Eternal Return / How Frankie Learned to Art


Yo, long time no blog, my webmaster and son Sam here on Thanksgiving visit gets my blog to work again. I had some good ideas which perished in a couple of blog crashes, now Sam says the blog is attached to a different type of server that allows one blog site to crash without taking all the other blogs on that server with it. // So I was writing about a large painting that I made in 1970 entering the collections at the Walker Art Center just as I pushed save the text vanished into the electronic abyss. But writing about this acquisition a third time requires some creative thinking lest I stray unto the path well trodden of cliches. The painting was made under the influence of the artist Peter Saul who I met in Oakland California in 1968. I was finishing my MFA at CCAC ( now CCA ) (we live amidst the acronyms) so Peter offered a seminar basically a weekly critique at the art school. What I learned from Peter directly and indirectly was you just had to be great, great was the normal case for an srtist, at least if you were reaching for something higher than a salary. Though Peter wouldn't say it that way, he has a very colorful way of speaking and especially about art. So this 40 year old painting which Peter liked very much ( I think he was flattered to have had such an impact on my art work) but in some ways it was a path not taken. Though I toiled in the vineyard for years I think in the end that had more to do with shaking off Peter's influence I needed to care less what he thought in order to proceed. It's nice having the webmaster in the next room.

The painting is titled In The Time Being it's 7 X 10 feet painted in 1970 and finished in 1971. Several other related paintings and works on paper were made and exhibited with this huge canvas at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in May of 1971. The gallery on North side of the building had beautiful clear North light, the colors in the paintings were quite radiant and even more so on sunny days The reception for the painting was good even the review was positive albeit warning people that the color was very psychedelic and
 the images were cartoon like (Like Zap comics). /// The painting was in the collection of Leo Kuelbs who lives in Brooklyn NY he gave it to the Walker and that was a very nice gesture. The painting was on the cover of the Blue Hippos LP entitled 40 40 in 1987 I think. It was published by Twin Tone records. You can still find the Lp or a repressing of the album in better record shops , people still seem to find it in Europe and online of course. I liked the band and I liked their music. I remember they kept the painting up at the crib where they hung out pinned up behind the couch. I also recall this painting up behind the beer kegs at the Artpolice Ball in 1981 it was christened in Grain Belt beer. Soon I'll get a good picture of the big sucker to post on my site . Picture here from