Friday, July 29, 2011

A Crumpled Bill On The Sidewalk

Parc Rosenberg 1957

It was at the height of his worldly success and influence as an artist that Bill reached the height of his self dissatisfaction and destructiveness. He would go on benders that lasted for days, maybe weeks, getting lost, only to be found by friends sleeping on the sidewalk or wandering around dazed and not properly dressed for the cold weather. He would hang out with the most destitute of his fellow citizens, the penniless drunkards of the neighborhood with whom he sat on the curb sharing a bottle (and they knew him by name as he knew them.) It was at this time that he finally decided to leave New York. It was time to leave, not time to die. It was also at this time that he produced his great series of Highway Landscapes.

It is not merely coincidental that I've begun this post with paintings from the year I was born. My awareness, knowledge, and eventual understanding of Bill and his work was a major force in the development of my social character and constitute some of my earliest positive memories of contemporary art. More than any others, his paintings and drawings, as well as his way of living and creating, helped to form my ideas of what can be called an artist's work.

Ruth's Zowie 1957

Untitled 1957

Palisades 1957

Untitled 1958

Suburb In Havana 1958

Montauk Highway 1958

Untitled 1959

A Tree In Naples 1960

Villa Borghese 1960

Door To The River 1960

Spike's Folly 1960

Spike's Folly II 1960

Untitled 1961

Rosy-Fingered Dawn At Louse Point 1963

Pastorale 1963

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