News +
Textes > critical texts

John Sundkvist /09/ The most important thing about a painting…

Konsthallen Bohusläns museum Uddevalla Swenska 2009 – Mikael Fagerlund – Miquel Mont – Wolfram Ulrich

The most important thing about a painting is what it makes visible beyond itself: in space, in the world, in the viewer. In this sense painting is always ready «beyond painting».

Also, painting has never been a window opening towards an illusory scene, not even during the Renaissance when this definition was current. It has always drawn its effect from doubleness: transparency/opacity, illusion/concreteness, light/matter

A painting occupies a place in the world as an object among another objects. But also carries with it an imaginary space that transcends immediate perception. Its own location in space is doubled by another spatiality. The equation is really insoluble, but precisely for this reason an interstice can open up – in perception, but also in lived existence.

What can a text achieve in relation to this constantly divided visibility? Two entirely different symbolic systems stand one against the other. But how often does not the text just autistically patter off its pretentious interpretations, its obsequious empathy, all sight being finally obscured. When the function of the text should instead be to offer a space for the interstice of painting.

How could this be done? Perhaps by giving the text some of the doubleness of painting, its transparent materiality.The decisive thing about a text then becomes what it opens towards beyond itself, «beyond writing».

We no doubt need to think of «the painterly» as something much wider than just the painting. To avoid the received connotations of the concept one could – with a reference to the Latin pictura, painting in it several senses – speak of «picturality» or the «pictural».

An entirely open category of procedures and things would then offer itself for the experience of this interstice, between elementary sensual perception and intangible transcendence: everyday objects like a bowl or a piece of furniture, a printed page or a wall – any constellation of differents objects and phenomena.

This possibility actually becomes apparent already when a painting is introduced into a room: everything around it suddenly becomes pictural elements in a more comprehensive composition. For an instant there is no longer anything situated «beyond painting». Everything has found a place «this side of painting», as an impossible moment of stillness in the relentlessly thrusting, destructive, engendering movement of existence and time.

John Sundkvist

Joan B. Peiró /08/ Los Límites de la pintura

Claire Roudenko Bertin /09/…je sépare quand je dis…

Rosa Queralt /08/ aConversation

Tristan Trémeau /04/ Penser en peinture

Eric de Chassey /03/ VITAMIN P