Reflections on the theme of Resurrection

by Alden Cole on April 6, 2015 · 0 comments

“Creation is a late fruit. It grows best when one changes from receiving station to sending station, ceases to expect wonders to be delivered and takes on the task of creating them.” – Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)

GrunewaldChrist2Views900The sources of artistic inspiration are myriad. Western civilization has nurtured an amazing array of genius, particularly in the last five hundred years, producing a treasure trove of great art, that leaves one both proud and humble. Within that evolving tradition, Christian religious
5622WPiconography has written one of the largest chapters, fostering artistic genius in Italy that eventually fructified all the other great centers of creativity in Europe. Among the Germans influenced, a personal favorite is Mathias Grünewald (ca. 1475-1528) whose Isenheim Altarpiece seen above in two details, portrays Christ’s Resurrection in highly individualized terms, which have inspired my own work through the years. In particular, the close-up of Christ’s face is serenely moving, a melding of the stylized iconic forms inherited from the Medieval period, with sweetly human qualities resulting from the more realistic painting introduced by the Renaissance.
ResurrectionColorWPIn my own oeuvre the theme of Resurrection has played a major inspirational role. Above is an oil painting on canvas started in New York in 1979, finished in Philadelphia in 2000, attempting to portray such a transcendental happening in very physical terms. At left and below are earlier works on paper dealing with the same theme: the colored pencil version was done forty years ago, September 1975 as a 95th birthday present for my grandmother Edeth Cole; the pencil drawing which preceded it was done either earlier that year, or possibly
ResurrectionWPthe one before, one of my early idea sketches that continues to manifest in new forms. As suggested in the email, 1979 was a year of dramatic change needing more clarification which I will attempt to detail in tomorrow’s posting.

“Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection – that is the last and final and most precious reward that any man can win.” – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy; neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. – John W. Gardner (1912-2002)

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