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karen kruse
About this artwork
la siesta
oil on canvas
h.97cm w.212cm d.3cm
Aug 2007

karen's Description: still working under the "dopo trapani" influence.

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2007-09-07 10:15

The interaction between the “inside” and the “outside” is one of painting’s great issues. The way we “open” or “close” a figure makes all the difference. It changes our way of conceiving space. Either as flat areas of certain form interacting with their outlines and quality of surface (sort of Matisse way of looking at things), or as a unit of light and air molecules that form space and shapes as they mingle all over the painting (sort of Cézanne way of looking at things). Your last two Rauls showed a turn towards a more painterly attitude, more Rembrandt like, if Rembrandt had used intense colours. This one is more Durer like. It is more linear and closed within its outlines but the forms as closed areas don’t seem to have been intended to interact as such. So they end up a little separate. Like roommates who share the same roof but they don’t supplement one another.

In your men in red background this contrast between the inside and the out side worked because it was clear that this was the concept. Judging by most of your latest work, I got the impression that this concept is not what you were after these days.

(I may just be saying all this out of green envy ‘cause you paint so much and I don’t, dear girl. So, don’t hate my green soul…)

2007-09-07 12:40

Hi Maria, well I never thought it could have anything to do with Durer, I worked it under the same spirit as the others, I think it gives a more linear impression because it is very long, and it looses detail when reduced so much. The figure is treated with bright red colours that contrast very much with the blue whites , and reduced this turns out in a very contrasted outline. Nevertheless it is true that it stands out very much, well I think paintings have their own life sometimes, like a child, you try to work it out and expect it to come your way, but more often than not it comes differently. And sometimes we dont SEE the painting when working in it night and day, it’s good to see reactions. I will not have time to paint until October, so don´t turn green, we all have these periods of artistic inactivity.As soon as I have a while I will comment your last painting, the one with a question hanging about it, I haven't had time these days, and I wanted to tell you what I felt about it. I'm sending the painting in a larger format to your e-mail, ok? tell me how you see it bigger.

2007-09-07 16:15

Dear Karen,
The larger image you sent me is indeed quite different. The red of the body is warmer and more vivid and the white of the sofa, paper and book on the table as well. So, red and white play a game of back and forth vibration as you look at the painting. I don’t think this work had anything to do with Durer either. I just used his name as a contradiction to Rembrandt’s way of making outlines dissolve; they are the two names used as typical examples in Heinrich Wolfflin’s work where he deals with the terms “painterly” and “linear”. And I think your latest work tends to be more painterly than linear.

I should expect a couple of friends of ours to come in now, objecting to my putting labels on things. Well, I think sometimes such terms help us understand what we are talking about better. And their inadequacy sometimes also helps us define better what it is exactly that we introduce as novelty in our work. (Do you really object to it?)

Back to what I was saying, it still seems to me that the red figure stands out with a hard outline, only that in the picture you e-mailed me it seems justified in a different way. I am not sure of the yellow behind the sofa (is it a window?) and the table exceeding the painting on the left. They may be weakening the white and red contrast, if its intensity was part of your intention.


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