Monday, September 28, 2015

Modernism 1


 

In this series of writing I am contemplating, I am going to try to share my life's work and purpose as an artist.  I have a unique perspective, having been educated by a classical modernist or modern classicist, Antonio Salemme 1892-1995,  whom I met when he was in his late 80's and I was in my late 20's.  He had been a meditator and spiritual practitioner for over 40 years at that point.  I had a background in yoga and psychedelics.In my early 20's, I explored yoga and meditation hand in hand with psychedelics.  Then, before I met Antonio, I devoted myself to the renunciate path of yoga through sahaja yoga or kundalini yoga.  No drugs at this point.  Here I learned of the nature of prana or life energy and the evolutionary force of the 'spontaneous'.  Antonio had been practicing the spontaneous as an artist for years at this point, and while it took me a few years of close association with him as a mentor and friend to begin to understand the value of his work, it was the fact that he kept stressing the spontaneous that kept me struggling with my 'education'. This education turning out to be of the essence of taoism.  A natural, spontaneous way.  In the yoga, the path was titled the Sanatana Dharma, translated as the eternal path.  Om.  Here is where we start to understand the art as an eternal path dealing with eternal principles.  This is also the place where we begin to define, or redefine, or clarify, in the light of the eternity of the moment, the meaning of modernism.

My definition of modernism, expands from the etymology of the word....'of the moment', to embody the eternal principles or archetypes, if you will, of the eternity of the moment.  In other words, color is always now present as a vibratory reality.  Red has no past or future.  There is always space present, and 'things' in space.  Antonio used to say, "Color and form are one."  This is not just an aesthetic comment but is true universally.  Rodin made the quote, "Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump."  These are essentially 'non-conceptual' realities.  No past, no future. Grounding in practical mysticism.  Nothing to believe or have faith in.  What is now.In art it is possible to look back through history and see the artists whose central practice is expressing the eternal principles of the art form.  There was a flourishing of the practice in 19th C. France in what is known as impressionism and post impressionism.  Color, brush, world (or nature), and artist's personality in harmony and balance.  The medium and the artist at one.  Because they were grounded in the medium and at least instinctively honor the medium as eternal, what they expressed in the moment still lives in the moment.  Modernism! 

This ends today's musings...

 

copyright (c)william deraymond 2014