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ONE,  2015, 

16" x 22", Digital print of an object made to be photographed, ed of 10, $1,500


KALTENBACH ANNOTATIONS: My first real move toward Minimalism involved a shift to working with the environment instead of the object. This began with Light Ceiling, Light Floor in which I used brilliant light to separate a single plane of the room from the other five.

There is a formal connection between this piece and the work of Robert Irwin.  As will become clearer throughout the month, I am very interested in the flow of ideas and esthetic vision from one artist to the next.  Although I always believe that the concept I am working with is original with me I usually eventually become aware of what and how much influence has been in operation in the genesis of a work. In this instance, I was thinking of a 2D work by David E. Stone which dealt with Braille.  In one of his shows, he invited his friends to make a work that would interact with one of his pieces.  For that show, I made some 3D Braille bump dots.  The most clear connection to ONE came from that but my mind absorbs and stores the dynamics of work I really like so who knows?  Maybe Robert Irwin should accept some responsibility for the existence of today's artwork, ONE.





22" x 20", graphite on paper


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DIMPLE,  2015

16" x 22", Digital print of an object made to be photographed, ed of 10, $1,500




KALTENBACH ANNOTATIONS:  DIMPLE is an example of what I refer to as 'Densification'. Observing the Contemporary Art sub-culture made clear another strategy for career enhancement, the re-dating one's art to an earlier time. Thinking about this, I realized that, if freed from the reputation improvement motive, there were some interesting possibilities inherent in this action.

When making work, following the natural evolution of the conceptual basis for art expression, there are always jumps where one piece suggests another and that one then brings to mind a further idea. Evolving work quickly leaves gaps where logical interstitial work could exist. DIMPLE, a concave wall piece is one example of making work today that fits neatly in the space between my shift from object based work to environment manipulation; which happened in 1966. This is my version of time travel.

In another installation, Communiqué, made in 2008, I cut through the wall entirely. There is a somewhat complicated story behind Communiqué as it was "sort of" made by someone else. While living in New York City I was thinking about the limitations that I had to work under as an artist, limitations such as skill level, imagination, taste, and the rut that grows in the studio from the developing habits of vision and thought. I decided to try working as someone else. I made three fictitious artist's lives which I called Life Dramas and as I always burdened them with some fatal lack of understanding of the purposes of art, I thought of these plays as tragedies. In my second Life Drama I named myself Clyde Dillon. I conceived this artist as a sculptor with a moderate amount of talent and a limiting taste for rich surfaces. He was casting decorative bronze abstractions for the upscale collector.  

For Clyde Dillon I purchased an expensive suit, moustache, and wig disguise using money from the sale of drawings for Wall Painting projects to the Italian collector, Speroni. I felt that this was necessary because my face was known in NYC. Then as Clyde Dillon I approached galleries to attempt to get them interested in showing the work. I was about as successful in this endeavor as I was in obtaining a show as Stephen Kaltenbach; which is to say, "Not so much". This lack of success didn't bother me; after all this was an artist's life.

Over the years I felt that I should let Clyde gradually gain a deeper understanding of fine art expression and thereby show improvement of his work. So every decade I tried to create new insights for his art practice to illustrate this learning curve. Communiqué illustrated this achievement which happened between the years 2000 and 2010.

There has been a very interesting and unforeseen aspect to working with and for Clyde. As an artist I have always thought of the evolution of my work as being somewhat "straight ahead" or similar to the direction of time, moving through past, present, future, one piece to the next, learning from the stream of conceptual events that happen in the studio. Even when I have been able to split my projects to new lines of work, I saw myself as continuing to move ahead in the same way. Working with Clyde's art I was able to view the entire potential pathway of his art from the side, perceiving the entire oeuvre at once. When looking back and forth over his years of work, the logical progression of his thought gained a surprisingly sharp focus.






Communique by Clyde Dillon, 2000s,                                                            High Gold Hole by Clyde Dillon, 1990s,

ABS plastic in wall, ed of 5 - $7,500.                                                                 ceramic, ed. of 5 - $7,500




Self Portrait as Clyde Dillon, 1970,  11" x 8.5", digital print, signed & numbered, ed. of 25, $500

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