Author's note: Roger Tibbetts and I were colleagues at Brandeis in the 1990s. He is now on the faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. The essay that follows was written for an exhibition of his work at the Edward Mitchell Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College in Providence taking place from January 22 to February 20, 2015
The modern painting we designate as modernist is distinguished by its insistently critical consciousness of the process and problematics of comprehending the self and the world the self occupies in its ongoing present – insistent even to the extent that such consciousness can be regarded as its overriding subject as well as its route to knowledge. Which is to say modernist paintings are metaphorical worlds unto themselves, present to us with all the baggage of everyday experience – with the puzzlements and frustrations and satisfactions that naturally and equally attend our urge to meaning and our quest for understanding – worlds spreading before us and mirroring not our appearance or how the world looks to us but how we go about being in it.
|Untitled, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 23 x 23 inches.|
|Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas over panels, 95 ¼ x 67 inches.|
|Untitled, 2013, pencil, ink and acrylic on paper, 75 x 47 inches.|
|Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 67 x 47 ½ inches.|
|Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 22 ¾ x 22 ½ inches.|
|Untitled, 2014, pencil and ink on canvas, 35 ¼ x 25 inches.|
Carl Belz is Director Emeritus of the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. He lives with his wife Barbara in Franconia, NH and writes about the art of our time.