“The Large Passion (Golgotha)”- A Collage Suite- 2005

Many times the subject or theme of a given work is arrived at over time, as I respond visually to what is actually before me. Looking at the twisted and tortured calligraphy, the spiky thorn-like rivulets of ink, and the sundry reds and burgundies, I could not help but envision this suite as an allusion to the theme of the Crucifixion. Although the work shares with Barnett Newman’s “Stations of the Cross” in the attempt to convey a spiritual narrative through purely abstract and non-narrative means, it was not Newman’s rather minimal and meditative paintings that served as my main model. Rather, it was the tormented and thorny forms of the Crucifixions and Passions by such old German masters as Dürer, Grünwald, and Cranach that provided the primary inspiration for this work.

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The Three Kingdoms

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The Dream of the Red Chamber

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Grendel

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Serpentine

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The Crown of Thorns

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Coil and Buttress

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Fallen Angel

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Cage

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O Lachrimosa!

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Judith

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The Nightingale is Approaching

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With Drooping Wings

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The Scarlet Letter

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Icarus

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Hammering

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The Large Passion (Golgotha), a studio view

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The Large Passion (Golgotha) and later collage works were begun by making a series of spontaneous calligraphic gestures upon old papers. After these dried I would go through them, selecting the best ones… the ones that suggested some possibilities… I might keep 2 out of 10 (if I were lucky) while the rest would be painted over completely with ink, providing the large dark areas for the work.

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Most of my calligraphic efforts demanded that I paint on the floor (in order to avoid the ink running). I often worked with Sumi-ink brushes attached to a long stick… allowing a more swordsman-like gestural mark-making.

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The artist in the studio with Lamentations and The Large Passion (Golgotha) and some recent calligraphic gestures.

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