The First Mark
Unlearning How to Make Art
by Peter Nadin
EP 20: In THE FIRST MARK: UNLEARNING HOW TO MAKE ART, artist PETER NADIN uses the novella form to suggest a conceptual framework through which to understand his new series of paintings. The protagonist, Stint Arno, is a young, commercially successful artist who begins to unravel psychologically, undergoing a series of absurdist hallucinations until he finds the ‘first mark,’ the primordial impulse behind all art. Nadin shifts between prose and poetry in an attempt to illustrate the movement from convention to the more organic mode of sensory experience that characterizes the ‘first mark.’ Much in the tradition of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s poetry, or T.S. Eliot’s notes for The Wasteland, this novella is a companion to the paintings that were shown at the Wifredo Lam Center in Havana, Cuba, in February 2007.
PETER NADIN studied at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University in England from 1972-76. He received the Max Beckmann Award from the Brooklyn Museum in 1976. His work is in public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Yale Center for British Art. Nadin has also written several books, including Twelve Prints and Poems, Tide of Tongues, and Still Life. He lives in Manhattan and in Greene County, New York, with his wife and daughter.
First edition paperback, October 2008, 64 pp., sewn, bound, and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover, eight black and white illustrations printed on patinated paper, and a black and white photograph of the author on the frontispiece.