Note on Art

Dublin Core

Title

Note on Art

Subject

A personal note from LeRoy Neiman on his art.

Description

This note, expanding on LeRoy Neiman's impression of spectatorship, sports art, and artistic process, is most likely a draft of the artist's catalogue essay for his monograph Winners: My Thrity Years in Sports published in 1983. The text seems ot build on another note Neiman entitled "Winning," fleshing out some of the this document's maxiums and tempering the poetic tone.

Creator

LeRoy Neiman

Source

LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Publisher

LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Date

c. 1980-83

Contributor

LeRoy Neiman

Rights

Property of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation; please consult the organization's archivist for further details.

Relation

Format

Image/jpeg

Language

English

Type

Document

Identifier

LN_Notes_403_01; LN_Notes_403_02; LN_Notes_403_03; LN_Notes_403_04

Coverage

New York (N.Y.) New York

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

[9/ THE SPECTATOR LOOKING AT A PAINTING OF MINE MUST ALWAYS DEAL WITH AN ORCHESTRATION OF BROKEN COLORS. MY PAINTINGS ARE A CHOAS OF COLORS, AND INTERMINGLING OF COLORS, MY COLORS HAVE BEEN CALLED BY MY DETRACTORS PAW, BRASSY, LOUD—NOISY. THAT THEY OFTENTIMES ARE, AS THEY SLANT, HALT, SPIRAL, JUMP, AND HIGHLIGHT. / THEY ARE USED AS EYE-LURE AND TO DELINEATE – THE SAME PATCH OF COLOR IN ONE CASE WILL IDENTIFY AND IN OTHER WILL MERELY FORM ATMOSPHERE. THEIR APPLICATION IS VERY DIRECT AND HIGH KEY, AND THE COLORS MERGE OR OVERLAP AT DIFFERENT DISTANCES INTO REALITY. / RECOGNITION OF KEY ELEMENTS IN MY PAINTINGS IS SOMETIMES DIFFICULT BECAUSE OF A CERTAIN INTENTIONAL LACK OF CLEARNESS. SOME IMPORTANT ELEMENTS ARE FREQUENTLY REPRESSED AND LESSER ONES OFTEN STRESSED, IN ORDER TO BRING OUT THE MAIN INGREDIENTS IN A[N] OBSCURE WAY. THE IDEA IS NOT TO BE VAUGE, BUT TO MAKE CLARITY LOOK AS IF IT JUST HAPPENED. AN AVERTED OR SHADOWED FACE OR PERHAPS AN UNSEEN HAND BEHIND THE BACK MAY CONTAIN A CENTRAL EXPRESSION OR GESTURE. / I SEEK TO MAKE THE TASK OF THE SPECTATOR INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT. I SET TRAPS FOR HIM. MODELING TAKES PLACE WHERE EMPHASIS DOES NOT LIE: ACCENTS ARE SUBORDINATED; FOREGROUND AND BACKGROUND MERGE TURBULENTLY. AS ONE ADVANCES ON MY PAINTINGS, THEY BECOME MORE ABSTRACT, MORE FLUID. AS ONE MOVES AWAY, THEY FALL INTO FOCUS AND REVEAL ANOTHER ASPECT OF REALITY. THE SPECTATOR DISCOVERS NEW SUBSTANCES]
AND HAS A PROLONGED CONTACT. /

[10 / AT NO TWO DISTANCES WILL THE PAINTINGS APPEAR THE SAME. THIS GIVES THE VIEWER MORE ROOM FOR CONJECTURE, AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE VISUAL IMAGE, UPON CONTEMPLATION, ADD TO ITS PROVOCATIVE SCHEME. THERE IS A MESSAGE HERE: TODAY’S MAN ACCEPTS MANY CASUAL OBSERVATION]S [AT FACE VALUE, BUT OFTEN THE TRUTH ESCAPES HIM IF HE DOESN’T TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK LONGER AND HARDER. I NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THE PERIPHERAL AND BEYOND. / YOU MAY HAVE PICKED UP ON MY, AT TIMES, USING THE TERM SPECTATOR RATHER THAN VIEWER IN REFERRING TO THE CONFRONTING MY WORK. I HAVE A HUNCH THEY GET THE FEELING THEY ARE IN SOME SPECIAL EVENT WHEN THEY STOP IN FRONT OF A PAINTING OF MINE. / THE ARTIST, LIKE THE PEASANT OR CHILD, MUST SEE UP CLOSE, INDEED HE MUST SEE OT BELIEVE. IN MY PAINTINGS I CONCENTRATE ON THE EXTERIOR. IN STRESSING THE SURFACE I BELIEVE I CAN REVEAL WHAT IS UNDER THE SURFACE BY WHAT I DEVELOP ON MY SURFACE. I FOCUS ON THE OUTSIDE, ON THE LOOK WHICH CAN BE CALLED SUPERFICIAL. MY TREATMENT IS CURSORY, WITH DETAILS ONLY HALF-SAID, REVEALING MYSELF MORE THAN THE SUBJECT. I DO NOT OVERSUPPLY INFORMATION BUT I DO PRESENT IT EXTRAVAGANTLY.]
TOLSTOY – TO Be a work of art it must be understood by the peasant /

11
[MY PAINTINGS ARE CHARGED WITH A SIMPLICITY AND FREEDOM. I USE RAPIDITY IN MY DESCRIPTIONS OF PEOPLE AND EVENTS, TO CATCH THE MOVEMENTS AND MOODS. MY PERFORMANCE REQUIRES DEXTERITY, VIRTUOSITY, SPEED; THE POWER OF SUGGESTION, THE HALF-REVEALED, FULLY REALIZED ALL THE WHILE ONE MAY PAY A PRICE FOR CAPTURING THE FLEETING MOMENT: SHORT-LIVED PICTURES, A RISK WELL WORK TAKING. / IMMEDIACY, IN SHORT, IS EVERYTHING TO ME: THE CLOSE-UP EXPRESSIONS AND EMOTIONS AND ATTITUDES – THE STRAINS, THE GRUNTS, THE PHYSICALITY OF SPORT – THAT ALL IS MY NATURAL PRESERVE. I LOVE FEATURING THIS SORT OF STUFF IN MY WORKING SPACE. A SPACE IN WHICH THE SUBJECT CAN LIVE. I RECONSTRUCT THE VISUAL WORLD. IT IS MY PICTORIALITY. / THE VALIDITY OF REALISM IS THAT THE WORLD LOOKS DIFFERENT ALL THE TIME. EACH TIME REALISM REAPPEARS THROUGHOUT ART HISTORY, THINGS HAVE CHANGED TO THE EYE AND TO THE HIM. YOU SIMPLY DON’T APINT FAMILIAR OBJECTS AND ALWAYS RECORD THEM THE SAME THINGS] THE SAME WAY. [CHANGES OCCUR IN THE OBJECTS, AND IN THE ART FORM AS WELL. I THINK OF A SPORT TEN YEARS AGO WHICH PUZZLED EVERYBODY. TODAY IT IS A NORMAL PART OF OUR SEASIDE LIFE CALLED WIND SURFING OR SAIL BOARDING.] /

5
[AS AN ARTIST THIS MEANS TO ME THAT THE VIEWER MUST COME FIRST. THE AUDIENCE, TODAY ENLIGHTENED AND FAIR MINDED, IS THE PRIMARY CONCERN. / AN ARTIST IS A GARDENER, NOT A MINER HIS OR HER ROLE IS TO CULTIVATE. / A GOOD ARTIST IS AN INNOVATOR, NOT A CURATOR. A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST MUST BE IN PROCESS. HE CANNOT STOP AT ONE STAGE AND REMAIN FROZEN IN IT. HE MUST NOT EMBALM HIS WORK. / A BUSINESSMAN WILL OBSERVE: “IF I DON’T DO IT FIRST, SOMEONE ELES WLL.” AND ARTIST WILL OBSERVE: “IF I DON’T DO IT, NO ONE ELSE WILL.” / I OFTEN SAY THAT THE WAY WE JUDGE THE QUALITY OF AN ARTIST’S VISION IS THE DEGREE TO WHICH OUR VISION IS ALTERED BY HIS OR HER WORK. / WHAT THE VIEWER HAS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ALL ALONG, TO THE ARTIST, MAY BE A DISCOVERY. / PAINTING ATTRACTS ADMIRATION OF THINGS WHICH IN THEIR ORIGINAL STATE WE MIGHT NOT ADMIRE. / THE ARTIST DEMANDS RESPECT FOR THIS WORK OFTEN DONE UNDER LESS THAN IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES.]

Original Format

Pencil and marker on typewritten text.

Files

LN_Notes_403_01.jpg
LN_Notes_403_02.jpg
LN_Notes_403_03.jpg
LN_Notes_403_04.jpg

Tags

Citation

LeRoy Neiman, “Note on Art,” LeRoy Neiman Foundation, accessed July 6, 2020, https://leroyneimanfoundation.omeka.net/items/show/19.