Le Jour – March 30, 1974
L’art et la maniere
Lussier, Spector, Gravel, Fablo and…
David Sorensen or the inner necessity
by Robert Marteau
(translated from French to English)
David Sorensen: the genesis…
A painter, a work: that is what Galerie Espace Cinq openly presents to us. David Sorensen is already as well known in Montreal as in Toronto. With a somewhat unclear view of his previous work, commenting on what came before would be inappropriate, so I will focus on what I see in the present.
There is an open offering of a pictorial surface in an unknown yet familiar country: Its course is forbidden; she will be the one to invade and impregnate. There is a painted surface but what is its real location? This quiver, this tremor that takes you in the first view is a unique and unquestionable sign.
As much tinted as painted, these canvasses originated in Mexico. They have this semblance of vegetal dye, veils of old epic fables imbued on the fabric of shepherd people.
Dazzled for a moment the eye goes back to darkness, springs up again to whiteness, then sees colour and light merging in order to extract from the invisible, the world of forms. By Sorensen’s paintings we go through this genesis, which is of the first day and of each day. The solar impact of Mexico has been as deciding for Sorensen as it was for Van Gogh in Provence. On the magnetic field as we perceive it now between two poles, the canvas and us, the painter has first captured the waves; and a celebration.
He transmits to us the waves with all his painterly means, in a language of such simplicity that it seems nothing comes between his act and ourselves. Regarding the rational concern of the reading, it immediately offers itself to the celebration.
In Sorensen everything bursts from a dense and saturated core of which the matter is essentially illuminated and weightless. This contradiction, the mind resolves in a jump. He would not stop at a linear deciphering in time and space. He enjoys the divine play of expansion and knows the moving and fluid advent of structures. The universe is light, and the light-colour world taking form has two axes: the vertical and the horizontal.
It is the cross and the pyramid, microcosmic figures, monuments that we reach by ascension, vertical monuments from which light climbs up the horizontal steps in order to die and to rise at the summit. As with Monet, Symbolism in Sorensen is created by immediate adherence to the original element: light. When Monet welcomes the pulverulence and the shade by which he dissolves and reconstructs, Sorensen contains the expanse of waves that flooded him, withholds them for a moment, without interrupting the flow, without opposing the backwash and the retraction.
Then we see emerging halos, margins and fringes, extension of the oscillatory movement. There, passages and migrations carry out where no line comes to share or divide, because lines with Sorensen maintain within the whole composition; as in the relation that strings have with sound volume in a musical composition. They draw from the fixedness inherent in painting the vibrations, which have their own constitution. This fixedness, increased, emphasized again by the use of the roller, instead of drawing thick to the static, and to dismay us, provokes a hypnosis that puts us on a wavelength peculiar to the transmitting area, which is true in each canvas.
This is not new. It is on the contrary as old as the world, or as art. And this can happen only when the painter has an inner capacity to welcome what comes by, and a power sufficient to transfigure and open it. Sorensen notes: “Two weeks of painting, then a trip to Oaxaca or Teotihuacan, the valley of the Pyramids to the north. Colours, textures of earth flooding the eye and the mind. To find jars to bring back a little of the red earth. At least six shades of red on the ground bordering the road.”
“…Return to the workshop: images of pyramidal angles, of horizon, of polished and sharpened stones. Peddlers around the Pyramids offering rings; multi-colours irradiating from their centres. Feeling of being filled by the spirit of the structures. Classical and rectangular proportions of Monte Alban and Mitla present in the paintings. No wrestling as in the north; natural flood of colours; one painting breeding the next.”
“Tour to the ocean: two weeks of drawings, no colour; return to the studio. The workshop full of light, aerial coastal views, etc…Pleasure. Seven new paintings, then too much yellow and orange; come back to quiet colours, now more opaque and stronger than in the first series. Feeling of working like a Persian, a Chinese, an Indian.”
With Sorensen, we see how one is not landscapist, naturalist, abstractionist, realist, conceptualist; we see what a work born out of this inner necessity for which Kandinsky makes it the corner stone and the philosophical stone of everything that bears in art the sign of the perpetual and of the modernity.
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