Imagining Landscapes
William baziotes, primeval landscape


William Baziotes, Primeval Landscape, 1953
Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 182.9 cm
Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial
Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

Everyone of us finds water either a symbol of peace or fear. I know I never feel better than when I gaze for a long time at the bottom of a still pond.

William Baziotes, 1948

Jackson pollock, the deep


Jackson Pollock, The deep, 1953
Oil and enamel on canvas, 220.3 x 150.2 cm
Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges
Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris
Given in Memory of john de Menil by his children,
the Menil Foundation and Samuel j. Wagstaff, jr

I am Nature.

Jackson Pollock, 1942

My concern is with the rhythms of nature ... the way the ocean moves ... I work from the inside out, like nature.

Jackson Pollock, 1955-56

Barnett newman, pagan void


Barnett Newman, Pagan Void, 1946
Oil on canvas, 83.8 x 96.6 cm
Collection Annalee Newman, New York

Communion with nature, so strongly advocated by the theorists as the touchstone of art, the primal aesthetic root, has almost always been confused with a love of nature. And the artist falling in love with the trees and the sea, the beast and the bird, has not o much been in love with them as with his own feelings about them ... The concept of communion became a reaction to rather than a participation with, so that a concern with nature, instead of doing what it was supposed to do – give man some insight into himself as an object of nature – accomplished the opposite and excluded man: setting him apart to make nature the object of romantic contemplation.

Barnett Newman, 1947

Theodoros stamos, the fallen fig


Theodoros Stamos, The fallen fig, 1949
Oil on composition board, 121.9 x 65.7 cm
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Given anonymously

The work of Theodoros Stamos, subtle and sensuous as it is, reveals an attitude toward nature that is closer to true communion. His ideographs capture the moment of totemic affinity with the rock and the mushroom, the crayfish and the seaweed. He redefines the pastoral experience as one of participation with the inner life of the natural phenomenon. One might say that instead of going to the rock, he comes out of it.

Barnett Newman, 1947

Mark tobey, edge of august


Mark Tobey, Edge of August, 1953
Casein on composition board, 121.9 x 65.7 cm
Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Threading light: White lines symbolise light as a unifying idea which flows through compartmented units of life, bringing a dynamic to men's minds ever expanding their energies toward a larger relativity.

Mark Tobey, 1944

My imagination, it would seem, has its own geography.

Mark Tobey, 1951

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