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Opening reception: Friday, October 5, 6-8 pm

The Call of the Wind

By R.H. Quaytman

In this painting direction and vectoral forces
are indicated by the flow
the flow of a river
liquids — running liquids
altogether a direction inflation
exploding and imploding.
Because I consider all these shapes of overlapping tents
as little arrows indicating movement —

you could think ah ha
go there
go there
go there

and maybe I ask also the viewer
go here
go here
go here.


I didn't know how wide to make this vertical painting
not wanting palace format.
But these horizontal bands generated an expansion
punctuated by moments of action
boats drifting on the river
tents on the far side.
Gothic shapes, and triangular vectors
piercing through horizontal bands
indicating up
and yet the layering is a horizontal stacking.

This dialectic
this contradiction — that's what turned me in.
Wanting to see the whole scene and being denied.

Not only tearing
into different directions
but also offering a concrete space
for the eye to rest on.

Entering with these two figures
at the very bottom
We don't know what they're looking at.

You say figures —
Yes, they are figures.
I would almost call them figurines.
Doll size
a body in fraction.
Graphically cut by the geometric shapes of their dress.

A choreography


Of negotiation and motive

Location is locality of color
this green
this red
evaporating into the twilight of an orange sky.

Abrupt moments of instability and metamorphosis
just as we've folded our motives
a safe spot there. Look out to see.


Here is the riverbank:
a spatial non-territory
a pink band of palimpsestical layering,
evidence of previous campaigns.
We arrive at abandoned tents
amassed on the other side of the river.
If they were all one color the eye would be blocked.

It works like sparkles in a glass of water.


The river turns from cold green to red.
It has an artificiality —

And canoes indicate space where we might not see it.
The shapes are reminiscent of tents
so there's a picking up and a return —
on this vertical painting.

Yes —
the idea of the red tent came late.
For me it was almost a cliché
and I resisted that —

I needed to earn the redness of the tent first
to earn the security of knowing that that is the right color.

Looking at the tent town from afar,
the red ones will pop out to hold our view.


The space doesn't hold what it seems to promise
rotating around itself
reversing the perspective we expect.
I say reverse — maybe that's too strong a word
but it doesn't follow the logic if we want the painting to rhyme in perspective.

Yes there is a lot about rhythm and rhyme in my paintings.
Musical structure
but maybe that's a tricky one to say — painters often say that you know.


A concealed authority is in every architecture
not just ideologically
but also in the way we walk through it
and see it — I look at that.


The ambivalent atmosphere oscillates
between freedom's wide spaces
River Ranch
we can go we can do that we can do that
yet we realize no
there is a level of social control that we can't locate.

These figures are never just victims of a hostile environment.

Absorbed into the overall choreography —
They have capacity.

We look down her neck—
but she can hold our gaze.

The possibility to find alignment as a body within the authority of a defined moment.

National Geographic —
There is one center of the world
white male Washington
in quotation marks
doesn't exist
doesn't exist
also doesn't exist.

These innocuous representations of the happy life draw
me in because I go with them and I see where they takes me.


These are not private tents
they are part of an organization of some kind.
They'll have meetings,
do social things together
organized in one way or another
and of course I like that
I don't like that
I don't like that
I figured out the size of these figures — which is that size.
I hate the boats.
I have to figure them out.


Distrusting painting

As if one's own liberated language could speak for itself
in a medium as over-determined as painting.

I am always thinking of painting's position
within the perverse authority of its commodity status and
how can it have capacity

visual pleasure —
I guess.
Granting acerbic tensions free reign.

This poem is based upon the words of Thomas Eggerer whom I recorded speaking about his painting,
The Call of the Wind.

Thomas Eggerer lives and works in New York. His work has been shown internationally and has been the subject of a recent solo exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Eggerer's work is currently included in The Painting of Modern Life at Hayward Gallery in London.

This will be Thomas Eggerer's second solo exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery. The show will open Friday October 5th, with a reception from 6-8 p.m. and will be on view through November 10, 2007. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.