Listening to Paint Dry: Episode 2

Listening to Paint Dry is a podcast for environments that are looking for something to listen to that won’t get in the way of your thinking. The music you will hear on LTPD is as ignorable as it is interesting, and as interesting as it is ignorable.

Listening to Paint Dry is a music podcast by Matthew Langley.

David Salle: How To See

“In my view, intentionality is not just overrated; it puts the cart so far out in front that the horse, sensing futility, gives up and lies down in the street. Nobody ever loved a painting for its ideas.”

David Salle has a new book out about painting.

Frankly I’m not going to go out and buy it. Right now, it’s not a good fit for me, that does not mean that I’m not interested in some of the things he has to say. The above quote is front and center.

Recently I’ve had a couple of friends go to graduate school – decent schools as well and both have had the same story. Both programs so valued the artist statement (written in the first month of the program) that it was used as an actual roadmap of what the artist would be able to do (or not able to do as the case may be). I for one was a little bit surprised by this because I’ve always thought that time in the studio was meant for exploring and idea generation as well as making finished work.

Needless to say all formal critiques in both programs started with the artist statement and it was used as a literal guide to what was discussed and what was not. Or should I say what was allowed to be discussed.

Although both were lucky they were able to paint at all in their programs, as both were told that painting was still dead and evidently has been since the early 1970’s.

David Salles new book is called How To See and is available from places that sell books.

Listening to Paint Dry: Episode 1

Listening to Paint Dry is a podcast for environments that are looking for something to listen to that won’t get in the way of your thinking. The music you will hear on LTPD is as ignorable as it is interesting, and as interesting as it is ignorable.

Listening to Paint Dry is a music podcast by Matthew Langley.

Holiday Wrappings

Usually this post is in reaction to receiving the Taschen holiday catalog. No catalog this year, but there are so many great books (and other things) available out this year I’ve decided to just go forward. So here’s a list of what I think are pretty interesting reads. My only real rule: No digital gifts.

Christopher Wool
This is the Christopher Wool book that I’m crazy about from Taschen – I’m not crazy enough to spend over a thousand dollars on it – so this is the version for the rest of the world. 45 dollars.

Tom Sachs – Various zines
I’m of the mindset that zines are best when they are inexpensive – I’m sure galleries see it the other way and that’s fine, because Tom Sachs delivers it both ways. You can buy the super limited versions or, like me, but the mass produced version for 15 dollars or even less.

My Favorites are:
Haute Bricolage (Third Class Version) Five dollars

Nutsy’s Road Test Version 0.63 [Dollar Cut 2009 Reissue] Five dollars

Six-inch Wraparound Canvas Pliers from John Annesly
These canvas pliers are the best I’ve seen and used for larger canvas. They are big and strong – but be careful the first time I used them I actually tore the canvas.

Moleskine Cahiers
Some people like them in black, but I prefer them in the kraft paper cover – a light slim and nicely made sketchbook with no wire binding that will last almost forever. Besides Bruce Chatwin, Matisse and Andre Breton cant all be wrong

About 15 bucks for three of the larger ones

Brian Eno Lux
LUX is Brian Eno’s first solo album on Warp Records and his first solo release since 2005’s Another Day On Earth. It finds him expanding upon the types of themes and sonic textures that were present on such classic albums as Music For Films, Music For Airports and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

Interesting Info-Graphic and Data on Art Fairs

According to this article (and info-graphic) at ArtNews:

Recently The New York Times cited Skate’s Art Market Research in an article on the slowdown in the growth of art fairs worldwide. In an analysis of attendance figures, Skate’s found “that 1,032,792 people attended the world’s top 20 art fairs in 2014, a 7.4 percent decline from the previous year,” The Times reported. Despite the dip, art fair attendance is impressive, given that only a handful of these events have existed for more than a decade.

What I find interesting is that many people will go to more than one fair – especially the ABMB / Art Miami numbers are curious. I’m assuming there is a ton of overlap between those two. However, with fair attendance decreasing but sales increasing (or at least sales numbers increasing) I think we are a long way off from seeing the art market change it’s current stance on the necessity of fairs overall.

Silvia Bächli: further.evolves. At Peter Freeman

I’ve been thinking about this show off and on for about the last two weeks. In my head it’s been one of those shows that is hard to pin down. At times it’s sublime and at others it’s almost too obvious. Either way I’ve been thinking about it since I spent some time with the work.

The work sits on paper, sometimes there and sometimes not. Marks (or should I say watercolor brush strokes) are both quiet and strong, as well as almost non-existent. It is this elusive quality of the work that has kept me thinking and reflecting on the exhibition.

While Ms. Bächli ‘s work switches between abstraction and a type of realism it is this transparent and transcendent touch that rewards the viewer.


Peter Freeman
140 Grand Street
New York, NY

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 10–Saturday, October 24, 2015


Matthew Langley: The New Paintings. Opens October 22 at Blank Space, NYC


My latest show, The New Paintings, opens October 22 at Blank Space and runs through December 16. It features new paintings and a wall of the artworks that have been made for the A Painting A Day project.

Blank Space
33 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, October 22 – December 16, 2015
Opening Reception: October 22, 6 – 8 pm

Above: Jacks Story, 2015, 45 x 40, Oil on Canvas

Double Standard: Ed Ruscha & Mason Williams 1956 – 1971 (Part 1) at Alden Projects

This exhibition explores the early dialogues, collaborations, and the creative relationship between Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams. Williams a life-long friend of Ruscha’s since fourth grade in Oklahoma City, moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with Ruscha in the mid 50’s.

This exhibition focuses on a small, but extraordinary body of art by Mason Williams as well as selected early highlights of Ruscha’s earlier work. Of particular interest is Williams 36 foot long Bus (1967)—a life-size, silkscreened image of a Greyhound bus (see above) and folded like a map—conceived around the same time as Ruscha’s silver-covered Every Building on the Sunset Strip (which also unfolds to over 27 feet).

William’s and Rucha’s interests intersect on co-mingle in ways during this show I had half a feeling that really the whole show was by Ruscha, clearly that was more of a daydream of my own, but the thought remains and I have a hard time getting away from it. While this is stuck in my head, don’t let that distract you from both a physically interesting and highly cerebral show.

Alden Projects
34 Orchard Street
New York, NY

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 10–Saturday, October 18, 2015

The Downtown Decade: NYC 1975-1985


Curator Lauren Miller has put together an interesting show of art, photographs and club ephemera from 1975 through 1985 – what is now looked back as “The Downtown Decade”. I’m sure you know that downtown of the seventies/eighties was far from the upscale shopping paradise it has now become. New York was broke and downtown had no police presence to really speak of. This translated into low rents and left the residents free to create and to amuse themselves as they wished.

This “poverty” (both real and municipal) led to an artist creative class that stretched across multiple practices and brought oblique influences into new ideas that would end up creating new art forms. A few years later – the “Reagan Eighties” would start and the money would pour into downtown. Helping put an end to a decade of unprecedented creativity in lower Manhattan.

Rare at Glen Horowitz Bookseller
17 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 10–Saturday, October 10, 2015

“Notes to myself on beginning a painting” by Richard Diebenkorn

1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.

2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued – except as a stimulus for further moves.

3. DO search.

4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.

5. Don’t “discover” a subject – of any kind.

6. Somehow don’t be bored but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.

7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.

8. Keep thinking about Pollyanna.

9. Tolerate chaos.

10. Be careful only in a perverse way.