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For the Joy of Light

Documenting Robert Singleton's work with the highest quality color images. Paintings from 1964 - 1973 “The Florida Years” to “Screamer Mountain” 1973 -1978 to the remote mountains of West Virginia. This elegantly designed eighty page book details the metamorphic change which took place in Robert’s work. ~~~ Celebrating Robert's 80th year and over five decades of his creativity.

Thehorizontallineandthecirclebecamepartofmyvisualvocabulary,avocabularyofimagecomponentsputoncanvas.Artists sometimesrefertothisindividualvocabularyasthesignatureoftheartist'swork,arecognizablestyle,resultingfrom theartist's subjectiveinterpretationofsubject,colorandlight,combinedwithapplicationthroughbrushwork,etc.Thesearejustafew ofthe componentswhich,whencombined,createavisualimageoncanvas.Thesubjectiveorindividualuseofthesecomponentscreates theindividualartist'sstyleorsignature.Thissignatureiseasilyrecognizable.OnceyouhaveseenaRembrandt,aVanGogh,a Warhol,oraJasperJohns,andrecognizetheartist'svisualvocabulary,from thatpointon,youinstantlyrecognizetheseartists’ works.Whatalofthisisleadingtoisthedefinitionofcertaintermsthatarebothspokenandvisual. Thesetermsarepartofthisvisualvocabulary. Onecansaythatalvisualartisdividedintotwobasiccategories.TheimageryiseitherOrganicorGeometric.Ofcourse,the twocanbecombined,althoughtheyremainseparateelementswithinthework. Organic... Organicmeansthesubjectmaterislivingorhaslived.Thiscouldrangefrom aportraittoalandscape,from lichenonarockto thecelstructureofanamoeba.Non-livingsubjects,suchariverrockortidalsandbars,arealsoorganic.Whataltheseorganic subjectshaveincommonisorganicshapes.Theyarenatural,flowing,spontaneousandrandom.Haveyoueverstoodonariver bankandlookedatthepolishedpebblesunderyourfeet?Notwowilbeexactlythesame,yettheyalhaveincommonthisorganic shape.Thereisauniversaltruthtotheseshapes,alappearingtoberandom.Notwohumans,exceptfortwins,appearexactlythe same,notwotreesorrocks,yetwerecognizethem inthebroadsenseasbeingthesame.(*3) Geometric... Geometricistheopposite.Man-madeobjectssuchasahouse,atelephonepole,afence,acaroranentirecity,aregeometric. Curiously,althesegeometricshapesaremadebymanwithmanmadetools.Todraw astraightlineyouusearuler.Todraw a perfectcircle,youuseacompass.Manmadetoolscanperfectlyreproduceorduplicateageometricshape.Asaresultthey're neverrandom orspontaneous.Theoppositeofadrawnsquareisthenatural,yetuniversalshapeofariverrock.(*4) Thecombinationoforganicandgeometricshapesinapaintingmightbealandscapewitharow oftelephonepoles,ora farmhouseinthemiddleofapasture.Anothercombinationcouldbeaportraitofapersonsitinginachairwithawindowinthe background. WhatIhavebeendescribinginwritingispartofthevisuallanguageoftheartist.Simplyput,givinguniversalvocabularytothe visualimagesinapainting. Onanumberofoccasions,whileteaching,Ichalengedmystudentswith,“Isthereathirdingredientbeyondorganicand geometricinart?”

Iwouldnow liketotakethislanguageofvisualimagesonestepfurther.Inthislanguagethereisacorelationoftermsand imagesusedtotranslateorganicandgeometricintoemotionalandintelectual. Iam ofamindtothinkthattheemotionalportionofthehumanpsycheispartofournaturalstate.Wearebornwithfivenatural emotions:ThefirstisFear,fearoffaling,fearofaloudnoise.Anyfearbeyondthesetwoislearnedthroughtheintelect.Theother fournaturalemotionsare:Love,Grief,AngerandJealousy. In1968,whileteachingattheOrlandoMuseum ofFineArts,Isaw StanleyKubrick'sfilm,"2001:ASpaceOdyssey,"forthefirst time.Theverynextday,Irequestedthatalmystudentsseethisfilm. Alow metodescribemyreactionandinterpretationofthefirst20minutesoffilm.Attheopening,theentirelandscapeandlife formspresentwerepurelynatural,ororganic.Thisportionofthefilm wassubtitled"TheDawnofMan."Therewasamarked absenceofinteligence.Withthelifeformsthatwerepresent;ahigherform ofapes,therewasamarkedpresenceofemotion; primarilyfearofpredators.Asthisopeningsequenceofthefilm reacheditsclimax,inteligence,inanalmostmysticalway,madeits presenceknownintheform ofagiantmonolith.Whenthismonolithappeareditwasinstarkcontrasttothetotalenvironment.The monolith'slinesandtextureswereflawlessincontrasttotheroughrockyterain.Myresponse,andtheapes,wasthatthismonolith wasamysticalpresence. Emotionandintelectarepartofthehumanpsyche.Theyaretwokeyingredientsthatseparateusfrom thenaturalworld.Withinthepsychethetwoworksidebyside.Aconsciousdecision,bytheintelect,canbebasedintheemotions. Whenyouareangry,emotional,youmayintelectualysaythingsyoudon'tmean.Youremotionalresponsetoabeautifulsunset maybetheinspirationfortheintelecttowriteapoem.Psychologyteachesthatoneshouldnotmakeimportantdecisionswhile wroughtwithemotion.(*5) Themonolith,withoutquestion,wasinteligence,knowledge,perhapsevenGod.Ifelt,itwasthatmomentinprehistorictime when,throughthemonolith,theapesstooderectandreceivedtheabilitytoreason,thusbecomingtheancestorsofalhuman-kind. Human-kindwascreatedwhenitreceivedintelect.Purelyforthesakeofthisdiscussion,Iwilequateorganicimageswiththe emotions.Anartist,whenwitnessingthesunset,hadanemotionalresponseand,inturn,paintedthepictureashisemotional interpretation.The paintingofasunset,whichisorganic,maycauseapoet'semotionalresponsetowriteasonnetaboutthe painting. Now wewildiscusstheintelect.Organicistheoppositeofgeometricand,folowingthatlogic,emotionistheoppositeof intelect.Organicandemotionareinterchangeable.Geometricandintelectarealsointerchangeable.Istatedthatageometric imagecouldbeahouse.Whatcreatedthedesignforthehouseandbroughtthatdesignintoreality?Ahumanandhisintelect. Let'sreducealthisterminologytosimpleimages.Ifoneweretodraw astraightlinewitharulerononesideofapieceofpaper, andontheothersidedraw awaftedlinefreehand,whichwouldbetheorganic/emotionalstatement?Whichwouldbethe geometric/intelectstatement?(*6)