Ribbons

One of the pieces reproduced on this blog shows how interlacing is present in my Islands. As with internal articulation of the forms, it is implied but not completely visible. But now I see that one value of my watercolors is they can re-awaken the possibilities of interlacing in a way that the poured enamels can’t—unfortunately without the advantages of pouring. I love the idea that the ground can be alive, lapping up over the forms.

Robert Linsley, Untitled watercolor 2010

In this piece three of the shapes are interrupted by areas of white, the bare paper, and pick up again on the other side. But what the watercolors have is transparency. As in the interlaced cubist pieces of Picasso, when contours are crossed the color and value changes, but nothing is actually hidden. Arp and Stella play a real game of concealment. Maybe that is a more sculptural way. But it is also an unexplored possibility in the enamel Island pieces, one that I’ve just thought of. Shep Steiner compared my watercolors to tissue paper collages, transparent but tactile. I often think of the unit shapes as ribbons, getting us back to the Milliner’s workshop…

Robert Linsley, Untitled watercolor 2012

But these works are not really interlaced because the contours of the units don’t connect up with enough frequency and clarity, as does happen in the Islands.

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