Reed writes: "Resnick told us that we had to decide between two ways of being painters. You could either “climb the ladder of art, struggle and sacrifice to make great works,” or “get on the moving belt, just move, you and the painting which equals your brain.” It took me a long time to figure out that he disapproved of the first and approved of the second. He told us that, as younger painters, we should put on “the shirt of Abstract Expressionism.” Each of us would then have to admit, “I can’t understand this shirt. It doesn’t fit my mind.” Only that way would we get on the moving belt."
Poet Jerome Rothenberg remembers his encounters with painter Milton Resnick.
"Milton's declaration, right from the start, was that he was a painter who had given up painting in favor of poetry & that he thought that I & my fellow poets should now give up poetry in favor of painting... carrying the intensity he had lavished on painting into a new medium that of words. That he did it instantly & with equivalent grace & fury astonished me, as did his natural & credible assumption of the poet’s [bardic] voice..."
Reed remembers his time at the New York Studio School and the effect Philip Guston's painting and teaching had on him and his work. Reed gives a fascinating first-hand account of Guston's critiques at the Studio School and the ideas he was wrestling with in his transition from abstraction to figuative painting. Guson spoke of "tradition as something that was removing us from our own lives and the world in which we lived."
Milton Resnick, who also taught at the Studio School at the time "used to describe the method and difficulties of an artist changing his or her work [as] 'soul-beating.' He said that some artists could 'beat their own souls,' but some could not, and needed someone else to do the beating for them, a friend or an enemy.
The article also details the influence of Piero della Francesca's fresco painting had on Guston's figurative work.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.