Painting Beyond Belief

Amy Sillman, Ich Auch, 2009, oil on canvas, 90.55 x 84.65 inches (© Amy Sillman,
Amy Sillman, Ich Auch, 2009, oil on canvas, 90.55 x 84.65 inches (© Amy Sillman, courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co.)

Patrick Neal reports on a conversation among Jordan Kantor, Amy Sillman, and Peter Doig about contemporary painting and the art of Chagall, on the occasion of the exhibition Marc Chagall: Love, War and Exile at The Jewish Museum, New York, on view through February 2, 2014.

Neal writes that "Doig and Sillman both admitted that their appreciation of Chagall’s folksy scenes and sincerity had warmed over time after having been less receptive to his art when they were younger." Asked about her work, "Sillman likened herself to a spider spinning a web; she starts by drawing a line and builds from there... She mentioned the importance of handling her works personally often with a certain lack of control; a metaphor for trying to make a painting in spite of limitations inherent to the medium in a multi-disciplinary art world." Doig described his process, Neal reports, as one that "involves waiting for something to happen to a composition, surprising himself, and letting items fall into place... When asked by an audience member about the plethora of text often accompanying painting today, Doig explained he was more interested in a canvas talking back at the viewer, 'then you can choose to agree or disagree with it.'"