“Painting is always layer upon layer. It is without exception a fundamental property of painted pictures, even if they seem to be done in one and the same movement. The movement has always crossed its own path somewhere.”
Per Kirkeby in Writings On Art (p64)
If a synchronic painting is one where the layers are knowingly contrived in such a way as to construct the ‘same’ picture, where undercoating, drawing, filling, shading, outlining, varnishing etc. come together harmoniously to form a single, determined whole; a non-synchronic painting is one where each new layer – acting as a form of erasure – creates a ‘new’ picture.
I’m seduced by the idea of non-synchronic paintings.
And the thought that the final layer of a non-synchronic painting that culmination of reduction and retraction – the visible layer we see on the surface crust of the painting – is a surface profoundly affected by a geological layers, the flows, fractures and discordances, that lie beneath. Though each layer brings a new chapter to the story of the painting, it couldn’t be what it is without the prior history, without being affected by – and being a response to – the preceding layer.
Memories grow out of memories.
We are the sum of our parts.
Painting as strata.
The invisible underlying layers are there, they are the past of the painting. They remain as echoes of the journey; unseen, mysterious and necessary.
I find an honesty in that.