3 nov 2011

Bridget Riley

Riley made the following comments regarding artistic work, in her lecture Painting Now, 23rd William Townsend Memorial Lecture, Slade School of Art, London, 26 November 1996:
When Samuel Beckett was a young man in the early 1930s, and trying to find a basis from which he could develop, he wrote an essay known as 'Beckett/Proust' (1931), in which he examined Proust's views of creative work; and he quotes Proust's artistic credo as declared in Time Regained – "the task and duty of a writer [not an artist, a writer] are those of a translator". This could also be said of a composer, a painter or anyone practising an artistic métier. An artist is someone with a text which he or she wants to decipher.
Beckett interprets Proust as being convinced that such a text cannot be created or invented but can only be discovered within the artist himself, and that it is, as it were, almost a law of his own nature. It is his most precious possession, and, as Proust explains, the source of his innermost happiness. However, as can be seen from the practice of the great artists, although the text may be strong and durable and able to support a lifetime's work, it cannot be taken for granted and there is no guarantee of permanent possession. It may be mislaid or even lost, and retrieval is very difficult. It may lie dormant, and be discovered late in life after a long struggle, as with Mondrian or Proust himself. Why it should be that some people have this sort of text while others do not, and what 'meaning' it has, is not something which lends itself to argument. Nor is it up to the artist to decide how important it is, or what value it has for other people. To ascertain this is perhaps beyond even the capacities of an artist's own time.
Rest of the Article @Wikipedia

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