By Donald Richie
This provocative publication is a tractate—a treatise—on attractiveness in eastern paintings, written within the demeanour of a zuihitsu, a free-ranging collection of rules that “follow the brush” at any place it leads. Donald Richie seems to be at how perceptual values in Japan have been drawn from uncooked nature after which changed by way of stylish expressions of sophistication and style. He explains aesthetic options like wabi, sabi, acutely aware, and yugen, and ponders their relevance in artwork and cinema today.
Donald Richie is the most important explorer of jap tradition in English, and this paintings is the end result of sixty years of gazing and writing from his domestic in Tokyo.
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Additional info for A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy ofAndy Warhol (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1975), p. 199. the strategy of appropriation from content to method by borrowing the techniques of others to forge his distinctive style. To the tutored eye, traces of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Photo-Realism are evident in Tansey's intricate compositions. Since he refuses to accept the principle of autonomy in method as well as content, Tansey remains free to mix concepts, figures, forms, and colors as if they were colors.
Figures, as the etymology of "metaphor" suggests, are sites of transference. " If paintings are metaphors and metaphors are sites of transfer or exchange, then paintings might be understood as something like bridges. But what is the meaning of "bridge" in this context? The figure of the bridge appears at several critical points in Tansey's paintings. In one case, he devotes an entire paint- 43 ing to a bridge: Bridge over the Cartesian Gap. This characteristically reddish orange painting pictures a massive stone bridge with tiny human figures crossing in both directions while carrying everything from a ladder, a briefcase, and a canoe which looks like an umbrella to the kitchen sink.
In a second painting en tided A Short History of Modernist Painting (1982), Tansey returns to the theme of the impenetrability of the picture plane. In something approaching a triptych,'he represents a woman with whose brushes and rollers are tools of the construction trade rather than instruments of artists. In one way or another, all of the images in the painting deal with issues of surface and depth or, correlatively, exteriority and interiority. From windows, doors, walls, and floors to sheets, clothes, and skin, Tansey suggests variations of the game hide-and-seek.
A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics by Donald Richie