Show? Wasn’t it a retrospective?
The big word doesn’t seem right with BP, the Nick Drake of post-minimal painting.
The works is what somebody trapped on a Desert Island might come up with if he or she tried to put together an exhibit of abstract art out of whatever bits of wood, canvas and junk were at hand.
The result is partially a parody, but not merely so.
His 1965 Soft speaker (illustrated above) consists of a rectangular canvas painted mustard yellow beneath a rectangle of mustard yellow fabric pinned to the wall.
His 1966 Landscape consists of a green plank on the wall accompanied, just above it on the wall, by a blue plank. Both planks are irregular shapes and look like bits of found scrap.
Another piece from the 1960s was like a green cartoon shark fin.
Maybe it’s the season but I can’t help thinking of homemade Christmas cookies straight from the oven. We have been told about purity, simplicity, boldness, and the rest, … but didn’t really have the time or the resources to go into it.
Then there was a whole room of “paintings” made out of stretched lengths of fabric. It was the most beautiful room in L.A.
I loved it all.
Even the wall paintings from the early 1970s. People write about them now as if they were grimly serious political gestures, and make them seem boring. For example in 1971 he painted a giant black backwards L-shape underneath a window. It adds unnecessary punctuation to the wall, and rather than any “critique,” it deflates everything in the room with irresistible goofiness.
And then the paintings of the 1970s consisting of sets of square panels. The Hours of the Day, East West II …. Each panel little panel of which was more touching and sensual than all the rubbish from the Resnick Collection next door put together.