Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Revisiting 'Squares in Love' for the new year

Pierre Cordier & Gundi Falk, Squares in Love, 2011
You've seen this chemigram before: it was the end-of-the-year postcard greeting that Pierre sent to our blog in 2011.  Everyone enjoyed it then, and we thought we'd dust it off after four years to see if it has retained its enchantment and sweetness.  The good news is that it has, and even improved with age, which suggests we may have missed something on the first go around, either that or we've grown in artistic wisdom, perhaps in the emotional stuff too.

Recently I asked him if the pucker and kiss action between each pair of amorous squares had been planned, and he said no, they did it on their own.  I believe him.  Squares from time to time will do that, unattended, as we know from experience in our own studio.  One of the mysteries of the process is that we're not alone when we create a chemigram but instead, despite ourselves, soon find as we work that we have company, little beings that come to inhabit lines and spaces and move by themselves, where they will, on dark schedules and at glacial speeds.  But given enough time anything is possible, even love - or, as we calculated in a post in November of 2010, a trip around the world on the back of a mackie line.  This cannot fail to encourage us for the coming year.

Taking a closer look, we are able to enjoy the subtle unevenness in the nested ranks of color, converging from all directions: while overall the same in pattern, on the micro scale they're quite rippled and lapping.  This tends to make them appear fuzzy, but satisfyingly so, an aspect we embrace, a fuzziness underscored as well by the sharp accents of the imperfections, motes, and dust specks - all of them accidents - which the artists have wisely left behind, calling them 'beauty marks' to keep with the anthropomorphic 'love' metaphor.  Here's a close-up of the right lower quadrant:

detail, lower right
Suddenly at this level everything starts to change, and the kissing activity of the squares is forgotten: it is as though we are examining a histological sample of tissue and instead of ectoderm and muscle the real players are now nerve bundles and nodes of genetic material.  We have zoomed in past the living image; it grows stranger, more exotic - and yet it is the same and has been there all along.  From sweetness and light to another world - and back, as we pull away again.  The picture bears viewing on all levels and rewards you handsomely for it.

We offer some basic production facts.  The paper is Ilford Galerie 21K, the resist is Golden Glossy spray varnish.  The back was covered with a sheet of adhesive to reduce unwanted seepage of moisture, in an effort to prolong adherence of the resist on the front.  The picture we have called 'Squares in Love' above is actually part of a larger picture consisting of 1531 squares (yes!) from which this one, or these squares, were culled.  The proper title of the parent picture, for the record, is Chimigramme 1/9/11 II, so that 'Squares in Love' is actually a detail of it.  It should be noted that not all the squares in the parent picture were in love, far from it.  In fact, the artists had to go over it with a loupe to find those that were; we're grateful for their diligence.  It was completed in 2011, the first year of the collaboration between Pierre Cordier and Gundi Falk. 

Happy New Year.