Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peter Doig on Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Peter Doig

I like a lot of both of these artists' work so when I found text from Doig commenting on Bonnard I was really blown away.

"Bonnard gives you so much to look at. You get the impression he wouldn't have made those paintings in one sitting."

"I don't know about his working habits, but he must have worked on several paintings at once, returning to them, adding a touch here and there. That's the way they come together, through hatching added over time. Yet I don't think he had a master plan. It has something to do with -- I don't want to use the term 'modesty' because I don't think that's the case -- the way he was.

"This lack of a master plan is also what allowed him to paint in fragments, without any conscious will. I have always been interested in the way Bonnard seems to have recorded time. Through drawing, for example, with each tiny instant. His drawing is so directly related to the painting, he creates the impression of not covering space, but of finding space. It is amazing that he could translate that so well into color. He somehow manages to create a space between what he is looking at and thinking about, because a lot of his work -- especially when he is painting his wife -- is thinking back. Somehow he is painting the space that is behind the eyes. It's as if you were lying in bed trying hard to remember what something looked like. And Bonnard managed to paint that strange state. It is not a photographic space at all. It is a memory space, but one which is based on reality."

What a great observation and exactly what I feel so powerfully in both their work, something I work toward in mine.


Post a Comment