"Then I saw Edward Dugmore. I had dinner with this old abstract expressionist, bitter, loud, cussing, disgusted with getting old, but with a fire in his eye under his grey curls. I thought, here’s another old timer grinding out his old abstractions, beige big things with slashes here or there, looking like giant figures but not meant to.
I went upstairs to the loft in which he lives with his wife Eadie, who is the only photographer I like. She makes photographs of ponds and barns and windows in Maine that are as sweet and real as when you see the thing at first sight. They are like a real smelly summer day with its reflections right before you, and there’s a wry wit and sadness in them too. This dirty old loft was chock full of collections of things, with the usual big bed, and the usual big table loaded with books and announcements, and the usual stacks of huge canvases facing the wall. I was afraid that when Dug would turn one of these around I would have to mouth the usual polite compliments and inside I would be quite bored with the same old stuff. But it wasn’t like that.
He revealed a very large squareish canvas and I was left breathless. A big field of subtle colors, a small impulse, a pulse here, a directional lash there. It was bright and glowing. It added up to a wonderful, moving experience. It went through and through.
Here’s a mature painter, a master who knows what to do with his craft and his troubles. No wonder he is in this great hard rage, when his work should be shown and isn’t, and terrible stuff chokes the galleries instead. This was painting the way painting should be. Abstract yes, but abstraction of feelings of experience turned into brushings and color and marks which speak to you. I also saw a kinship with Twombly in it — but didn’t tell him so, because at dinner he had almost spit in my eye when I mentioned Cy. Another painting with darker patches, brushed with steady emotion, was in homage to his lifelong friend Ernie Briggs, who died last year. Man, here is someone who won’t compromise. Here is someone not afraid to give away everything."