What to Do About the Artists in Your Studio

Franklin Evans, “joysdivision” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 30 3/4 x 32 5/8 inches

“I believe it was John Cage who once told me, ‘When you start working, everybody is in your studio — the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas — all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.’”

I was reminded of Philip Guston’s statement about influence when I was looking at the painting “iowapaintnotes” (acrylic on canvas, 45 1/2 by 41 3/4 inches, 2021), which is one of eight paintings and three works on paper included in the exhibition Franklin Evans: fugitivemisreadings at Miles McEnery Gallery (June 24–July 31, 2021). 

Evans has divided “iowapaintnotes” into a crazy quilt of different-sized rectangles that both overlap and abut each other.

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