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Reparation and Golden Balloons

Here are two more posts from an earlier time that I thought to share. Fourteen, fifteen years ago. Time is certainly a curious thing. Recently in the Strategies class I was sharing the experience I’ve been having reading Catherine Lampert’s recent book, Frank Auerbach — Speaking and Painting. The reminding and rekindling that the book brings. That sense of somehow a deep truth in the activity of painting – or at least the possibility of somehow a deep truth in the activity of painting. The great wonder of that. The great mystery of that. Which I truly do not understand, but it pushes me, in ways that I am grateful for, that bring me to my life.

The posts:

February 27, 2002

The deeper nature of the play with figure/ground: is that not in essence coming from a desire to give form to the presence in the invisible? Look at Cezanne. Look at his skies. Look at Morandi.

Andrew spoke of painting as reparation. When I mentioned the feelings of doubt about the efficacy of painting in any real sense in our lives today, when I step into the studio – he spoke of painting as reparation, as repair. How can there be repair without a wound? Is not all great painting great reaching? Reaching and achieving. Reaching and arriving.

The willingness to face the doubt, the ennui, the fear of no meaning, again and again, and in the face of blankness to state otherwise, to discover, to reveal, to repair otherwise.


August 23, 2001

Developing the space, holding it, holding the air, the light, containing it and then shifting it, expanding it out, rounding the edges of the rectangle as the space expands like a wonderful golden balloon.

These many years later, thinking of the question, “How can there be repair without a wound?”. Perhaps the wound is the experience of our separateness, the deep myth of our Separateness. Great painting works to heal that.

And a couple of images. The recent interior that I’ve been working on — here is another shot of it in progress.

And a charcoal drawing of the same motif from the other day, also in progress. There’s never enough time.

Natalie Hollander Charkow, another dear teacher, first brought Auerbach to my attention back when I was in grad school. The book on Auerbach by Robert Hughes had just come out. She showed it to me and said, here – read this. I did. Thank you, Natalie.



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