With absolute conviction I believe and practice Ad Reinhardt's thesis put forth in "Extreme Routine". "One paints when there is nothing else to do" he writes. For Painting to be Painting — elemental visual vocabulary and meter unique to the language — everything else has to be "taken care of." It is a responsibility and privilege to work within its conditions.Painting is not Painting when it props up the self or attempts to tell stories. That activity is called picturemaking. Painting is larger than pictures but not larger than its limitations which are sever and singular and sweet.
One paints when there is nothing else to do. After everything else is done, has been “taken care of,” one can take up the brush
After all the human, social physical needs, pressures have been accounted for, only then can one be free to work.
There is nothing worse than a fine artist who has something to do, a “job” or Commission,” thinks he has a “job” to do. Sculpture is always a “questionable” fine art, this is why
After the mail has been read and answered, bills paid, the place, studio cleaned and swept, children packed off to school or camp, wives released for shopping, after one has eaten, gone to the john, has taken the morning, noon or afternoon nap, free from any anxiety, all pains, pleasures, all distractions, obstacles, hindrances
Expressionism and surrealism is always fake, art as something else is always fake
Pension, income, when finally one has absolutely no reason not to work, it is exact
ideal time to begin
One lives after one is through painting what one is painting
One lives after there is no more painting to be done
One has been painting out
After the paintings have been painted out.
Michelle Grabner is a Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She runs The Suburban, an artist project space in Oak Park, IL. She is a corresponding editor for X-tra. Her work is represented by Rocket, London; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Green Gallery, Milwaukee; and Gallery 16, San Francisco.