There are three writings which have been relevant to my art practice over the past few weeks. Collectively, they relate to intention, I believe. Also beauty. Possibility. Creating spaces. Contradictions.
The words are written by or about artists I greatly respect. Rothko. Richter. Lavadour.
I am keeping these words in mind as I struggle to find my way in this river of infinite possibilities.
From James Lavadour:
Painting is not about making pictures. It’s about jumping into the great unknown and bringing back things you’ve never seen before that are good to look at. And those good things are uplifting. Every little discovery is uplifting. The whole purpose of painting, for me, is to uplift the spirit, make you feel good, give you something that is good to look at and informative of some unknown thing that you never considered before. ~from James Lavadour explains being, painting nature in the Missoulian
About Mark Rothko
They painted with a different intention in mind. Rothko, for example, he uses thinning and grading of color to create an illusion of space, which is not simultaneously negated–as it is with you (referring to Richter)–but really represents depth, mist, shimmering, transcendence. And then, in Rothko’s work, colour combination is an important element: that is, two or at most three shades or colour values are juxtaposed in a very precisely calculated, differentiated way, so that the combination generates a particular colour harmony, which is then supposed to produce a specific emotional effect. ~from Interview with Benjamin H.D.Buchloh, 1986 in Gerhard Richter Writings
From Gerhard Richter
…landscapes or still-lifes I paint in between the abstract works; they constitute about one-tenth of my production. On the one hand they are useful, because I like to work from nature – although I do use a photograph – because I think that any detail from nature has a logic I would like to see in abstraction as well. On the other hand, painting from nature or painting still-lifes is a sort of diversion; creates a balance. If I were to express it somewhat informally, I would say that the landscapes are a type of yearning, a yearning for a whole and simple life. A little nostalgic. The abstract works are my presence, my reality, my problems, my difficulties and contradictions. They are very topical for me. ~interview with Dorothea Dietrich, 1985 in Gerhard Richter Writings