Sunday, March 14, 2010


" I had the image of a bluegold dome , those colors weaving in distinct
strands to the center of an oculus. But the painting came out blue
upon blue. Lovely, yes, but lovely in a way I have already
put behind me. It is too much of a time when I believe that
Paradise was nearby, in bliss, and now though I am not as sad
as I was, or jaded as I was once, I am puzzled...should a painting
affirm what one is unable to?
There is this blue Paradise. I did not know I was nostalgic for it
---if I am--and there it is. It may be done.

As I drove to the gym, I wished for someone else to tell me yes or no.
And thought of Francis Bacon who also wished for another painter--
working on the same problems--to verify or question the work
performed solitarily, without a yes or no. Who would this second self
be? It is impossible to imagine him or her considering what
one knows of other peoples' views. And earlier in history a common
language was shared, and to some degree a commonly shared criterion. ..
--No, that is not so; think of the sterile classicism which faulted Rembrandt
in Amsterdam c 1630. We think of earlier times as being simpler in their
demands, which was not at all how it must have felt.

Of one thing I am sure: art historians always oversimplify WHERE things come
from ,"influence" . Who would have thought that Rembrandt loved Mantegna
and faithfully copied an etching of his ? But he did, and such a thing is
in your hand thereafter. For the record, I remembered a Jean Fouquet,
and The Fall of the Rebel Angels in the missal illustrated
by the Limbourg brothers for the Duc De Berry, and the Oculus of the
Camera Della Sposi , and the Safavid Dynasty illustration of Mohammed's Descent
on the back of Buracq to the Throne of God.
My sacred blue paintings.
How well I remembered them, and to what degree,and to what ends is a
different matter, nor was this an attempt at a concious synthesis.Rather it was called out
and into being by a certain blue itself in some ambiguous zone between ultramarine cobalt
cerulean and that greeny-blue which is so different from them each
that in Russian color theory it counts (so I am told) as a different color
(from a notebook of 1997)

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