Thursday, December 1, 2011
Obsession and Landscape
This is a 7x14 pencil drawing in preparation for a slightly larger painting. I often think of the "archetypal landscape" of Anselm Kiefer when I do these tiny landscapes, and because they are so small, they are like his huge landscapes in opposition, if that makes any sense. But I don't have the rawness, the woundedness he displays, because I am not quite pursuing his interests, or maybe being pursued by them. Mark Rosenthal in a 1987 Kiefer catalog states that his paintings have "...the blackened, scorched earth [as] his central motif, his Mont Sainte Victoire, as it were, showing the province of the landscape to be human suffering, not the glory of nature." His obsession is the soil burned and soaked in blood. Cezanne's late obsession was the unobtainable mountain (like Moby Dick). Nevertheless, any repeated landscape motifs acquire some hint, some flavor, some meaning of previous, obsessed-over landscapes, even if they don't deny the "glory of nature".