9/3/14 revisiting "perpetual" 38x38" / by Philip Tarlow

after working on the parade painting for 3 days, i felt a need to be physicality involved, working on a collage on canvas. perpetual had been hanging in our bedroom. the more we looked at it the less satisfying it was. i dove in today and remembered how "action painting" got it's name. the "complex layering and sudden, shifting dissonances" that animate the painting's surface are a result of positioning and repositioning paper that has been drawn on, then cut up and mounted on the surface, painted over, scraped, and so on.....all involving whole body movements; gestural marks that constitute a dance of sorts. i think it is a uniquely american phenomenon, or at least began as such in the '40's and '50's.

are there numerous sexual references? YES! penises that might be noses; breasts that might be asses....the main point is, for me, that, while your eye was teased and wandered from this blue to that red in the previous version (row 2); now there is a central main event or quake, magnitude 7.6 punctuated by a series of lesser quakes, 4.3 ratcheting down to 3.1, all part of an integrated syncopation. the main event i speak of is in the detail, 1st row right. the central red gesture is a riff on huang tingjian's 11th c. calligraphy masterpieces. he is one of my heroes.

click on the image and flip back and forth...see what you think.

quote from john elderfield in the moma dekooning retrospective catalogue