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Interview: Quincy Troupe: A Poet's Journey I'd already met and interviewed artist Mildred Howard [works & conversations issue #3] when she told me about her friend, the poet Quincy Troupe. You ought to interview him, she said. Well, maybe we could do that together, I suggested. Mildred is one of those people, full of life and engagement and it didn't take a lot of insight to know it would be a great plus to have her involved. Mildred liked the idea and some weeks later, I got a call from her. "Quincy is in San Francisco," she told me. "Let's do the interview!" The timing clicked and Mildred and I ... Apr 2, 2002, 24153 reads


 

Interview: Jane Rosen: Toward the Intelligence of Life Jane Rosen has been a long time contributing editor for works & conversations and an incomparable help in the early years of the magazine.      At the time of this interview—our first recorded conversation—Rue Harrison and I met Rosen at her rented house on a horse ranch in San Gregorio, California. [She now owns a property nearby.] In those days, her dog Mayo was never far away and we were surrounded by all kinds of examples of Rosen's love of nature—rocks, feathers, shells, seeds, pine cones. On the walls were many of her drawings, paintings ... Apr 2, 1994, 17977 reads


 

Interview with Wendy Sussman: Painter Wendy Sussman's untimely death in April of 2001 left a void in the San Francisco Bay Area artworld. Sussman was an artist of impeccable integrity and great depth. Following is perhaps the only interview on record with this remarkable artist. The interview took place in Sussman's studio just before the Fall Semester began at U.C. Berkely where she taught painting. We began talking about how certain painters utilized the shapes of elements in their paintings to resonate with and deepen the content of the image. Wendy Sussman:  I always have to find an image. Once I ... Sep 2, 1995, 18236 reads


 

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales: At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill Douglass, he lived in Albany in the East Bay. From time to time, we'd get together for lunch or dinner following one of his engagements at Yoshi's or some other Bay Area venue devoted to jazz. These get togethers were always a great pleasure. I looked forward to the lively conversation and Douglass' considerable warmth. It wasn't until over a year after Douglass and his wife, musician Nora Nusbaum, moved from the Bay Area into the Sierras near Nevada City that we finally recorded one of these ... Nov 30, -1, 219004 reads


 

Interview: Richard Berger: A Conversation with an Elusive Genius Richard Berger is a senior faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute where he chaired the sculpture department for over twenty years. Although Berger was the recipient of the Adeline Kent Award in 2004, he's one of those remarkable artists who should be far more widely known. When I've asked other Bay Area artists if they know Richard Berger, the response is usually some variation on a theme: "Oh, yes. He's a genius!"        I began our interview by asking Berger how he was working now. —Richard Whittaker Richard Berger:  ... Aug 6, 1997, 20324 reads


 

Advocate of the Unwatched Life: A Conversation with Squeak Carnwath Squeak Carnwath is one of the Bay Area's best known artists. Her work has been widely exhibited and she has received numerous awards and grants. At the time of this interview, first published in 1993, Carnwath was a member of the art faculty at the University of California at Davis. In 1998, she moved to the art faculty at UC Berkeley. She is now retired from teaching. Her work can be seen at the Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco or the Dorothy Goldeen Gallery in Los Angeles.—Richard Whittaker, 2007 works:  There are so many people who graduate with ... Apr 2, 1993, 63006 reads


 

Interview: Judy Pfaff: The Interior Landscape Judy Pfaff’s work has been exhibited world-wide in major museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum. A professor of art at Bard College in New York, she received her MFA from Yale.         I visited Pfaff in Pasadena where she was spending a month creating an installation for the Art Center. Our lively conversation began over a lunch break and continued during a dinner break from the intense work in progress. The interview is one of the artist's favorites. Judy Pfaff taking a break ... Aug 5, 1995, 75379 reads


 

Jim Campbell: Frames of Reference In August of 1998 Jim Campbell was given a retrospective show at the San Jose Museum of Art. His work has been shown internationally and is included in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.  Campbell received undergraduate degrees from M.I.T. in mathematics and electrical engineering. He divides his time between art work and work as an electrical engineer specializing in cutting edge digital technology. We started talking about computer art. Jim Campbell:  I've always felt that even using the word "interactivity" ... Jan 22, 1999, 25441 reads


 

Greeting the Light: An Interview with James Turrell It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with James Turrell. Gabrielson was an old friend of Turrell’s from Pasadena and, like Turrell, also a pilot. The prospect of meeting this remarkable artist was exciting and arranging it took some persistence. Michael Bond, who managed Turrell’s projects around the world, was encouraging, but he suggested some homework. I should go to Los Angeles to experience one of the artist’s pieces in a private collection there, The Second Meeting. Although I was already familiar with Turrell's ... Feb 13, 1999, 147583 reads


 

Looking for Something That's True: A Conversation with Dickson Schneider My relationship with Dickson Schneider goes back quite a ways. He was an important part of my own publishing efforts from the beginning and I've long been an admirer of his painting. Whenever we have gotten together our conversations tend to take a philosophical turn. At the time of this interview, it had been a while since I'd visited Dickson and, as usual, there were new paintings I hadn't seen. I'd already been noticing that the figure was appearing more often in his work. To begin, I asked him to tell me about that ... Richard Whittaker Dickson Schneider:  ... Nov 30, -1, 15891 reads


 

Who Makes Originals, Ever?: A Conversation with Viola Frey   I first saw a piece of Viola Frey’s work at the Oakland Museum many years ago, a large ceramic figure—maybe nine feet tall, a man in a suit. The figure leaned forward stiffly, shoulders hunched up, and wore an aggressive, threatening expression. The encounter made a lasting impression which settled somewhere in a strangely equivocal inner space.  What was the meaning of the brightly colored glaze on this menacing figure? I tried to read into the oversized, cartoonish figure some knock on the bourgeoisie, but it didn't feel like that. The ... Aug 8, 2000, 18297 reads


 

Interview: Carl Cheng: The John Doe Company I met Carl Cheng in his Santa Monica studio. Before long we were talking about our early experiences of Southern California… Carl Cheng:  For a year I actually lived on a farm in Pacoima. I was only five years old then, but it was a paradise for kids. My uncle had an asparagus farm. I have four brothers and, as a kid, it was just ideal. There was a horse and barn and workers to dig the asparagus. That was around 1947 and ‘48. But it was already changing overnight. They built these awful tract homes. Within ten years a million people moved there. Richard ... May 2, 2002, 43247 reads


 

Interview: James Doolin: Journey This interview took place Feb. 11, 2002. The day I arrived to meet with Los Angeles painter Jim Doolin a construction crew was busy working on the final stages of some remodeling begun a year earlier. It was one of those mythic, mid-winter days southern California is famous for, sunny and warm. Doolin was in good spirits, as was I, having been looking forward to our conversation. I’d met Doolin just few months earlier. I’d first seen his work at the San Jose Museum of Art, large paintings of Los Angeles freeways. They were displayed along with paintings by Chester Arnold. ... Feb 2, 2002, 11487 reads


 

A Conversation with Michael C. McMillen: The Alchemy of Things I met Michael C. McMillen at his home and studio in Santa Monica on a sunny afternoon. Richard Whittaker:  When you showed me the little lawnmower gears and said how you found them beautiful just in themselves-- I know that feeling so well-- and I wondered if you’ve reflected about that, how some objects one finds are perfect just the way they are. Michael C. McMillen:  Yes. You can’t think of doing anything further sometimes. When I see an object, especially a discarded object that looks interesting, I think ... May 27, 2002, 15525 reads


 

A Conversation with Ursula von Rydingsvard: Objects of Presence I first heard of Ursula von Rydingsvard from my friend Jane Rosen. "She's a great artist," she told me. "You should interview her." But Ursula lives in New York and I had my hands full in the Bay Area. It didn't seem likely to happen. Then one day I got a call from Jane— Ursula would be in San Francisco to give a talk at the Art Institute. She would be in town only briefly, but perhaps I could arrange to meet her. It turned out that she would be staying with Ann Hatch who had brought Ursula to SF years before for a residency at the Capp Street Project. ... Feb 16, 2003, 16939 reads


 

Interview: Enrique Martinez Celaya: Self & Beyond Self I I first met Enrique Martinez Celaya while he was still teaching art at Pomona College. Our meeting had an element of serendipity. Acting on an impulse, while visiting Claremont, California, I took a walk on campus and found my way to the art building. He was teaching a class that day and I got to the room just as his class ended. Walking in, I introduced myself and, to my surprise, the artist already knew the magazine I founded, works & conversations. We quickly found we shared some essential questions and agreed to continue a conversation which began that day in such a propitious ... May 2, 2003, 12766 reads


 

Interview: Erik d'Azevedo: Culture Shock I met Erik d’Azevedo at his studio and home in west Berkeley. d’Azevedo is small in stature, intense and articulate. As usual, there is too much to say, too many connections and failed connections. Too much experience, struggle and history—over 35 years of painting. And before long, we’re going back even further, to some of the artist’s earliest memories from the age of four and five. d’Azevedo’s father was an anthropologist, a fact which has had profound effects on the artist’s life. When Erik was quite young, his father took the family to ... May 3, 2004, 12734 reads


 

Interview: David Parker: The Phenomenal World I first saw David Parker’s astonishing photographs at the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco. Their power, beauty and mystery were palpable, and I wondered how I might meet the photographer. I was told he lived in England, but that in a year would be in San Francisco for an exhibit of his work. My efforts to contact him in advance of his exhibit at Koch were unsuccessful, but I showed up at the opening where I was fortunate enough to succeed in arranging an interview. Parker’s schedule was tight and we talked in a back room at the Robert Koch Gallery amid various ... Nov 2, 2004, 16441 reads


 

Interview: Nathan Oliveira: Fundamentals As I drove down 280 toward Palo Alto to meet Oliveira the anticipation I felt was familiar, mixed with a little anxiety. It always happens when I am about to meet an important artist for an interview. My only contact with the artist had been brief and by phone, but there had been a few occasions when others had spoken of him; respect and admiration were the dominant themes. And I’d spent time looking at his work. I’d hadn’t known the power of it. The stretch of 280 south from San Francisco is beautiful, running through the coast hills just west of 101. Before long Page ... Sep 2, 2005, 12504 reads


 

Interview: Milford Zornes: An Artist's Life Claremont CA Sept. 16 2005 I was in Claremont, California—a town I knew well from my college days. But now my visits were to see my mother living there in a retirement community. Having gone into town to pick up something for her, I was strolling along Yale Avenue when I noticed a sign: Claremont Fine Arts. Peeking through the window, I saw a room full of conventional landscapes and still lives. Stepping through the door, all was quiet. I found myself alone among the paintings. No one seemed to know, or care, that a customer had come in.       Below the ... Jul 11, 2008, 13185 reads


 

Interview with Photographer Elaine Ling: Remote Wonders Elaine Ling was born in Hong Kong. At the age of nine, her family moved to Canada. She came to my attention when I got a note inviting me to a lecture she was scheduled to deliver in San Francisco. There were a couple of images of her photos attached, which caught my attention immediately. A quick google search led me to her website where I was able to look at many more of her photographs. No question, a selection of Ling's photos would be the perfect last piece to complete issue #22 of the magazine I was putting together, works & conversations. Often, I've found, it seems that pieces ... Jun 27, 2011, 8894 reads


 

Interview with John Mason: Two or three years had passed since my last visit to Los Angeles, and as I neared the LA basin, I felt the stirring of memories. Many were connected with years I spent in Claremont, California. There was even a faint echo of John Mason in there. Sometime in 1964, thanks to a girlfriend at Scripps, I had my first experience of putting hands to clay. That moment had the same magic for me as for so many others. Claremont was full of potters in those days. The mystique of clay and its transformation by fire was one of the several enchantments of that place and time. My initiation with clay ... Sep 18, 2011, 19813 reads


 
 

A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 497442 views


The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 58518 views


Interview: Nicholas Hlobeczy I met with Nick Hlobeczy at his home in Corvallis, Oregon.  Richard ... Read More 42811 views


A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell ... Read More 54189 views


The Power of Giving      Fariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA ... Read More 53811 views


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A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 497442 views


Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 219004 views


Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 147583 views


Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 114024 views


Radical Love and Holy Play When he speaks, you can sense a depth of earnest care in his voice. When you ... Read More 83541 views


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