Holy Trinity, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite and charcoal on paper
Elizabeth Malaska, MFA
What tha Bumboclaat!, 2011
51.5 x 51.5 inches; acrylic, graphite, charcoal and gesso on paper,
Virgin and Child
Dieric Bouts (Netherlandish, Haarlem, active by 1457–died 1475)
Date: ca. 1455–60 Medium: Oil on wood Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (21.6 x 16.5 cm)
Dieric Bouts has based this small, exquisite image on the ancient Byzantine formula for the affectionate Virgin (glykophilousa)—a type popular in the Netherlands. However, he has dispensed with the gold background and halo of Byzantine practice and has endowed the painting with a human tenderness and simplicity not found in icons. With his subtle and tactile modeling of the flesh, the artist heightened the illusion of living, breathing beings. Focusing on the loving relationship of a mother and her son, his portrayal emphasized human emotions and enhanced the intense inner experience of private devotion.
“For me, a color is a force. My pictures are made up of four or five colors that collide with one another, and the collision gives a sense of energy. When I put green, it doesn’t mean grass. When I put blue, it doesn’t mean sky.” —Henri Matisse, Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, available August 2013
Richard Diebenkorn was influenced by myriad aspects of Matisse’s oeuvre, including his later collages, which Matisse referred to as “painting with scissors.” Diebenkorn’s Untitled (Yellow Collage), currently on view in Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953—1966, clearly embodies Matisse’s apt adage.
Leonid Ouspensky, St. Genevieve of Paris, 1984. Egg-tempera on gessoed wood.
Maurice Denis could hardly have disagreed with Ouspenky’s statement: “Colors are colors; red is red.” Ouspenky might at first appear to be in favor of aesthetic autonomy, as understood in Modernism, but he rather speaks for the relative autonomy of the pictorial principles of the icon. Before mentioning “color as color” he notes how Matisse did not fully understand the icon since he “focused on the externals.” Therefore, the “autonomy” he gives to red pertains to its freedom from the constraints of naturalism, nevertheless it still remains, in its inherent properties as a color (“matter as God created it”), guided and at the service of a theological inner message, overlooked by Matisse. In its relative autonomy an icon could never be “without figures” or abstraction. In fact, the “non-objective” tendency of abstraction, its rejection of the “shell” of Nature, has a dualistic tendency and in this sense actually becomes, in its distortions or deformities, a “violation of matter,” rather than the re-presentation of its transfiguration by the Spirit.
- Fr. Silouan Justiniano
Studio Vérité: Carol Prusa
Domes of Florence
Studies in Chemistry
Traditional icon painting
1. Silverpoint geometric drawing, ego driven
2. Float ground graphite wash, a denial of ego
3. Heighten with white what unfolded in the process, to see new possibilities
all this inside a dome: the cranium, petri dish, or bowl