Friday, September 12, 2008

Stuff Happens at the Edges

Sam Francis, White Ring, 1966
Minimalist Edge Painting

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Indigo Rose said...

hmm, well we all have our taste in art. If I'd known this stuff would sell I could have art hanging in a museum.
This looks like the paper from under the paper my girls were painting.
Nope, I don't wonder what he was thinking.... probably like the rest of us... frustrated because he couldn't think of anything to paint that day, but he had to come up with something!
Through your eyes as a trained artist... what I am missing?

Indigo Red said...

Nope. Not at all and it's alot harder than you think. Our natural inclination is to fill the canves with paint, to pay more attention to what's front and center. It's very difficult to focus on the edge, the periphery of our lives and environment.

That frontal attention almost got the artist killed. Sam Francis was a fighter pilot in WWII. This aerial view of the world, shows in the majority of his works. There is a weightless, flying feeling to them, a vast emptiness puntuated with permiable colors, like clouds in the sky.

Like many in the Army Air Corp, Sam was just barely out of his teens, he was flying a fighter plane, engaging in dogfights in a multi-dimensional world. There was no up, down, side, only all around.

At this point, you probably are thinking that Sam was shot down. No. From way off on the edge, he contracated spinal tuberculosis and spent about a year hospitalized in San Francisco seeing nothing but the ceiling. His original interest in medicine and psychology along with the spatial experience in the Air Corps, Sam was at home with Abstract Expressionism.

After months of indoor treatment, he was taken outside where, still flat on his back, could only look up at the sky and the passing clouds. Not being from California, he once remarked that he had never seen light as blindingly bright as the light in California. The brightness of his works is an attempt to duplicate the intensity of the California sunlight.

While most of us are focused almost exclusively on what is in front of us, the thing that is important at this moment, much is happening off on the edges that need attention, too. Sometimes, it's far more important.