Statement - January 2018

Statement – January 2018

In an effort to define the abstract I am not interested in any street or type of music. The abstract is not to be waylaid by the abstraction of ‘nature’ or any something or other. My interest is directly in the abstract itself. Very possibly, the tendency to develop the abstract in art as though it arises from material appearance has been an error, one perhaps that began with Alfred Barr’s flattening of the playing field after his first visit to Russia (1924) to thinking of abstract painting in terms of its physical appearance. Alfred Barr had an ordinary mind and in his encounter with something extraordinary he failed to encounter what was quite other.

It interests me rather more that Vedic influences soaked up into Russia from Tibet and landed in the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky to profoundly influence Malevich (and others) and in so doing deliver up the ‘abstract’ into Suprematism.

In this it is not just the abstract but the foundational definition of its relationship to self that is revealed and so the physical appearance of an object can do no more than point towards the abstract in an impossible attempt to ‘eff’ the ineffable. So Malevich said “take nature out of art” and of course he further implied ‘take the world out of art’: a terrifying proposition indeed.

Here I lament my lack of higher Mathematics because surely a lever to this lies in the Wheeler De Witt equation: Hpsi = 0  and its distillation to a universe that requires no motion (or space) to exist. In this however the up to date supports the ancient philosophers Parmenides and Zeno who I feel walk along by me each day.


Note:  The 1910s saw an emergence of art movements that would have an enormous impact on art and science in Russia. While some were influenced by esoteric Christianity, Theosophy and pre-Christian mythology there was an important group which was influenced by India. One of the first notable painters to be influenced by Indic thought was Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (1878 - 1935)