A Middle Way: Mira Schor reads from Jack Tworkov's writings, The Extreme of The Middle at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery
Mira Schor read from tonight and discussed The Extreme of the Middle, the book of journals, letters, essays and other writings by the artist Jack Tworkov she edited that was published in the summer of 2009, some of whose paintings are currently on display at The Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery through February 20, where Schor gave her talk and reading. I read this book this past summer in Provincetown, where I had the opportunity to talk about the book and Jack Tworkov with Mira. One of the many effective aspects of Mira's talk was the way she integrated some of the most powerful paintings on display at Mitchell-Innes into her selection from the texts and her comments about his writings (she focused on #2, Nightfall, and #6, Trace, viewable on the Mitchell-Innes link above). But one of the most impressive aspects of Mira Schor's reading of Tworkov's writing was the fact that her selection and rendition, for me, reflected an eloquent, poetic condensation of what I thought was most impressive about the book: that a vivid, dramatically fascinating multi-faceted portrait of the artist emerges in a most moving and intellectually satisfying way. We see the artist struggling with his career, his relationships with other artists, friends and family, his ideas about painting and his aesthetic philosophy, but even more touchingly perhaps, his personal and philosophical struggle with life itself and mortality. Tworkov's "middle" comprised anything but mediocrity; it was composed of a consistent and quietly courageous and self-critically honest internal stand in relation to art, perhaps most of all to that seductive yet dangerously imposing occupational hazard that faces any artist: his or her struggle with their own sense of self-importance. What I felt was that Jack Tworkov put becoming a great person on a par with becoming a great artist. This is a specific value, of course, not the only possible value that one can arrive at in a career as an artist, but it is one that I admire intensely.
* * * * *
Two more must see shows are Star Black,"The Collaged Accordion", at The Center for Book Arts and Emma Amos,"Never Forget" at Flomenhaft Never Forget-link to complete show images
* * * * *
Another rave review for keepaway's ep-link includes 3 tracks
keepaway at Webster Hall
keepaway on Myspace
* * * * *
This just in: Douglas Messerli, the publisher of Green Integer Books, has written to tell me and Toni Simon that Contradicta, the book has been printed and a box of copies is on its way to him!
* * * * *
If a picture is worth a thousand words, an insight is worth a trillion of them.
* * * *
Overcoming despair and indolence demands more than persistence; one must also understand the process of spontaneous excitement and its dissipation
I am continuing to develop the Contradicta series on Twitter
* * *
The Case Against Happiness
I heard Jean-Paul Pecqueur read recently with Joanna Fuhrman (Alice James reading) and enjoyed hearing his work. Here is J-P Pecquer on The Case Against Happiness Bookslut