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Comment by Jacques Levy on March 8, 2015 at 1:18am

The [deceased] abstract expressionist painter Jack Jefferson told me, "Painting is war...Show me the signs of the battle." He was referring to the struggle between the unconditioned and conditioned selves. Another painter of his generation put it another way: "Expressive art is life transforming; decorative enhancing." This struggle evidently signifies that the artist's process has not fully integrated the physical and mental properties essential to freedom.

Comment by Resident Curator on March 7, 2015 at 3:49pm

I think most artists  struggle to listen to their own voice rather than the voice of teachers, critics, and even well meaning friends!

Comment by Jacques Levy on March 6, 2015 at 11:29am

Thanks for taking the time to examine my work and for your thoughtful observations. I apologize if my response came across as defensive. Over 40 years ago, when Turner's work became part of my visual reference, I can remember reading the [possibly apocryphal] comment that he made when a critic complained about the indistinct quality of his imagery: "You should tell Mr. Lenox that indistinctness is my forte." 

It's fascinating to me that this issue should come up in our conversation, because I remember one of my more influential art school teachers emphasizing the tension artists experience between the {conditioned] drive to create a mimetically convincing work and the demand of the hand to express the truth. 

Comment by Resident Curator on March 6, 2015 at 8:28am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and more of your beautiful paintings.  But please don't construe my comment about the ambiguity of form to be a criticism- it is indeed a strength.

Comment by Jacques Levy on March 3, 2015 at 3:17pm

Yes, I've been thoroughly brainwashed by Turner's work, and I'm happy to know that it shows. There are many other great teachers in my pantheon, of course, including but not limited to Albert Ryder, some of the abstract expressionists, Rembrandt, etc., etc.

I appreciate your comments and can understand how the manipulation of paint interferes with a literal delivery of physical substance. The ambiguity is inherent in the free handling of a plastic medium and when we read about Turner and Whistler, especially, we find that their contemporary critics often ridiculed them for what many today realize were poetic passages.

For a comprehensive tour of my 48 years of work, go to

Comment by Resident Curator on March 3, 2015 at 2:08pm

Curators Comments:


Having recently viewed Mr. Turner, the film about the great Romantic British landscape painter, I am especially inclined towards these atmospheric landscapes. Presumably titled by date, 2001/04/12 is especially stunning.  The slightly acidic yellow-green that trails through the open pathways is unanticipated and daring, while the warmer violet undertones in the painting offer up complementary color relationships.  It’s actually unsettled to me whether or not water or earth is underfoot in the hazy environment.  The pieces designated 2011/02/03 appears more experimental and process oriented in nature, while layers of built up wash and settled pigment.  The upward movement also suggests abstract waves cresting from dark, murky waters.  The contrast between water/ground and sky provides a luminescence in the top of the piece, artfully balancing the thinly articulated low chroma shadows.

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