Deep Field

1364
Erik ReeL, 1364, The Fall, acrylic on linen

In previous posts, I mentioned how people have interpreted my work as a critique of materialism and some of the ideas that motivated these interpretations.  But there is another, complementary way to look at meaning in the work and its structure.

This  approach was taken by the retired art critic, Jae Carllsen [Artforum, Art Dish], who pointed out that these compositions reminded him of both very large and vary small scaled structures that actually do or might exist in the universe; in particular, structures driven by complex, sometimes seemingly chaotic, processes.

Hubble, ultra-deep field, wikipedia
Hubble, ultra-deep field, wikipedia

Underneath the seeming chaos, there are subtler laws determining what we can see or know.  In a sense, the work presented a  deeper sense of representation.

From this viewpoint my paintings  are seen as some sort of corollary presentation of relationships echong either large cosmic structures, such as those we see in astronomy or …

 

Cloud chamber
Cloud chamber showing evidence of sub-atomic particles. photo courtesy wikipedia.

structures we know of only as we encounter phenomena on an extremely small scale, such as atomic and molecular, or even smaller, less visible scales.

In all cases these are situations where structures and interactions are primarily created by largely invisible forces. Forces that at first glance seem to be chaotic and without pattern, but in fact present patterns on a more profound plane of reality.

Erik ReeL, 1395, acrylic on paper
Erik ReeL, 1395, acrylic on paper

It has also been suggested that this approach lies  outside the schemes favored by either Modernism or Post-Modernism.  That it is something new in art.

Art history aside, what is appropriate, and encouraging to me, is that so many intelligent observers see how these works entail natural patterns and things that exist out there in the world, even though I draw entirely, in a free-form, improvisational manner, directly from inside my self.  In this sense, they are primarily congnitive, and an entry into a subtler connection between the cognitive and the external world. That is, they are about consciousness.  They are about what is inside us.

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