Saturday, February 18, 2006

Michael Van Zeyl and Larry Paulsen at P&C

This is a very imposing portrait - no clever, quirky, self conscious artsy stuff here -- just the simple power of integrity -- as if Titian had gotten into a Midwestern head. But there is some kind of anxiety here too, isn't there ? Shoulders bent forward -- hands crossed, like Adam's, to cover his crotch. I think we've entered a Christian world.

And speaking of a Christian world - here we've got a crucifix -- some fish -- and other stuff that seems to compel a symbolic interpretation. That's my latest definition of art, by the way: that which continues to compel fervent, though unlikely, interpretations. And another of my unlikely guesses is that Michael thought of fish after seeing a William Merritt Chase still life in the new American wing at the AIC.

On a completely different note -- we have the pen drawings of Larry Paulsen --some of them made in my own Monday night drawing workshop. I think there's a Zen of pen drawing that similar to oriental brush painting -- i.e. it's all about the right thought at the right moment -- no blurry fudging -- no second chances -- zap, you got it -- or zap, you missed -- and these are ones that Larry got -- with some breath taking lines.

Here's another hit -- look at that figure setting back into space with dignity and control -- ready to fit into a larger composition -- possibly the "Drunkeness of Noah" ??? This is what Tiepolo does in his lively sketches.


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