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Dear Gabriel:
Enjoyed this post. Very succinct definition and nicely related to paintings/painters you dicuss.
Wanted to ask you to comment on a Stanley Lewis question. I saw the show and liked it quite a bit glad tosee them at the gallery rather than on line which does them no justice. In the catalouge essay he is quoted as saying thatlooking at the incongruities in Cezanne he thinks the reason table tops do not meet up is that he may have been using 2 tables at different heights. It seems very difficult do justify all the types of incongruities in Cezanne this way ( with some logic other than those related to picture making).Chardin does things ishis still lifes that achieve the same effect of emphassing a spacial break in a horizontal that moves you up and in, (effectivly very similar toCezanne) for instance in The Attributes Of the Art and Their Rewards in the Hermitage where the sheets of paper hanging over the edge of the shelf makea step in that most forward horizontal edge, where you feel the movement in. Chadin continuously does stuff like that for movement (along with shifting the major axis)and to shift the felt weight of the picture to one side and to get things moving. There are many more examples to the degree that this seems like a "traditional" although not "normative" device. Then after Cezanne you see the cubist doing it in like fashion. Also in drawing "sensitive" space if you let the eyes roam and head move it will happen that edges do not seem to meet in the same palce as you draw many times around objects that intersect them. I think this canalso be related to an idea like Klee's metaphor of balence, dramaitcally shifting weight to create movement on the surface.Observation has no role at all in this idea. AnywayI would like your thoughts on why Stanley would look for there to be this other "logical" explanatoin for this in Cezanne rather than looking at the tradition and methods of painters for an explanation? Hope this is clear, intersted in your thoughts. Also as you mentioned Meyer Schapiro in connection with Cezanne previously, he definitly does not think about Cezanne "distprions" as Stanley seems to be.

Gabriel Laderman

[this is good] Dear VinceMost artists responding to a question, not in a didactic context, but in order to explain something which is important in their own work choose not "The Truth" but the thing about the question at the time of its asking which is closest to their concerns at the moment.Stanley worked out, over the many years, where he was in relationship to the many spatial distortions and passages of movement in the great Cezannes. In his own work, he has felt secure about those levels of understanding for many years, as his work will show. Now, to his command of cubist and cezannist spatial construction, he has been adding more and more of those constructional means which he and the several generations before him in modernism removed as part of their intense search for the sorts of pictorial truth to be found in Cezanne and in the earlier analytic cubism.So now, he is using projected perspective, establishing clearer ground planes and arriving at somewhat more normative compositions using his modernist painting technique, but adding sensitive understanding of earlier surface methodologies. The paintings may be better, but they are also confronting the tradition of older painting more than they used to.Take Chardin. You rightly point out the modernist eccentricities in his work. But in his period, these were hidden behind a very fine command of all of the continuing methods of spatial construction in which he was no pioneer. Those same paintings you mention also use color at any level of value as either a warm or a cool, widely increasing his chromatic range in front of the motif.So, when I see Stanley's new work, or I hear him talk about it, I know I am hearing a committed and growing artist who should not be expected to repeat the same sort of things other people would say about his work, or that he might have said 10 years ago I expect a changed view, just as I experience a changed view of picture making in the new work.Now, it is rare to get that kind of creative inconsistency in a critic. It is one of the reasons I prefer reading what artists write. It is always engaged in the act of making work and speaks form a fully biased position. Most often as in Stanley's speech, ideas which help to explain the newest work.When an artist is the sort of person who speaks trut about his work, and no baloney, it is really useful to check out things he says which sound off, or weird or not to the point. He is pointing to the differences in his new mind set, by comparison with where he used to be. Since we have already experienced this new place and love it, such words of his can really be very useful. But not useful, necessarily, for establish an all time truth, but a truth which applies first to his own new work.Love,Gabriel

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