Edward L. Loper, Sr., Table and Flowers, Oil on canvas, 2009, Private Collection
First, therefore, we recognized what we knew, the ordinary things in our world.
However, we also knew that all we really saw were colors on a flat surface. Turning the picture upside down helped us downplay the subject’s seduction and allowed us to concentrate on the color shapes in their flat space.
Areas of color on a flat surface: nothing else is there.
We perceived the relationships that occurred within these color areas and things happened. I made a list of what I discovered, and you did too.
We transferred this knowing into the color areas. We said: oval, tipped, striped color volume, not tabletop. We said: geometric thrusts of glowing color units, not window, wall, or cabinet.
We first transferred from the category of everyday things (table, chair, window, wall) what all of us easily recognized. We then ascribed qualities to the color units like structural, glowing volumes, or geometric thrusts in space. None of these perceptions gave you much trouble, and I easily verified your responses.
Then I showed you what Ed Loper transferred from the traditions. Again, I did this, you verified it, and we, together, could see what he gave back based on his interest.
In other words, we made transfers.
When I said, “The stripes and bands not only build the table, creating a large, elongated, oval-shaped mass that pushes across the picture like a surfboard,” I transferred my own, personal perception and connection of table to surfboard. When I said, “The candlestick, bowl of fruit, books, etc., balanced precariously, ‘ride’ the “surfboard,” I did the same thing.
You might have provided different images to communicate what those color shapes did in the picture. As long as we could verify each-others perceptions, we communicated.
My point: everything we see in a picture results from a transfer of information. The transfer comes from the world we inhabit or from the traditions of art or from the plastic means an artist uses to make a picture. We transfer in order to appreciate aesthetically.
At the end of the last post, I said I would describe, in this post, Loper’s visual inventions by focusing on his color-in-light atmosphere, his late-work adaptation of Venetian glow.
First, look at these pictures:
|Titian, Concert in the Open Air, 1510-11, Louvre|
Giorgione, Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1510, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Giorgione, Three Philosophers, 1508-09, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
|Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, c. 1510, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden|
Warmth, golden suffusion, and glowing, structural color volumes define them.
Now look back at Loper’s Table and Flowers.
Notice how each orb of luminous color overlaps and pulses with those surrounding it to create a shimmering, floating, color volume.
Each orb of color here also overlaps and pulses with those surrounding it to create a shimmering, floating, color volume. The color harmonies are different, but the effect is the same.
As you examine the picture, you will see more of these rhythms working together to the same end.