Simplicity and Strangeness

Personally, I don’t find much value in thought. I had some experience of it when I was young, but for most of my life I’ve been more concerned with something else that I’m not sure how to name. There are a number of inadequate labels—perception might be one, insight another, or just plain seeing, because one doesn’t see only with the eyes. What one sees might be complex, or it might be very simple; it might be a pattern or it might be a rounded off self contained thing. Whatever labour one has to undertake to “see” anything, it happens better if it doesn’t happen as thought. Lately I’ve been looking at people as creatures, bodies with a brain and mind. Just looking. The simple strangeness of it all is certain to have some pay off in enlightenment, and it’s connected with an ability to see the strangeness and simplicity of abstract art, always threatened by too much knowledge. The new emerges pretty easily from that.

Liubov Popova, Spatial Force Construction 1921

Liubov Popova, Spatial Force Construction 1921

With a work like this, the title provides some kind of rationale, or deceives us into thinking there is one, and so betrays the possibilities promised. But we can see them if we wish.

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