Sunday, September 11, 2011

From my Workshop VII:The Wall - detail

Oil on Canvas,detail 20 x 20 from a larger painting "The Wall at Bottna Church" (2011).
Possession of the Artist.For commercial purposes,contact Heiner Bastian,Berlin.

"Retinal pleasure" was a concept ,sometimes used by the New York critics at their firstconfrontations in the nineteenforties,with Jackson Pollocks early drip-paintings.They actualized the eternal question of what we might mean by "figurative" painting.Canaletto is figurative,late Kandinsky not.But what to do we painting which does not even suggest a surface ?
One writer tried to introduce the word "optics" for this variety of painting.
In a colloquium in the Philosophy Department of the University of Texas at Austin I overheard a visitor from the Australian realist school describing color as "a property of surfaces".Really ? So what about the blue sky ? Is it a surface ? The blu in the reactor basin when the fuel staffs are lifted ?

The answer is of course that there are no colors of surface.As already Newton states it in his "Opticks" - color is the result of the meeting between the external world and a sensorium. Color is the result of a thought process.

The lower left part of my painting is formally figurative;what we are supposed to imagine is the meeting between the deep findistinct greys and blues in the shadow of the medieval church wall and the vegetation at its foot.A meeting,- if you want,between the very old and the very young.But isolated from the larger narrative context the field takes on a nonfigurative character.
"Retinal pleasure" as I understand it a sort of internal process in the visual apparatus (not quite unlike some forms of erotic pleasure) where the vision becomes a sort of internal source of lust.

As a poem can be prose and poem at the same time,a picture can be figurative and non-figurative simultaneously.

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