February 17, 2011

resisting the intelligence, almost

Wallace Stevens said, "poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully." What does that mean? Maybe it means that a poem is more than a collection of images that can be translated into something we might call "the meaning of the poem."

I would like to say something like that about painting: that a painting must resist the intelligence--the urge to explain the image--and that it must do this "almost" (but maybe not completely) "successfully".

So a painting might allow for any number of "explanations." It might invite the intelligence in and then present it with many puzzles.

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These studio notes are scraps of poetry and ideas that feed my work as a painter. I hope they establish a bit of context for the paintings and my intention in making them. Whatever I paint, I’m trying to create some space for us to sit with the questions that are not meant to be answered.

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