or why he’s not the Man they say he is
You may call him a superficial surface fanatic
(and you won’t be far off)
but you can’t call him a utopian fascist.
He never uses the words pure, ideal or perfection.
It’s realism he’s after.
It’s the echo of nature,
not the man made illusions of heaven
that he seeks.
Since the sacred and the sublime
have been appropriated by the mediocre
and the modern is no more,
there’s the kitsch of a sunset,
the pink of flamingos in the zoo,
the cheap thrills of make up,
the bleached blondes of the Albert Cuyp,
to rub against the golden section.
When his paintings work,
they embody this cosmetic-synthetic seductiveness.
They embrace without touching.
He might only wear white
but he’s no monk.
He might love his ear-plugged silence
but he relishes the noise of a good mean argument.
He might be obsessed with the chain curve
(though it took him five years to hang one properly)
but he grudgingly admit,
that it will never beat the curves of a woman.
Jan Andriesse | Future Perspective, or why he’s not the Man they say he is. Written in 1999 for, and originally published in, Jan Andriesse, (cat.) Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, 2000; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts | On Others, second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014
This text is a sequel to another text Marlene Dumas wrote on the work of Jan Andriesse, The Tyranny of Reality and the Autonomy of Painting (1989).