Genevieve Bowen at the ArtSpace

Genevieve Bowen is a treasure! An internationally exhibited artist with over 7 decades of creative output, she has created in mediums from charcoal on paper, to oil on canvas, to industrial welding on massive hunks of steel, to delicate ceramics and a whole lot more. When attending the School of the Art Institute she met Tristan Meinecke and Briggs Dyer. They became life long friends. At 91 her creative fires remained unquenched. She was an exceptional artist and, most importantly, an exceptional human being whom the entire Meinecke family loved very much. Below she describes working with Tristan as he developed his technique for painting on molded canvas.

Genevieve Bowen on Tristan's Creation of "The Image"

Except from an Interview by Lew Ojeda of Genevieve Bowen and C.V. Eidson on Tristan Meinecke in 2015

L: I'd like to talk a little bit your friendship and working relationship with Tristan and with Angel. Now, one of Tristan's famous pieces which is called…

C: The Image, we've been calling it the Image.

G: And also the Heterogeneous Icon, was an incredible construction.

L: You collaborated with him in folding the Face, which for those listening here who haven't seen The Image yet, it was a rolled tarp or a tent –

G: No, here's what happened. He was always looking at new mediums. For a long time there he was using, you know, paint out of cans, housepaint. And then Kohler started doing – now you're going back to the forties, I'm sorry, the fifties. Started using colors for sinks and bathtubs. They were based in Wisconsin. So he paid them a visit, told them what he needed. And he left there with a lot of colors, a lot of sealants… And he came back and he had to figure out how he was going to use them. Now, the head was not the first thing he did. That little piece –

C: The one that's on the blue –

G: Yeah. That was doable because it was small. And you know, we were both – I mean, he was doing the work, but I was there learning too. And he started crushing this and using the paint. But now when he moved on to the big piece, the big head, that had to be crushed very quickly, so he could - while it was still pliable-

L: Right, apply the paints as needed –

G: The sealant, that started first, and then the paint.

L: So the material that was used with it, was that an old canvas or an old tent?

G: No, it was just canvas.

L: Oh, ok.

G: And as I remember, there might've been two pieces to it. Yeah, because the canvas came a certain width, and the sealant glued the two pieces together. When he worked, he didn't have in mind… he made a head. To me, it's a very reverent head. And that was the thing with Tristan. I mean, he could be a curmudgeon. He could be sacrilegious. But there was a great deal of reverence to him.


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