Friday, March 27, 2015


When I think back on that trip to LACMA I believe that I think of paintings in the way that I experience books; the recognition of similar aspects, the white collar in Rembrandt's Portrait of Martin Looten (1632) being in the same family as the black space in Giovanni Battista Cremonini's Christ Nailed to the Cross (c. 1595), for in both of them you see the colour denying the other colours around it, and emphasising them by denying them, or, if you want to look at it another way, by herding them into pens and prisoning them there, or by imprisoning themselves; the white not going outside its own nature, and the black not going there either, but both staying in their dazzling corrals, so that everything outside the corral is a seething jungle by comparison, and subtle, like a jungle, coursing around with tiny wildlifes.

As I was talking to an artist on Monday evening about Robert Walser's The Robber, he said that it had something in common with Richardson's Pilgrimage, in that both authors were interested in the phenomenon of solitary joy.

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