A biography of painting - part 8


When I saw a painting by Robert Motherwell you can see clearly from the image on the right why it resonated with me.

I had found an art that was truly inigimatic yet had an implied meaning. The paintings seen here by Motherwell and Kline represent only themselves and are redolent of the moment of their creation. The viewer is allowed to construct meaning on a personal level and they are large enough and bold enough to demand attention on a public gallery wall.

This was not an art one could copy,to do so would be fatuous, but it is in the environment and therefore you could paint it.

For the next series of paintings I divided a canvas or paper into three areas. The two sides representing the gallery wall (ground) and the central panel a work of art (or subject). It was art within art combining to construct what Barthes(1957) called a metalanguage. This method of composition is the most fundamental there is for the rectangular surface - the rectangle is in itself a representation of the art object.

The other artist I was interested in in regard to this was Joan Miro, but only particular paintings. In particular I was interested in his codification of colour. I had using a limited palette of colours for some time, the purpose being to use colour as a specific, although not symbolic, purpose. This gave added emphasis to the serial nature of my paintings.

Joan Miro 1927

[ Click here for images of this work]


Robert Motherwell 1959

Franz Kline