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Art And Writing 6
David Baruch Wolk
Digital Art - Digital Image
Many of the abstract expressionists, and truly the neo-impressionists before them, namely Van Gogh and Cezanne and even earlier and it seems the source of this change is in the impressionists, already broke away from a certain classical mode in painting that the brushstroke was secondary and subserviant to the form being expressed. Previous to this it is possible to say that the more that the brushstroke was hidden, the better. The emergence to the fore of the visiblity of the brushstroke can be seen as exemplifying two new thoughts; one, the the artist “voice” exemplified by his brushstroke begins to be as important as what he is saying (the form painted), even to the point where the brushstroke itself becomes even the essential form (i.e. Dekooning, Pollack, others); the second idea being an aspect of the general movement towards countering the lie of art; namely, the illusion of depth, by reinforcing the flatness of the picture plane, the surface of the painting, the eminence of the visible brushstroke is also a negation of the lie of painting.
All this is simple to those who know this subject, and here I want to add a point that may not have been said: The brushstroke is an expression of writing as well as painting. That is, the brushstroke forms the bridge between the two. This is so clear to me as to not need elaboration. I have written in another place the matter of the Hebrew letter being a bridge between word and picture, see there; here I wish to postulate that there is a progression in the history of art that is a movement towards this truth; that is, that the movement in art to abolish the lie of painting led to the preeminence of the importance of the brushstroke; this being of a revelation of the bridge between art and writing, art and letter, art and word. This is apparent also in other modern movements as is well known (Jasper Johns, and other ‘pop-artists’ seemed to occupy themselves with this idea, and until our day it had entered into the realm of common culture, behold; graffiti in itself and graffiti art, and the entire advertising medium is replete with this underlying concept.)
In truth it is hard to define this as a new revelation; it likely to find through the history of man a more or less open avenue between art and letter, or, perhaps an oscillation in history between an opening and closing of this avenue. But it seems, the in modern history the movement towards abstraction and the preeminence of the brushstroke is specifically a movement towards verifying the importance of inner life and form and the connection of inner forms to universal form. The final step of this awareness is the acceptance of the world of the truth of the primacy of the forms of the Holy alphabet, as I have expounded upon in other places.
March 16th, 2013
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