Tag Archives: Paintings

“Disobedience is not careless” at the James Gallery

About the exhibition

Join us for the exhibition reception of “Disobedience is Not Careless” by Jen Mazza in the James Gallery on Thursday, September 20, 2018, from 6-8pm with a special poetry reading by Jess Laser.

What does painting specifically “do?” Painting has been a mode of public expression throughout many systems of culture and politics, and as Theodor Adorno noted, painting contains sedimented time. It is a slow medium, unfolding as it works on and with the viewer. The material of paint is itself a language, that because of its specific materiality, proportion, and location, creates friction. In the contemporary moment when all images seem recognizable, painting stands aside from the digital realm. Painting is a site where viewers may experiment with piecing together constellations of meaning from fragments. In today’s visual culture, such a practice of precise looking and questioning is “disobedient,” in the words of Robert Duncan’s poem The Law. Examining a painting offers a valuable slice of time to wrestle with what we assume we know about visual language and to question what we take for granted in making meaning. 

The exhibition and related programs “Disobedience is Not Careless” is a project with painterJen Mazza that explores language and quotation through painting, philosophy and poetry, curated by Katherine Carl. The exhibition and series of programs is open from September 12 to December 15, 2018.

The Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center

Second Avenue

From Second Ave:

What spanking opossums of sneaks are caressing the routes!
and of the pulse-racked tremors attached to my viscousness
I can only enumerate the somber instances of wetness.

Is it a triumph? and are the lightnings of movedness
and abysmal elevation cantankerous filaments
of a largwer faint-heartedness like loving summer? You,
accpeting always the poisonous stink of the spine,
its golden efflorescence of nature which is distrustful,
how is one borne to this caprice of a lashing betrayal
whose jewel-like occasion has the clarity of blossoming trees?
is it not the deepest glitterings of love whe the head
is turned off, glancing over a starnger’s moonlike hatred
and finding an animal kingdom of jealousy in parachutes
descending upon the highway which you are not speeding down?
It is this silence which returns you to the open fields
of blandest red honey where the snake waits, his warm tongue.
Dice! into the lunp and crush of archness and token angels
you burn your secret preferments and ancient streaming,

as a gasp of laughter at desire, and disorder, and dying.

The first time…

“We know that under the revealed image there is another that is more faithful to reality, and beneath this still another, and again another under this last. And on up of that true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that nobody will ever see. Or perhaps to the point at which every image, every reality, decomposes.”  Michelangelo Antonioni

The following two paintings of book pages are from “That bowling alley on the Tiber” – a collection of 33 “sketches” for films Antonioni never made.

from “Toward the frontier”
“She’s in trouble,” she says, serious. She has a face I never tire of looking at. Everything in her is to be looked at. The one thought that might take her away from where she is, that is, from my gaze, is unbearable. That’s why I start when (after a half hour) she gets up. “Let’s be going,” she says…”

from “Two telegrams”
“The first time I saw her she was simply a woman stopped at a gas station. Gas stations have a large number of shiny surfaces. Whenever the woman found herself reflected in them, she was startled. She looked around as though she were frightened…”


The Hothouse

Dead Flowers in a Glass


New paintings – the flowers are online!

Any of you who know my work well will be a bit surprised, but probably not more than I am. Click on the image above to check out the work!

Also… New Exhibition

The Hothouse of blooms will be on display at the end of October at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark NJ. (Oct 28th, 2010 – January 8th, 2011).
I will keep you posted on the details!

No Secret

Pink Roses, Jen Mazza, 2010

Pink Roses, Jen Mazza, 2010

Someone once told me that every artist should have a secret body of work that they never show.

The paintings I am working on at the moment should perhaps be my “secret body of work”, only I can’t seem to make two bodies of work at the same time – I only can do what comes next.

At this moment I am thinking peonies come next, well, that is after I finish…

Still With Geranium from  The Grand Illusion 1937, Jean Renoir

…the geranium.  A small homage to Jean Renoir (I am also looking forward to seeing Rules of the Game again soon). Continue reading

Infra-ordinary and invariables

Tutte, oil on linen, from the Self Deceit series
Tutte, oil on linen, from the Self Deceit series

Infra-ordinary and invariables

“How can we speak of these “common things”, how rather, can we stalk them, how can we flush them out, rescue them from the mire in which they remain stuck, how can we give them a meaning, a tongue, so that they are at last able to speak of the way things are, the way we are?”
“My intention (is) to describe what remains: that which we generally don’t notice, which doesn’t call attention to itself, which is of no importance: what happens when nothing happens, what passes when nothing passes, except time, people, cars, and clouds.”

(Georges Perec: above “Approaches to what?”, below Perec quoted by  Gilbert Adair)