Magazine article Artforum International

Ull Hohn

Magazine article Artforum International

Ull Hohn

Article excerpt

AMERICAN FINE ARTS, CO.

I've never been a painter, but in a slough of despond, or when overcome by paralyzing lethargy--for moments, hours, days--psychically wired to the TV set, my only friend, I've had occasion to be an armchair painter, thanks to Mr. Bob Ross. Mr. Ross, you see, is perhaps our nation's pre-eminent instructor in the art of amateur painting, although as this is his vocation he must be accounted professional. Such are the ironies of public television, which is Mr. Ross' mai venue. I believe his show, of which I've seen only fragments, but fragments see perhaps a hundred times, I believe his show is called "The Joy of Painting." I can't imagine that Mr. Ross doesn't enjoy his job. He might be a worthy object of envy, especially for dispossessed creative types who can barely make a go of it.

Mr. Ross has a calm, easygoing, reassuring manner, a manner that telegraphs to his audience. Yes, you can do this, too. It's easy. There is something discreetly mesmerizing about his way of laying on paint: broad slabs of paint that establish the skeleton of landscape; daubs and smears that create the effects of limpid streams, frothy clouds, and murmurousleaves. Let's make one thing clear: Mr. Ross does not do thrift-store paintings of the kind fetishized by Mr. Jim Shaw, al though the works of most of his disciples can, at best, be consigned to that domain of kitsch.

Most but not all. Fans of Mr. Ross and "The Joy of Painting" must have been pleasantly surprised by Mr. Ull Hohn's exhibition. Mr. Hohn has taken to painting landscapes and other pictures after the manner of Mr. Ross, following precisely the instructions of amateur painting manuals. But Mr. Hohn's efforts in no way resemble the gruesome mess hanging in your Aunt Sally's living room. No, his amateur paintings are as good as they could possibly be, or at least as good as Mr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.