Thursday, September 3, 2015
Dale Chisman Paintings
Some challenges are just right, and stand the test of time. For example, the 90 foot distance from home plate to first base ensures that unless there is a clean hit there are going to be lots of bang-bang plays at first as the defense tries to turn a double play or the runner tries to beat out a throw for an infield hit. Painting is like that. Often the painter gets a clean hit, but other times they teeter on the brink of failure. And even after a failure, they step up for another try. And so painting lives. Which is a long way of saying that plenty of great artists continue to take up the challenge of working in this medium. Dale Chisman practiced up to his death in 2008. I see some echoes of Twombly's influential scribble and scratch aesthetic. The ladder in the top image provides a nice archetypal touch. Chisman is from Denver. Could the ladder be a reference to Pueblo kiva ladders? Or maybe it's a version of Jacob's ladder, from which the artist tumbles as he seeks aesthetic perfection.