Thursday, February 24, 2005


Portrait of Dorothy K in Alice Neel Show in Phila.

In the winter of 1943-'44, as I was beginning my career as a painter, had also just begun my study of Aesthetic Realism with poet Eli Siegel, had recently married Chaim Koppelman who was then a soldier in England during WWII, I shared a studio on Fifth Avenue with another painter, Stamos. Alice Neel came to visit, stayed a day or so, and she painted me, as I was also painting her.

When Sarah Powers called me about the show she was organizing at the Locks Gallery, I remembered so well that time-- sharing tubes of paint, giving Alice a canvas and then she went to work, standing at the easel while I sat across the room at my easel. We talked about what I had been learning about poetry, art and myself from Mr. Siegel, most importantly that a painter's job was to see all things as well as possible, to LIKE THE WAY WE SEE THE WORLD even when we weren't painting! Alice talked about herself, and I think my saying things about my own thoughts and myself encouraged her. I admired Alice Neel's forthrightness and brave way of talking, and she encouraged me to continue my study and my hope to be a painter.

All this is about the circumstances of the painting which is to be included in the Alice Neel show at the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia during March of 2005. I treasure these memories, and I am glad the painting is cared for, and will be seen.--DK

Wednesday, February 16, 2005



My friends and I walked through the Gates on Saturday and we were moved. I have heard that Christo and Jeanne Claude say the Gates have no meaning, they are just "a work of art," and for "liberty." But it is just what a work of art is that gives them meaning. People's hearts were lifted and we walked with a sense of wonder. In my Critical Inquiry class on Sunday morning my students and I discussed what gives us such a feeling--it was the way opposites shimmered and stayed put in those lovely marching along structures.

Importantly, the way the artists carefully considered the month of February when the structures and the bareness of leaves would complement and contrast with one another we admired.

The Terrain Gallery where I teach is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Eli Siegel's Fifteen Questions "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?" which we have described on this page before. On Sunday as we talked of what we saw and felt,it was so clear that oneness and manyness, grace and seriousness--to begin with--were affecting us--such a surprising relation of cool steel and glowing, of firmness and a shimmering motion, a fusion of exactitude and joy. The way opposites are firmly and playfully one in this Central Park extravaganza is the way, just as Aesthetic Realism describes, we want them to be one in us. Would that logic and abandon could work in us the way they do in that graceful joining of Orange and Steel. This is the meaning of the Gates.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?