11 February 2020

The austerity of Leo Marchutz

Peter's denial of Christ, tempora on linen, circa 1973

The big problem for me after being Leo’s student is that he didn’t offer a ‘physical’ path forward. He gave his students an understanding of both light, and form derived from the history of painting in the western world. But in his work he reduced the 'materiality' in a very personal way, to the barest of bones on a canvas. And yet, within that world, Leo forms images into a universe both complete and cogent.

So where can a painter proceed after that?
That is my problem, but I presume that it poses a problem for others. Painting is about vision, but it is also a physical and material vocation. And, aside from the problem of ‘the idea’, or content in a picture, there is the equally existential difficulty of rendering that idea on its own terms with the viscosity of paint. 

No comments:

Post a Comment