MSB brainstorming

13 November 2013

Banner Painting: Chicago Art History Homage for Paul Klein

Originally Published August 23, 2006

I recently completed a painting intended to be used as a banner. It is an homage to Chicago artists. I hope you enjoy it.

The banner bears the words "Chicago Art Project" and is for Paul Klein and his crew's use, as they see fit for discussion meetings, press briefings, whatever. Each of the letters of the phrase, as well as the "underline" bar beneath it, were created in laudatory mimicry of the styles of great Chicago artists. My homage to a history that needs to be re-focused on. Please check out this link to see the work larger. It is purposefully a large jpeg, so you can open the image itself in another window (by right-clicking, etc.) and zoom in to see details.

Link to page.

Yes, I am aware of our Head Shark's "difficult" relationship with Klein, but much of the inspiration for this project came from Wesley, and I myself still find it a praiseworthy undertaking. Furthermore, I believe my object exists in and of itself as a pleasurable call to "know and appreciate your own history," whatever the final outcome of The Chicago Art Project, Sharkforum, or even the artscene of Chicago itself may be. Jose Ortega y Gasset succinctly stated that history is "the technique of friendship and conversation with the dead." According to David C. McCullough, "history is who we are and why we are the way we are." And, finally, Pearl S. Buck wrote, "One faces the future with one's past."

The artists are listed and matched with letters on my web page. They are: Martin Puryear, Archibald Motley, Jr., Ivan Albright, Ed Paschke, Leon Golub, Gladys Nilsson, Manierre Dawson, Don Baum, Seymour Rosofsky, Gertrude Abercrombie, Aaron Bohrod, Miyoko Ito, Joseph Yoakum, Tony Fitzpatrick, H. C. Westermann, Ruth Duckworth, Roger Brown, Jim Nutt,Robert Amft, Harry Callahan, Claire Zeissler, Edith Altman, Phil Berkman, Buzz Spector, Rudolph Weisenborn, Iñigo Manglano-Ovallé, Karl Wirsum, Michael Paha, Eldzier Cortor, James Grigsby, Wesley Kimler, Richard Hunt, William Conger, Chris Ware.

My own personal choice of a history, but then it is my painting.

(Full info here:

Dear Mark,
I enjoyed scanning your Chicago Art Project banner. It is a much appreciated homage and I'm glad you thought to make me a part of it. When Vistor Cassidy reviewed an installation of mine out at Navy Pier a couple of years ago, he identified me as "sometime Chicago artist Buzz Spector."
It was funny and apt, and I do still think of Chicago as the home I'm away from for the moment. Maybe you do, too.
All best,

MSB: I wrote to William Conger and told him about this banner painting, as well as discussing his interview on Bad at Sports --- which is wonderful! Go listen to it. He wrote back:
Hi Mark;
Thanks for your email. And also for comments in response to the podcast. I've just returned this evening from several days relaxation in the country and so I missed all the fun in those podcast comments, especially those centered on Wesley.
Anyway, It's true I'm full of Chicago art history, etc. I could've just kept on going, and in fact the post-recorded interview conversation went on until nearly 6pm, having officially begun at 1pm.
Thanks for that banner inclusion. What a charge I get from that!
All the best,
William Conger

Nice banner Mark-- what a treat!

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