Failure, Diebenkorn

Posted in Failure by chrisfremantle on March 1, 2015

Diebenkorn was more troubled by easy perfection: he wanted his paintings to resolve problems but not so thoroughly that they seemed pat or pretty, the marks of struggle erased.  The more restructios he could create for himself, the freer he could be in improvising his way to a solution.  But it also mattered to him that his errors lingered on as the repentance marks of pentimenti, the term for when an artist has second thoughts, redoing part of a painting, but leaving traces of what has gone before.  In Diebenkorn’s work, these regions, which he called “crudities”, can be vast, ghost tracts of colour imperfectly repressed, or alternatively small spatters and splodges, accidents that opened up a new road to “rightness”.

Olivia Laing, Lovely imperfection, The Guardian, Saturday 28 February 2015.

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