Line is fundamental in the visual arts. It is a principle element in design. Yet there is no line in nature. It is an epiphenomenon like the shadow—something perceived as being but which is actually the byproduct of something else. The simplest definition of a line is a mark that stretches between two points and […]

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, which is located on the campus of Michigan State University, is, quoting their website, “Expressly dedicated to exploring contemporary culture and ideas through the probing gaze of international artists, the MSU Broad is a place where artists’ ideas, words, and actions create a vibrant center for questioning and […]

This past year I was in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. There I stood rapt before Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Primavera, Fra Angelico’s Annunciation and Brunelleschi’s dome crowning Santa Maria del Fiore. I was surrounded by much of the greatest art and architecture ever conceived by the human mind and made by human hands—most of […]

It is not for me to decide the value of my art except in regard to my personal standards of art and art making. I will know what I think of the work—whether or not it satisfies me. But I cannot perceive what other people perceive. I do not see with their eyes. I cannot […]

Not long ago I read French author Patrick Modiano’s novella, After Image. It tells the story of a photographer in Paris who wanted to disappear. He kept his photos, in no particular order, in three suitcases, as he moved about constantly, disappearing for long periods of time—a mystery to all who knew him and perhaps himself. Was he […]

On the fourth floor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, almost hidden away, there is a small gallery in which hang seven paintings by Agnes Martin. This past November I sat there in bliss. “ Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.” Agnes Martin Martin’s paintings are not clever. They […]

Without design there is no art. To design is to plan and consciously construct, even if moment-to-moment. Design is the orchestration of the elements in the art work. Design integrates the bits into a whole. A massive painting can fail because, after hours and hours of work, the artist fails to place a single pencil […]