Tell Sal I’ve no more time for flowers
The root of the matter is not in the matter itself
Letraset—Are you going on holiday?
The bleating of lambs arched a roof over their heads
Transfiguration II (Krakow, 1973)
The beautiful fields. The sun affectionately lights fires in their eyes. The top of the sky is warm. And it is empty of stars. Evening descends breathlessly …
The Haloes, 2020
Fountain pen ink, pencil and coloured pencil on 300gsm Aquarelle Arches paper
(each) 19 x 28.5 cm
The drawing began with twelve ‘observations’ of a single tulip flower; the only one to grow in my garden. These ‘events’ were carried out on three non-consecutive days. You can see an example at the end of the piece ‘working drawings’.
‘Tell Sal I’ve no more time for flowers’
From a letter Piet Mondrian sent to a friend in 1930. I’ve lost the details of the reference which I noted from a library book and which I’ve been unable to track down in any online archive (The library is still closed because of ‘lockdown’.) It’s possibly from a letter written to Theo Van Doesburg …
’Sal’ is Sal Slijper, Mondrian’s long-time friend, collector and sometime dealer in Holland. It struck me when I came across this that even at the height of the avant garde ‘moment’ of Neo Plasticism, Mondrian—a ‘typical painting’ of his at this time would be Komposition mit Rot, Blau und Gelb—was still painting watercolours of flowers for his friend to sell back home.
‘The root of the matter is not in the matter itself’
is a line in a poem, The Root of the Matter, by Miroslav Holub
Translated from the Czechoslovakian by Ian Milner. ’Selected Poems’ (Penguin, 1967)
is the title of a performance art work by the Polish artist Jerzy Beres.
‘Evening descends breathlessly’
is the opening line of a poem, Cruz Alta, by Philippe Soupault
Translated from the French by Nick Moudry. ’Calque’ issue one January 2007