Landscape with Figures, 1965-66, egg tempera on gessoed panel. Private collection
George Tooker, 1920-2011, American
The artist painted fewer than 170 paintings, not often exhibited, but resonant to the max of our current alienation, frustration, confusion, hope; and of our care for one another. Sometimes.
And also of the urgency of evolving our spiritual lives.
“I am after painting reality impressed on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream, but I am not after painting dreams as such, or fantasy,” the artist said.
Ask me how much I appreciate this statement of intent and accomplishment!
I want the reality portrayed because the loudspeaker belongs to the very few and the vocabulary to the even fewer.
But I want the reality portrayed without a fantastical or a dreaming overlay because it is itself so fantastical. And has such difficult consequences.
So much of this reality – in the modern parlance – is such a hot mess.