My Father's Body
Genovese/Sullivan Gallery, Boston, MA
This work came together around the experiences of 9/11 and my father's death, which occurred soon after. It is work that indicated a shift. My previous painting was rigorously rooted in conceptualist procedures. What was new was the idea that within these procedures there could be made room for meditation upon specifics, in this case, my father's illness and death. This was triggered, in hindsight, by the group of drawings from 9/11. On that day I went to the studio after having seen the towers fall. I got to the studio and turned on the radio and set to work on a series of drawings with very clear rules. Afterwards, weeks afterwards, I realized that I had created a subtle and restrained reflection of that day and an argument for thoughtful labor in a time of crisis. I decided to form my upcoming show at Genovese/Sullivan around the same type of meditation on my father and his illness. The project eventually grew to encompass the experience of his dying body and the aftermath of grieving.
Read the review in The Boston Globe
Nine Drawings from 9/11
Charcoal, graphite and wax on paper, 14x17" each, 2001
In the Collection of the MFA, Boston
September 21st, 2001. My friend R. is coming for the night to visit. We've agreed that we both need to get out in the woods tonight. We are both carrying our own collection of grief, and we need to get it out. The woods work well to absorb such a spill.
We drive ten minutes to a place I've recently discovered. A short steep climb up a gated dirt road brings us to a hilltop field. The evening is overcast and blowy. The trees are still full of late summer leaves and the blowing wind makes constant noise. The air is moist and soft.
It's ten days since the World Trade Center towers were destroyed. On the same day as the attack I also received news that my father's cancer had metastasized. I don't understand, nor have the details yet, but my senses tell me that my father is dying, rapidly.