Summary of Jay DeFeo: A Symposium

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

In "Jay DeFeo: A Symposium," the video discusses Jay DeFeo's early works, which are characterized by duality and contradictions. Green discusses how these tensions and contradictions are expressed in DeFeo's paintings, which are both monumental and introspective. She also argues that DeFeo's work is a political commitment, and that by 1975, against a backdrop of second wave feminism, his work might have been rethinking the transcendental vision embodied in Berman's original photograph.

  • 00:00:00 Lucy Bradnock's paper at today's Jay DeFeo Symposium focuses on the artist's use of muscularity in her paintings.
  • 00:05:00 Jay DeFeo's work is discussed in relation to the ideas of Lucy Green, who declares that the artist's approach is simultaneously philosophical, psychological, mystical, phenomenological, political, and speculative. Green frames the insularity of the creative potential that it offered in terms of the American frontier narrative. However, DeFeo's work is also discussed in relation to other artists of the time, such as Robert Emery Johnson and Michael McClure. The latter is important because he was not included in Green's roster by virtue of his proximity to DeFeo and the influence he had on her. This underscores the importance of DeFeo's work in terms of its networked nature.
  • 00:10:00 Jay DeFeo's poetry is focused on the physical power of poetry, as well as its ability to evoke a visceral response in listeners. His text outlines the physical power of poetry as a muscular principle and a revolution for the body, spirit, and intellect. This tension between introspection and engagement is at the heart of his practice. Furthermore, the model of the muscular principle offers a way of reconciling the ambivalence between interior and exterior life. This emphasis on the material stuff of the body allows for an understanding of painting in relation to the notion of muscle memory, where the act and actions of painting are committed or ingrained into the matter of matter of the body. In the context of the rose, this notion seems particularly apt, given the sustained intensity with which DeFeo labored on the painting and what registered certainly in Connor's film of the occasion, namely, her feeling of bereftness upon its removal from her Fillmore Street studio.
  • 00:15:00 Jay DeFeo's "The Rose" is discussed in this video, which looks at DeFeo's body of work and how it relates to the concept of the "muscular principle." The video also looks at DeFeo's oeuvre and how it has been revisited and reworked over time.
  • 00:20:00 In "Jay DeFeo: A Symposium," the video discusses Jay DeFeo's early works, which are characterized by duality and contradictions. Green discusses how these tensions and contradictions are expressed in DeFeo's paintings, which are both monumental and introspective. She also argues that DeFeo's work is a political commitment, and that by 1975, against a backdrop of second wave feminism, his work might have been rethinking the transcendental vision embodied in Berman's original photograph.
  • 00:25:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work as an abstract expressionist during the 1970s, describing how contact sheets of her negatives were an important way of documenting her process and her work.
  • 00:30:00 Jay DeFeo is a painter who worked in the 1970s, during a time when many women artists were exploring abstraction. Her works focus on the body and its boundaries, and the artist has spoken about her debt to surrealism.
  • 00:35:00 Jay DeFeo's work examines the concept of the body and how it is broken and defiled. She discusses her experiences with pain and illness, which provide the personal experience necessary to make statements about larger topics such as sickness and health. Nelson's perspective on DeFeo's work coheres with David Getz's book Abstract Bodies, which uses transgender studies to explore how sculpture in the 1960s continued to evoke the bodily but did so in abstracted ways which refused a constricted binary notion of gender.
  • 00:40:00 Jay DeFeo's work explores the concept of interconnectedness, vulnerability, and strength. These themes are found in her earlier pieces as well as her later works, which are inspired by the death of a loved one. This symposium discusses DeFeo's works and how they relate to other artists who explore the politics of care.
  • 00:45:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work and how it evolved over time, emphasizing the coexistence of opposing artistic tendencies. She discusses the use of palettes and paint cans in her paintings, as well as the various stages of her career.
  • 00:50:00 Jay DeFeo's development as an artist can be traced through her experimentation with a variety of media and painting supports, as well as her dedication to using materials that were easily accessible to her. She also showed a willingness to experiment with new techniques, such as dripping and pouring, in the 1950s.
  • 00:55:00 Jay DeFeo's paintings use a variety of different paints, including oil paint, throughout her career. Scientific analysis has failed to support the claim that she exclusively used lead-based oil paint, which she blamed for her later health troubles.

01:00:00 - 02:00:00

In this video, artists and art historians discuss the work of Jay DeFeo, with a focus on her use of Xeroxing to create images. DeFeo discusses her process and how it relates to her concerns about care and the politics of art. The video also features a presentation by Suzanne Hudson, who will discuss the work Encore.

  • 01:00:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work Song of Innocence, which is a mixture of traditional and unorthodox painting techniques. DeFeo discusses the difficulties of distinguishing between traditional and unorthodox painting techniques and the importance of consulting books on synthetic media in order to achieve a greater saturation of color.
  • 01:05:00 Jay DeFeo, author of "Russell Woody: A Symposium", discusses the work of Elaine de Kooning and the various mixed media techniques she used. De Kooning used Liquitex acrylic paint, which may have been mixed with polyvinyl acetate and other materials, to create her abstract paintings. De Ferro may have been influenced by the work of other female abstract expressionists, including Helen Frankenthaler and Leonie. De Kooning's paintings took a long time to complete and evolved slowly over time. De Ferro's photographic documentation of the process shows that the work evolved slowly.
  • 01:10:00 In this video, Jay DeFeo discusses her work as an artist and discusses the connection between her body and her work. She discusses the process of creating her paintings and how her attitude towards technique has evolved over the years. She also discusses her concerns about the conservative reaction to her work.
  • 01:15:00 Jay DeFeo, a contemporary artist, discusses her work and process. She talks about how the physical and emotional messiness of her art is important to her and how it relates to her concerns about care and the politics of art.
  • 01:20:00 Jay DeFeo's work speaks to the intersection of the individual and the collective, often referencing domestic labor in the body. In a recent auction, DeFeo's joking references to performance in her work struck a chord with the panel. DeFeo's use of performance and environment in her work makes her a powerful role model for artists.
  • 01:25:00 Jay DeFeo's career is explored in detail, with emphasis on her teaching and mentorship roles. Judit Delfina, a contemporary art historian, discusses Jay DeFeo's relationship to the historical avant-garde and American counter-cultures. She is currently working on a manuscript on j Defense Zero Graffiti, a practice that is hard to pronounce.
  • 01:30:00 Jay DeFeo's talk focuses on jellyfield Xerox images, specifically how she uses the copying process to make unique works of art. DeFeo shares an anecdote of how Marilyn Mary, an administrative assistant at Mills College, helped Jay use the copying machine more efficiently. DeFeo also discusses how Xeroxing a photocopy of an advertisement can create a new work of art. Her data suggests that there is no difference in status between Xeroxing a document and Xeroxing a preliminary study for the realization of a work of art. Jay DeFeo's talk provides a fascinating look into the creative process, and the importance of using both the hand and the machine in art.
  • 01:35:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work, which centers around the idea of the continuous evolution of shapes, and how it is based on romantic thought. She also discusses the use of drawing, which is seen as a more evolved form of line, and how it transcends the question of the medium.
  • 01:40:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work with zerography, which involves making multiple copies of drawings. DeFeo finds the simplicity of the monochrome shapes obtained in an almost instantaneous way to be appealing. She also discusses how geography allowed her to refine her perception, and how xerography was a drawing methods in its own right. The images featured in DeFeo's geographies reflect an age of representation that predates mimetics.
  • 01:45:00 This YouTube video provides a transcript of a symposium on the work of Jay DeFeo, which discusses the artist's use of Xeroxing to create images with a pronounced occasion. DeFeo discusses the circular conception of temporality that governs all our work, and how the present does not mark any progression in relation to the past but actualizes it. The video also features a presentation by Suzanne Hudson, who will discuss the work Encore.
  • 01:50:00 Jay DeFeo's life as an artist is discussed in detail in this symposium. Adams discusses DeFeo's work on the rose, which began in the early 1950s and took eight years to complete. Adams describes the importance of the work and DeFeo's dilemma of continuing to produce art after achieving widespread acclaim. Adams also discusses DeFeo's later works, which are influenced by Greenbergian modernism.
  • 01:55:00 In 1958, Bridget Dougherty discussed how after image and the eyes connect, enabling her to see the work ahead of her and also look back at her earlier works. Walter Hopps was instrumental in showing the rose in Los Angeles, and he considered it a monumental self-portrait. David Pagel argues that DeFeo put significant distance between her new work and the rose by severing the relationship between the identity of the work of art and the identity of the artist. This echoes an abstract expressionist trope with broader implication, namely that self-portrait is not limited to biography. In 1974, during conservation efforts on the rose, DeFeo wrote about the necessity of returning to older works, some of which she had created 25 years earlier. Finally, her total view is possible owing to a lack of sales and her ongoing engagement with her work throughout her career.

02:00:00 - 03:00:00

Jay DeFeo discusses her artwork and how it has evolved over the years. She explains how she uses photography as a source of inspiration, and how her work is influenced by her emotions and memories. DeFeo also discusses how her work is connected to other artists working with Xerox or photography machines.

  • 02:00:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work and how it has evolved over the years. She discusses how she has created a cohesive formal lexicon comprised of central geometric shapes that she can reuse across statements and media. She also discusses how her work is influenced by her emotions and memories of earlier years.
  • 02:05:00 Jay DeFeo discusses how she feels her earlier work is not lesser, but simply a part of the whole spectrum of her work. She also discusses how returning to simpler statements in the 1970s helped her to objectify her work more fully. Hilton Cramer and Paul Prakwood criticize her later work for being a self-criticism that is also a bizarre form of artistic self-cannibalization. DeFeo responds that she never really got away from her earlier work, and that she became increasingly unapologetic on this count. Her response to the problem of the encore was to engage earlier work in an editorial mode.
  • 02:10:00 Jay DeFeo discusses the significant role that photography played in the creation and afterlife of a single painting, the Rose. She discusses how photography was used to capture different stages of the painting's development and how it played an important role in its overall meaning.
  • 02:15:00 Jay DeFeo's photographs of the rose illustrate the distance between the act of creation and the moment of reception. The gap between the artist and the work is literalized in the photographs, which include portraits of DeFeo herself.
  • 02:20:00 Jay DeFeo's paintings are based on photographs she took of plants and nature. DeFeo's engagement with photography was nearly all-consuming, with her diaries from 1973-1975 documenting her daily activity of shooting, processing film, and printing. In 1988, DeFeo described her use of photography in terms of its own terms, saying "I quit painting for three years and did nothing but photography, but this is not actually true. It speaks to the level of her engagement with photography, which was ignored by contemporary art historians. The most straightforward way DeFeo used photography was as source material for her paintings. Since the mid-19th century, painters have used photographs in lieu of hand-drawn sketches. All evidence to the contrary shows that DeFeo had little natural talent for drawing, and her drawings were supplemented by significant bodies of photo studies. In 1974, she began work on a new painting, cabbage rose, based on a photograph she took of a cabbage in her aunt's garden. The painting is notable for its formal structure, which DeFeo explored frequently. Additionally, the number of photographs DeFeo made that were not studies for paintings is vastly outnumbered by the number of photographs that became source material for her paintings. This
  • 02:25:00 Jay DeFeo's diaries were written for an audience of one herself, as the information included in them was directed inwardly and was intended to be understood in a shorthand format. The intended audience is not readily apparent from the text, which may be confusing to someone looking for an instruction manual. However, the photographs included in the diaries help to trace DeFeo's progress and present her work to history.
  • 02:30:00 Jay DeFeo discusses the process of painting her series "29," which features close-ups of her work that document her struggles and reworkings of the paint. DeFeo introduces a new system for tracking the progress of her work, using typescript numbers and dates embedded into the photographs themselves. The final photograph in the sequence features the painting resting across the canvas, in its final, completed form.
  • 02:35:00 In this video, art historian Jay DeFeo discusses the role of photography in the creation of art. He explains that while documentary photographs can be used as a source of documentation, they can also be used as a tool to explore relationships between presentness and pastness. DeFeo goes on to say that the narrative of photographs can be a powerful tool in countering the linearity of diaries.
  • 02:40:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her work and how she incorporates travel into her paintings. She also touches on the failed self-referentiality of the San Francisco art scene.
  • 02:45:00 Jay DeFeo discusses the influence of cultural institutions, such as schools, museums, and curators, on Judith Baca's art. He also mentions that Baca traveled in later years, becoming a mentor and friend to some of her former students.
  • 02:50:00 Jay DeFeo discusses her artwork and how it is influenced by political positions and her interactions with other artists. She discusses how she used technology to assert the subjectivity of the artist, and how this was a political stance.
  • 02:55:00 The Jay DeFeo Symposium discussed DeFeo's work and how it connects with other artists working with Xerox or photography machines. Presenters discussed how DeFeo was aware of and connected to other artists working with Xerox, but did not mention Sonia Sheridan. There were many questions from the audience, but unfortunately, time ran out. Leah is invited to help the symposium come to an end.

03:00:00 - 03:00:00

Jay DeFeo discusses her artwork "The Rose" at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The panelists thank each other and everyone has a wonderful weekend.

  • 03:00:00 Jay DeFeo, the artist behind the rose, discusses the piece at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The rose will be on view at least through this year. The panelists thank each other and everyone has a wonderful weekend.

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