Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 39

“The art of painting

can only consist of

the representation

of objects

which are visible

and tangible

for the artist”

Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet 1819 – 1877

Courbet believed that, as an artist, your emotions and feelings are irrelevant.  You need to focus not on the glamorous or the shocking but, everyday life.  The abstract schools of the post-war era lost sight of that advice.

They painted their large egos on canvases so large that they couldn’t fit in most modest homes and many of the home of those with more than substantial means.

So, what does an abstractionist really paint?  The inside of their head?  I’m still wondering why I do what I do.  What am I trying to say?  Um, nothing really.  I’m just trying to figure out line, form, space – you know.

4D - 2012Graphite and cellophane tape on paperPaper Size: 8.5" x 11" - Image Size: 5.5" x 7.5"
4D – 2012
Graphite and cellophane tape on paper
Paper Size: 8.5″ x 11″ – Image Size: 5.5″ x 7.5″

Look at this drawing.  What does it say to you?  Does it really need to say something or anything?

According to Donald Kuspit, the author of A Critical History of 20th-Century Art, “…the majority of so-called Abstract Expressionists, after going through a figural phase, made primordial patterns — abstract forms that were mantra and mandala in one.

They were sacred emblems, meant for meditation, and were often repetitive, as though chanted like incantations, intensifying their hypnotic effect.

Indelibly imprinted on the spectator’s mind, they became instant memories of eternity.”  Camille Paglia, in her book, Glittering Images – A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, wrote about Jackson Pollock’s (1912 – 1956) concern with the rhythms of nature, “These hypnotic pulses, which he said he explicitly invoked like a tribal shaman, brought him a contemplative serenity that can also be felt by the viewer of his best pictures. “

Posted on: 21/01/2013, by : Ron Fortier
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