What is abstract art good for? What's the use - for us as individuals, or for any society - of pictures of nothing, of paintings and sculptures or prints or drawings that do not seem to show anything except themselves? - Varnedoe, 2006

Tom Corrado (tjc123@midtel.net)

cv

I am fascinated by the act of applying paint to a surface. How loading a brush or palette knife with paint can jumpstart and direct the process. I use acrylic paint exclusively, scrubbing, scraping, scratching, or removing the paint, spraying it with water to extend its life. I push paint not to represent anything or make meaning but simply to engage and explore the act, riding Robert Ryman’s “not what to paint but how to paint.” I like to think that Emily Dickinson’s comment that “subjects hinder talk” informs my painting. I'd rather not pick a subject; I'd rather play with indeterminacy, thereby better inviting the collaboration of the viewer into the experience of a painting. No subjects or representations, but colors and movements and textures, what Kirk Varnedoe, the late Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art called "pictures of nothing," guided by the Japanese practice of "zuihitsu," letting the "wandering brush" - or painting knife - take me wherever it wants to go.

I like the work of

James Bishop
Sharon Booma
Lawrence Carroll
Stephen De Staebler
Suzan Frecon
Alberto Giacometti
Marcia Hafif
Ed Hall
Christian Hetzel
Carola Kastman
On Kawara
Agnes Martin
Joan Mitchell
Shawna Moore
Giorgio Morandi
Marcia Myers
Milton Resnick
Mark Rothko
Robert Ryman
Xavier Toubes
Martine Trouïs
Cy Twombly
Hideaki Yamanobe

~

Friday, September 16, 2022

One wants one's work to be the world, but of course it's never the world. The work is in the world; it never contains the whole thing. - Jasper Johns

give or take
acrylic on canvas
12x9"
2022

Sunday, September 4, 2022

My cat is in the UAG & HVWG partnered show Poetic License at The Art Associates Gallery (21 Railroad Ave, Albany) September 2 - 30.

cat
acrylic & pencil on canvas
14x12"
2022


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

An ekphrastic poem is a poem written in response to a work of art. I kind of turned things around and painted cat in response to my poem Walking the Cat:

Walking the Cat

She prefers to spend her days lazed
in the stuffy arms of a chair by the window
where she can keep an emerald eye
peeled for caricatures in the street.
Her pleasures are unparalleled
though this morning she carried on
about the hot cereal being anything but.
Later, despite the coming snow
she insisted on our usual walk -
the side streets troubled by student drivers
at ten and two, the vacant lot flecked
with white. We stopped for a paper
which pleased her to no end, knowing
it would eventually wind up in her box.
She doesn't seem to mind old news.
On the way home she mentioned
the snow blower which I should have
had serviced in the fall, and her wish
to return to her pastime of compiling lists
of restaurants with take-out sushi
at reasonable prices for friends and acquaintances.
But you know how that goes.

last call
acrylic on canvas
14x12"
2022


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Two of my paintings are in the Upstate Artists Guild Member Show at the Art Associates Gallery (21 Railroad Ave, Albany) August 5 - 29.

agnition
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2022


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Five of my paintings are in the Rensselaerville Historical Society Art Show July 29 - August 7.

somnambulist
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2022


Friday, April 1, 2022

To see in order to paint. To paint in order to see. - Etel Adnan

misplaced modifier
acrylic on galvanized steel attached to panelboard with nuts, bolts, & washers
36x24"
2012

Friday, January 21, 2022

Enjoying Suzanne P. Hudson's Robert Ryman: Used Paint (MIT, 2009) which addresses Ryman's assertion that what engages him is not what to paint but how to paint.

in red
acrylic on canvas
40x30"
2022

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Jane Freilicher's paintings struck me at first as tentative, a quality I have since come to admire and consider one of her strengths, having concluded that most good things are tentative, or should be if they aren't. - John Ashbery

and then what happened?
acrylic on canvas
36x18"
2022
sold


Friday, December 24, 2021

How to draw a line that is not stupid? - Roland Barthes in his essay on Cy Twombly

a mind of winter VI
acrylic on canvas
40x30"
2021

Friday, November 5, 2021

My a mind of winter V & four other of my paintings are included in the Upstate Artists Guild Re:Member Show which opens this evening & runs through December 31 at the Art Associates Gallery, Railroad Ave, Albany.

a mind of winter V
acrylic & pencil on canvas
20x20"
2021


Friday, October 1, 2021

My [sculptured] heads are looking, waiting with intention, like anonymous poets. - Xavier Toubes

icu (after Xavier Toubes)
mixed
10x6x8"
2016


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Films about artists?

The Artist's Wife (2020)
At Eternity's Gate (2018)
Final Portrait (2018)
Never Look Away (2018)
Loving Vincent (2017)
Mr. Turner (2014)
Gerhard Richter Painting (2011)
Georgia O'Keefe (2009)
Seraphine (2008)
Art School Confidential (2006)
Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World (2003)
Frida (2002)
Pollock (2000)
Love is the Devil: Francis Bacon (1998)
Basquiat (1996)
New York Stories: Life Lessons (1989)
Camille Claudel (1988)
A Bigger Splash: David Hockney (1974)
Painters Painting (1972)
Lust for Life: Vincent Van Gogh (1956)

wolf
acrylic on magnetized canvas
7.5x5"
2013

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The meaning of the work is in the doing of it. - Cy Twombly

casa II
acrylic on canvas
48x24"
2021

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

To achieve understanding it is necessary not to see many things, but to look hard at what you do see. - Giorgio Morandi

three (after Morandi)
acrylic & pencil on gessobord
12x12"
2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

. . . I often have my paints far away from the painting. This forces me to step back and slow down and look. I need that physical distance from the painting when painting, this distance is very important to me. - Lawrence Carroll

the incidentalist
acrylic, pencil, pen on canvas
23x23"
2021


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Art is art when it reaches a point where I can't really explain its content . . . a plane beyond understanding, enigmatic. - Suzan Frecon

pocket
acrylic on canvas
6x6"
2015
sold

Friday, January 15, 2021

I have no idea where a painting will end up, but I will recognize it when that happens. I am not a template painter. This is just not in my nature. I am patiently restless. - Lawrence Carroll

even the inconsequential
acrylic on canvas
40x30"
2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

This b&w image of my painting This Is Not A Pipe is on the cover of the January 2021 Broadside for the Green Kill peer-to-peer artist space in Kingston, NY at greenkill.substack.com.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

My line is childlike but not childish. It is very difficult to fake . . . to get that quality you need to project yourself into the child’s line. It has to be felt. - Cy Twombly

zeroed out
acrylic on galvanized steel attached to panelboard with nuts, bolts, & washers
36x24"
2021
sold

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Marcia Myers (1949-2008) layered the pigments along with marble dust and clear acrylic varnish, combining many layers to achieve the luminous depths and vibrant colors that define her paintings. Instead of layering the powder pigments into fresh plaster as in the frescoes of Pompeii and the Renaissance, she produced her frescoes by layering the pigments and marble dust onto clear varnishes and glazes, thus displaying a thoroughly modern take on the ancient medium. Using the powder pigments allowed her to make the most of each pigment's properties. While the ochres created a more opaque surface, the reds were more transparent. Lapis lazuli pigment stayed suspended in the medium, thus shimmering in light.

old barn
acrylic & pencil on canvas
24x18"
2021


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

When I look at [a Cy Twombly painting], I feel I'm on the brink of a formulated thought. Something is about to reveal itself. I'm almost there. I just need a couple more words, a couple more letters. I don't necessarily understand it now but I feel I'm about to. Maybe just looking for a couple more minutes will allow me to see something more, find a word, find an image. Twombly's paintings have this ability to prompt curiosity. - The Canvas

you will know me
acrylic & pencil on canvas
20x20"
2020
sold


Sunday, October 18, 2020

I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature - birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further, and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime, and my final work will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life. - Cleve Gray

cow
acrylic & pen on canvas
24x36"
2020
sold


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Two of my paintings - rocketman & tomato are included in the Upstate Artists Guild Goodtime Revival Show which opens at the Art Associates Gallery on October 2 & runs through October 31.

rocketman
acrylic & pencil on canvas
36x36"
2020


Monday, August 31, 2020

I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. -Robert Frost, After Apple-Picking

after apple-picking
acrylic & pencil on canvas
14x11"
2020


Sunday, August 9, 2020

My painting, pumphouse II, is included in the Arts Center of the Capital Region Fence Exhibition, September 11 through November 7. Click here to take a virtual tour.

pumphouse II
acrylic & pencil on canvas
20x20"
2020
sold


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

This b&w image of my BIG PIG is on the cover of the July 2020 Broadside for the Green Kill peer-to-peer artist space in Kingston, NY at greenkill.substack.com.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Rather than the artist expressing him or herself, it is the art that expresses the artist. - Pat Passlof

pumphouse I
acrylic on gessobord
12x12"
2020

Monday, December 30, 2019

Only recently, I have let go of that part of me that self-edits. The part that says, "That’s too personal, I can’t let people see that about me." And, it’s not that I am not afraid, I am. It’s more of a "do-it-anyway" kind of thing. When I think about my life and my work, three aspirations come to mind: striving for courage, honesty, and generosity. Not so easy. But it is important to let go of any pretense, and just be who I am now. - Margaret Glew

l'attitude
mixed media
26x15x9"
2010
nfs

Friday, December 20, 2019

The happiest part of making paintings is when they go out the door and into the world. - Agnes Martin

crux
acrylic on canvas
6x6" (x3)
2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make a surface work. - Joan Mitchell

this is not a pipe
acrylic & pencil on canvas
12x9"
2019
sold

Saturday, May 4, 2019

My (BIG) tomato is included in the Arts Center of the Capital Region Fence Salon Show which opens May 17th.

tomato
acrylic on canvas
48x36"
2019

Friday, April 5, 2019

I may often get impatient with [Cy] Twombly's showoffy irresoluteness and fustian poetic conceits, but if I try to imagine the art of our time without his exceedingly human presence in it, I feel a global chill. - Peter Schjeldahl

pumphouse I
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2019
sold

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. - Mark Rothko

apropos
acrylic on gessobord
14x11"
2015
sold

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The secret to [Warhol's] majesty is that he was a square citizen, untroubled by ambivalence and having no use for irony. - Peter Schjeldahl

a mind of winter IV
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2019
sold


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A painter is doing what? Copying nature, perhaps, creating abstractions, and everything in between, and I’m doing none of those. I’m using paint in a kind of experiment to find out what happens with the paint, . . . - Marcia Hafif

in just
acrylic on galvanized steel attached to panelboard with nuts, bolts, & washers
36x24"
2018
sold


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

You've been making the wrong mistakes. - Thelonious Monk

Blue Monk
acrylic on canvas
10x10"
2005
nfs

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I swear if I had to do this over again, I would just do the paintings and not show them. - Cy Twombly

reader
mixed media
50x12x8"
2014
nfs

Sunday, May 6, 2018

My BIG PIG oinks its way into the Arts Center of the Capital Region Fence Salon & Select Shows 2018 from May 18th to the end of August.

BIG PIG
acrylic on canvas
36x48"
2018
sold

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Slow painting is an actual stance, an intention and practice shared by other contemporary painters who, without constituting a movement, collectively insist on a phenomenological experience over a connotative one. - Stephen Westfall, Slow Painting, Art in America, February 2018

the beauty of footnotes
acrylic on galvanized steel attached to panelboard with nuts, bolts, & washers
36x24"
2018
sold

Friday, May 4, 2018

I painted myself out of my painting. - Milton Resnick

must memory fade?
acrylic on canvas
40x30"
2018

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Four of my paintings are included in the Upstate Artists Guild's Members Show at the Albany Barn: Stage 1 Gallery, August 4th through September 22nd.

imperfection study #1
acrylic on galvanized steel attached to panelboard with nuts, bolts, & washers
13x36"
2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

We can see perfection in our minds but we can't make a perfect painting. - Agnes Martin

sous chef
acrylic on canvas
12x9"
2006
sold

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Two of my paintings are included in The Arts Center of the Capital Region Fence Salon Show, May 18th through July 2nd.

utopia, day 2
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2017
sold

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I paint to figure out how it works. - Robert Ryman

me too!
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2016
sold

Friday, December 23, 2016

One of the valuable things [abstraction] does more fiercely than a lot of other art is to make us think and read what others think. - Kirk Varnedoe

pink tower
acrylic on canvas
48x24"
2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

We have been trained to see painting as "pictures," with storytelling connotations, abstract or literal, in a space usually limited and enclosed by a frame which isolates the image. It has been shown that there are possibilities other than this manner of "seeing" painting. An image could be said to be "real" if it is not an optical reproduction, if it does not symbolize or describe so as to call up a mental picture. This "real" or "absolute" image is only confined by our limited perception. - Robert Ryman

red tower
acrylic on canvas
48x24"
2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

There are no mistakes. - Miles Davis

gray tower
acrylic on canvas
48x24"
2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stop before you're done.

yellow tower
acrylic on canvas
48x24"
2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Two of my paintings are included in ARTBAR Gallery's ART for the Holidays 2016 Show, December 3rd through the 30th.

whiteout
acrylic on canvas
20x20"
2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

No whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory / of whiteness. - William Carlos Williams, The Descent

. . . and this is your house II
acrylic on canvas
40x30"
2016