Jean Hélion on Painting

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John Goodrich reviews Double Rhythm: Writings About Painting by Jean Hélion, edited by Deborah Rosenthal (Arcade Publishing).

Goodrich notes that "[Hélion's]emphasis on the primal forces of painting and the artist’s improvisational engagement with them — 'The created form becomes creative' — suggests the free-form give-and-take of Abstract Expressionism. But whereas Ab-Ex looked to enveloping sensations, declarative gestures, and the materiality of paint, Hélion’s impulses never stray from a discipline of ordering, gathering, and elaborating… Hélion’s output in print, just as on canvas, challenges us. How prepared are we to countenance the fact that all painting is artifice? His writings, as much as his paintings, reflect a complete faith in both the artifice and the separate reality of painting… Hélion was an original, an artist who pursued the language of painting through a singular blend of logic and feeling. The pages of Double Rhythm vividly relate the struggle in another medium, the language of words."

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