Saturday, January 12, 2008

I neglected to mention in my year end "Great Things '07" roster the amazing Bill Jensen Show at Cheim and Reid last spring. These paintings snuck up on me in a way. I was unable to come to an immediate conclusion about them. However the paintings and the memory of viewing them springs up in my mind from time to time. "Springs up" isn't actually the right phrase, more like "overtakes". It is like one of those memories that stops your in you tracks. I could go into why I feel this way, but in the case of his work I don't think you really should conclude why this is a positive experience. Like Blanchot, and many others have said (I'm paraphrasing) that to name the event undoes the event. Rather, the name of a thing or an experience, is not the experience at all. I think you have to be content to let his paintings sizzle away in front of you.

I was reminded of this yet again because I recently was toured around the Phillips Collection Library, where I just happened to see the Bill Jensen catalog on the shelf. I believe also that The Phillips owns work of his that is included in an upcoming exhibition of recent, or more contemporary work.

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