they mainly seem to be from the slightly less well known areas of American abstraction,
such as Richard Diebenkorn, Hans Hofmann, and the fringes of surrealism: - Enrico Donati,
also I've been finding images of work that is new to me by artists I know, and different aspects to their work. Patrick Heron, Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash.
So the through thread of all this seems to be nature. The twisted Freudian nature of surrealism
and the vast expansive sublime nature of the Americans, these are both the nature of the
internal as much as external, -
I have tried to construct a picture essay, the background, or context of it is that time in history from the end of the first world war to the beginning of the pop age the 1960's after which,
all internal ambiguity began to be funnelled into the certainty of clearly defined consumerism. In this time the focus of art history fled from Europe to America, and embraced the somewhat
apparent blankness of pure abstraction, but I hope to infer that the apparent evolution from cubism
through surrealism to abstraction is not so clear cut.
In fact I do not believe that art progresses in such a manor much like the process of evolution the notion of progress is misleading, there is no conscious drive, there is no start and no end, no goals only factors that interlink with one another and push and pull, a parallel in a group of artists
work is a joint response to the same cultural factors any allusions to finding “the answer” is merely an
appropriate response to a prevailing factor, the factors ( i.e. nature, society-) never remain constant and so art never rests on a conclusion.
Art history is not a simple story of the invention of the camera and the death of god resulting in
a freedom from the constraint of representation and the singularity of monotheism and thus a gradual
abstraction of representation towards pure abstraction.
I find it interesting being British, Brittish Artists have never whole heartedly been part of an art movement, it dabbles and picks at elements of surrealism and constructivism and modernism,
it exists between Europe and America. I find the artist that exist between the gaps the most interesting, there is no progress between Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, in a way they
provide the continuity. Conclusion is the death of enquiry. For me elements of work by artists
like Arthur Dove and Arshile Gorky and Enrico Donati who bridge that gap between Europe and America seem to offer the most open and simple way of combining the abstract, physical, objective reality of materials –paint, with the subjective, conscious reality of being. Something as simple as a circle or sphere that might appear in Dove’s work is both purely abstract and purely natural.
The picture essay contrives a narrative of things forming, coming into being, from shape and colour before dissolving again into component parts.