David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 November 2016

- another flower -

This time : a white cyclamen
A follow-on from yesterday's post, from the Flower Sermon and the painted tableau of regard 'Walking in Tall Grass, Iris' (2007) by Jan Nelson.
It's a similar scene. Again, formal and intense. Painted by Paul Signac in 1890. Given this title, with which to meet the future :
Sur l'émail d'un fond rythmique de mesures et d'angles, de tons et de teintes, Portrait de M. Félix Fénéon en 1890, Opus 217

Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of Mr. Félix Fénéon in 1890

collection MoMA, New York   
  'Felix Fénéon was an art dealer, collector, curator, political 
  activist, critic, and friend of Signac who shared the artist's 
  interests in science and Japanese prints.'
  - from a MoMA gallery label, 2009
Fénéon wanted a front-on portrait, a "full-faced effigy". Instead, Signac based this formal side-view pose on a Japanese woodblock print he owned.*

Fénéon coined the term "Neo-Impressionism" for the science-informed art of Seurat and his young group. This portrait acknowledges the friendship and support of Fénéon, who wrote of Signac :
Signac, praised by Feneon as the "young glory of Neo-Impressionsm," was creating a decorative art "that sacrifices anecdote to arabesque, nomenclature to synthesis, and the fleeting to the permanent." *
collection MoMA, New York  
The ground of eight divisions (see Divisionism) emerges, whirling perhaps, as if from a single point. It is (after his 1888 logo for the Free Theatre) another imaginative "application" by Signac of the 1888 cercle cromatique of Charles Henry.

We wonder why Signac, or Fénéon, chose the Persian cyclamen cyclamen persicum flower? 
Why he used this particular, long dark-stemmed, red hearted, white flower? 
We do observe a readable concurrence between 
the cyclamen centre of five graciously unfolding divisions and the centre of eight radiant divisions holding to this flower-offering magus. Thoughts of Blake opening the "Auguries of Innocence" :

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild F
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

To whom does Fénéon proffer the white flower? This off-stage future TAR?
Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples by holding up a white flower.
No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...