A feature showcase of paintings by Claire Lichtenstein
Opening 7 October 2017, 11AM
David Krut Bookstore 151 Jan Smuts Avenue
“The element of water is the fundamental metaphor for depth and past time.” – Gaston Bachelard, philosopher.
Flow is the mutual nature of water and paint. There is life in paint. It is an endlessly changing and dynamic substance, just as human beings are. Paint translates the essence of water into an image. The image is an idea in physical form – alchemy. This is the abstract relationship being contemplated – Water is paint, is image and is psyche. Lichtenstein transforms paint, the substance, like an alchemist; into an image, into psyche, evoking the senses and the imagination.
“The image of water has the ability to transport us – inspiring thoughts of infinity – or instilling tranquil stillness within our being. Paradoxically and not unlike the story of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the image can arouse romantic notions of death, speaking of melancholy and even offering comfort in dissolving our unhappiness in its substantial-nothingness. So too do my paintings, like water, portray dark still ponds, inviting us to die, swallowing all shadows, rousing thoughts of infinite pain and suffering, offering solitude and a place to hide our secrets below the surface. They encourage us to surrender to them.
Water is self-reflecting, as is the process of looking at and making a painting narcissistic and self-absorbing. There is sense of peace and pleasure in wading in this mysterious, beautiful sorrow because it is, poetic and meaningful. Only by going into the rough ocean – into the breakers – do we discover who we really are.” – Claire Lichtenstein