To return to a topic discussed earlier, I mentioned the pastels of Degas, in which he transformed a nude into a landscape—or vice versa. In any case what we have is a work,
and we can take it or leave it. I would prefer to leave it. Ellsworth Kelly’s collage print
is more modern, even typically modern. The figure and landscape are not transformed into each other, but kept separate, and this makes it an idea and a fertile one. One could say it’s more abstract. In any case, works like this give the figure/landscape a future. This may seem to contradict what I said about catching both in a single gesture, and to be very different from Jeff Tutt’s approach, mentioned in an earlier post, but not really. There is a way to keep the elements separate and yet have them exist together in one form, and it has something to do with avoiding the painterly working through and transformations with the hand (or brush) that we can see in Degas. In some art, the material is the skin of an idea, wrapping it around the way that the nude body shows behind the grass and moss in Degas’s pastel. Better if the way the material is worked is the idea.