Wednesday, November 02, 2011

when sensibilities are shared...

a few days ago i was lucky enough to visit the pompidou, and they had a whole slew of recent acquisitions on display. as i walked into one of the galleries, i was elated to see several of andre cadere's "round wooden bars" from the mid-1970's. i have always loved these works - both their visual aesthetic as sculpture and the performances he did by carrying these works with him to openings, or placing them in the street, etc. they always seemed perfect to me, but i have seldom found a way to articulate why my response to them has always been so strong.

as i moved from the sculpture, i gravitated towards a painting on the adjacent wall. as you can see from the image, there are a number of consistencies between this painting and a number of my own. when i looked at the wall label to see whose work it might be, i was floored to discover it was an early work of cadere's!!! for i had never seen an image of anything he made before the "round wooden bars" ... and had no idea he began by making abstract paintings! and so, the uncovering of this early work suggested that my deep response to the "round wooden bars" over the last 20 years was not just an awkward coincidence, an interest in the proposition of provocation nor a simple aesthetic response to the minimal nature of the work (something i respond to quite strongly, but have never really been able to negotiate within my own paintings) - but is instead a kind of uncovering of an unspoken shared sensibility.

even the wall text felt relevant to my own work: ... "he was making a kind of op art with folkloric and psychedelic touches... introducing the play of chromatic permutations..."

of course, i am not in any way suggesting that cadere's work and my own are consistent, or that i am somehow contextualizing myself within his stature; but nonetheless, it is a wonderful thing when you find these deeper connections to a work and/or artist you respond to. in discovering this painting as a piece of cadere's beginnings, i begin to feel closer to him, and i acknowledge (as i hope that he would too if he were alive) that there is something clearly shared.

in truth, the painting really just made me happy that one of my heroes feels a little bit closer to my own feeble path...

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