Anything But The Truth

From Issue No. 4

Welcome to the fourth issue of art – The Catalog of The Robert Cenedella Class Show. Bob chose the title to hang on this issue this past winter and, in the typical Cenedella fashion, stepped back to allow the Fellini moments to unfold. Truth- such a big word masquerading as something simple, like so much in Bob world, like so much in the the world of painting and drawing. You can meditate long on the meaning of truth vis a vis visual art and while you may gain some passing insight you will wind up back at the same spot after those thoughts have passed. You could say there is no truth but you know that is not true. Maybe this kind of truth is not something you know, maybe it is another one of those things you just know you know even though you have no idea why.

Truth is painting and drawing have not substantially changed in a millennium nor have methods for teaching art. Teaching art is at once so completely obvious – the line, composition, color, media- and so indirect that it seems the part you are trying to convey doesn’t really fit all that well into the language and calculus. Go ahead, study the human form, study perspective, learn how your mind battles your hand as you learn to draw, copy an upside down drawing and be startled at how much better you are at copying when you’ve tricked yourself into not seeing the content of what you are copying. Spend hours drawing the model on a rainy Friday morning. Maybe you’ll get better at drawing and painting and maybe you’ll just get better. Maybe this whole “truth” thing is a subterfuge – maybe the only true thing is this moment and the hope that it goes on forever. Anything but the truthiness of world outside the league. Quiet please the model is posing.

We have some great stuff in this year’s book. Jeff and Bob found a  emembrance of George Grosz which we have reprinted in its entirety. So Young Hur talked with instructor Knox Martin and Bob over the course of an afternoon and wrote up the sprawling interview. Several of Bob’s students, Philip S. Hill, Frederic A. Mendelsohn and Antoine Dozois, contributed short essays and a poem.

Bob took to his trusty Underwood and held forth again about his love for the league. The mysterious R. Root dispatched a trusted courier to deliver to us his meditation on “truth” and “art” from his aerie in the Turks and Caicos Islands. And there’s more. Jeff and Sean once again did an awesome job designing the book and creating graphics. Sincere thanks to all the students that participated with their work from this year’s classes, to Richard and Celeste Baker for hosting the fundraiser at their Harlem townhouse, to JeffTocci who designed the cover, booked the entertainment for the fundraiser and kept this thing going.

This year’s book is dedicated to Kentaro’s memory. I wanted to write something about his life but words fail me. Too young too soon. I guess all I can say is when we meet again in heaven I hope there is a drawing studio and a model. Thanks to Pam Koob and John Baber for contributing their memorials.