Saturday, December 27, 2014

Albert York's Suchness

Three Red Tulips in a Landscape with Horse and Rider, 1982, oil on wood, approx 15 x 14 in.

I've spent the last couple days looking at Albert York images, knowing I wanted to post some, but trying to figure out what to say, to put my finger on source of their allure. So I thought I would ask my wife what it is about an Albert York painting. She said the way they are a sophisticated take on naive art, and mysterious too, unique in the way they get to the essence. And that made sense to me. The word that kept coming to me was the Buddhist idea of suchness, an apprehension of essence not based on the literal. Another thing that came to me was that they are what realism looks like in a dream. And there's something to that because I read somewhere later that he often painted from memory, in the very early morning. And just technically speaking the tonal range is often somewhat narrow; not at all jarring. There's a seasoned mellowness, like in Morandi. I think it's fair to take delight in the fact that they are well painted. Some Yorks are allegorical and some are depictions of the ordinary. Some mix effects, as in the tulips above, which, though ordinary, inexplicably loom large in a landscape that has a horse and rider in the background. Go figure.

ALL IMAGES FROM THE RECENT SHOW AT THE MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY IN NYC. CLICK FOR LARGE SLIDESHOW.

The Meadow, East Hampton, 1984, oil on wood, 10 x 10 1/8 in.
Geranium in Blue Pot with Fallen Leaf and Bird, 1982, oil on wood, 18 x 17 in.
Cow, 1972, oil on board, 9 x 10 1/4 in.


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