Painting Blog > Artist-Art, Painting > Freedom from Content

Freedom from Content

Originally posted on January, 7, 2008

"Purple Pool", watercolor, 38cm x 28cm, 100% cotton paper, 2005

On the main page in the gallery section of my website there is a short introduction: “Somehow I have recently gained a certain distance and freedom from the content of painting…? I have just recently acquired this sense of distance. The paintings I am now doing speak to me of it. Understanding is slowly following.

Since the dawn of modernism almost all of the critical writing has been concerned with the question of decadence. Who are the bad guys and who are the good guys? As long as this state of affairs continues the health of our culture is compromised. There are many more important things to talk about. And where are all the people who used to appreciate painting? For the artist painter today, he has the additional challenge of working in a vacuum. These things come to mind because if as an artist painter we are to have any freedom from the content of our paintings they are important considerations.

Recently, I have been reviewing some of my older painting. I’ve selected a number of paintings done over the last ten twelve years to put on the web site. In the course of doing this I thought quite a bit about content. Paintings done close to 10 years ago were a turning point for me. Before that time I had been struggling with the act of painting. Learning “how”? to paint is one thing. This is something different. For some reason you just begin to relax and enjoy the process of painting. The relationship with the tools, the paint and so forth changes. And choosing what to paint becomes much easier. Everything becomes easier. There is freedom from the content 10 years later. The questions of questions: could this sense of freedom happen at any time? Do we all have to convince ourselves that we deserve it? I certainly hope not.

Denis

Published in french as Liberté vis-à-vis du contenu

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