Source. oil on wood. 140x120 cms.
Years ago now, Reaktion books published four essays on Still Life Painting, by Norman Bryson.
Today as I was re-reading it I came to this; Presentation, not representation: what is shown comes into being only inside the picture. The integrity and separate visibility of each dab of paint foregrounds the work of the brush in building the scene, over the scene itself. The thin application of pigment, and the fact that the canvas shows through in almost all areas (where it is not actually left blank) imply that we are able to follow all of the painter's stages of construction step by step, with nothing having been concealed. No erasure, everything that was painted remains on view.
Norman Bryson was talking about Cezanne and it just so happened that I had a reproduction of
a Cezanne landscape on the table, together with a Joan Mitchel and I felt that what he said applied in equal measure to them both.
The book is still in print.