The Drawers - Alan Glicksman   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Abstract (B&W)

Modern living, socialization and institutions have us traversing certain pathways that often leave no time or inclination for individual exploration. The role of the avant-garde, however, is to push towards the boundaries and at the limits of the constraints a choice must be made - to break on through to the other side or to hold back and participate in the quotidian realm. Kant proposed that the only way to find the individual voice was to become liberated from the expectations of our culture. He proposes that fine arts is a path that leads to liberation and freedom. Art is a way to bring about an actual picture of free thoughts and grant them a graspable body. The expressive individual crosses the borders, explores the limits and yet retains sanity.

This is the place revealed in Alan Glicksman's work. It is a space of absolute liberation, bound only by the medium of paint on paper and made clear through the black and white palette that he has chosen to use. The marks can be associated to automatic writing. A visual message coming through from the other side, from the inside of man, from his head, motivated by his heart and vested a committed place in the pantheon of things. It is the unknowable realized. There is evidence of the artist, the trail left by the energy of his marks, born of a necessity to create and an educated perspective of choices from which to begin this journey into freedom. The result is specifically and uniquely individual. The marks have been made and there is no recourse, no turning back the wheels of time and playing that commitment to paper backwards so that it wipes clean. The painting becomes the inaccessible, unfettered state of freedom that can only be realized in the work, like the way that grapes ferment to become wine, a zymurgy that changes the docile grape into an intoxicating drink, able to open and yet also confuse the mind.

Abstraction worked in one way for the artist as he made the piece, bringing to it the vast combination of experiences and knowledge that are brought to play during the process of creating. Then the viewer is set on another journey when confronted by the work, one that has the attributes of the viewer's individuality associated with it.

In a body of work such as this, a series where the similarities between pieces are as great as the differences, how does one choose? There is an array of memories, recognition, attractions and disturbances that trigger synapse. Veering towards one over another has little to do with Alan Glicksman. Or does it? Perhaps that which attracts the viewer to the piece is in sync with the impetus that brought it about. The bleed through from the artists's consciousness, a kind of quantum transportation, is made physical.

Glicksman has his “higher necessity', his particular path that will set him free. The paths between artist and viewer meet in an extreme present that contains emotional elements in common and something equally coalescent - a work of art.

Copyright © 2007,  Julie Oakes