Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Poet Spiel joins the FAC's permanent collection

Posted By on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

click to enlarge Taylor during the Confine period. - 1970 CBROWN
  • 1970 CBROWN
  • Taylor during the Confine period.
Before Pueblo artist the Poet Spiel was actively writing poetry and painting intricate, symbolic pieces commenting on polite society and the so-called American Dream, he was a young hotshot — who then went by Thoss W. Taylor — in Los Angeles. He partnered with luminaries like Dalton Trumbo and T-Bone Burnett on his definitive work of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Consider Your Confine.

If nowadays he lets his works boil over in anguish and lossConfine, as the name would suggest, is more structured, though no less questioning. 

Confine is an intimate, cerebral work that outwardly appears more like the plans of an art piece than an actual piece. But then, that's what Confine is all about; how confined are your thoughts and assumptions? This is conceptual art after all, an idea that emerged in full in the ’60s.

The collection consists of 100 pieces of 8- by-10-inch photographic or offset reproductions of thoughts, ideas, drawings, things, 69 of which Taylor made with collaborators: "his companion, his doctor, the director of a major L.A. art museum, a high fashion model, a stage actor, his maternal grandmother, an entomology illustrator, a controversial screenwriter and a major etiquette guru," reads Spiel's Confine page on his website. All were made between 1969 and 1971, and each is signed and numbered.

Confine debuted on May 2, 1971 at the Eugenia Butler Gallery in L.A. and went on to travel to other institutions in California, including UC-Davis and UC-San Diego, as well as in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Hartford, Conn., New York City, Longmont, Denver and Nova Scotia.

However, Spiel has long wanted to contribute work to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's permanent collection. Finally, he will get his wish. The museum just accepted the Confine collection.

"Spiel has led an amazing career as a painter, graphic designer, poet, and conceptual artist," museum director Blake Milteer writes via email. "Consider Your Confine is accordingly a work of art, an extended poem, and an intensive inquiry into the meaning of who we are and how we're limited (or not) by confines imposed by ourselves, others, and society.

"This body of work is also now a snapshot of the west coast art scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Consider Your Confine is a big idea presented in an intimate form with a lot of heart and a bit of humor."

Milteer says it will join other "important holdings of conceptual art" that the museum has, citing the Vogel and Kramarsky collections. Given how new it is to the museum, it likely won't be on display for some time, but you can glean a lot of information from the Confine page, where the images below came from.

click to enlarge A Confine piece with a drawing from memory of the family farm by Amos Taylor, the artist's father.
  • A Confine piece with a drawing from memory of the family farm by Amos Taylor, the artist's father.

Made with companion Bob Arnett, this Confine is "a consideration of the possibility of the misrepresentation of a confine."
  • Made with companion Bob Arnett, this Confine is "a consideration of the possibility of the misrepresentation of a confine."

click to enlarge A Confine made with T-Bone Burnett.
  • A Confine made with T-Bone Burnett.


A Confine made with Dalton Trumbo.
  • A Confine made with Dalton Trumbo.

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