Simon Dinnerstein at the Park Slope-Windsor Terrace Open Studio
Park Slope-Windsor Terrace Open Studio
415 First Street, Brooklyn, between 6th and 7th Avenue
Saturday, November 12 – Sunday, November 13, 2016 from 12 – 6 PM
Simon Dinnerstein is an American figurative artist, best known for his masterwork. The Fulbright Triptych. In addition to 28 one-man exhibitions, Simon Dinnerstein is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany and a Rome Prize for study in Italy at the American Academy in Rome. Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Dinnerstein has exhibited widely and his work has been the subject of 3 books most recently, The Suspension of Time, a publication dedicated to The Fulbright Triptych. This is the only book devoted to a single painting by a living American artist.
“I began this drawing in 1997. I liked the beginning of the work, wherein I had blocked in the features of the woman who posed for the piece. As much as I liked this aspect, I could not get the whole piece to work together, or compose in an interesting way. I ended up stopping and putting the drawing in a storage area. I don’t like abandoning a work but also I never want to force the issue. As time passed, I ended up little by little forgetting about the drawing.
A few months back, my son-in-law and I spent some time moving things in my studio. At one point, he told me that if we continued to move these works, one of the pieces would fall down. I told him that he shouldn’t worry, that it wasn’t important. Sure enough, the drawing did fall. My son-in-law gasped and was flabbergasted. He mentioned that he had never seen this image before and that I should definitely keep working on it. He was so excited about it, I started to rethink the drawing.
I decided to continue with it. I took out the whole background and put in another idea. The drawing became more austere and concise. I am so glad that I returned to this piece.. As an artist, one can easily lose track of what one is doing. Sometimes, you need just the right response and sometimes you need luck, in addition to whatever skills you possess.
While working on the drawing, I found myself thinking about a powerful novel that I had read, by the South African writer, J.M. Coetzee, In the Heart of the Country. It is about a woman who lives in the country and who little by little starts to lose it. She seems more and more put upon by the spirits and the fates, Something about her made me think of the woman in my drawing and, thus, the origin of the title.”
above: In the Heart of the Country, 1997-2016
pencil, powdered graphite, conte crayon, 36 7/8 x 44 5/8″