3/9/14 2 new collages / by Philip Tarlow

today i arrived early in the studio, following an unusually good nights sleep. i immediately dove into work, making major revisions to one of yesterday's collages, huang and coltrane,  which has also changed titles, to westin paris. if you click on the image & view full screen, you will see a cut out piece of the concierge's card in the middle left quadrant. for mikela and i, it was a rare vacation. (our travel is almost always associated with either visiting family in greece or work).

the highlights of that trip were the westin, where we were upgraded to a beautiful suite, the uniformly excellent food and the museums. for the first time we visited the relatively new musée quai branley, with objects from african, asian and oceanian civilizations. it was just a fantastic trip in every respect. 

while sifting through the stacks of papers of various sorts on my work table, i came across this card, which found it's place in the collage.

as i look at the collage now, it brings up archille gorky, a painter whose work i've spent many hours enjoying, mostly in moma. a pioneer of biomorphic abstraction who had a profound influence on dekooning, gorky's path of development is particularly organic. i've always admired his work. 

on the second row, right is a painting i made early in my creek series, in 2002. you can see the first hints of what was to come, which is more clearly visible in the plein air painting from 2012 in the 3rd row. in the upper central portion of that painting are some rock forms that for me constitute a uniquely successful shorthand. they can be found throughout my recent collages.

On the second row, left, beneath the completed namu atol, is the first stage of that collage, once again a riff on my plein air paintings. the bits of calligraphy are mostly from my warm up exercises yesterday morning, when i was once again studying the great 11th c. chinese master huang tingjian.