Say it like it is.
This storefront presents itself outside of the Salvation Army in Auburn, Alabama. Nothing is hidden; everything is ostensibly just as it seems, with no mystery and no hype. (If there is drama in the banner, I think that it comes from the political climate surrounding the word "guns" rather than from the sign itself.) Some of Franz Kline's paintings seem similar.
The brushmarks and tones in Kline's paintings are starkly un-mystical. To my eyes, there is no pictorial illusion and very little ambiguity. While I am generally drawn to ambiguous images (paintings by Gerhard Richter or Anthony Keith Giannini, for example) there is something refreshing about the frank statements of paintings that are largely about paint, and storefront banners that are simply about the contents of the store. Both have a nice bluntness.
Blunt does not mean completely devoid of allusion. Gedi Sibony's new paintings with semi-trailer panels also have some of this say-it-like-it-is quality, but they also nod to content related to ready-mades, industrial waste, and even arte povera.
Thank you, Pawns Diamonds Guns, for helping me to appreciate Franz Kline's paintings a little more than I did this morning.