photo.christiane
letters & documents.art.photographs.related documents.interviews & reviews.contact.sitemap.links.
 
photo.pflug 1936-1972.
 

INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS: Woodlawn Ave. 1962-67


Christiane Pflug: Interview with Avrom Issacs, 1964


C: ...in one medium in another medium.

A: Yeh, umm, do you feel a compulsion to paint? Do you feel a necessity to paint? Do you feel you could exist without painting?
C: No. But this works more almost in the negative sense. Painting is of course very very difficult and sometimes one feels life would be easier without it, because I am somewhat conditioned to paint it would not be easier.

A: Umm, Umm, yeh.
C: The choice between two difficulties.

A: Yeh, yeh, ahh, tell me, umm, your show has been over for some time now I guess, oh a month or so, and it’s my understanding that you have found the painting act a very difficult act even though you are happy to do it and you felt it sort of necessary to survive to do it, or I may have been overly dramatic, you still felt it a very exhausting act.
C: Umm.

A: How do you feel about your show in retrospect? How do you look back on it? How do you feel about the paintings? How do you feel about your attitude towards it? How do you feel about it generally?
C: Ooh, well, now I’m concentrating on my current painting. I don’t think very much of the show. You know, it doesn’t go through my head but of course it was an accomplishment and it was very good that I could exhibit and had I not been able to exhibit this would probably have meant a feeling of defeat and so handicap me to further work.

A: I would like you to tell me a little bit about your feelings as you painted this last show and your feelings after the show was over, in other words what I am trying to get you to do is talk a little bit about the action of preparing for the last show.
C: Hmm. Hmm. Well the things of course that I prepared or assembled, the paintings from over one year, one year and a half exactly, and this means of course ummmm, not one direction of thought but many different thoughts and attitudes depending for instance on the weather, because you know the weather influences my painting, then on the size of the painting, you know that I changed from smaller canvases to this larger size, but yeh, I cannot say that I paint for the exhibition. Also I look at the exhibition as something which will make me work more freely, more quietly without stress and yet which will just continue, help me to continue to work more because it is necessary that the paintings are seen.

A: Hmm, Hmm, ahh, do you find any changes change in attitude on your part in the process of painting the last show?
C: No.

A: A change in attitude towards your paintings?
C: No. No.

A: You felt a pretty unified approach, one direction approach all the way through the paintings.
C: Yes, yes.

A: I see. I see.
C: I am sometimes amazed how little these, other things do affect me but it is of course so if you would have no money at all, no recognition at all, it would affect me in a very negative way as you can imagine.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: Yet sometimes I am amazed also at things, well that they don't influence my painting at all, though I expect they do. I have found that the concentration and strength for painting comes from a completely different level than the level of consciousness on which you register ordinary or even not so ordinary events, [levels] which are independent from the outward self.

A: We would like to interrupt this program for now to reflect on the drinks being produced by Michael Pflug, through the courtesy of Michael Pflug and they have a wonderful Gin and Tonic smell to them.
C: Yeh.

A: Aah, well don’t you think the fact that you haven’t been disturbed by umm circumstances around you while you are painting is a sign of maturity on your part, you have reached a position that you know what you are doing, and you have been through a certain amount and you know what is important and what is not important so that you aren’t disturbed by the everyday problems that go on around one?
C: Hmm. Hmm. Of course there’s always a certain balance needed. I could imagine if somebody withdraws completely he also loses touch with life and as I have the children and I am participating very much in what they are doing, I have this area and the balance is sometimes difficult to find between disturbances which I can't avoid and that tranquillity I need.

A: Hmm, Hmm, umm, you have a husband and you have two children and of course you have to give a certain amount of attention to the children and to the husband. Do you find you develop a craving for more time to paint, or do find you can manage to squeeze out enough time each day to paint?
C: I can paint enough. What I sometimes lack is time for myself where I would do nothing or read, or just sit there and look at my painting and time which is uncontrolled and unadministered so to speak.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: Because it is of course so now that I have to follow a rigorous schedule and if one thing lapses painting can be ruined for a day. This is sometimes is very a big strain.

A: Hmm. Hmm. I guess we all need a certain amount of recuperative time during the day.
C: Yes and this is just the thing which is often short and I promised after the exhibition was over I had hoped I would have this and curiously enough we all felt sick. There are lots of idiotic little things which handicapped me and I could not recuperate as I wanted.

A: Yes I too heard about this later, afterwards.
C: No.

A: and I was very sorry to hear about this because I was looking forward to you being able to come the gallery and look at your paintings and sort of enjoy them for a change.
C: And I was coming just once as you know.

A: Yeh, that’s the really unfortunate.
A: Umm. You were saying in an earlier conversation that because you worked so hard on these paintings you could not immediately enjoy them, umm, and it is only after some time passes that you could look at your paintings and then begin to enjoy them.
C: This is true.

A: Um. What part of the act of the painting is so difficult? The physical art, or the mental act, because you are painting something in front of you, mind you there is a process of the line which you absorb what you are painting and rescue it on to the canvas, so there is sense as it goes on.
C: The most difficult part is I think to bring the painting to life, you know, when you have a big canvas in front of you it is just a triangle of canvas which you cover with paint and this can become something meaningful and something where my, where something of myself goes in, or it can be just space, which is covered with paint.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: And to bring the paint to life, to make it meaningful, this is I feel is the most difficult part.

A: Yeh, yeh.
C: Also, when you say I’m painting what I’m seeing, just to see it the way I can paint it requires very much concentration.

A: Yeh, I’m sorry I’m afraid I oversimplified it if you there. Umm. This next, you are working on another painting now, umm do you feel aah there is
Ursula: Mommy!
...some change coming about in this painting in regards, umm as compared to your earlier paintings, or do you feel this is just a natural evolution, development.
Ursula: Mommy!
... taking place? Are you conscious of anything happening, a little bit that’s different that you not happened in other earlier paintings?

C: There is always a certain amount of evolution and without this I would not want to paint. If I ever felt I would recede and it would, the paint would be merely a material and not a living material. I would feel very alarmed and I have found just concentrating on what I'm able to do always has produced the best results, never straining anything, yet keeping disturbing influences away

A: Hmm. Hmm.
C: whatever they might be. And so of course from painting to painting you notice changes but they're not always a progress.

A: Hmm. Hmm.
C: It is very hard to progress in painting.

A: Yeh.
C: When I look now at many of my earlier paintings I feel how happy was I to put this down so simply yet I can of course not go back, one can never do something arbitrarily in painting.

A: No. No that’s true. Umm. Were you very sure what was your attitude towards your last show? This was your first show in Canada. I don’t believe you had a previous one woman show, you showed with your husband in North Africa before.
C: Hmm. Hmm. Yes.

A: Not in a one, but a two man show. What was your feeling about this show? Were you very nervous? Were you very concerned about public opinion? Were you very concerned about the critics? What was your attitude to people outside your own family as far as them seeing the show.
C: Oh. I must admit the first show, the drawing show at your place was more decisive because this meant some official acceptance which would as I said earlier enable us to continue to work.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: Just for the very simple financial needs and so and then I had the idea if I would paint well enough you would probably exhibit me, so all I had to do was to paint.

A: I see.
C: I was not so much concerned that it would go wrong, you know. I mean please understand me right: I had to concentrate on my work yet I didn't feel there was any reason to feel alarmed about the possibility to exhibit.

A: Umm. That’s interesting because I, as a dealer often find a very big jump between an individual’s drawings, an individuals ability to draw, not an ability to draw but an individual’s drawings and his paintings, is an awfully big step and sometimes I just can’t make this step because I get so used to the graphic quality and to the black of white of the lines. They can’t make the jump into color and to paintings, painted surfaces. So its rather surprisingly
C: It has to be, it has to be remembered that I painted before.

A: Yes
C: I changed to drawing and I think my drawings are conceived rather as paintings. For instance I very rarely make use of the lines which graphic, more graphically oriented artists do. Rather they are conceived in spaces of black and white

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: and I did it at a time where I simply couldn't manage to paint very much also for exterior reasons.

A: Umm. Umm. Well tell me. This we still have not discussed: your concern or your thoughts about the public. The broad public. Were you at all concerned about
C: Well I think very little about the public because I found there are only let’s say two persons I know who really understand anything about painting in a way which makes communication possible. So most people see painting for completely different reasons than the artist does and it is of course necessary to have a certain amount of critical acclaim to continue to work as I mentioned many times, yet I don't expect much understanding and really I don’t from any person

A: So you
C: from the outside world.

A: I see
C: I was quite surprised that the critics found out certain things which I think myself about the paintings.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: And then this makes me, this pleased me very much because sometimes I feel very isolated and if you hear people talk about painting it's more quite esthetic and they really manage to express things in words which I had tried to express in my painting.

A: Hmm, Humm. My wife said something about your painting which I found quite valid. Now it’s interesting. Umm, someone could say, make a statement about an artist paintings which the artist may not think is valid and my wife made this statement Umm and I thought it quite valid. I did not know how you will react if she said that she felt that in your paintings you somehow managed to make time stop.
C: Yes

A: And you painted time stopped. You painted objects and subjects with the, this time had stopped them.
C: Hmm. Hmm. This is very valid.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: And since I have no feeling of time at all. Of course I have, as I mentioned for exterior reasons to keep a certain schedule but time goes by for me that without it I don’t notice it much and the change I feel all the time is something arbitrary and which should be continued in much larger spaces then we do.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: Now the feelings which still mean very much to me. The change from nature, when I see the trees around the house and the change of light, how it transforms the object in the course of the day.

A: Hmm. Hmm. Are you suggesting that time for you is a physical thing. In other words you are measuring it in terms of physical changes around you, such as seasons of the year, time of the day,
C: Seasons, yes. For instance I could never tell whether I know exactly if it is nine o'clock in the morning or eleven o'clock, or I can manage to sit hours without doing much especially at night when I am of course more uncontrolled then I would be in daytime and it’s just, it’s I could think its half an hour yet it has been three hours.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm. I see. Ummm. That’s interesting. Ohhh, let me ask you now, umm, In your household you have two girls, two daughters and a husband. Your husband is a painter. Your daughters paint also. Do you find Umm. How do you find this effects your attitude towards painting? This implies of course you have a very sympathetic family, I know your husband is more than sympathetic towards your work, he is devoted towards your work,
C: Hmm, Hmm.

A: Umm, I’ve seen your children’s work and it’s really quite amazing.
C: Hmm, Hmm.

A: Do you find ahh, that your children’s work perhaps gives you any insight? Do you find umm, How do you feel about the fact umm your husband is a painter? Can you talk about this situation a bit?
C: Ooof.

A: That’s true.
C: It's nice to know that we are painting very differently and I’ve mentioned earlier that I have not to cope with the problem of influences. This can be considered quite fortunate because I know that for other people this is a big difficulty. So we are working completely separate yet of course our discussions and conversations on painting are for me one of the main sources of understanding. He is the person that really understands everything about my painting sometimes even more than I myself, and I have often found when I am vaguely sensing a problem and difficulty in my work and did not yet know how to approach it he would come and tell me exactly how the problem had to coped with.

A: You sure ahh, are you implying that he [Michael] is directing you?
C: No. Because I cannot believe, painting cannot be directed, yet he has very much insight in painting and I’m not the only person who benefits from this insight and his ability to find how a person should express [herself] and how the problems of painting can be related to a person.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: This is, I have not of course, don’t know many people but I think is a very rare gift and ability to see so clearly what another person paints and situations which come up and how the person should react to which way the painting should turn and he always finds out. I think I didn’t speak precisely enough. [He knows] what a particular person in a particular situation concerning painting [should do], which way it should turn. You
know?

A: Hmm, Hmm. Ahh, since you cover your domestic position and the amount of time you have to spend painting you don’t have too much of a chance to socialize with other artists. Do you miss that? Do you feel any need for this?
C: Well, it is of course so that a painter is always in a very particular situation and it is very hard to find people who understand this particular situation and sometimes I feel it is just as well that we know few people, don't socialize and sitting on a balcony and reading if there is little free time is always better than meaningless conversation and even other artist's views can be so different that there is almost no communication.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: Of course it would be very nice to know some people who understand and we know a few fortunately and we see each other regularly. Then it is of course always so if you see a person you have to be in a comparative mood, comparative mood. If you aren't communication again is almost impossible,

A: Hmm.
C: so even this is hazardous, everything is hazardous that

A: Hmm, Hmm. I see. I see. Umm. You first started to paint when you went to Paris to study fashion design I believe.
C: Yeh.

A: Umm. That is where you met your husband. Now was it at your husband’s prompting that you started to paint or had you had some ideas you were going, you had wanted to be a painter prior to that?
C: I had very much longing to paint as a child and I spent as much time doing it as possible. Then came the critical stage everybody knows about when the vision of the child vanishes and the growing up person has to cope with perspective and all the problems that a person is confronted with in painting and then I became discouraged and stopped it all together, still went to exhibitions and looked at art books and read a great deal and sometimes thought especially when looking at the Impressionist's paintings and so, maybe I could do it also, and maybe I just should try but I had not the courage to do so and also not much of the surrounding which encouraged such an undertaking and when I came to Paris I had no desire to go to see the buildings or the things one should normally see when going to Paris, I felt just walking once around Nôtre Dame, writing my parents what I have seen was not enough, so when he said I should start to paint I first refused because I felt it was ridiculous having no training, and then for some reason I started also because in Paris it was of course easier than at any other imaginable place to start to paint and I painted one tower of the Conciergerie with a bit of bridge sitting on a little staircase which leads down to the Seine and I painted with Gouache on one of my papers and after I had done it I felt very pleased.I was quite determined whatever the results would be and what time would bring I would not stop to paint because I felt that I had now acquainted myself with the object, I wanted to see yet, well I wanted to establish a relationship for instance with the picture you should see in Paris which is more than just viewing it and making an inquiry about a few historical facts

A: Hmmmm.
C: and I felt that all of a sudden many of my problems were solved very well and painting was the thing which I was to do best.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: And curiously enough Michael was a little bit disappointed of this first try yet I was determined to go on and the results in a short time when I now look back at it were quite amazing.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: And also umm, I think I mentioned it, I had always difficulties to get along with people, to find out what I should do. I had a feeling always of remoteness, of not being able to communicate and being not interested in what people normally are interested in yet I had nothing better to offer. This always put me in a very difficult situation because how to explain a certain awful feeling that I didn't need to occupy myself with things other people thought were important, without any apparent reason and all of a sudden I knew why this had always been so and all the time I could possibly spend I spent with painting. Also I became more industrious with the fashion design and got some modest acclaim by a very nice teacher who liked my treatment of color and so but this was then very secondary and whenever I could paint I did.

A: You felt a certain release from painting I gather? In fact almost, well maybe I’m being romantic again, you sort of came home, you saw an area that you were comfortable in that.
C: Yes and especially which spared me the necessity to deal with people and their ideas which often seemed to me not very important and without judging I felt that this is something most important to me and if I only kept it in hand and would not ever let myself go in any direction I knew which was wrong for me, things would follow a certain direction which I wanted them to follow.

A: You say painting scared you from people. I don’t understand that, you still had to relate to people, you still had to talk with people, you still had to deal with people.
C: Yes. But on a different level.

A: I see. You mean you you sort of felt to an extent you found your mission in life so you did not have to apologize for yourself, you didn’t, you were more sure on how to relate to people, or my
C: Yes, to a certain degree, Yes.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: Especially if I did not want to communicate with the people I felt now a certain right to refuse to, which previously I had not found and so I had many, had made many very wrong acquaintances

A: Oh.
C: and I felt constantly uncomfortable yet never quite knew where to turn and what was the source of this feeling.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: and

A: I see, I see. Umm. Did you find? What years were you in Paris?
C: forty-three and forty- no sorry, fifty-three and fifty-four.

A: How did you find Paris in those days? Did you find there was quite a sympathetic climate towards painters? Did you find that you started to paint in Paris but if you lived in another city you might not have started to paint? Did you feel there was a climate which allowed one to
C: Yes, very definitely because Paris is a very beautiful city as you know and just sitting down and looking at something gives you so many motifs, you, it is very, to start in Paris is very easy you know,

A: I see.
C: all the beautiful bridges, the water, the boats, the old houses yet then very quickly I started to move away from the center more towards the outward districts, Auteuil and Billancourt, because all of a sudden I felt that painting the Conciergerie and the Pont des Arts and the Institut de France too much would after a while put me in a very preconceived way. I felt I had to get away from historical buildings

A: yeh, yeh.
C: after a while, you know, so if I mentioned that I painted more in the outer districts,

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm. I see. Um, you’re sitting in your famous wicker chair. This is the chair which appears in one of your paintings in rather fantastic detail, umm do you even find yourself looking at that chair as being something out of your painting rather as being a real thing?
C: Hummhf.

A: My cute little questions. Ha, Ha, Ha,.
C: I think I do, I see the chair as real as my paintings. The chair is a real thing and my paintings are just as real. I can't see that there is much difference.

A: But what I sometimes feel is that there is more reality in your paintings of the chair than the chair itself. I have this peculiar feelings at times.
C: But if I would not see the chair as real as I do then I could not paint it the way I do.
A: Hmm, Hmm. Yeh, Yeh, that’s right. Ummm, I understand, what, aahh, I understand you are using a model in your next painting.
C: Aah, this has not worked out.

A: Why, aah, would you care to tell me why it hadn’t worked out.
C: Of course, it’s a young woman who has a child and she simply could not find somebody to take care of

A: Ohh,
C: the child. She hoped her husband who worked at night would do it in daytime, but which I found it a little bit naive because nobody can sleep and care for a little girl that age, it’s impossible.

A: But if you did have a model you would like to use her.
C: Yes, I ask myself either if I would sometimes when I feel I have to cope again with another person. The dolls are always quiet, never disturb me. They have no moods, they have no difficulties and I have enough difficulties of myself. Sometimes I feel I would not even want to cope with the person.

A: Don't you think you are divorcing yourself from reality by taking that attitude?
C: Maybe, but I have only so much energy and strength and much is eaten up during the year

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: and I have to restrain myself.

A: Hmm, Hmm. How old are you Christiane?
C: Ohhh, twenty-eight.

A: Hmm, Hmm. I see. Ummm, aahh, Do you feel, umm, well that’s interesting, do you feel that you know in a sub-conscious way you know what you have to save for the next ten years or five years so therefore you really don’t need the external stimuli?
C: Yes I do.

A: Hmm, Hmm. I see. I see. I see a painting ahead of me which I don’t recognize. Whose is that?
C: Michael did this.

A: Isn’t that interesting.
C: Yes.

A: There is something of reality to it yet Michael is an abstract painter. Do you feel that Michael, has any great sense of frustration because he has to earn the family livelihood so to speak and he can't spend the time painting, or has he managed to come to terms and be able to set aside a comfortable period of time for painting?
C: Hmmf. This is the problem which cannot be solved because he says Medicine in a way is necessary to him and Umm,

A: Well then he does get something out of medicine. It isn't just a means of livelihood, he doesn’t
C: No, no it isn’t. The only thing is that medicine now has too much expanded and that he will not content himself with anything mediocre or sub-ordinate and of course striving for a certain kind of perfection evolving, it's almost more than the willing person can do.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: There’s just no issue because without medicine he says he would not feel ummm, his life would not be complete.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm.
C: I think this is a problem which gets more difficult and more difficult because there are a number of artists which have studied medicine and also practiced it but this was in a time when medicine was a much smaller subject, and you could study it in four years and then practice it and

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: this enabled you to cope much better with both things.

A: Umm, Umm. Let’s get back to your travels, from Paris to North Africa to Canada. That’s quite a visual area to cover, Umm, I imagine, or rather I’ll ask whether the adjustment to Canada very difficult? Did you forget about painting for a period of time?
C: Yes I did.

A: Did you think you were going to give up painting?
C: But the thing was of course that when I came here I had to stay with my parents and my sister while Michael was finishing his exams and the little children required so much care that I could not really think of painting. Also I found the suburbs very difficult surroundings, especially when one was so tied down as I was and I must admit the first few excursions in town made me feel, well how should I explain it? I had the feeling that this was not a real town and nothing which stood in its own right, I felt there was a bit of England as I had seen it in pictures. I had never been there, and a bit of western, all these very flat buildings, you know, where it says Bank or Café or so, and then aah, there's no overwrought stylistic expression in this town as it is in Paris where the streets are built to conform to one stylistic ideal, and this you certainly don’t find here.

A: I find it rather complimentary that you should even compare, compare Toronto even if you compare the negative thing, the fact that then you would
C: Yeh

A: have them in the same breath is rather.
C: I had to live here so I had to find terms. Actually there is no sense at all to feel [out of place], or to feel one doesn't really want to be here, one has to, I wanted to find possibilities to paint and so I had to look at Toronto, so after a while I liked very much the many trees in Toronto, and it seemed to me that I had never seen trees the way I had seen them here and this was the only thing which I found quite lacks in North Africa, the beautiful European trees, the park trees which grow by themselves and acquire such beautiful shapes. The very lovely green. This you don't have in North Africa.

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: And when we were able to rent an apartment downtown, with a view from one window which was good to paint I started quickly and achieved rather quickly again something I felt happy with, of course one certain time I always compared my things to the paintings I had done in Tunisia and not only that they were much smaller, there was a difference in light in Tunisia. I painted inside the rooms and I don’t have any direct daylight, the light comes from the courtyard. It is very soft and emphasizes the structure of things. The beautiful plaster walls, the ceramic tiles, and here the structure [cannot be compared to that]. I mean a modern building cannot have the same walls as a beautiful old house in Tunisia and I found it extremely difficult and returned to paint some of the same objects I had painted there which we had kept, brought here. It was a bit long the painting that I got very discouraged. Then I saw I had to leave all this behind and I had only to concern myself with what was here and I found this view out of the windows as you know painted the painting which Hart House has which I still consider one of my best landscapes, and I again discovered the importance of light. I painted the same motif in different light early in the morning where the sky is very pale and things have a misty quality, then in the evening when the sky is very blue and the colors come out much brighter and then on a misty day where the greens are very remote and the sky has something like a mother of pearl shell or so, and this were discoveries which led me on the way to do the big paintings now in this apartment.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm. I first came across your work, aah, its your drawings I first saw aah, this is rather curious because of I’m, you really are, I think prefer to be a painter and I think this is the first time you did any massive drawings or is that not so?
C: Yes it is so.

A: Hmm, Hmm. Why did you turn to drawing at that point?
C: Because I was too restricted with painting. First it was a lack of time, children still quite small not going to kindergarten or anything, the apartment has no garden. We simply had to make a daily walk to keep them healthy and I felt this responsibility very strongly. I could not in myself see that painting was more important than their health. I felt things had to work on the same level of importance and it's easier to pick up a drawing and to continue after a few hours and I could make much better use of time. Also as I have said I had some difficulties but I was still seeing things for their structure and not for their light you know and, then I simply started to make a drawing because I was very discouraged and felt I had to do something, to try something to find out what was possible in the circumstances and the drawing solved for a certain time, all the problems, first on the level of acquainting myself with things as they appear in this country and second as I mentioned that purely on [not understandable].

A: Hmm, Hmm. Hmm, Hmm. Umm, I have been referring to you as an artist who paints the extremely familiar and that I feel, at least in my experience as having seen your work that you can only paint objects that you have lived with and have seen day in and day out and have developed a sense of familiarity with them. Aaah what do you think of that?
C: I would imagine that I could paint a landscape also in a place where I have not lived before yet as I require so much time to do a painting I of course get best along if I have no problems with other adjustments, you know

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: if I'm free to concentrate on painting. But I could imagine like Pissarro, when he was an old man, just rented a place in a certain district of Paris he wanted to paint and painted what he wanted and changed to another region when he wanted, I could imagine myself doing it only circumstances are not at all in favor of this

A: Hmm, Hmm.
C: and of course with a family this isn't possible. So for my recent situation it is better to stay in place, to be adjusted to know what I can do, to be as little handicapped to paint as possible.

A: Hmm. You are going up north if a few weeks, and
C: one week

A: you are going up in to Northern Ontario for one week in the Muskoka area I understand,
C: It's Lake Simcoe.

A: Lake Simcoe.
C: Yeh

A: Do you intend to do any drawing or painting when you are up there?
C: I will take pencil and a paper with me. I must admit that I am not very attracted by the landscape. I feel it is extremely flat and a little bit,

A: Hmm.
C: and I can’t, it doesn't appeal to me very much.

A: Hmm.
C: I like very much the countryside in France where you have the countryside yet you see a certain, you see the human will and wish to impress style or shape on it, this is of course not conscious as a process during the centuries as you would find in a country like France where you find the beautiful old villages, the churches, where its beautiful trees and woods and hills and meadows and beautiful fences change, but here you have the barn with shutters which look very well but otherwise it is all very flat and of course if I could live there for a while I could maybe acquaint myself with it better, but I've always felt extremely happy in this area and as soon as I move north from St. Clair I feel very unhappy, very out of place. I don't go very far. I stay where I am.

A: I know what you mean. There is a certain group of us who think north of St. Clair is outside the city and umm when you get to Eglinton well you are into the barren areas, the desert area.
C: Oh, Yes. I wonder how people can live there. Everything looks so banal, so you know, so without any relation to what a human person really needs and so pre-fabricated. Nothing has really evolved, everything is put down there. Michael the other day said something which I thought was very right, he said, the North American suburbs have no wish to express any idea of style or form, they just express it. They cater to mediocrity, you know, and that’s all so how can we expect any inspiration from this.

A: Hmm, Hmm. I wonder if this is possibly because people who move into the suburbs are just moving there to raise their children and eventually they intend to move elsewhere so that they aren’t really establishing any ground roots it’s just a transient point. American society is a very mobile society and if you have in the back of your head, if you are conscious in the back of your head your going to be moving on in five or ten years you're not concerned about the environment behind you perhaps.
C: No, this is not so.

A: You don’t think so.
C: No.

A: I see. Well, I think we should aah call this a night cause my father aah is ill and I was supposed to go and see him an hour ago so I think I better go.
C: Yes.
A: I had beautiful fun, thank you.

END OF INTERVIEW

home | letters & documents | art | photographs | related documents | interviews & reviews | contact | sitemap | links