Personal Margins

Barnett Newman, 18 Cantos, 1963-1964, a lithograph portfolio of 18 pages and one cover page

Barnett Newman, 18 Cantos, 1963-1964, a lithograph portfolio of 18 pages and one cover page

I should say that it was the margins made in printing a lithographic stone that magnetized the challenge for me from the very beginning. No matter what one does, no matter how completely one works the stone (and I have always worked the stone, as soon as it is printed) makes an imprint that is surrounded by inevitable white margins. I would create a totality only to find it change after it was printed-into another totality…There is always the intrusion of the paper frame. To crop the extruding paper or to cover it with a mat or to eliminate all of the margins by “bleeding” is an evasion of this fact. It is like cropping to make a painting. It is success by mutilation…The struggle to overcome this intrusion-to give the imprint its necessary scale so that it could have its fullest expression, so that it would not be crushed by the paper margin and still have a margin- that was the challenge for me. That is why each canto has its own personal margins…These eighteen cantos are then single, individual expressions, each with its unique difference.

-Barnett Newman, “Preface to 18 Cantos,” 1964

Canto XIV 1963-4 by Barnett Newman 1905-1970

Canto XIV 1963-4 by Barnett Newman 1905-1970


Costco carries Matisse

Henri Matisse, Femme au Chapeau, 1939

Henri Matisse, Femme au Chapeau, 1939

Yes, you read right. Costco now carries limited edition Matisse lithographs. Online for a fair price. (Warhol too) Whew, don’t have to don my Jimmy Choos to stroll out to Gagosian – style. Don’t have to blab up artsy chit-chat with a gallery owner to convince them I’m legit.

Aahhh, now I can slouch around in Old Navy velor sweatsuit and charge it ala Costco. With the 5% cashback. Priceless.

No uncomfortable negotiating over price. Click and ship. There are so many fantastic online orginal art sites now (artmuse.com, Saatchionline.com, 20×200.com). You can also buy direct from artist websites.

I’m happy about this. The same way I am happy Target carried Missoni. The same way I’ll be happy when one day I can walk into a museum and not be crushed by an art inferiority complex. Really – they do check for MFA’s at the door.

Because art needs the mainstream. Museums need social media. If museums continue to be white-walled Genius tombs, their shelf life is limited.¬† It’s experience and interaction we want. Why do only curators talk about art? What if docents turned into gallery moderators and people could tweet back and forth about artwork on hashtags? (Imagine a world where people actually talk in mausoleums, ahem, museums) What if you went into a gallery and lounged around drinking?

It’s happening people.

They are sold out on the Costco website. Blarggh.

I’m waiting for the coupons. anyway.