Cry me a river near finish, right side. One thing learned from this canvas was that even though it was signed days ago, on the front, it was not finished. The easy part would have been to say, this work is finished and move on. That did not happen, and it bought to mind a thought that has popped up in the past: after looking at thousands of art reproductions in books and in museums it has become obvious that the level of art quality produced varies considerably with many artists.
An example of this unevenness is available for view in the book Mark Rothko, The Works on Canvas, Catalogue Raisonne’. In this art book, comparing two painting both from 1953, a touching an emotional No. 14 Yellow Greens with the Untitled (yellow, Red, Blue) which in the best terms appears to be unfinished and uninterested, leaves the viewer wondering. The thought is did Rothko just not care to put in the effort needed that day to produce a consistent high level of art, his own art? Paging through the book, there are number of picture comparisons displaying works from the same year, that seem secondary. There is the feeling that artist, some days, was in a production mode: green and blue today, yellow and red tomorrow. The words from Dire Straits Money for Nothing, “We got to move these refrigerators. We got to move these colour T.V.’s” says it all.
There have been those same moments with this canvas, after the name was added. Immediately after signing the work was there than an effort to declare the work finished, a work that until that moment, had not been considered done? Is good enough, enough? The problem is Cry may have been just fine for the artist but the canvas was saying loud, that the state it was currently in was not the finished. The art always wins. More days have now gone by with small tweaks and moves to try and find that feeling of finish. Hopefully, tonight this work will speak, and let itself go. In the end they all say when good is good enough.
Scott Von Holzen