- June 2011

All posts added to this site during the month of June, 2011.

ONE STEP AHEAD Peter Neilson

2:30pm Sun. June 26th

And having read Adorno's position that art's impulse is to objectivate the fleeting, not the permanent may well run through the whole of its history;
And, bowing low before Benjamin's final reading of Paul Klee's painting Angelus Novus as the 'angel of history' blown backwards into the future by a storm form Paradise while the chain of events we call progress is seen by our angel as one single catastrophe which piles up wreckage and hurls it at the angel's feet;
And after musing on the 'missing link' that so intrigued Greenberg into his old age, between Picasso's Rose Period and Braque's Fauvist period and the 'unimaginable, solely intuitive leap into Cubism (my own take being that conversations between Picasso and Gertrude Stein in 1905 during her daily sittings over three months for his famous portrait of her, was Picasso's introduction to her ideas the art's new role in the twentieth century was to express a 'continuous present' which led directly tothe Cubist re-viewing of the visual suject: instantly, from all sides, all at once - a 'continuous present').

And after disagreeing with John Updike's savaging of the sainted, satanic Pollack's Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952, 'with its unhappy discovery of orange paint', as a regression of style, painted years after Pollack had moved on from his 'drip-paint' style, and Updike's rejoicing in its banishment to an empire outpost in Australia 'whence it will come but rarely' to trouble those populating the centre of the universe,it was but a small step through the labyrinth of my library to re-read Sherman E. Lee's history of China's Southern Sung landscape style (1127-1277AD),painted by practitioner's of the 'Sponaneous mode" with its extremely bold 'flung ink' techniques revealing 'abrupt and arbirary personality' , and a'pictorial parallel to the mystic's enlightenment, as well as to the individual's revolt against the times of troubles that were the last days of the Dynasty';

And after reading the film critic Parker Tyler's early review of Pollack's art, written in March 1950, explaining that Pollack's 'labyrinths' were visual metaphors which 'even the most unprepared spectator would immediately grasp', inferring that it existed as a widely recognised visual metaphor before it was adopted by Pollack and that film noir was lasgely responsible for the labyrinth's dissemination thoughout post-WW2 visual culture;

Then, and only then, do I clear my mind of theories and worthy ideas, take up my brush and canvas, which stare back at me across eight hundred years of raging history, and and in the gathering silence listen to Aragon the Young and Rimbaud the Even Younger, for directions, seeking a way through the 'calculated confusion', on the unmarked map tp Nowhere Known.

At last, painting is out of the spotlight, old, and tired of carrying the avant-garde can for every philosophical statement imaginable and pleased to hand that part of life over to the re-producables', allowing itself to be itself at its core: tough, individual, elite; and perhaps for the first time able to say something about what's going on in the spotlight. Painting continues outrunning history - one fleeting step ahead.

This statement by Peter Neilson was first published in the invitation to his July 2006 exhibition of paintings and drawings by Australian Galleries, at Dank Street Gallery, Waterloo, Sydney Australia. More

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