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John Spencer Paul
brooklyn, NY

Media:Painting;


ARTIST STATEMENT: The Climate In New York, 1972 till present The state of mind I aspire to in art is an argument and a romance, lured by the subject itself. Admittedly this approach is naïve- defined by a kind of cockeyed optimism in the language of painting - (and hopefully one’s ability to master and create surprising moments in it). In 1969 some of my peers believed in their chances to activate a canvas, to avoid stagnant forms. By “activate” I mean to manipulate and use the tools of color and line- to invent layered possibilities. There was high drama and some jargon, part American, part European. Traditions were to be left behind but how? The notions “the unconscious” and “auto suggestion,” or the famous “arena” is inherited from the legends of the New York School (Kline, De Kooning and Gorky)- the new heroes of painting- who were large in memory- doing something new and different from the painter kings of Paris. This is how I was influenced to think, about how painters should take an interest in their “subject,” as a point of departure. For me Knox Martin was the lead exponent of this view.
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