1967-3-15 Letter To Shirley(BRLA) From Rockmore(McGlades Bar, NYC) - Excited about Potamkin & Art
McGlades bar - Night - Mar/15/67
I am a genius and 3 mos, before I die at 57 from over sexual indulgence - the rest of the sick scene will catch up - I enclose a minor but typical new work - one of the garden series - much collage - The 60" x 80" oil-collage-polymer which is now called “The Queen of Clubs” and will remain in my private coll. is going to take 6 mos to complete in my spare time but will be one of the best paintings of the 20th century - I mean it - it has everything. The 1st stage of 2 mos has consisted of collage an object here - feather there - gold paper butterflies - playing card and fake finger leading to men’s room - then I begin my chromatic ribbon style in rings of gradual hues interweaving collage and negative areas into one planar skin - see?!
I now have 11 major paintings for Potamkin and at least I am getting my salary so I will be in money by Sept. -
This strange collage period all my major new works seem to go thru is the “indirect” stage - then the “direct painting stage” completes the painting -
The concept of painting has not changed as much as the POP-OP-COP-DROP-SLOP-MOP-GLOP-ZOP-TOP-SOP-POPP-GOP-SHOP-BOP-DOP-LOP-PLOP-Schools would have us believe - but ------- it is no longer possible to just do a beautiful painting - it is a for more involved process now and I think (since the physical form of a 2 dimensional painting remains the best relationship possible of physical presence and illusion) that in order to exist powerfully today and stand for today tomorrow - the form has to expand a little - collage is expansion primarily because it introduces an alien or foreign not usually PAINTED element into the situation - therefore - technically the future of art and my work is in the fantastically delicate balance between indirect and direct stages and ares - I can’t all paint a picture anymore - part of it’s life process is active or texturally off so the one-all concept or approach is more complex and requires more time -
Enough theory for this letter - more later - someday when I get in the mood again.
I am sending this watercolor drawing finally so please don’t get mad and try to send $100 directly to me after you get it and balance of (Oval Nocturne) to Greers when you can.
If your long-suffering husband would survive I would (even tho I get less $ that way) love to have you purchase the “Astrologer” 66 x 78" as your capital acquisition in the collection - because the sale of this great work would help my show and your coll as well - OK - end of subliminal adv techniques -
Take care and write me. You are a great person without specific creative problems other than survival - I think?