Friday, 20 November 2009

Angels

I was thinking of Angels the other day. I was part reminded of Della Francesca's St Michael. But this came about because I was thinking of Ed Ruscha's paintings, particular his relatively recent works with text superimposed onto mountain tops (Who incidentally has a retrospective at the Hayward gallery at the moment). At least Della Francesca and the image of St. Michael popped into my head at the time of thinking. Loosely connected as they are I think geometry is a major aspect of each artists work, a technical apotheosis, if i can call it that, in which their image making and thematic concern conjoin.

One artists work is the expression of mathematical sublimity the other of a pseudo 'reality' of advertising and political coercion. Francesca's is the world of faith as expressed through enlightenment and that of Ruscha's a dystopic, managed now.


Ed Ruscha ©. The Mountain. (1998)


Piero della Francesca. St. Michael (1469) The National Gallery

Well that in it self is not specific about Angels apart from St. Michael himself. I suppose I got thinking that angels exist as articles of faith because they are conduits of it. That is they're more tangible than a pure Omnipresence. Maybe that relates to their origins in antiquity. Greco-roman gods as we know were connected more to fate than morality. And fate is matter of circumstance albeit one that manifests itself in the troubles of men (though circumstance may lend from personal providence). The gods then are the expression of that epiphany like a celestial hologram which realises in temporal significance at a mans place, which he and god can concur in despotic despair. And of course the monotheists relinquish despair not from the roll of the dice but in faith and faith alone. I think I see in Ruscha's paintings a dialogue in which they try to objectify through manifestation. It's there on the painting lies the figures of angels.


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