Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oneiric Commitment

Anything you would paint will be an interpretation, even if you try to avoid it and adhere as closely as possible to reality of the image-the interpretation will be tendentious favoring one’s interest in the aesthetic solutions, in design, in relations of parts to each other in an artful ways that result in appealing sight, or favoring interest in the very reality, individuation of the subject painted. Of course both tendencies will be followed in some degree of proportional commitment to formal matters on one hand and reality of subject on the other.
To regain sovereignty of painting away from photographic image painters largely rejected close observation, study of the painted subjects in favor of “purely painterly” considerations. They are creating paintings, not depicting something outside of painting-they would explain.
At a momentary glance it might seem right; why should they be slavishly mimicking reality when a good photograph can do the job in a second, right? Wrong, about as wrong as saying “no” to the world. In successful   painting the world is depicted by enamored eye, showing us the legend, the passionate interpretation of reality, far from any mechanical optics of the camera.
So- the first and most important is painter’s commitment to the infinite miracles of the world. Second commitment is called “oneiric commitment”, a commitment to a vision. Once a vision visited your mind it is hardly endowed with all the necessary elements and parts and qualities that should be included to make the image compelling, fleshed –out in firm embodiment. Visions are ghostly apparitions and painter’s skills are going to turn a fleeting vision into a lasting image of powerful, irrefutable persistence.
But then much more can be done and the oneiric commitment can be deeper, endowing the image with ever greater depth of observations, descriptive qualities,penetrating knowledge of reality and suggestive power of endowing imaginary elements with irrefutable force of  reality. At that elevation of painter’s task the world-building is conducted inside of a painting, rather than directly aiming at bringing an image to aesthetically satisfying conclusion.[There is one of cardinal divisions between the Northern spirit of multiplicity and Italian love of unity, as Heinrich Woellflin pointed out.] Few painters across centuries have set their task along such overwhelming commitment. Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel certainly understood painting in this way.

                                                                     Robert Campin 

                                                                    Andre d'Ypres

                                                                       Jan van Eyck

                                                                Hieronymus Bosch

                                                           Pieter Brueghel

                                                                  Pieter Brueghel

                                                            Jan Gossaert called Mabuse

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