Two texts, written by Gavin Morrison, 05.2010 for two booklets of new paper works. Each booklet contains five works.
The first may be the second. Following the ancient Greek convention, Aristotle affirmed, “it is natural that one is not a number” . One is a measure, the device of pairing the mental object with the corporeal. Two is the start, the reflected order. Reflection, as the fundamental state but one which entails discrepancies and distance; equivalence instead of identity.
The corner, the fold of the room, offers the potential of an encounter between two null points: the perceiver, a locus of experience; and the corner, the zero of the horizontal architectural axis. The movement of the former, incurs a parallax, a synthesis within the texture of the architectonic space. The room holds distance at bay, a metaphoric reflection of interiority. Yet one which its extents are not perceived as a perimeter or boundary. A pause in movement when one is looking into this architectural fold can lead to the perception of a flattening of visual space. This hiatus of stereopsis, the dynamic process of binocular vision, is generative of what appears in that moment as a third plane. As this plane fails to conclusively conform to the logic of the architectural confluence of the two walls of the corner, a new space emerges but one without magnitude. Appearing as a geometric Rorschach, there is a progression to a further synthesis. This visual residue has talismanic dimensions. In formal appearance it is evocative of truncated signage or restricted patterning; intentional and explicit yet estranged. Yet the cessation of diachronic perception will be fleeting. The image forms, is broken, and transforms. A state of stasis within spatial perception is a hypothetical condition that is not merely elusive but a fiction. The agency within the act of looking is not merely restricted to the visual dimension, the tactility and other bodily senses meld into a synchronic experience. Perception exists on the cusp of being as Kant asserts, “It is, therefore, solely from the human standpoint that we can speak of space, of extended things, etc. If we depart from the subjective condition under which alone we can have outer intuition,...the representation of space stands for nothing whatsoever.” This human-centric comprehension of the texture of spatial experience underlines the synthetic composition of perception. Every act of looking is constructive: a making of space.
Only those with an elevated moral sense steadfastly defer to the presumed authority of the 'original'. A more enlightened disposition is likely to comprehend the ethical implications of no two things being exactly the same. When an object is intended not to deceive but represents or simulates something else its being is natural entwined with that to which it refers. But how much of this ontological archeology persists within the referent when the 'original' itself relates to a third object or state of events?
The thinking around abstraction has an uneasy time trying to pull itself from this conceptual mire. The simple terminology suggests that what is perceived is an abstracted representation of a corporeal reality, an assumption which has led others to assert the autonomous authority – the Juddering 'specific object' – as the primary concern. But these teleological perspectives miss how things actually exists and relate. We can't wish away either history or intentionality. What emerges is a status between the two polarities, an ontological middle-voice which modulates and mutates dependent on context and observer. The specter of abject subjectivity may be thought to lurk here too, and perhaps it does stalk closer than we'd wish, however we remain beyond its grasping reach by communality, an inter-subjectivity.
As Wittgenstein observed what gets us into so many of these predicaments is “the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language” . We can sometimes be misled by believing what we say. Our speech and discourse is riddled with metaphors that become transparent through their commonality and repetition. We use spatial terms to discuss the immaterial; we talk of “points to arguments” and we “enter a discussion”. The eloquence of such means of expression is obvious but, as with all metaphors, there is an inevitable untruth at the core. The incentive then, is to return to the act of looking, escaping the bewitchment of language and entering into the space of visuality, one in which language can not gain proper traction.
Der gestrige Nachmittag und Abend (5.9.2009) mit Jerry Zeniuk war ein großes Erlebnis für uns. Gratulation an den Künstler, der so betörend schöne Bilder malt. Gratulation aber auch an Euch (EB+AKJ), die Ihr diesen Künstler "aufgetan" habt, der trotz seines großen Könnens und seines starken Selbstbewußtseins sich eine sympathische Bescheidenheit und einen strahlenden Humor bewahrt hat.
Haben wir am Nachmittag (Museum Wiesbaden) seine - ich möchte sagen - "Winterbilder" mit ihren zarten Farbnuancen gesehen, hat er am Abend (BERGNER+JOB) "den Schnee weggeräumt" und hat uns mit seinen neuen Bildern die zarten Farben des Frühlings, die kräftigen des Sommers und gedeckten des Herbstes gezeigt in einem wahren Farbrausch. Nur eines von Zeniuks Bildern reicht, um einen großen Raum "auszuleuchten". Umso umwerfender die vielen Farbkompositionen in der Galerie, die mich irgendwie "besoffen" machten. ZENIUK MACHT GLÜCKLICH!!!
Meine Frau hätte das alles vielleicht etwas anderes ausgedrückt. Aber sie war genau so begeistert. Wir haben das dem Künstler auch gesagt, jeder auf seine Weise. Bleibt uns nur zu wünschen, dass für alle der kommerzielle Erfolg nicht versagt bleibt.
"Intuition through knowledge". (Frederic Matys Thursz) 1999
I made my first light grey picture, sized 40 x 40 cm, the edges also covered with paint, in 1994. It was a response to my experience of Alan Charlton, whose works I had first seen in the Dörrie-Priess Gallery in Hamburg. Robert Mangold called his grey industrial, 1. while Charlton gave the hue a social dimension when he started to employ the grey wall paint commonly used in the working-class homes of London. When Basel-based collector Karl Laszlo first visited Budapest in the 1960s, he encountered a fathomless greyness, with the original colours of old buildings faded into grey and the new housing developments coated in grey plaster. I myself grew up in such a house, with grey dust sticking to every coloured surface and creating a myriad variations of grey. It was like living amongst the grey surfaces that Gerhard Richter created with a paint roller.2. The colour body goes on to inhabit the edges of the canvas, is made physical by an organic material structure. Whatever colour I have used, I have always seen grey behind it. The canvases on the stretchers, like so many boxes of space, could be Morandis bottles." 3.
1.At the time I was attracted to generic or industrial colors, paper bag brown, file cabinet gray, industrial green, that kind of thing. Robert Mangold
2. Museum (Kaserne bzw.Amtsgebaude) für 1000 grosse Bilder, 1975 Tinte (Feder) auf Papier 21 x 29, 7 cm Privatbesitz Köln
3.The painting finds its way behind every order, whether innate or trained, defined conceptually, mathematically, geometrically or by a (formal) aesthetic: it finds the ground of absolute emotion as a kind of elementary capacity. Max Imdahl
Luca Bertolo asked me for a text for his catalogue made with Arcade Fine Arts, London. Luca is a serious, sensual painter and an old friend. I didn't quite like the project of his exhibition, addressing as it does, directly, the art-market, and specifically Art-Forum. Nevertheless, I found the context, his work, and the gallerist - Christian Mooney- stimulating and intelligent. Amongst other things, Christian has been devoting himself to re-presenting the work of Len Lye and other "sixties" underground (more and less) film-makers that enthused me as a student... Stan Brackage, Jonas Meekas... absolutely CONCRETE film makers. I wrote my fine art final dissertation on Dziga Vertov (painting was dead... again) and he's never really left me. Anyway, I attach the text I wrote for Luca's exhibition and catalogue:
Supping with the Devil (For Luca Bertolo, regarding the demeaned domain of painting, and with homard to an Irish Flannery)
In a sea of barking dogs and belching barques A long spoon is certainly helpful, better more than one, really, as simultaneous or alternate lateral oar-strokes give hands-on steerage way better than the wriggling thrust of the single scull though a Venetian gondola might smile at such even symmetry knowing that the truth is always one,the prime odd number.
(him, the boat and the water, though make three)
One plus minus one and zero might make a pooka’s tail play straight or naughty. And language is naught without content. Though some might say that form can content itself without further meaning and others’ Vice and verses seek truth through artefice Image can still be index, if not too complicated.
I tend to side with the Pooka In double tails and even-ness, With hidden tail in trousered Two-ness a declared non-seamlessness Makes short-order of the standard pizza, A smorgasborg of non-starters pretending to have fulfilled If not outlined The full circle.
Only problem is, he will have his fill, the Devil, and odd-bods and even-stephens are all grist to his mill. Paint me light’s precipitate, the substance of air incised in granules of reality and he’ll make of itknitting, do me a pair of ladies’ lacies holding in check the subconchal flow of a deep blue existential under-panting bel-bottom, he’ll make double-sure it sells as Art-Ex-pressive suitable for all needs but importantly intelligent world weary if only at the declared seams.
Second-guessing is undoubtedly an important survival tool And serious study of the rhetoric of enunciation bears rich fruit, Illustrative of intellectual and artisanal collaboration. But painting for me works better in the singular, already dual in it’s it and it’s me.
It is out there, when it’s done, just one, and I and thou make a fine together. Methinks. Without third parties at the dining table.
That’s me. But. When I can, or didn’t oughter, but:
The PUBLIC domain is, I think, the most commonly appearing context for the term DOMAIN in english (common?) parlance, and rightly Luca is addressing and at the same time undressing it. Understatement can be more revealing under certain lights than over. The dressing of third parties may be the question. Underpants overdressed or underpainting fundamental, painting over culture or culturing over peinture, just how many legs down a trouser I can’t help but wonder, and in the weft and the overall cut of the weeds, whether fat over lean scumbles issues unseen Like who’s coming for dinner?
Will you won’t you, won’t you will you Like me don’t you? Will you join the dance?
I do. Like to dance. Like liking, dance liking. And like Luca. His painting.
Edmund Tucholski's watercolours are unpretentious and, seemingly, without secrets. His vocabulary of form is restricted to circles, ovals, triangles, oblongs and squares, though without in any way conveying the impression of being geometrical. All forms owe their shape to the contrast of white with another colour, be it blue, yellow or red. Never once does a line describe a form. Indeed, every form is shaped alone through the juxtaposition and superimposition of colour on the white ground, or by trails of colour and the empty spaces left between them. Tucholski works without any special aids, limiting himself to the possibilities afforded by the convergence of paint, water and paper. … It is with this process of applying colour, leaving empty spaces and superimposing further colour that Edmund Tucholski develops all the forms in his paintings. Every piece is the result of an act of extreme concentration. Reduction of the actual act of painting to just a few strokes of the brush and its moment of cessation are the factors which determine the composition. And it is precisely this moment when Edmund Tucholski decides to stop or redirect the movement of his brush which is visible as white, as the surface left untouched by the stroke of the brush.
The watercolour, which traditionally is executed in relatively small format, demands speed and concentration and defies all subsequent attempts at correction. Every single stroke of colour, once it has penetrated the paper, is there to stay. It can be neither obliterated nor erased. Subsequently applied layers of colour do not hide those beneath them. On the contrary, they all join forces to give an even greater intensity of colour. Thus it is that every stroke of the brush runs the risk of failure. Every stroke of colour is dependent on the consistency of the paint, on the width of the brush and on the density and absorbency of the paper. Since every stroke of colour results from a single stroke of the brush, the artist's movements and actions – and their sequence – can be easily recognized and reconstructed. … Edmund Tucholski's modus operandi consists in a concentrated interplay of giving and taking, moving and stopping, activity and passivity, positive and negative. But it is precisely those passive "blind spots", where the artist has presumably come to a standstill, which has been produced just as actively as those areas where colour has been applied. Without them there would be no form. The absence of colour is just as important for the creation of the image, for its composition, as the active moment of applying colour. Emptiness and fullness, passivity and activity, are no longer opposites. They are equals.
Here Edmund Tucholski clearly manifests an affinity to Oriental thought, and to Zen in particular. In Zen and Zen art, nothingness and emptiness do not just mean the absence of something. They are in themselves complete.1 Emptiness in Zen painting also plays an essential role in terms of form. Large empty spaces bring out the materiality of the support, the paper, and in such a way that its supposedly empty surface is in fact full.
Similar observations can be made in the watercolours of Edmund Tucholski: emptiness and fullness are basically treated in the same way, as equals. They are the structural elements of the composition, charged with tension, "opposites that act with and against each other"2. For all poetry, and especially for the Japanese haiku, the art of "verbal miserliness", Günter Wohlfart draws attention to the importance of the pause, the interval of silence: "In the sentences of poetical language, as in the periods of a piece of music, it is precisely the pauses and intervals which are semantically the densest, most salient points, the life's breath of the whole piece... Meaning lies not just in the words but in the intervals between them, in the 'silent white' between the lines and the words."3 …
Maria Müller (Translation by John Brogden)
1 Helen Westgeest, Zen and the Zen arts, in: Zen in the fifties. Interaction in Art between east and west, cobra museum voor moderne kunst, Amstelveen 1996, p. 17
2 Cf. Hans Gercke, in: Edmund Tucholski, Annnäherung als Veränderung, Heidelberger Kunstverein 1989, p. 12
3 Günter Wohlfart, Zen und Haiku oder Mu in der Kunst HaiKühe zu hüten nebst anderen Texten für Nichts und wieder Nichts, Stuttgart 1997, p. 147
This is a short text on the work of Maurizio Corona .
we are the subject Sean Shanahan
The white chrysanthemum Is diguised by the first frost If I wanted to pick one I could only find it by chance Oshikochi No Mitsune
Writing shit about new snow For the rich Is not art Kobayashi Issa
What at first sight appears blunt and bold becomes subtle and transformative. Nature and intense observation is the vessel. The compressed richness of imagery, austere, controlled passion that seeps slowly through the surfaces of Maurizio Corona’s work is the result of the greater part of a lifetime consciously being in nature. Both sophisticated and direct, a lack of pomp cossets and nudges us towards an understanding of being in nature. Flashes of understanding , a putting together of disperate things. Then back to objects and their unwillingness to give themselves up to prediction. It’s the tress that are looking at us. They are growing slower than us. We should look at things that grow quicker than we do so as to get an idea of our possible outcome. In an ensemble of Maurizio Corona’s work we are the subject.
Thanks for you all, who have posted an entry. There are very interesting statements.
Our new exhibition ORIENTATED TO PAPER will appear on our homepage probably tomorrow.
We are very strained on your contributions.
And last but not least. The best way is to write in ENGLISH. ... but you can also do it in GERMAN. (Sorry ... our ENGLISH is not the best too).
Perhabs this GOOGLE SITE can help you: http://translate.google.de/translate_t#
Also bitte, scheuen Sie sich nicht in ENGLISCH zu schreiben. Wenn es nicht anders geht, dann natürlich in DEUTSCH. Allerdings kommen, laut unserer Webstatistik, die meisten Besucher, 2/3 aller, nicht aus Deutschland!
Hello. I'm afraid I've been very busy just these last few weeks. Still am for a week or so. But I welcome the opening of what I think could become an interesting debate between painters. OK, artists. I hope to correspond more fully in the near future... in particular on Jerry Zeniuk's piece. For the meanwhile I'd just set on record that for me, the term "concrete" is history. Very respectable and living art... but the term is history. Max Bill and abstract-concrete above all other manifestations.... I love it all. BUT. Beyond history, I believe the "image" should have no need of the cautious inverted commas I just placed. The image, be it so-called figurative or abstract, is to me ... or CAN be, precisely concrete. I live in Italy, and the recentish flood of exhibitions purporting to be "aniconic" bore the brains off me.... notwithstanding that many of the artists, wiilingly or not, pulled under this umbrella are personal friends and valid, inspiring artists. We have a problem with out-dated terminology. Entropy of the signifier, if we want to go back to the semiotics that I almost took seriously as a kid. And still do as long as it stays smaller than its boots. IF "concrete" can revive it's touchability and thinkability.... above all re-think, re-invent itself, OK! In the meanwhile, at sea on a tide of barking dogs and belching barques I am fond of my fellow fools on the ship..... hopefully not like the concrete boat that we built on the Nile in 1974. It sank. Until next time...next week I hope after a bit of pragmatic mondanity in Milan; and absolute solidarity with Alf-Krister, Evelyn and the artists of B+J.