About the Artist
James Angell, Born 1950
Many times I have begun a painting with a specific image in mind. I am fairly certain of what the work will look like. If I am able to seize the impetus, my task is simply to coax that image out of the ether and fix it upon the canvas.
In reality however, it is only after I relinquish my precept that the true process of painting is set into motion. The image starts to come to life. It seemingly begins to accept or reject colors, lines and forms of its own volition. It will and does demand my attention.
In these new paintings for instance, an arbitrary shadow falling across an early version provided me with a critical element in the composition. The shadow appeared to be a natural division of the background. Continued imposition of my precept at that point would have lost that dynamic opportunity and somehow may have doomed the work to a partial or complete failure. By abandoning the precept, a path opened that while being indeterminate, was far more interesting and pleasurable to travel. A substantively different quality of energy was engaged; one which ebbs and flows, sinks and soars, halts, dissolves and hopefully resurges anew.
It is only by allowing myself to enter into this nature of active dialogue with the painting itself that something of impact and possibly permanence can emerge.
Sable Mouvant (1966)
Published by Louis Broder, Picasso illustrated these etching and aquatints as homage to the fascinating poem by Pierre Reverdy. Sable Mouvant (quicksand) is set in the desert and relates to a number of psychological struggles and hallucinations. The works by Picasso elegantly depict Reverdy뭩 intentions and remove the viewer from reality to expose the inner turmoil of a helpless man and his surroundings. Examples of this suite can be found in the Picasso Museum, Barcelona.
Le Cocu Magnifique (1966)
Le Cocu Magnifique (The Splendid Cuckold) is an illustration of the 1921 play by Belgian playwright and friend of Picasso, Fernand Crommelynck. The title refers to the cuckoo bird female who commonly lays her eggs in other nests and the play revolves around the tribulations of love and adultery. These works divulge in Picasso뭩 use of erotic sequences; making use of his dramatic line and mastery of aquatint. Consistent with many works in his later years, we often see reflections of an autobiographical quality within the suite.