Monday, January 17, 2005
The Nude Descending a Staircase
...came to mind as I went downstairs to turn the heat up in the studio this morning. The Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel Duchamp's controversial painting from 1912, is what I saw as I put a blank canvas on the easel. Then I thought of the final line of X.J. Kennedy's poem about this painting. Descending a staircase - that's how it feels to look at a canvas's unmarked surface. It's that eerie moment when I begin to see the restless shapes yet to be painted. This is always followed by the disconcerting ability to see through them. Yet, I continue to descend.