Recomposing Tancredi

tancredi_composizione
Composizione, Tancredi (1955)

Recomposing Tancredi

Geometry of chaos
           oil and tempera on canvas
also universe / dated 1955
           as was Tancredi’s eye
when he captured the rich spectrum
           of spectral cosmic light
Loud yellows and blues and blacks
           fiery reds and soothing titanium white
: all shapes are here all moods 
           and texts and textures
nothing dead nothing silent
           nothing inert

a composition to evolve
           through and beyond time
here is love rhythm dance music
           so that the eye never rests
as it feeds on this feast
           of reckless colour
admires the abandon
           behind every gushing stroke

Look and ye shall find all things
           deep below the surface
the building blocks
           of drifting dreams of flesh and blood
unfettered town and country imagination
           and necessary quantum explosion
of boundless units of energy :
           here lies my life love alive
and kicking
           her lips eyes hair breasts
her resplendent joie de vivre
           so entrancingly rendered

John Lyons


Painting observed on 10 February 2017 during a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

Untitled Willem De Kooning

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Untitled, Willem de Kooning (1958)

Untitled Willem de Kooning

Do you see what I see
           notes for a landscape
a shore and a beach
           and a river and a sky
a path to enlightenment
           a horizon viewed
from a cliff top
           waves perceptible
in the brushstrokes
           mimicking the tensions
in the earth’s crust
           and in all our relationships
abstract cartography
           of the soul

it took a human body
           to paint this
to select the colours
           and to control the brush
it took human energy
           to express this to execute this
rather than accept
           the docility of a pacified
environment in which nature
           sits tamely on a canvas

I came here scriptless
           Willem and I searched high
and low for love
           I am an accident of birth
whatever is concealed
           in this composition
will be revealed in due course
           at its heart is the illumination
of sunlight and a brightness
           that never fades
the joy we associate
           with the loving application
of human vitality
           everywhere apparent
the long sinews
           of genitive muscle

it could be a walk
           on a Sunday afternoon
or a three-penny opera
           in which we all appear
and notice a perfectly positioned
           pinmark in each of the corners
no abstract could ever be
           so inexhaustibly
calculated which is why
           I am not a painter

John Lyons


Painting observed on 10 February 2017 during a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Click here for an appraisal of this work.