Sunday, February 22, 2015


Ira Joel Haber.

Going through my stuff for my archives at Kent State I came across this transcript. In 1974 I went with John Perreault to visit H.C. Westermann and his wife the painter Joanna Beale at their home in Conn. John was interviewing him for a piece he was going to write about him and had a tape recorder running. I was thrilled to meet them, and for me to be sitting in their kitchen eating sandwiches with Cliff as his friends called him and his wonderful wife Joanna was a great experience. To say that I adored him the minute I met him would be an understatement and for a while until his untimely death we were friends. This is a transcript that still thrills me, as Cliff realized who I was. The piece he is talking about was Box With House and Six Trees from 1970 and is in the neue gallery, the ludwig collection in Aachen germany

H.C. Westermann: Gee, I wish I was familiar with your work, Ira. Do you work in wood?

Ira joel Haber:  I work in miniatures. Landscapes...small.

H.C. Westermann: Wait a minute! Wait a minute!

Joanna Beale: The Whitney Annual

H.C. Westermann: Hey wait a minute. You did that little piece I bet. Didn’t you with the houses? Oh that was my favorite piece in that show.

Ira Joel Haber: Really?

H.C. Westermann: Yeah, And  wondered who in the hell had done it. Because when you said your name, it sort of rang a bell. That’s a beautiful fucking piece. It was buildings?

Ira Joel Haber: Yeah

H.C. Westermann: Tinythe scale was very small. That’s a beautiful piece.

Ira Joel Haber: Thank you

H.C. Westermann: That really grabbed me by the balls, didn’t it?

Joanna Beale: It was very beautiful.

H.C. Westerman: That little piece of his was...Did you see it John?

John Perreault: Oh, sure

Ira Joel Haber: He knows my work.

H.C. Westermann: That’s a gorgeous piece. I wondered who the hell did it at the time I thought, Jesus Christ. It really knocked me out. It really did. It really got to me. It really felt good, as soon as I looked at it. I remember that piece. I really mean it. It was just beautiful...It’s a real pleasure meeting you. I wondered about that piece a lot of times since then. I wondered who made it.

Nov. 10th 1974
Transcript of a tape


Blogger Chad Parenteau said...

I've been wanting to do something like this with my own tapes from various small press interviews. Your archives are likely more extensive. Also more interesting.

9:58 AM  

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