Art! Ahhh!

Hi! How’s it going over there?

Holy cats! Today I did a lot of good stuff. I went to school (business, dude), then to Chelsea and saw 3 heavy hitters in one morning! And I there found a free box full of art books outside a gallery, (mostly auction catalogs, but there were some crazy good art books in there!). Then I went to class and had my day! It was very amazing.

The art! Sadly these shows are closing soon, so if you can go this weekend you will see them. Otherwise, there are always pictures.

First I saw Matthew Barney‘s DJED at the Gladstone Gallery, oh! It was so good! I can’t explain it very well, you have to look at the pictures. At the gallery there were sculptures (metal!) that were the evidence of an opera based on a Norman Mailer novel about ancient Egyptian Gods, in which the main character (Osiris) is a Chrysler. The sculptures are gorgeous, and the opera catalog was gorgeous, and I tried to look for video of it online but FAILED! Damn it, I was so excited to see that. If you find something will you let me know please? Hopefully he will release it somewhere soon, unless he already did and I missed it (which is likely, as I live under a big assy heavy stinky rock).

Then I saw Do Ho Suh‘s Home Within Home at Lehmann Maupin. I almost fainted by the translucent blue stitched “Specimen Series”, oh god! You have to look at the pictures in zoom if you can. There is a video of the biggest piece on the website too. Very worth watching. That one is a sliced house, with another house crashed into it (which has a house shaped parachute) intact with sliced orange juice in the fridge, sliced posters, sliced furniture, everything. It was beautiful and made me dizzy.

Then I went over to see Agnes Martin‘s “The 80’s Grey Paintings” at Pace. So good! She is amazing. There were a few that I could have stared at for years! But they’re all untitled, so, I can’t really tell you which ones. It was amazing to see them in person… I have thought of her work for a very long time. She is one of my heroes.

In one day I saw these shows, and I walked between them. Only in New York.

Then I went to get snacks, and then I took the train back to school – where I worked on a drawing that is also sewn and painted (and has sequins!). And that was fun and very time consuming. It’s more abstract, which feels gooooood!

I wanted to go to the opening of the sweetheart of one of my favorite Professors…. but I chose to stay home and do homework instead, because I have to go back to portland for a family emergency, tomorrow, but only for a couple of days. But I’m not getting much done here, not enough! I should have just eaten cereal and gone back to Chelsea. Bah. It always takes me so long to cook dinner and wash the dishes, pots and pans and clean up and try to talk to my grumpy spouse, that I haven’t gotten much done yet. And it’s 10 already. I hope the break I’m taking to write this in helps me focus more. I have lots of reading… art theory of course (no the class isn’t called that, why would it be called that. It’s called “Seminar” which reminds me of an infomercial, but instead it is totally awesome).

Ok! Now I really have to try to read some more. Oh, my brain is itchy. Sigh.

Love, Katie

Ok, back to it!

PS This post was inspired by my friend Jo, who posed a nice response to something else I posted recently. Thank you Jo! You made me want to post something again!

PSS This is not the drawing I worked on today, but has similarities. And a li’l sculpture.

stuff to read!

so today i sat on my blue couch and did homework.

lots of different kinds of homework, back and forth sporadically. reading articles written by artists, and writing application materials for a residency and a couple of grants, and the editing of an interview with one of my fellow grad students. also i waited for packages from ups, (which arrived at the end of the day).

here is the quote of the day, for you dear:

“I write a manifesto and I want nothing, yet I say certain things, and in principle I am against manifestoes, as I am also against principles,”
-Tristan Tzara 1918 (Dada Manifesto)

also i did some solid procrastination today, for example reading this interesting article about the modern life of humans (well, women specifically, but men too). it’s worth a read. this kind of thing really interests me, as a feminist and a woman alive today. it talks about some interesting ideologies that i have noticed myself having (although i am not in the main focus of the article). but if you are of my generation at all, you will probably find interesting things in here.

also i procrastinated more by trying to learn how to use illustrator and photoshop, with mixed results. eh, i tried, right.

that’s all for today. except talking to my cat a lot.

hope things are good where you are.

love, katie

country kitchen!

Hi! Hello! Howdy!

Thank you so much for reading my blog, you are wonderful.

Hey! I had my first critique in 6 years today. It was interesting because I wasn’t allowed to say anything. And none of my work was actually done, I’ve just been messing around (a lot) to find the forms and material I want to work with. And there were some good things said, some incredibly awesome constructive things. Most of them were really helpful. But still. WOW! I feel like I got punched in the face, really hard. It’s going to lead to some good things, I know. And I know it is one of the most valuable parts of artistically educational institutions, this peer critique system. And I’m in New York for goddesses sake. I need this shit to be for real. FOR REAL! And when people call it “country kitchen” I need to either mean it to be like that, or to change it so they don’t think that next time. I am so glad to have a great studio-mate. Thank you Heather, you saved my ass. And thank you for being ok with listening to me cry and then listening to me get the hell over it. I am so glad to have been able to process that shit right after it happened. And now I am way damn stronger! YESSS!!!!! (High five!)

And all of that got me thinking. Why am I here? Why?

Yeah, that’s as far as I got. (Ok, I have a lot of reasons. But the main one I can think of – making things hard for myself so I’ll have to get better as an artist – seems like a jerky reason right now.)

So, let’s change the subject. Fall is for more than falling down. Getting back up is it’s main feature. Hell yes!

The artist Faith Ringold went to my school (as did Lee Krasner, and many others, but that’s different story). Today there was an award ceremony for Faith Ringold at my school. So I went to see the show of quilts that went with it, after school. Thank goodness for Faith Ringold. She not only is an inspiration to generations of women and men all over the world, she also speaks and teaches and writes and all of the other good things besides making art. She is so amazing! Here is more information about the thing I went to. I’m not sure if she was there. By the time I got over there I just wanted to go home and go to bed, so I left pretty much right away. No crying in public! But the quilts inspired by her were interesting and various. I will go back to see them.

So, more change of subject… It’s October! Already! Time is passing very quickly.

I feel so much better than I did just an hour ago. I made a root vegetable roast, chicken in a clay pot, and an apple pie, all of which is in the oven. It’s cold here already. And my building’s heat is not on yet. So we are swaddled in flannel and my goal is to have the gassy-ass oven all hot as long as I can tonight. Cooking always helps me think and calm down, and I haven’t been baking or cooking much since moving here. New York and my patient wonderful husband are both really eating out centric. And it’s been hot in the evenings. But all of a sudden it’s colder at night – so here I go! I will bake the hell out of this godawful east coast winter! Even though being the one who cooks in my household makes me a housewife (something that would have made my young self punch my current self in the damn teeth), well – I am the only one who will cook. So, I’ve just gone ahead and done it. Whatever. Life is change, right?

Soooo, speaking of change – I know I didn’t post on the equinox, but am thinking about that change a lot. Here are a few poems about equinox, fall or change. They are about both equinoxes, but I think that helps – since we are moving into the sleep/death/cold and in terms of that feeling it’s nice to think about the blooming/movement/fever. Although both are also my favorite times of year, for their individual meanings. It’s interesting to explore that from over here in the east. Wherever you are it is probably also interesting. Unless you are not interested in life things.

Thanks for rocking!

Love Forever, Katie Simpson Spain

Nothing Gold Can Stay

-Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Fall, Leaves, Fall

-Emily Bronte

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.


-Joy Harjo

I must keep from breaking into the story by force
for if I do I will find myself with a war club in my hand
and the smoke of grief staggering toward the sun,
your nation dead beside you.

I keep walking away though it has been an eternity
and from each drop of blood
springs up sons and daughters, trees,
a mountain of sorrows, of songs.

I tell you this from the dusk of a small city in the north
not far from the birthplace of cars and industry.
Geese are returning to mate and crocuses have
broken through the frozen earth.

Soon they will come for me and I will make my stand
before the jury of destiny. Yes, I will answer in the clatter
of the new world, I have broken my addiction to war
and desire. Yes, I will reply, I have buried the dead

and made songs of the blood, the marrow.

PS Oh gods! So good! I just saw Blackstar on the Colbert Report. Holy dang! Yay! It was really good! Watch this! It is awesome! The online version has one more song!