Wolfgang Paalen (1905 – 1959) was a German-Austrian-Mexican painter. A surrealist.
I respect his way to explore many territories. Here’s what I found for you. Totemic landscapes, splendid textures…
It’s a bit strange these days in France : the weather’s like summer. I know it’s pretty common in California to wear tee-shirts in October, but NOT in the North of France. My scarf stays in her drawer, though : it’s hot here.
Yesterday I biked to work, and as it’s October, the sun is already low on the horizon. But the air was weirdly warm – like in August’s mornings.
So this sunday morning we did this : I took Isis the cat and put it outside of the bedroom (because she wants to explore gutters and the roof and we don’t want her to do that), I closed the door, opened the window and we stayed in bed bathing in the sun.
We could hear the outside warm autumnic world : a passing car, a quiet wind, a bird, church’s bells (strangely close, like happy sunny), a crying baby very far and… Isis putting her little cat snout meowing her dramadistress : “I wanna come in I wanna sun with youuu meaowwww”.
Delightful quiet sunny sonic place, all these at the same time : bell, wind, birds, cat, baby… and a little moaning (but it’s a secret where it came from).
For no reason, let’s watch this movement between figuration and abstract. It’s a whole thing to study, but today let’s do it in two paintings, Tissot and Pollock :
Picasso said that abstract art doesn’t even exist, because if you see green things on the canvas “then the subject is the color green” (which is true, right?).
If Tissot’s painting shows a thoughtful lady, Pollock’s a bit more complicated (it’s made of painting drippings). Nevertheless : you’ll watch Pollock work closer and your eyes will immediately look for something which “makes you think of this”, or “looks like that”.
Then, well, it’s called “Autumn Rhythm“, then your mind, guided by these two words, imagine leaves, or movements, I don’t know.
It’s abstraction BUT your brain wants a track, a clue. Or you watch color’s games. Or you ask yourself about the artist’s intentions…
Our intelligence is made of analogies. We want to link what we see WITH what we already know.
Here’s a close-up :
Musics has many forms, from Bach to MGMT, from Miles Davis to Brahms. But it’s always this :
Music is a combination of notes following time.
So : music progresses, moves forward, it goes. You follow, your brain follows. It’s linked to time. It’s like a line, right? Sing along…
Now here’s Brian Eno, who made normal music (and produced David Bowie and U2), but also what he called sonic places.
The idea is simple : to stop “following time”. So instead of having a path to walk your ears on, you have non-chronological sounds, coming and disappearing, like if you opened a door and were in a place where “sounds happen”.
Not a line anymore, but a place, an environment. Somewhere with “no time” (which is so good at times). There’s a good example with this album : Shutov Assembly :
In a way, the sounds of life doesn’t or rarely look like music. They look more like Eno’s music, “places” :
…a baby, the quiet wind, a cat, a bird in the distance, a passing car, the leaves of a tree in the breeze, et la respiration de l’amour…
What about Tissot and Pollock? What if this thinking lady was watching a pile of dead trees, her gaze blurred by souvenirs and melancholy, her gaze like Pollock’s Autumn, curved brown movements in the low angled light of the fall’s sun…
Have a nice day!
From March to July 2018, there’s an exhibition of Kupka‘s work in Le Grand Palais, in Paris. This place is maybe the perfect place if you want to… emerge from the tube and show the city to someone who never saw Paris before… It’s near Le Louvre, near La Seine, Place de la Concorde, the park of Les Tuileries… Something like :
I didn’t know anything about Kupka before this exhibition. He’s one of the guys who carried painting towards abstraction.
There’s something to explore here, which is how painters went to cubism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubism ), then to Orphism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphism_(art) ), which is cubism with more curves and more colors.
These guys were explorers!
I let you read about them if you want. I just wanted to show you the gorgeous paintings he made.
Hmmm what is Orphism? OK another article.
Have a nice day!
Nietzsche wrote “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”
, ain’t it… satisfying?
In action movies, it’s a strong frowned eyebrows phrase, and then let’s go fight the evil evilness!
In a self-help book, it’s more like a hidden injunction. “You suffer? OK! But not too long, please! Now stand up and move forward”, you’ll heal, blah blah and triple blah.
In reality, what doesn’t kill you… leaves deep scars, lets you feel miserable for a long time, puts your game all puzzled down on the ground. You’re done, bawl a bit and all.
But, aaaaall right. Stand up. It did not kill you, right? One more scar, it’s charming. Weaker maybe, you’ll hide it. You’ll find a way, and will do your best. I hope so!
Amor Fati, because you have too.
Thanks for reading!