about an amorous and playful sexuality.

He is also comfortable with both large and small formats, miraculously adjusting the content to suit the size. The largest paintings in the show, Grapes, Lemons and Tomatoes and Woman with Red Shoes “breathe” with bold passages of white space. The smaller works are often busier, more claustrophobic, sometimes threatening to burst out of their confines, as though the chaotic bustle were too overwhelming to be contained.
It’s clear that Knox Martin is very much a painter’s painter: the viewer can sense his repeated emendations to the canvases, the numerous pentimenti that show him backtracking to paint and repaint passages until he gets the surface looking the way he wants it to. But he also brings to his work a collage sensibility: sections look as though they could be made of cut paper and pasted to the canvas. This balancing act may be part of what contributes to the liveliness of his vision, or, as the critic Arthur Danto remarked 12 years ago, “The brilliance of [his] works lies in the drama of overlapping forms, in playing a painting’s depth against its surface.”

What may be most thrilling about these paintings, however, is their freshness. Martin’s style has its roots in a movement that goes back six decades, but he nonetheless makes the viewer feel part of an ongoing tradition—one that, in the right hands, has a lot of life left to it. Knox Martin’s paintings have a vividness and timelessness that is perhaps the most compelling characteristic of all great art.

Recent features on Knox Martin – Woman: Black and White Paintings:

“Paintings of Women by the Handful,” in L Magazine by Benjamin Sutton

“Knox Martin: Black and White Paintings,” in City Arts by Valerie Gladstone

“Knox Martin at Woodward Gallery, Robert Wilson at Paula Cooper, Charlotte Schulz at Smack Mellon,” in Best in Show, The Village Voice by Robert Shuster

THE ALPHA SEER’S COMMENT:

FINALLY SOMEONE IN NEW YORK CITY

GETS TO HAVE A GLIMPSE OF THE GREAT

KNOX MARTIN!!!!

KNOX MUST HAVE BEEN INVISIBLE ALL THESE YEARS AND MONTHS,….

WHAT IS TAKING PEOPLE SO LONG TO RECOGNIZE A TOP GENIUS?

ANSWER: WHEN ONE WALKS DIRECTLY UNDER THE HIMALAYA, ONE CANNOT IMMEDIATELY SEE ITS PEAKS AT ALL,–AND THAT IS WHY YOU CANNOT READILY SEE AN ARTISTIC GENIUS WITHOUT THE DISTANCE OF TIME AND ASSESSMENTS.

LOOK ON, FRIENDS,…TO FIND OUT WHY KNOX IS SO GREAT. SIMPLY ASK YOURSELF WHY THE OTHER ITEMS ON VILLAGE VOICE ARE JUST PLAIN SILLY SH-TS ,–THAT WHICH HAS COME OF THE MIND,– AND TOTALLY WITHOUT CREATIVE  MERITS. CERTAIN UNHINGED INVENTIVENESS MAY HAVE BEEN CHAMPIONED HERE IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM, BUT THEY MUST RELY SO UTTERLY ON MEANINGS!

WHERE IS POETRY?

WITHOUT POETRY, WHERE IS BEAUTY?

WITHOUT BEAUTY, WHERE IS ART?

WHO ARE STILL LOOKING FOR MEANING HERE IN A PAINTING, LIKE A BUNCH OF SILLY SCHOOL KIDS?

“ALL MEANINGS ORIGINATE FROM THE REGURGITATION OF MEMORY, AND MEMORY IS DEAD!”

THUS DECLARED J. KRISHNAMURTI,–ONE OF THE GREATEST MASTERS OF MEDITATIONS OF OUR TIME.

AND YOU CANNOT HAVE THE CONCEPTUAL AND ART AT THE SAME TIME, AS IT IS ANTI-INTUITIVE,–A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS.

WHAT IS ANTI-INTUITIVE? LET’S SAY IF YOU CAN REALLY ENJOY A MATISSE, (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THOSE WHO PRETEND THEY CAN ENJOY A MATISSE…,) AND PROVIDED THAT YOU ARE NOT TOTALLY INERT TO THE POETIC PERSUASION THAT A MATISSE CAN ACT ON YOU, MASSAGING EVERY FIBER OF YOUR SOUL,– THEN YOUR DISCERNMENT OF THAT WHICH IS ANTI- MATISSE, OR ANTI-INTUITION,– SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY EVIDENT.

DON’T GET ME WRONG HERE! I AM HARDLY AGAINST SUCH REGURGITATION AT ALL! WHY WOULD I, INDEED?

STRANGELY, FAKE STUFFS HAVE, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, FOUND THEMSELVES REFLECTING ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE THE REAL THING, JUST AS AN IMPOSTOR ACTUALLY POINTS TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRUE SEER.


THE ALPHA SEER


October 11, 2010

INCUBATION

Filed under: Uncategorized — MASTER BEN LAU @ 10:56 pm

FIGURE 1: WOMAN AND CAT 054 BY THE ALPHA SEER

Not all ideas are instantaneous.

Some of the greatest ideas in the world may have been there, being incubated, so to speak, for many years.
Knox Martin’s most recent work at the Woodward Gallery have been in his studio for no less than 10 years. Each time I visited him, I was surprised to find so many a beautiful motifs that I last saw were still lying around,–still being worked on.

And a completely clueless person would sometime comment on how extraordinary a masterpiece would fetch in price at the auction, etc. Let me provide an answer to that :

The beauty of the thing itself is already priceless,–what with the great mind behind making it happen, the great invention therein, the heart break, the delights,– and the labor of love,– and all that combined with a 10 year incubation period, as in the case of Knox Martin, how much is not too much?

***************************************************************************************************************

Knox

to me

WOMAN & CAT—–
WOW!!!!!!!!
Hey, note the number of bars in this Knox
Martin appreciation!
Knox is the only person I know with the inner eye so brilliant that he is always ahead of the game  in anything,— and true painting being the most sacred of all disciplines,–in that regard, he is also way beyond the Alpha Seer!

Let’s put it this way: if the Alpha Seer were the one-eye-king, Knox would be the all seeing one!

To have Knox’s perception: first you cannot surround yourself with mental energy. Money is a form of mental energy.

When Isabella went to Madagascar and saw that people there are actually happier than our folks back home,–and much more so,– yet Madagascar is a poor country,…–so you get the picture.

Second, you must be able to be content all the time, like Knox, a master of meditation!

How is it possible to be content all the time?

What’s wrong? What is in your way of achieving that state of being content?

You have been born a happy baby! That is your original state: you were naked with nothing whatsoever to your name,–only your mom’s powerful teats!

The trees are happy, the birds are singing, the breezes are most wonderful, the animals are hardly ever miserable, the seasons are very happy!  The stars, Oh, the stars!…

what, then is in our way of being content?

Thinking, and desires… mental energy

acting on our existence …!
And finally, go back to your
fetus stage, if that is at all possible,…

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