Even to me, yesterday's drawing sings a radical message. It conserves Western's Art's intrigue with perspective, yet creates a room-like environment inhabited by a form of many forms. It has little comfortable references to reality. This is pure three-dimensional abstraction, simultaneously conservative and radical. Viewing discomfort abounds! Is it good art? It is what it is: a test, a proving ground, research, and profoundly articulate. This drawing is filled with finesse of touch and of pencil marks. It exudes elegance in form-creation and in composition. Yet, it is disturbingly different; it is different than anything I have imagined prior to its existence. My role is not to judge, but to make, then move on to create some more.
Part III: Wall with Objects OR Wallpaper
Paintings and drawings are flat, two-dimensional surfaces. If an artifice of the third dimension is created there are two choices. In order to deal with the inherent two-dimensionality of canvas or paper an artist can... (1) create a box, or landscape, by using a ground defined by a horizon, or (2) hang forms from a flat wall (the wall being defined by obvious positioning of the forms on the wall). There is third way to deal with two-dimensional canvas or paper: Float flat objects in an amorphous space. This third option, flat on flat, is always unsatisfactory. It is decoration. It is merely wallpaper. It cannot be art! Decoration is nice and pleasant, it may fill a void on a wall, but it cannot speak deeply of the human spirit, complex as the human spirit is, with intellect and emotion.
Joan Miró tried doing both; he made paintings with the artifice of the third-dimension, and he made paintings that have flat objects on amorphous backgrounds. Miró's paintings with the third dimensional deceit mostly succeed, Miró's flat on flat paintings mostly fail (they are decorative and may fit well as decorations in a home, nothing more). Below, look at two paintings by Joan Miró. I admit, the second painting, which is flat on flat, exhibits Miró's effort to define the ground by using uneven areas of paint (in this way a viewer, at least, is cognizant the painting is on a flat surface).
Henri Matisse did both. He created flat on flat works (e.g., his late paper cuts), but most of his career was spent making drawings and paintings with an exuberant questioning of color and three-dimensional space. I will discuss Matisse's work tomorrow.
In yesterday's drawing I experimented with the lack of a horizon line; however there is an obvious horizon and an obvious ground.
I have many artistic ambitions. I worry I have too many objectives. I aspire to make art that functions well through many means: value, form, negative space, three-dimensional space, two-dimensional space, composition, and much more. I worry this may lead to confusion. A good work of art must show it itself through initial simplicity. A simple entry entices the viewer to become engaged, to pay attention, to look deeper, to see more. Complication is enriching only if the viewer hangs in there to absorb it. I think yesterday's drawing achieves this fullness; simplicity first, then satisfyingly complicated. This drawing is the last I will frame for my one-person Bromfield Gallery exhibition, opening June 5. Enjoy here! But please, see it in person at Bromfield Gallery. It is better than its reproduction.
The other thing I have been busy doing (in lieu of making art) is sending invitations. I am hand-writing envelopes, stuffing them with announcement postcards; one card summarizes the Spring/Summer exhibits, the other announces the Bromfield Gallery exhibit (opening June 10). I have shown you the Spring/Summer exhibition summery Postcard (see Blog Post of 3/13/2019), but not the Bromfield Gallery announcement postcard (see it, below).
Yesterday's drawing is interesting. I wanted to juxtapose the animation of negative space (at top) versus strong three-dimensional forms (below). Did I pull it off?
Bromfield Gallery Announcement Postcard
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.