About Portraiture - some thoughts


Eve, six years old


Some time has passed - before I find it and I sit down, now after dinner, in a quiet moment to write - as thought - a few lines about About Portraiture.

The portrait - the great theme in painting. Was the desire to portray people, a help to remember them, the beginning of painting? I like to believe so. Didi Hubermann called painting bodily and wrote about skin, as an organ, the demarcation to the environment, thereby circumscribing the body precisely and at the same time organically, clear and soft. Rubens was able to make the idea of skin vivid with painterly means. And from the perspective of the painter, to paint a counterpart, a someone who stands in this world, as a human being, like me, lets me engage differently than I would like to engage, for example, with a table that I paint. What happens on the way from the eye to the counterpart, to the colors on the palette, the brush in the hand to the canvas? What happens in the movement with all the knowledge - the knowledge of the Interaction of Color, of anatomy, of art history, Rubens, of one's own life experiences, the knowledge of criticism of figurative painting, the knowledge that different standards are set in Frankfurt than in Dubai, for example? How is the relationship to what is seen, experienced, to knowledge and to the other expressed in painting?

We'll sit down soon to discuss further and also to draw. We can do that now, except that Felicity can't join us. Traveling from the UK is still way too complicated. Brexit is not making it any easier.

But we don't meet in the studio, but in a pub. So Felicity joins us at the table. She told me about a pub in Norwich where nudes were drawn.

And I have a good idea for the exhibition evening. I hope everyone will like it.


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