As an architectural student in the 60’s, painting and sculpture were an integral part of the curriculum. Though I had become fascinated with Zen sumi-ie painting during the fifties it was the abstract expressionists that became my focus in college. This was particularly true with Franz Kline and DeKooning , who were emerging to prominence with the best of the beatnik era. It was the Japanese thread that ran through Frank Lloyd Wright, Kline, and the modernist movement that still is the mainstay of my work. Now, after nearly 40 years of drafting and drawing, I feel that my artwork can take on a truly free and poignant expression.

Although my work is divided between traditional Sumi with ink on rice paper and acrylics on wood, their calligraphic nature is evident. The works are both abstract and yet easily recognizable. As the spatial relationships between the black and white areas begin to emerge in form, a constructivist, two dimensional image is achieved. Ultimately, abstract forms can be compelled into structure using only the value and hue of pure color.

The impelling force of the abstract expressionist movement was a break from conventionality (reality) in what was a basically schizophrenic, paranoid society. This culminated, at first, in the action-angst paintings and ended with the “shock” paintings designed to upset the conventional perception of social values. The sixties provided a breakthrough in reality in ways the early painters could never have imagined. Abstraction had become real. Reality can more easily be seen as the ultimate abstraction. With this, a new appreciation of nature emerged. What I am now expressing are feelings of peace and contentment based on a resolved psyche of reality and the new global appreciation of man’s worth.

This amounts to a “New Realism”- an ecological aestheticism based on natural perspectives and the fundamental empowerment of art to influence people’s feelings in a positive and enlightening way. An Ecosophy if you like, that produces a non-vicarious art where the artist does not own the experience. We get inside the piece and develop our own internal and psychological relationship with the work. Here, the global awareness founded in the new universal consciousness comes together from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s into the competency of the new millennium. We want to create what’s real yet express the unseen spirituality and composure that comes with meditation, sticking to one thing or place and the value of the handmade object. Today, a clearer, more level headed enlightment prevails where artists know more what their work is for. It hasn’t come from external rationalization, but from internal, self-examination and personal experience. That’s what new in the “New Realism”.

This ecological aestheticism is not a back to nature movement. It is a forward looking resolution of the technological age with the human’s ultimate place in the global macro-cosm. There is nothing “post” about it- as in “post-modernism”: which really means cheap technology and a throw back to old forms. Our reality is the technological revelations of human influence on the world’s natural condition. Therefore, an object can be abstract, but with the evolved consciousness of this century, can be recognized as a part of natural life. This is the true meaning of the “New Realism”.

Acrylics  Artwork

Abstract on wood


Member American Institute of Architects                     


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