Bak 2 Skül

Been discussing The Face with John Neff and classmates. On the menu for the first weeks' discussion:

Passion of Joan of Arc by Dreyer

The Gospel According to Matthew by Pasolini 

Emmanual Levinas, excerpts from Ethics and Infinity: Conversations with Philippe Nemo, 1982

Franz Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled,” from A Dying Colonialism, 1959

Been humming away in the studio as well. 


R Luke Dubois, Lynne Tillman, Cauleen Smith

Been a bit too busy to update. But in the past week or so, I have been fortunate to attend great lectures by R. Luke Dubois, Lynn Tillman, and Cauleen Smith. Lynn Tillman wrote the book Men and Apparitions, which was required reading for every Low Res student. I've included links below for each artist. The work is hard to define quickly or confine to a blog post 


Love Is A Nose But You Better Not Pick It

-       (rose) What successes have you had? What made these successes possible, and what have you learned from them to bring into your work going forward?

I have deeply enjoyed the studio visits and group crits that I have had. I find these to be the most generative interactions of the program. I have pages of names, notes, and reference material which I’ll be mulling over all year.

            - (thorn) What failures have you had? What contributed to these failures? What have you learned in order to "fail forward" or "fail better"?

My colloquium presentation was a bust. I will be approaching that differently. Most likely I will "fail forward" by making a simple power point presentation.

            - (bud) What new ideas are you interested in? What new methods of working, or research topics, or strategies, did you discover that you want to pursue further?

I feel as though the ideas I’m interested in are extensions of my already extant practice, which is great. The two most important things that happened this summer were that I felt I was given permission to be a painter, which was not something I realized I needed to be told, and that I was introduced to the idea of decisions that are made with our conscious competence, unconscious competence, conscious incompetence, and unconscious incompetence. I can’t stop thinking about this.

Prog n Slog n Frog

I began cutting up and collaging my palette paper today. I'm digging some of the marbling and things happening and will probably dissect the large canvas tomorrow too

Yesterday, Lynne Cook gave a great lecture about the exhibition Outliers and American Vanguard Art, which she curated. These are bad phone snaps but I love the Dragon by John B Flannagan so so much. 

Tonight was the 2018 SAIC LRMFA show! I didn't take any pictures but it was a nice presentation. I'll be over there again before we leave and will surely take some.

I also can not get the George Harrison song "Behind That Locked Door" out of my head this week. I love the Jim James version too 

Also loving this Alejandra Pizarnik poem for Janis Joplin (below)

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 12 2018
Alejandra Pizarnik 

Alejandra Pizarnik 

Weekend etc - July 10

Tired, late post: Two dear Pratt friends, Ben and Richard visited this past weekend, mingling good food (Little Goat Diner, Mott St, Fat Rice) and basement tiki bar karaoke with a great studio visit from Kelly, my summer 2018 advisor/mentor/GSS, a lecture by, colloquium with, and studio visit from the extremely talented artist Sondra Perry + a joint visit from the curator of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Dean Daderko. Then, today, some "light" Jacques Derrida reading about Law and Justice and Deconstructionism, a viewing of The Thick-Walled Room by Masaki Kobayashi, and a gathering of "The Painting Illuminati" with Andrew Falkowski and Dana DeGuilio--the latter being my favorite SAIC experience so far. 

Here are details of work in progress, including the very beginning of painting (what is currently) the underside of the piece. Also, some other images: 

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 10 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 10 2018
Falkowski slide from Painting Illuminati session 

Falkowski slide from Painting Illuminati session 

DeGuilio slide from Painting Illuminati (Pollock and Rockwell each abstract expressing themselves in their respective scales) 

DeGuilio slide from Painting Illuminati (Pollock and Rockwell each abstract expressing themselves in their respective scales) 

Richard and Ben waking up at Little Goat 

Richard and Ben waking up at Little Goat 

Sondra Perry lecture 

Sondra Perry lecture 

Colloquium notes 

Colloquium notes 

Studio Jul 5 + Pizarnik

Fun things beginning to happen on the floor (pictured). 

Also, we discussed poems by Alejandra Pizarnik (translated by Yvette Siegert) with Nathaneal today. A line I loved from Extracting the Stone of Madness, "Fragments For Subduing The Silence":

"When the roof tiles blow away from the house of language, and words no longer keep -- that is when I speak." 

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 6, 2018

Documenting Process (for July 5)

  • What materials do you use and why? How do you present or materialize your work?

After years of working in display with a capital D, where materials and ideas were disposable, I found myself drawn again to oil paint for its comparative permanence. I have worked on progressively larger mounted, stretched canvasses until arriving to Chicago. Here, I have rid myself of the stretchers and potentially of the predetermined length of the canvas and have begun to think of the canvas as fabric rather than as a tablet. 

  • What does your process look like?

I have come to understand that my process involves layering and mapping, or mind-mapping. Sometimes I work from an idea which I have mulled over, but often I find myself building something from nothing(ish). I have been trying to follow my instincts rather than over-researching and over-conceptualizing. 

  • What concepts are you currently exploring?

At this moment I am interested in what's precious or prominent within a painting, hierarchy in a composition, and perhaps the democratization of elements--from content to craft. I am also interested in the sculptural potential of canvas. I am also interested in accessibility. 

  • What kind of space do you like to work in? (What is your studio space like? Or, what spaces do you prefer instead of your studio?) What does your computer desktop look like?

I prefer to work in a large private space. But my studio in Austin is narrow and private, my studio in Chicago is large and exposed. My computer desktop, like my email inbox, looks like a landfill site, full of colorful garbage. 

  • What artists, specific pieces, or histories contextualize your work? What are some objects or places of inspiration or research for you right now?

Graffiti and mural-work have certainly influenced my representational painting--say, Basquiat and Diego Rivera, as the first famous examples who come to mind, but also street artists I know or have known personally or work I've been surrounded by. Regionalist work like Thomas Hart Benton or Grant Wood has been of great interest to me in the past few years. Morris Louis, Francesca Woodman, Katherine Bernhardt, Jenny Saville, Stan Brakhage are all people I think about a lot. Yayoi Kusama. Leonard Cohen! Always. Daniel Heidkamp. I'm interested in work that's a bit low brow, digestible, but creates echoes. I am interested in and researching the Situationists. I'm also reading about color. 

There's something really interesting to me about this Linda Ronstadt cover of the Bob Dylan song "Mama, You've Been On My Mind". You should watch it:

Studio etc. - July 4

Excellent visit with Hamza Walker today who directed me to Pinot-Gallizio--whose scroll work is such an apt reference/area of research for the piece I've been messing around with here in Chicago--Gallizio's buddy Asger Jorn, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, and the more recent Albert Oehlen. Much on my mind to research in addition to the Cabinet Magazine color studies, which Kelly recommended. And another solo critique Friday and group critique Sunday! 

Also got to participate today in a great panel/group critique of 2nd year student work which is way too much to summarize here, but was interesting. Nice not to be the one in the hot seat. I've been writing down the words I hear most commonly at SAIC. They're as follows (so far): 









Here are some studio prog pics from today. These are just iPhone snaps. I'll capture some nicer pics as things cohere a bit more. 

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018

Studio Progress + Marina Rosenfeld - July 3, 2018

Still layering. Going to turn the canvas clockwise again before my studio visit with Hamza Walker tomorrow. 

Interesting talk from the sound artist Marina Rosenfeld this evening, founder of the Sheer Frost Orchestra among other things (I've linked to a video of her recent installation "Deathstar" below), following a discussion about colonialization and creolization in Nathaneal's class -- texts were A Tempest by Aimé Césaire, The Tempest by Shakespeare, "Fragment of a Voyage to New Orleans" by Elisee Reclus (I LOVE Reclus!), "Creolization in the Making of the Americas" by Edouard Glissant, and poems by Frederique Guetat-Livani, translated by Nathaneal.  

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 4 2018
9-minute excerpt of a 5-hour performance on March 31, 2017, by pianist Marino Formenti, as part of the exhibition 'Deathstar' by Marina Rosenfeld, at Portikus, Frankfurt, Feb 17-April 16, 2017. More information

July 1, 2018 - More Studio, etc.

Turned the canvas counter clockwise today and added some elements. Hoping to get in there again tomorrow. Also took an architecture tour with my sister, who was in town for business, and went to Girl and the Goat and The Purple Pig. Pictured below is Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg (of Wilco fame), blueberry sourdough bread with lamb jam for Girl and the Goat, and cornbread that almost tasted like baklava from The Purple Pig. 

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 1 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - July 1 2018
Corn Cobs

Studio June 28

Turned the in-prog piece on its side tonight to see what begins to happen in regard to perspective and storytelling.

Also pictured are images I drew in Instagram stories and printed out, as well as dry palettes, which I'm thinking about framing just for kicks. 

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - studio June 28 2018

Darby English

Excellent, enlightening artist's visit from Darby English this eve, who discussed Kerry James Marshall's Untitled (Policeman) 2015. Wish I'd managed to get better photos

Darby English Discusses Kerry James Marshall

Art History: Attention w/Nathanaël

Below are a few of the texts we are discussing and two of the films we watched in Week 1 and 2 of Attention/History class. Not shown are the story "Word for Word" by Ingeborg Bachmann, "Prayer In The Mother Tongue" by Kawabata, "Ich Sterbe" by Nathalie Sarraute, and "Les mains negatives" by Marguerite Duras. 


India Song by Marguerite Duras:

The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh

I also attended Nathanael's screening of A Page of Madness, directed by Teinosuge Kinusaga and written by Kawabata Yasunari. Accompanying this were an excerpt from Claude Cahun's Disavowals, "The Cell" from Kafka, "The Green Table" from Pizarnak,  and Yasunari's treatment for the film 

A Page of Madness by Yasunari and Kinusaga:

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - Texts

In Progress Work (Jun 17-Jun 26)

After I was shown to my studio in the MacLean building on Sunday the 17th, I immediately ran to Blick and got some canvas and paints--I'm playing with fluorescent acrylics which I don't normally use. I've essentially been making the giant page of a sketchbook. I may sew a pole pocket across the top, to be hung like a banner from either a dowel or rope. Or maybe I'll just cut it up and puzzle the pieces back together.

I had a fantastic studio visit with Kelly Kaczynski the other day who suggested that instinct and intellect are partners, rather than opposing forces, and that I make an encyclopedia of habits, among many other great insights.

Now looking closely at Kerry James Marshall and Amy Sillman (whose work I knew), as well as Keltie Ferris (whose work I didn't know [and it is great]) 

Here are some in-progress images taken at various times between Jun 17-Jun 26.

Ryan Sandison Montgomery - Work in progress June 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - In Progress Work Jun 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - In Progress Work June 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - Work In Progress June 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - In Progress Work Jun 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - In progress work Jun 26 2018
Ryan Sandison Montgomery - 4 1/2

Colloquium/Group Crit with Morgan Bassichis + Molly Zuckerman Hartung

Morgan Bassichis's performance at SAIC was warm and engaging and received a standing ovation. Our first colloquium, the day after, with him as our guest/host/subject, was lively, intense, and memorable. He provided a jolt of energy at the end of an already intensely emotional and charged week. It's safe to say everyone learned something. Politics, authorship, and permission were big topics/debates. I was also fortunate to have a studio visit and group crit with Morgan where we discussed the value of subtlety and winning over a crowd, among other things. 

Also, Molly Zuckerman Hartung was our first visiting artist. I would have loved the opportunity to visit with her too 

Morgan Bassichis Colloquium White Board 1