Thursday, May 15, 2014


One of my on-going preoccupations is how to  make an image--or images which are visual equivalents to
musical counterpoint.  Obviously, there is no actual equivalent. Even musical notion is in some sense a metaphor for what is heard. Never-the-less, it stimulates me to attempt a visual metaphor for a fugue from THE ART OF THE FUGUE, as it did for painters as different as Braque and Klee before me. 

My paintings on layers of aluminum screen were conceived with this in mind. They also were simultaneously enquiries into the means  of depicting of motion.. Much, much later, it occurred to me that I might "transistorize" this problem in a different way on paper. Hence these drawings.  

 They began as pictograms on grids.  This would be layer one. Over these larger figures were drawn. This would be layer two. The addition of color --mostly on the grid pictograms but occasionally over as another
composition entirely--would act as the third contrapuntal " line". In many cases the "pictograms" in the "grids" are reversed or altered in some significant way.
 A grid will consist of eighty eight to a hundred pictograms.  The second layer of larger pictograms will
range from thirty two to forty images.The viewer therefore will be seeing the former through the latter, the grid images through the larger. It creates a kind of idioretinal shimmer.
In some cases I have done four layers of drawing images, of which this is one.
Or  used color "kaleidoscopically", to imply a fourth layer, as here.

This, and the drawing below, attempt to impose a "chordal" structure over the first and second series of pictographic images. 

I must add that these are studies for much larger outdoor pieces.  Also, that--in addition to western counterpoint, they also reflect my interest in polychrome Islamic prayer niches, and Oscar Niemeyer's. quasi Aztec quasi Mayan mosaics in Brasilia. But a work of art does not come from one place, but many, and may be said to be a matter of convergence as much as of essence. Or so I  think today. 
(these drawings were done in the summer of  2012)

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