Wednesday, April 18, 2012

simple/complex


Andrew, I’d like to add a painting by Marcus Reichert to your post about how life and nature and great paintings all share the property of being simultaneously simple and complex. 

Tree
22" x 22" 1994
Marcus Reichert
Private Collection, France

This painting by Reichert is like that: deceptively simple and yet extremely complex. His image certainly reduces the tree to a basic shape; one that pretty much anyone anywhere would recognize as a tree.  Simple enough, but it’s also not so easy; as one looks, one finds it’s also incredibly complex and multi-layered. A great painting.

I’d like to add this painting to Grace DeGennaro’s to make the point that this quality is not bound to one way of working, but crosses the entire range of painting styles. As you wrote, from Memling to Pollock.

S.A.

1 comment:

  1. One more thought:
    I find this simple/complex quality totally missing in the work of some contemporary artists whose work is never-the-less very highly touted as important and cutting edge. Consequently, their work feels one-dimensional to me, empty or sophomoric, or like glib one-liners at best. They may amuse or startle or be odd for a moment, but nothing exists beyond that. Perhaps that in itself is viewed as an existential statement about a vapid society, though that seems to me a poor defense.

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quotes

"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious,
the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”
- Amedeo Modigliani