Several years ago I was at an opening at Anita Shapolsky’s brownstone gallery uptown and the underknown abstract painter Sy Boardman, (life dates ) then an 80 year old painter in her stable of artists, quietly told me that in the 1960s that all the New York painters felt that Pop would be over in two years. Sadly, forty years later, Pop’s irony is still with us. What happened to our need to record our inner soul? And what happened to our desire to view these recordings, these interpretations? Why does today’s powerful majority support an easy illustration of popular sentiments rather than an intuitive assimilation of these issues into visual power objects, of socially concerned issues imbued in visual form and elements? Illustration is not art. Why do most not integrate social content with serious form? Youth today are generally visually antagonistic to objects of beauty and quality though would make able but comedic political commentators.
But I mention the Anita Shapolsky gallery to you, Mr. Still, as Anita represents the Ernest Briggs estate–one of your students from your California days. Briggs is my favorite of Anita’s stable of artists. I’m pleased to have exhibited my paintings with his work there. Painting makes each day important. I am usually surprised at how powerful my paintings are, powerful in spite of my being an unknown, emerging practitioner.