some thoughts on the aspen art museum's current exhibition / by Philip Tarlow

a few days ago, I visited the aspen art museum's current exhibition: wade guyton, peter fischli, david weiss, running through november 26th.

when i walked into the first room, i did a double take, thinking the exhibition was not yet up and instead was in the process of being hung. 

within minutes, and with the help of the very knowledgable guide standing in the center of the first space, i understood this was not the case.

i have always been in love with process, regardless of whether it's the process of making coffee or making paintings. frequently when i'm in my studio i experience some corner of the space, say my work table with it's trays of colors & mason jars filled with brushes, or canvasses stacked against the wall, as treasured artifacts in my process of making art, things of beauty in this moment in this light, never to be repeated.

in this exhibition we see odd pieces of paint-splattered wood surfaces stacked against the wall, with a pair of paint stained shoes nearby. some tools lying on a scrap of wood. a radio was playing the same song over and over in an adjoining room.

but is this art? 

I say YES… a resounding yes!

why do 3 groupings of paintings stacked against the wall qualify as art? the very fact you may be prompted to ask this question is significant. you could, as i'm sure happens on a regular basis, just turn around and walk out of the museum, feeling you're wasting your time or being toyed with. 

by exposing the process of making art and sharing it with the world, we are at the same time de-mystifying art and making it even more meaningful and moving for the viewer, providing a path for him or her to begin experiencing art as something that goes beyond the confines of the gallery or the museum and is, in fact, ever present in our daily lives. 

i shot this photograph of some forks on our friend dan's kitchen counter. these forks lying on the wood counter, so beautiful in their shapes and the shadows they create, will never again be together in this particular configuration and in this particular light. it was a fleeting window into the unsuspected richness of the vast beauty surrounding us.  I don’t think I would have noticed and photographed these forks without being inspired by this exhibition.  Is that not the purpose of art?

if you decide to visit this show: it’s best if you can forget everything I’ve said, and enter the museum with no preconceived notion of what you’re about to experience.

I give this show 2 thumbs up!!!