The Artist Sees Differently: Joseph Shetler

JOSEPH SHETLER, Museum Assistant

Joseph Shetler, museum assistant on duty in the original House. Photo: Claire Norman

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I had moved here from Arizona and had never really spent much time east of Indiana so I had no idea where to look for a job or what museums where here other than the handful on the mall. So the answer to that question is Craigslist. Turns out, we were a match made in heaven, been together nine months now.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

Definitely. I think I have learned more about painting from my time in the galleries than I did in school. I often get anxious standing among the art because I get ideas that I need to get down on paper. As soon as I am able to get home I often draw until I no longer can. And if I don’t have a chance to work on the idea right away I note it down and give myself time to think about it for a while. Another nice thing about working at the Phillips and being surround by the masters is that you start to grasp what it takes to achieve the quality that museums search for. That quality is the standard I have set for myself. Continue reading

The Artist Sees Differently: Martin Paddack

MARTIN PADDACK, museum shop book buyer

Martin Paddack with two of his paintings, Light and Time on the Hudson, (left) and Teardrop, Florence (right). (Photo by Rolf Rykken)

How did you learn about the Phillips?

When I came to the United States as a 10 year old, The Phillips Collection (and the National Gallery of Art) were my very first experiences at art museums. My father took me to the Phillips, and I remember sitting with him in the low light of the Rothko Room and having him tell me to simply look and let my eyes adjust to the color. We sat there for a long time. It was a moment that carried me into another world, that within it held both the memory of where I had just come from (South America and the Caribbean) and a mysterious world of color that was to come. I will never forget it.

Read the rest of Martin’s interview here.

Sam Gilliam on Inspiration

Left: Flour Mill (detail), 2011, Sam Gilliam. Right: Flour Mill II, 1938, Arthur Dove

Left: Sam Gilliam. Flour Mill (detail), 2011. (Photo by Sarah Osborne Bender) Right: Arthur Dove. Flour Mill II, 1938.

Sam Gilliam spoke to oral historian Donita Moorhus in October 2010 about his thoughts when creating his site-specific work , Flour Mill, for The Phillips Collection stairway:

“I want to make the piece completely new. I want to give myself a break and not use past ideas but sort of launch something that I want to do. … One of the things that is interesting about [Arthur] Dove is the isolation he had, living in a certain place- I think he lived in a houseboat- or living off his own garden and living with a view sort of out the window, walking each morning, communicating with Georgia O’Keeffe, talking to other artists, and things like this, so that you see mini progressions, and you see a certain kind of openness, not the way that we necessarily work today…”

Gilliam will continue to explore this work’s relationship to Dove in conversation with curator Renee Maurer at 6:30 pm tonight , March 31, in the galleries.