February 19th - June 12th, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Outtake from "Message(s) in a Bottle: Notes of an Unlikely Curator"

Throughout his first decade in Manhattan, Ray made a series of anti-rectangle collages he dubbed “moticos.” By the early 60s, Johnson was mailing out collage fragments “for others to use or send on,” letting go at least in part, authorship and allowing the work to be formed by increasingly random collaborations. Which provides context to Ray's famous phrase: “I wanted to paste things on railroad cars. Nothing to be seen by anyone except coyotes.” Taking into consideration Ray’s concept of moticos [see below image]--both an art object and an idea, forever fleeting--and his Nothings, and it becomes apparent that Ray’s stance is that of the self-taught Zen Buddhist, a little annoyed and bored by life’s melodrama. The quote, excerpted from an interview, goes on. Ray says: “...When the Pop Art gravy train appeared instead, I consciously burned everything in Cy Twombly's fireplace. Those were early nothings... Destroying them was the logical thing to do as a statement.”