Anthony Cuneo "Unwanted Literature"

Amos Eno Gallery

poster for Anthony Cuneo "Unwanted Literature"

This event has ended.

I have thought of this group of paintings as “Unwanted Literature” for some time now. The phrase comes from a poem, “London Airport,” by Christopher Logue. One of my favorite students gave me a slip of paper with the poem on it for “Poem in My Pocket” day several years ago and it resonated with me immediately. The poem has a playful tone and implies wryly that an artist (poet or painter) has to let a finished piece go out into the world to find its own way (or not find, for that matter).

The paintings in this show are small and exploratory in spirit. I decided early on to set a few rules for myself in making them. The first was that I was going to go in whatever direction the paintings took me. I like to discover what my paintings are about in the process of making them and their companions. The second was that I was going to ignore the strictures of consistency. Any unity in this body of paintings comes from the shared format, the underlying grid that I find I enjoy working against, and from the simple fact that they all came from one hand. The third was that my yardstick for judging them was going to be visual. Duke Ellington recognized, in regard to music, that “if it sounds good, it is good.” I think that, if a painting looks good, it is good. Granted, there will be a lot of disagreement about what looks good, but my fourth guideline was that I was going to do what I liked and wanted to do, and let the rest of the world take care of its own opinions.

I discovered a lot of pleasure in making these paintings (that is not to say that they are all about sunshine and rainbows). I like slopping paint around. It’s the most basic reason I wanted to be an artist as a kid and it’s still a fine reason to make art. We have come to distrust the visual and the finger-painter in all of us. Somehow they don’t seem thorny and intellectual enough or, alternately, ironic, meta and self-conscious enough. They are deeply, deeply satisfying though. Art is one of the most natural things in the world, fundamentally useless, but hugely pleasurable and very important. I hope some of you find enjoyment in these paintings.

- Anthony Cuneo, 2010



from May 05, 2010 to May 29, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-05-06 from 17:30 to 20:30


Anthony Cuneo

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