Notebook VI

The NYT ran a story this week on Van Gogh’s painting (the last one done according to the researchers.) As we’re traveling through the South these days – thought this note from George Hofmann would be a wonderful addition to the Notebook.

The picture in today’s NY Times of Van Gogh’s “Tree Roots” is so clearly a forerunner to Pollock that I couldn’t resist writing. I know one can make a case for almost anything, but this is an example, to me, of the underground river of painting. For Pollock tributaries came in from Monet’s Waterlilies and from Miro – now neglected as a source of Abstract Expressionism – but, probably unconsciously, these were the waters feeding his painting. It seems like a miracle that that could happen, but if one works from the feeling sense of things – and, isolated as he was, he was thrown on himself – it is not so difficult to understand how a painter could come to working as he did, feel pretty much good about it, and only get rattled when it later gets blown out of proportion, and he likely felt – how could he live up to all this?

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