Jed Perl remembers painter Gabriel Laderman who passed away last week at the age of 81. Perl's piece conveys a portrait of a man who championed painting as a means of personal discovery. The following passage by Perl is worth quoting in full:
"What [Laderman] offered to those who were willing to look and to listen was the splendor of artistic possibility. If young artists told him they loved fourteenth-century Sienese painting, he would tell them to look at it longer and harder and make it their own. He believed you could learn from nineteenth-century caricatures, from sixteenth-century Mannerist engravings, from nineteenth-century Japanese landscape paintings, from Mondrian, from Phidias, from anything and everything. But you didn’t just pick something up and use it. This was no postmodern game. You embraced it, you struggled with it, you transformed it, you made it your own. And in the process you transformed yourself as an artist."