I am reading about calligraphy in Herbert Read’s “A Concise history of Modern Painting”. (here is the bit) Calligraphy is (perhaps, I’d say as I don’t really trust any theory) at the root of Abstract Expressionism. What an insight! probably not for people with a formal ed in art, but it is for me. Why that is such a blast is that I am working away at getting the verticals right in my new crosses, and contemplating that line. I feel like some Zen calligrapher meditating on the strokes! It is a meditation. I delete 100’s and suddenly one will be right.
And the idea grabbed me because it is a strong theme that emerged in the Thousand Sketches. I wanted to get those lines right, that flow. I am quite pleased with how it went, there were a lot of doodles and slowly they were more in my handwriting as it were. This is one of my favourites. And the Abstract Expressionist ones that I blew up, my friend Charles called “calligraphy of God” I was most flattered.
In Read’s book there is a particular image that stood out because it reminded me of one I did. It is Drawing by Henri Michaux. (See image below, and also my image.) He is part of a few early painters that were influenced by the East & calligraphy. I’ll write more about them and where I am goin g with it all now on my other blog, this is the Thousand Sketches related part of the story.
Here is Michaux:
Here is mine, it is nothing like Michaux’s drawing in content, but it recalled my image none the less.
#0442 Private Language
Here is another by Michaux I found: