Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail…
INTERNATIONAL DRAWING ANNUAL 11 EXHIBITION-IN-PRINT
Spring 2017
Stacks Image 57
Stacks Image 60
PILLOW • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper
RED TIE • 2015 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper
Manifest received 1907 submissions from 593 artists from all across the U.S. and the world. The publication will include 120 works by 81 artists.

Eleven professional and academic advisors qualified in the fields of art, design, and art history juried this 11th International Drawing Annual. The process of selection was by anonymous blind jury, with each jury member assigning a quality rating for artistic merit to each work submitted. The entries receiving the highest average combined score will be included in this publication. The publication is published and can be bought at
Manifest Gallery.
The Anxiety of Style
I just found some photographs of paintings I created in college. It reminded me of how artists come to develop a style. Students use negation and hybridization as a method to come to grips with the anxiety of creating something new and personal. Negation is the easiest way to create a semblance of uniqueness. Take the current practice and do everything opposite. I am reminded of Mannerist artists during the 16th century, who in the face of the great masters of the Renaissance, produced work that turned the rational approach of their mentors upside down (perspective, local color, rational composition, etc.). For me, it was playing with color field painting and gesture painting.

edge
Field Painting, oil & shoes on canvas, 6' x 6', 1974

Another way that the anxiety of style is handled in student work is through synthesis and hybridization. In the painting on the right, I combined the rough edged matte-knife strokes of Clifford Still with the lyrical abstract paintings of Philip Guston. The anxiety is apparent in the scratchy, nervous and agitated painting surface created by using my fingers to apply the paint and made all the more so by deliberately and self-consciously dumbing down the subject matter into child-like diagrammatic imagery.

edge
First Meeting, oil on canvas, 6' x 9', 1976

Whether the work was successful, it does contain my subsequent interest in humor and narrative (see my early work here). But style can't be forced even by the most competitive art student. And with what style mature artists end up can't be justified or avoided. To paraphrase the rhetorical and wonderfully post-modernist riddle posed by that old Blackglama ad campaign: What becomes a style most? Insert your work here.