In a great Bridget Riley catalog, I find the following quote from Roger Fry: “The mind of the spectator is held in a kind of thrilled suspense by the unsuspected correspondence of all these related elements. One is filled with wonder at an imagination capable of holding in so firm a grasp all those disparate objects, this criss-cross of plastic movements and directions.” He’s talking about Cézanne, and quite accurately, in the same terms that Cézanne might have talked about Poussin. But it also catches what I feel when I look at my own Islands, which are full of unexpected correspondences, apparently produced by nature itself, but really just on this side of art. Do I have such an imagination? I don’t know if imagination is the word for Cézanne, really, because he gets it all from nature, but it might be a useful metaphor. Cézanne found, he didn’t need an indwelling faculty called imagination. And for Fry, imagination means something to do with construction rather than images – “holding in a firm grasp.”

Robert Linsley, Island Figures 3 2011

Robert Linsley, Island Figures 3 2011

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