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Alix Ankele, Don’t Know Mind

M55 Art
44-02 23rd Street
Long Island City
September 4 - September 21, 2008
Reception: Sunday, September 7, 3 - 6 PM

“Don’t know mind” ” does not refer to befuddlement, but to the openness that allows access to our most essential nature, our innate wisdom and compassion, our basic goodness. It is a zen phrase that points to a spacious, receptive, flexible state of mind free of rules, judgments and preconceptions as opposed to the closed and uptight state of our “know-it-all” mind with its “fond opinions” and many notions of how things should or ought to be.

The paintings in this exhibition are the result of a new way of working. Until recently I’ve done mostly representational painting. Now I’m not trying to recreate reality, in fact I have no idea how the finished pieces will look. I’m simply shmeering blobs of paint on the canvas with a palette knife, enjoying the juxtapositions of color, shape and texture. The choice of palette, the various characteristics of canvas, paint and palette knife, as well as my deeply felt response to the changing seasons of the Hudson Valley, all come together in an unselfconscious, spontaneous way. Free of a defined goal and the need to “get it right”, my intuitive aesthetic sense is given full play to improvise with the changing conditions of the moment where the placement of one color suggests a response and a chance slip of the hand might open up a whole new direction. The trick in these paintings is to be fully present, open to the nuances and changes, to act free of doubt and hesitation as the process unfolds in its unique and unexpected way—to stay with “don’t know” mind.
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