Poetry &

an ekphrastic notion

A digital publication by Joost de Jonge

“The lines in de Jonge’s paintings which half a dozen poets and I discern as rivers are symbolic, whether the painter intended them to be or not. They not only represent the flow of artistic power, but also the social connections that are created through the ekphrastic exchange.”

— Prof. Dr. Diederik Oostdijk, from 'The Flow of Creative Power' (p.82)


really felt that my art practice, in general, needed art for art’s sake. So I took this urge literally and asked some of the poets and writers of the English-speaking world, whom I tremendously admire, to join my project and to write one poem or text in exchange of one of my smaller paintings.
I was very fortunate to have Peter Clothier, Peter Frank, Norman Dubie, Robert Wynne & John Fuller joining in first hand. Here upon, Robert C. Morgan was ready to underscore my project with a text and a recommendation! More voices joined in: Emily Bilman & Andrin Schütz from Switzerland, Eva Bosch from Catalonia, Dinah Berland from LA, Domenico de Chirico from Milan, Saul Ostrow from New York City, the enigmatic Joy Harjo from Tulsa, Oklahoma and, closer to home, my two good friends Robbie Dell'Aira & Juliën Holtrigter and new acquaintances Diederik Oostdijk & Onno Kosters.

As always a spark drives me on. The spark of inspiration seems to ignite a force beyond my control as if I'm driven forward. Basically, I was driven by my conscious desire to expand my poetic and spiritual awareness and to connect and share my work and feelings with powerful creative people.

How this truly happens is an inexplicable dark thing. The poetic brilliance of Norman Dubie opened up my consciousness to new colors. Robert Wynne’s poem gave me the idea that, indeed, life and art show a form of symbiosis in inexplicable parallels of feeling and visual expression; perhaps, the Romantic Sublime in its full significance. John Fuller really took it to heart and repositioned the "I" within the body of truth, feeling, life & poetry.

Dr. Emily Bilman’s text is central to the project and is available in four different languages. Peter Frank & Emily Bilman deserve special mention for their guidance and editing. Joy Harjo’s poem reconnected me with my childhood experience. Robert’s striking critique elevates perception and I'm grateful to be able to share it with my readers.

I wish to thank everybody who contributed, in their own specific manner, to the richness of my feeling and art, to the completeness of this book, which may very well be the beginning of a new awareness of the intricate relations of the different arts and their values reinforced by the individuality of their voices and the mystique of their universality.

May you enjoy reading this book as much as you enjoy viewing my paintings.

Joost de Jonge Vianen, the 30th of April 2015, The Netherlands

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Table of Contents


Poetry after poems43

Works on Paper53



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— 08 —

— 09 —

Fugue for a New Life

— by Dinah Berland, after Fughetta on Paper by Joost de Jonge

A woman rides horseback across pink foothills,
humming a melody in counterpoint.
Up and down she gallops across the seasick road,
the grizzled river, where bell-shaped peaks
beckon with tintinnabulation, promising
kisses just over the horizon.

As she rides the world slips and slides, changing
every second. Nothing stays the same. All at once,
out of nowhere, a diminutive house appears
beneath a swooping bough. Will she reach it
before sunset, she wonders, now that the golden orb
is breaking like an egg yolk at the edge of the sky?

Will she ride alone forever? What stories
will she tell her children at the brink of night, looming
like black lapels above her? Why can’t she recover
the lost path she once walked, where waterfalls
crashed into graceful archipelagos
and shorebirds serenaded her in the sand?

Just tuck that crumpled cadenza
behind your right ear, she hears a voice whisper.
Let your horse go. Abandon bridle and reins,
and all will become transparent. A miracle
awaits you, my dear, a mirror in the river:

Out of the whirling blue comes someone from another lifetime—
a strangely harmonious friend
who sees you as you were,
as you will be, as you really are.

Primal FUGUE, 2013
230x140cm, acrylics and oils on canvas

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A River Of Light

— by Emily Bilman

A luminescent glass-cathedral,
Bright fuchsia, bright blue, bright purple,
Bright aquamarine where choir-voices
Celebrate a stained glass polyphony,
The river’s primeval song, when
All was peace and light and beauty,
When the sun’s colours begot Time,
When the first life was born with the warmth
Of primal movement, when the primal
Geometry of the first ochre curve and
The parallel elongation of the first form,
Bore the warm breasts of our brown world.

Archeology of Personhood 3, 2013
140x70cm, acrylics and oils on canvas

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Animism 2

— by Eva Bosch

Yellow, pink
Pale blue, pink,

Indigo pink
Boat, cake,

Cradle, pink

Pale, pale pink
Dark indigo
Pinkie red

Yellow, and yellow.

Animism 2, 2010
160x120cm, acrylics and oils on canvas

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The Act of Love

— by Peter Clothier

Shall we say
bodies? Shall we say
a coming-together
of the flesh? Here
there is woman’s
womb, here man’s
penetration; here
the passion of union,
the inimitable ecstasy
of that intense
moment of creation,
flesh, paint, it is
all one, all one,
yes? Shall we say
the act of love?

Variation c, 2014
19x34cm, acrylics and oils on panel

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The Sere Yellow of the Bulk Continuum

— by Norman Dubie

The light stencil of a distant rainstorm, difficult cows
pushed by a raised white stick,
the cold and early Spring of broken plinths,
the suggestions of a fire pond,
and Archimedes now

in the field of burning mirrors:

if we are all here, then the smirking
red crows of some future sunset are not, aghast
with the one weak lens of sun, not the Polaroid stepping
nervously into the dull rowboat—theories
arriving at my grandfather’s farm
six months before I am born….              beyond a river


Both the sunset and my dying grandmother
up in the erased windows
in the sulking parabolas of the farmhouse.

She said to my selfish cousin take this box of watercolors &
shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colors
that attack us,
not the designs
we have on them…


Dorothy, there’s something of an approaching
rainstorm in the fax
you sent me last night—i do love it—
but spilled my coffee
all over it. Sure, I am confident

of the winter ending.

Variation e, 2014
19x34cm, acrylics and oils on panel

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The Queen Tweets

— by Peter Frank

Somewhere in puce

a river runs through it

This happens, then something hairy

and/or agitated, coloristically,

and/or silky and guileless

Coughed into a panel (but

who’s listening? Who has

the nose to hear?) and/or

branching forward, given a

double meaning, at least

in the accrual; worlds

apart, no two separate

accounts posted daily

Spoken of until spoken to

and backed up by several

lithe plans, coarse bones,

lissome and(/or) obsequious

checklists, chickens all

chagrined, poked off, etc.

Who says the new blue

truthscan’t mend in the

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Variations on themes by Joost de Jonge

— by Peter Frank

First Variation on Themes by Joost de Jonge

A river walks through it

Over here an eruptionDown

there a disrupted focusThe surface

seems to speakThe shade shrinks in the

raking lightas if we are flying over it

as if water were not simply central

to it but the reason for it

Somewhere in white

The rhapsodic field you don’t have

The belt you don’t buckle

Second Variation on Themes by Joost de Jonge

All animal bristly, the shock

of a random variation

The winter wind

agitating the owls, dryingthe

remaining leavesinto a

rustlea coping

mechanisman argument as

elaborateas it is charming

Who has blown through

this terrified garden?

Phantasie, 2012
160x160cm, oils on canvas

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— by John Fuller, poem available in English, Dutch and Spanish

The Fulehung like a lunatic
With a bouncing bladder on a stick
Runs through the streets of Thun.
Its mask is horned, its mouth a slit,
Half-terror, half-buffoon.
There is no stopping it.

The memory of where I stood
In those deserted streets
Beneath an icy demilune
Comes back to me, for though
I ran as hard as ever I could,
I did not stir a foot.

The Fulehung will find me
In the silent shadowed square.
The Fulehung will find me
Although I am not there.
The Fulehung is behind me,
Its nose a bulb of blood.

The face that groans in the stomach,
The eyes that ache like a cave,
The mask that stares from the mirror,
The lips that never forgave
Are all that define the Fulehung,
Who’s there to make me behave.

Down my back the discs were strung,
Into my arms the hinges put,
My legs locked in their sockets:
I cannot run for ever through my life
With bones that cry out to the skies
And nothing in my pockets.

I’d licked the ink to play the fool
And legends stained my tongue.
I waited in the midnight room
With its clump of fallen soot
And silent stood the Fulehung.
Silent stood the ghoul.

I cannot run, and yet I run
More than I ever did
When half in terror, half in play,
Panting, I stopped and hid.
Now in the gradual dwindling of the day
I run, but cannot run.

The Fulehung has found me
With its bladder and its grin
In the lava-flow of my desires,
Where standing pools and turgid fires
And silence’s ecstatic din
Are all around me.

My ribs are like a ladder
On which my heart took fright.
I look upon my life in fear,
As if from unaccustomed height
Where everything at last is clear:
The Fulehung has found me.

De Fulehung

— door John Fuller

De Fulehung rent, een dolle bok,
een blaas vervaarlijk aan een stok,
door het stadje Thun. Gehoornd
zijn masker, een groef zijn mond,
half schrikbeeld en half oen.
Geen die aan hem ontkomt.

Ik weet nog wel waar ik toen stond
in die uitgestorven straten daar,
in het ijzig schijnsel van de maan:
ik weet het nog goed, want hoe
ik ook rende, waar ik ook wou gaan,
doodstil bleef ik staan.

De Fulehung zal mij vinden
op het donkere, doodstille plein.
De Fulehung zal mij vinden
al zal ik daar zelf dan niet zijn.
De Fulehung zal mij binden,
zijn neus zwelt bloedrood op.

Een gezicht dat gromt in je maag,
de ogen gekweld als de hel,
het masker dat blikt uit de spiegel,
de lippen een eeuwig onteren:
zo kent men de Fulehung,
zijn rol is mij mores te leren.

Wervels groeiden in mijn rug,
mijn armen maten knieren aan,
mijn benen werden ingelijfd:
ik blíjf niet rennen door tijd
met gebeente dat het uitkrijt
en zonder een cent te makken.

Ik likte de inkt en ik deed of ik gek was,
legenden bevlekten mijn tong.
Ik wachtte hem op in het holst van de nacht
en met een roetklomp in zijn hand
stond zwijgend daar de Fulehung op.
Stond roerloos daar die demon.

Ik ren niet echt, maar zie, ik ren
harder dan ik toen ooit deed,
toen ik half in doodsangst, half gespeeld,
me hijgend stil hield en verschool.
Nu de dag ten einde loopt
ren ik maar ben ik bevroren.

De Fulehung heeft mij gevonden
met zijn blaas en zijn grimas
in de lavastroom van mijn verlangens,
waar stilstaand water, laaiend vuur
en het wilde geraas van de stilte
mij geheel en al omgeven.

Mijn ribben zijn als sporten
waarlangs mijn bange hart vlucht.
Ik zie vol vrees mijn levenslot
als dwaal ik hier in hoger sfeer
en alles eindelijk helder wordt:
de Fulehung heeft mij gevonden.

El Fulehung

— por John Fuller

El Fulehung, como un lunático corre,
con su vara y su vejiga, golpe tras golpe,
por las calles de Thun, sembrando pavor.
Su máscara, dos cuernos, su boca, una ranura,
una mitad terror, la otra mitad bufón,
imposible escapar a su persecución.

El recuerdo de donde yo estaba
en aquellas calles muertas,
bajo esa semiluna helada,
vuelve intenso a mi memoria, que
aunque mi vida corriendo dejé,
no pude mover ni un pie.

El Fulehung me encontrará
en el silencio de la plaza en sombra.
El Fulehung me encontrará,
aunque yo ya no estoy allí.
A mis espaldas el Fulehung me nombra,
un globo inflado de sangre su nariz.

Es rostro que revuelve las entrañas,
ojos como cavernas que hacen doler,
es la máscara que acecha en el espejo,
labios que no perdonan a ningún ser,
es eso todo lo que al Fulehung define,
que aquí ha venido a que me porte bien.

De mi columna cada disco contraído,
los brazos tiesos, no se pueden mover,
tengo las piernas ancladas en el suelo:
cómo seguir corriendo así la vida entera,
con huesos que imploran al cielo,
y sin un solo céntimo en mi haber.

Lamí la tinta para hacerme el tonto,
y su leyenda la lengua me tiñó.
Aguardé en lo hondo de la medianoche,
que con su negro tizne me envolvió.
Y el Fulehung se irguió silencioso,
silencioso ese demonio ante mí se irguió.

No sé correr, y sé que estoy corriendo,
más de lo que nunca imaginé poder,
cuando mitad en terror, mitad en juego,
fatigado y jadeante, paré y me refugié.
Y ahora que poco a poco mengua el día,
quiero correr y corro, sin correr.

El Fulehung me ha encontrado,
con su vejiga y su ranura,
en el flujo de lava de mis anhelos,
donde las aguas quietas y el vivo fuego,
y el clamor extático del silencio,
me envuelven y rodean por completo.

Mis costillas son como escaleras,
donde mi corazón huyó aterrado.
Bañado en miedo me asomo a mi vida,
como desde una altura desconocida,
donde todo por fin se vuelve claro:
el Fulehung me ha encontrado.

Variation a, 2014
19x34cm, acrylics and oils on panel

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The Dawn Singers

— by Joy Harjo

It was the birds who taught us to sing.
They were the first singers.

When my spirit was still traveling in a faraway land
Stepping over a river
Made by rain, I heard a robin
Talk-singing the epic he repeats every day.
He began where he left off yesterday,
In the recitation of the robin origin story and where-they-are-going story—
He was at the part about the earthmover tearing up the street
Just under his house of twiggy weave.
He was not happy about destructive swerve in the path humans are making.
That morning, as the sun made a doorway for the spirit of the day To step through—
I commented on his story-song with my saxophone.
My horn became a red streak of sunrise.
A trio of workmen pounded nails in a wall to country western.
Cloud people were walking high across the sky,
As they traveled to a conference of the winds—
Robin left room for me to riff.
I was the human who possessed songs like robins.
(That’s what robin named me.)
We jammed about somebody
Who fell in love and wanted the whole hungry world to know it.
And then she left him.
(It’s the same for birds and humans.)
We finished with a standard, about the time when birds and humans
How to sing together—

Maternity/Impasto Improvisation 9, 2014
50x35cm, oils and acrylics on canvas

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The Juggler from Circus Chroma

— by Juliën Holtrigter, poem available in English and Dutch


The colours follow their course around his head
He plucks them cunningly from the air and arranges them
Between the heady purples and silent greys
While calling a blue violet from afar.

He burned a red from his oven, filled with seed
but still unsatisfied, a red like a hungry
Predator bitterly licking the bowl of the night.
In the blue of the whirlpool and the black

Of the pot traps he sang a fish, just as fluid
As live-bearing. He took the breath from under
His gills and blew beneath his teary lips

The fleshy yellow of a smile.
Then he sleeps and dreams of a ship
Loading sea stars in space.


Today the light comes from far across the sea as well
An armada of ice-blue ships with golden
Warts, blazingly white sails hoisted.
The early old day has been here before,

Oh how everything whirls, the moon around the earth,
Revolving around the sun, circling around the hole of the Milky Way
Outside there is a cold continuum. Nothing
Escapes time, no star dies.

Today he demonstrated with a trial
That a bang is followed by whistles
Even when repeated. Remarkable: the meteorite

Becomes heavier with every experiment.
Evident: what began with densest density,
Ends in unprecedented dimensions.

De Jongleur van Circus Chroma

— door Juliën Holtrigter


De kleuren volgen hun baan om zijn hoofd.
Hij plukt ze gewiekst uit de lucht en ordent ze
tussen bedwelmende purpers en zwijgende grijzen
en roept tussendoor een blauw violet uit de verte.

Hij heeft een rood uit zijn oven gebrand, vol zaad
maar nog onverzadigd, een rood als een hongerig
roofdier dat bitter likt uit de schaal van de nacht.
Hij heeft in het blauw van de kolk en het zwart

van de fuiken een vis losgezongen, even vloeibaar
als levendbarend. Hij heeft de adem van onder
zijn kieuwen gehaald en onder betraande lippen

het vlezige geel van een glimlach geblazen.
Dan gaat hij slapen en droomt van een schip
in de ruimte dat zeesterren laadt.


Het licht komt ook vandaag van ver over zee:
een armada van ijsblauwe schepen met wratten
van goud, de oogverblindende zeilen gehesen.
Deze vroeg oude dag is hier eerder geweest,

o, alles wervelt, de maan om de aarde,
die om de zon en die om het gat van de Melkweg.
Daarbuiten is ruimte een kil continuum. Er is niets
dat ontsnapt aan de tijd, er is geen ster die niet sterft.

Hij heeft vandaag met een proef aangetoond
dat een dreun wordt gevolgd door een suizen.
Ook bij herhaling. Wel merkwaardig: de meteoriet

wordt steeds zwaarder, met elke test.
En evident: wat met de dichtste dichtheid begon,
eindigt in ongekende dimensies.

Spatial Elaboration of Form & Emotion, 2015
80x75cm, acrylics and oils on canvas

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— 29 —


— by Onno Kosters, poem available in English and Dutch

This panel as part of a whole
a whole
as part of a more than whole
a more than whole
as part of
the whole
surrounded by an ever-expanding
wallscape as part of
the entire whole
the entire whole
the entire whole and
wholly healing

which will always be
suddenly interrupted
by the following instance
of being framed
a frame
casually and curtly delivered
as if by a forwarding agent
Even if you’re out (for real or no)
there’ll always be a neighbour
kind enough
to accept it on behalf of you
and see to it
that you’ll get it
the frame
in time
ring your doorbell and make a fuss
inevitably inviting herself
for coffee
custard slice please!
a chat
And there’s you
ever polite lord of the manor
keeping a weather eye
on that frame in the corner
on that massive parcel
in the shape of a sword
packed up in bubble wrap
that will no doubt feel
juicy to the touch
and the visible traditional
brown paper
ready to strike
as soon as unwrapped
string still holding it together
bow tied with a little help
from a stranger so as to be
tied down in itself

like you who became
tied down in yourself
with a little help from a stranger
hands up as if you fired
before you surrendered
your upper body stuck
in verdant elysian fields
(no surprises there then)
your upper body at rest
on the banks
of a colourful artery
and overlooking
a viper mother’s nest
putting your balance to the test

Like that
tied down in yourself
round that frame
in the back of your mind
in the wound that’s still healing
on this panel as part of that
entire whole


— door Onno Kosters

Dit paneel als deel van een heel
als deel van een geheel
een geheel
als deel van
het heel
een en al uitdijend
daaromheen als deel van
het geheel
het geheel
het geheel
dat eindeloos geheel

dat voor je het weet
weer wordt onderbroken
door de volgende steek
die je steeds achteloos
en bondig wordt geleverd
alsof het een pakket
door de bezorgdienst betreft
Zelfs als je niet thuis geeft
is de buurvrouw wel zo vriendelijk hem
die steek
t.z.t. met enig ceremonieel
aan je te overhandigen
Ze belt aan
nodigt zichzelf
onherroepelijk uit
bakkie erbij
En jij maar heer des huizes wezen
één en al voorkomendheid ondertussen met het oog
op de verpakking
van die steek in de hoek
dat zwaardvormig gevaarte

in ongetwijfeld
straks geil aandoend
en nu al
good old bruin pakpapier
klaar om toe te slaan
zodra uitgepakt
touwtje er
zolang als het duurt
nog omheen
touwtje dat
op de strik waar het om draaide
met behulp van een derde
werd verankerd in zichzelf

zoals jij
met behulp van een derde
verankerd raakte in jezelf
de armen omhoog of je schoot
voor je je overgaf
je torso
geworteld in een groen groen
groen groen
knollen- knollenland
nou dan weet je het wel
je torso aan de oever
van veelkleurig bloed
uitzicht op moedergebroed
dat wankelen doet

Zo dus
verankerd als strik in jezelf
om de steek die nog naijlt
in de wond die nog heelt
op dit paneel als deel van dat eindeloos geheel

F Variation 3, 2014
19x34cm, acrylics and oils on panel

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— by Robert C. Morgan

Heraldic tokens of the soil
Mineral store, the wealth
Of shouldered legacy, coy
Contrapuntal, obsequious
Calendar of obsessions, encrustations, the corporeal bejeweled and ridden of all
Wrath, legacies given effete
Rapture, glory gone to form
The hued surface regained.

Composition, 2015
120x120cm, oils and acrylics on canvas

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— 33 —

The Origin of Light

— by Robert C. Morgan

Saturation precedes scale
Conceived to proclaim

How colors became
What we felt they were

Nudging us toward light
They give sense to the real

But colors don’t nudge
They swaddle their own

They become conciliatory
Hues without name or number

Neither for sacred windows
Nor solemn threads of truth

They harness the light
To reveal gradations between

What we dream outside of us
In the twilight of storms

A Room With A View, 2014
120x120cm, oils and acrylics on canvas

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— 35 —

Inspired by six small paintings

— by Robert C. Morgan

Thick milk may stir the soul
Or so it is said to happen.

Like tough molecules bending toward lightness
with no age in particular

Only the solemn grace of footing against a hill
of thieves
who wait to see inside

Recumbent nerves and luminous froth come forth
from the sea of time

as the colors explode.

Impasto Improvisation 1-6, 2015
35x20cm, oils and acrylics on panel

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— 37 —

A Vista of Lost Terrain

— by Andrin Schütz, poem available in English and German

Like fading light of a passing day
Slowly, gently into that nameless blue
This bare evening, gave way bereft of mercy

Thither I went

Where still and dream-entwined
Grave and ancient recollections hover
There is a place of bygone days, green, red and yellow
With endlessly swaying ears of corn

Yet dawn’s icy dew places its hand for a while
Meekly and consolingly on a face full of fear and sorrow
And then the light of the newborn day
Red and green and bright and blue
Chases away the mighty shadows o'er the graves of a long forgotten time
And in the restless winds, radiant, yellow and still,

The ears of corn sway.

Verlorene Landschaft

— von Andrin Schütz

Als letzte Licht eines sterbenden Tages
langsamleise in jenem namenlosen Blau
Dieses Abends bar der Gnade gebrach

Ging ich dahin

Wo still und traumverwunden
Schwer und alt Erinnerung schwebt
War vor lang verlebten Tagen ein Ort aus Rot und Grün und Gelb
Und endlos wiegenden Ähren

Doch der Morgenröte kalter Tau legt einst sanft
Und tröstend seine Hand auf ein Gesicht voll Angst und Schmerz
Wenn das Licht des wiedergeborenen Tages
Rot und grün und hell und blau
Die mächtigen Schatten über den Gräbern einer längst vergessenen Zeit verjagt
Und im heimatlosen Wind strahlend gelb und still

Die Ähren wiegen.

EROICA, 2013
100x300cm, oils on canvas

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— 39 —

The View From Here

— by Robert Wynne, after Variation b by Joost de Jonge

Two blood-red rivers flow, silt-ridden and rusty
continually carrying the earth downstream.
From above, everything gains a new perspective

in losing all others: trees which loomed large
at ground level flatten into suggestions of green,
hints that so much can be hidden beneath anything

opaque enough. Between those crimson banks
civilization is a torso cut open, a riot of color,
an explosion of thick brush strokes

signifying the work, the effort expended daily
by all we’ve made. Highways carry us to each other,
power lines sway with the weight of light

and walls hold art, keep the world at bay.
But every door, like a painting that changes
each time you look at it, can offer surprise:

orange sunset spraying pink through
a thin layer of clouds, lone black ball
bouncing from porch to sidewalk, rainbows

of laundry applauding the stiff breeze
as streetlights blaze to life like new meaning.
Lungs blue from breathing all that sky

I look down to discover my heart, lost for words
in the dead-center of my chest, hungry

for everything it simply cannot contain.

Variation b, 2014
19x34, oils on panel

— 40 —

— 41 —


— 42 —

— 43 —


— by Joost de Jonge

I was lost in a well of darkness
this thing I know wasn't
what I supposed
encapsulated as I was
in the darkest glow

I died slowly and wondered
how is it possible to feel whole
but just for the slightest instance
I felt a roar of thunder inside me
the lightning of my soul


— by Joost de Jonge, inspired by Fulehung by John Fuller

arcs waver intensely at my inner shore
they bare deafening sounds
underscore the well and where it is bound
Am I to find and see
what relinquishes and foretells misery
no truth can uphold the vibrant sadness of the untold
history of bygone mystery dreams of youth and love
I see you from up here far above
the tide of human life you can't imagine
it is there all along Goethe was right
the primeval light is strong
but how unjust it is, for I can still see
through visions unnamed it is not thee
challenging the sight of harmony
you hide in places of uncommon thievery
an undulation of wickedness
no it still isn't the absolute a thing we might’ve lost for good
my heart of all hearts still shines
and questions anyone who defines
its borders of individuality
expressing solutions only once you are free
of the will to possess of the need to caress
the tender touch of views over undulating fields of tares
your desire to possess

— 44 —

— 45 —

To a lover of humanities

— by Joost de Jonge, in honour of Dr. E. Bilman

death can't catch up with her
she shocks the world with fidelity
lights the world intimately

she is not to be found outside
she is not to be had
she is what can't be grasped
she is writing to last

the cloth that closed off our hearts
in worlds of understanding is
temporarily lifted, made tangible
to those seeking the truth restlessly

so enclosed with unfolded sobriety
Madam, only to you do I reveal this
your discoveries lead us to true bliss

Jonah, the Vine

— by Joost de Jonge, accompanying the painting of Henk van Loenen, poem available in English and Dutch

That first day high above the city
Jonah rests sweating
Under his erected shelter

Now the sky has been uncovered
The word descends
Gold and scarlet

Under the leaf of the tree

He looks into the large space
Searching for omens
Filled with splendour
Jonah lifts his head
A heart beating in soul-agonising darkness
A wishing well, deeper than his grief
The destruction failing to appear

In the distance above the city
Three crows ascend, black flapping
The lamentation in Nineveh
Is mere mumbling to Jonah
They are a cry to God
He is concerned with their fate

The worm, a miracle
Within the fire of a dream
Withdrew from him his leafy cover

You can burn Jonah
Burn with desire thirst to
Receive my love and beatitude
I searched for you here in the paint
I searched for you in the sky of my verse
Where does this miracle exist
What’s in this line?
Do you come home to yourself?
In the golden gleam of evaporating leaf
Light becomes air filled with water
Through the air the sun takes your shadow

Let us live from the miracle
Jonah, you only need to open your eyes

Heart you feel such sorrow
Now the tree only stays for a day
Under your glowing wrath
Jonah is full of wonder
And those in Nineveh are special
Even a dog praises God’s goodness

Here darkens desire
Here bustles luminous life
You, now draped with mercy,
Remain surrounded by this golden light

Again it shall be long
Before the warp thread
And weft thread are untangled
Counted and converted into days

Dancing on the water
Your loneliness rises
Bustling in the depth

Jona, De Wonderboom

— door Joost de Jonge, bij een schilderij van Henk van Loenen

die eerste dag hoog boven de stad
zwetend rust Jona
onder zijn opgerichte beschutting

nu de hemel is ontbloot
daalt het woord af
goud en bloedrood

onder het blad van een boom

hij kijkt de grote ruimte in
speurt naar voortekenen,
vervuld van luister
Jona richt zijn hoofd op
een hart
kloppend in zielstergend duister
een wensput
dieper dan zijn smart
de uitblijvende vernietiging

in de verte boven de stad
vliegen drie kraaien op, zwart gefladder
jammerklachten in Ninevé
zijn voor Jona slechts geprevel
zij vormen een schreeuw voor God
hij trekt het zich aan hun lot

hij was geroepen die wurm
wonder in het vuur van een droom
ontviel hem dit loofrijk dak

brand jij nu maar Jona
brand van verlangen dorst ernaar
mijn liefde en zaligheid te ontvangen
ik zocht je hier in de verf ik zocht je in de hemel van mijn vers
waarin bestaat nu dit wonder
wat is er in deze lijn, kom jij nu tot jezelf?
in het gouden schijnsel van verdampend blad
licht wordt lucht vervuld van water
zo neemt door lucht de zon jouw schaduw

laten wij van het wonder leven
jouw ogen Jona hoeven alleen maar open te gaan

hart wat voel je een spijt
nu de boom slechts een dag blijft
onder Uwe toornegloed
is Jona vol van 'n wonder
ook die van Ninevé zijn bijzonder
zelfs 'n hond looft God goed

hier donkert het verlangen
hier bruist het van lichtend leven
jij nu met genade omhangen
blijft door dit gouden licht omgeven

wederom zal het lang duren
vooraleer de kettingdraden
en inslagdraden zijn ontward
kunnen worden geteld
en omgezet in dagen

dansend op het water
richt jouw eenzaamheid zich op
bruisend in de diepte

— 46 —

— 47 —

Ode to Peter Clothier

— by Joost de Jonge

there shines a light
at the level of the dreaded darkness
past and coming
the truth is not what you search for
the bumblebee escapes you eternally
no, truth is not what you’ll find
as the mirrored image escapes
your grasp and clasp

but there shines a light

you needn’t be afraid to fall
as you are not standing nor lying down
I can not point it out

but there shines a light

believe me, it is there
you needn’t doubt

a blissful feeling

healing powers are all around us
should you forget
what can’t be remembered
should you fear
o blessed oblivion

the most learned of us all
fear nothing more than knowledge
if intellect’s abode is abolished
we wouldn't know where to hide

believe me, I shall tell you the truth in poetry
there shines a light
which can’t be seen
bold and clear
you reflect its splendor

there is Light

Ode to Emeritus Prof. Dr. Robert C. Morgan

— by Joost de Jonge

a smile is perceived as a bit of an oddity
all is drenched in letters of gold
your grace is transposed, everyone excited
as you pass by, honoured by most

the East craves such a sensibility
loving your children, their sighing breath
is yours and you will be undivided

blank space

white is this page’s substance
poetry is the heart, you’ll agree
my dream, your dream
one day, the spirit will be set free

dreary fields of late nineteenth century houses
beggars lost in a sea of damp mud

how cool you are

you, I’m told, speak through
the window which holds no glass

I know now that you know

we share life withheld
from many a graveyard
stories from the past so real
they are still there really

blank space

white is this page’s substance
poetry is the heart, you’ll agree
my dream, your dream
one day, the spirit will be set free

— 48 —

— 49 —


— by Joost de Jonge

he wept in a state of trance
no one could free him from a lover’s glance
his life brought him by chance
children & parenthood of resistance

his feet rest on the earth
his soul could not reach their demands
the sun is beneath him
as much as it is above him

the people of ancient custom
took your faithful son
above all, he is human
a person is unique, not a tribe
though he falls back into the tribe
as the tribe falls

back into Osceola

how could you ever truly feel
the voice that guided you
subverting trust and falsehood
the sky is no longer blue
tainted by a question of brotherhood
only you know what is real


how could you ever truly feel
the voice that guided you
subverting trust and falsehood
the sky is no longer blue
tainted by a question of brotherhood

only you know what is real


The Jar

— by Joost de Jonge, in praise of Eva Bosch

light magnifies the animal
that draws the delineation
entwined painterly pronunciation

depth conceals
a push and pull
some kind of forwardness
spacious counterbalance to the flatness
that hides the material quality
of the spiritual

how can I renounce it?

there is no place
beyond the red and gold
of redemption

light magnifies the animal
that delineates the entwined
painter’s pronunciation

…the painting is…

the painting whispers a distant
brown colour cascaded down
the very distance of an inhabitable locus

I am not what I see
but there is a world of feeling
blossoming inside me

do not harm the surface
she who has spoken out to me, I see
the painter has become free

— 50 —

— 51 —

A cow in a field of Grey

— by Joost de Jonge, tribute to Norman Dubie

souls of eternal virginity
trembling open hands
their fingers withhold eternity
from your touch

so now you know
winds blow
through the darkest shadow
of a thought
an eye shut
too many people starve
without a Soul

brought into being
by the slightest spark
just a close brush
with the candour of time

his face multiplied
a massive expansion
he was scolded by his teachers
an exuberant prophet
no, a pupil of the selfless Self

life told through action
action dreamt by an unusual dreamer
here is a real hunger for Love
though the road twists and turns
a life foretold
lowered into nothingness
a darkness coveted
by nature

a web knit by lovers

where did the spider go
black on black...

it is all about the consecrated
transcendence of a gaze

through these fields of grey
I paint myself
cows satisfied with colour
cannot dodge a ball
make no mistake
they love like me and you
caught in Yellow

grazing fiercely these fields
of unprocessed meaning

souls of eternal virginity
trembling hands open
their fingers withhold eternity
from your touch

on paper

— 52 —

— 53 —

abstract variation, 2015
47x32cm, mixed media on paper

— 54 —

— 55 —

abstract variation b, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 56 —

— 57 —

Mondrian’s Movement c, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 58 —

— 59 —

Mondrian’s Movement b, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 60 —

— 61 —

abstract variation c, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 62 —

— 63 —

abstract variation d, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 64 —

— 65 —

abstract variation a, 2015
32x47cm, mixed media on paper

— 66 —

— 67 —

Mondrian’s Movement a, 2015
47x32cm, mixed media on paper

— 68 —

— 69 —

Mondrian’s Movement, 2015
63x49cm, oils and acrylics on paper

— 70 —

— 71 —


— 72 —

— 73 —

Joost de Jonge — Synaesthete and painter

Essay available in English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French

— by dr. Emily Bilman

ike Wassily Kandinsky, who combined the four senses of touch, smell, hearing, and seeing in his paintings, Joost de Jonge is inspired by music to create the harmonious colours of his abstract paintings. Synaesthesia, from the Ancient Greek σύν syn (‘together’), and ασθησις aisthēsis (‘sensation’) is a neurological phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sensory route leads to an automatic involuntary response in a second sensory or cognitive path.

Paul Cézanne thought colours had an autonomous existence of their own. Joost de Jonge feels the same. The painter compares colour to “ various harmonies of different instruments together, like in an orchestra: the yellows are the violins, the browns and reds, the cello and the darker shades. This is often about a variation on a formal theme: in The Archeology of Personhood Series 6, it is about the curve which encapsulates the bars of colour and how this curve is varied throughout the work, like in a fugue.”

In another quote, de Jonge says: “My first impressions, as a child, were of great endless fields of colour, mostly of green, gold and blue. This experience of colour remained with me. All in all, I remain very aware of my use of colour and it’s creation, it’s coming into being, by being layered, glazed, or used pure and mixed wet in wet. I do also remain most sensitive to their relative values whilst working on the colours individually.”

Plutarch is known for saying that painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks. In this project, Joost de Jonge rendered an homage to all the poets who were inspired by his paintings by writing poems himself, thus voicing his intuition about each poet’s contribution to his ekphrastic project.

By referring to de Jonge’s colour variations, his large brush strokes, his representations of primitive geometric forms, idiosyncratic of his abstract paintings, poets project various poetic images upon his paintings. Robert Wynne projects the image of two rivers carrying r e d silt under an orange sunset through pink clouds to de Jonge’s “Variation 014b”, characterised by the deliberate repetitions of form and colour and the specific brush strokes of the artist. Wynne’s tercets carry the reader into natural scenes of trees, a pink sunset, and clouds in the sky. “Between crimson banks / civilisation is a torso cut open, a riot of colour, / an explosion of thick brush strokes” idiosyncratic of the painter’s style. The poet also compares the painting to a door whose perception changes each time the viewer perceives it: “But every door, like a painting that changes / each time you look at it, can offer surprise.”

In “The Sere Yellow of the Bulk Continuum”, inspired by de Jonge’s “Variation E”, Norman Dubie dreams o f d i f f i c u l t cows and o f red crows f l y i n g over a future sunset which stir in him associations of his dying grandmother, visiting the family farm, six months before the poet’s birth in a place “beyond a river”…“in the sulking parabolas of the farmhouse.” As in a dream, in the poem, too, time and space are completely distorted. As, in a dream, we are introduced to Archimedes and Dorothy, who could be Wordsworth’s sister, within the temporal and spatial span of the three stanzas.

The poem intensifies the poet’s privileged relation with his grandmother with the latter’s words to his cousin to whom she offered a box of watercolours “shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colours / that attack us, not the designs / we have on them… “ The poet implies that colours have a stronger impact on us than the designs and forms that are attributed to them. Dubie ends the poem by reconciling the loss of his grandmother with the end of a h a r s h winter and the arrival of spring that brings h i m t h e s e l f - confidence and faith he needs to continue in his poetic journey, symbolising his life-journey.

Inspired by de Jonge’s “Variations”, Peter Frank c r e a t e s a c o n c r e t e p o e m b y reproducing the image of a river on the page. “Down / The surface / The shade shrinks / as if we are flying over it / as if water were not simply central / to it but the reason for it.” Peter Frank’s words are arranged as a flowing river upon the printed page so that the reader can perceive the visual reproduction of the river on the page. Another o f d e J o n g e ’ s variations inspires Peter Frank with animals, “the winter wind agitating the owls” and rustling leaves. The poet asks the reader: “Who has blown through / this terrified garden?”, perhaps, the garden of Eden. Could the answer be you and I, the other poets, Peter Frank, Joost de Jonge?

Peter Clothier’s “The Act of Love”, written on de Jonge’s “Variation C”, is a metaphor for the act of creation, in general, be it poetry, painting, sculpture, and/or scientific discovery. In a number of rhetorical questions and enjambements, the poet asks himself whether love is “A coming together / of the flesh? Here / … here / the passion of union, / the inimitable ecstasy / of that intense moment of creation / flesh, paint, it is / all one, all one, / no? Shall we say / the act of love?”

In ”The Fulehung”, John Fuller, inspired by de Jonge’s “Variation A” speaks and writes through the persona of an imaginary court-jester or an imaginary clown, or an imaginary elvish figure, “The face that groans in the stomach”, "Half-terror, half-buffoon", whom he tries to escape in the streets of Thun because the fulehung always makes sure that the poet behaves well and never forgives; hence, symbolising the poet’s "superego". The fulehung is also a perverted representation of the poet’s past sufferings. Through poetic techiques such as the shortness of the stanzas, the rapid succession of negative and affirmative poetic lines, contrast and oxymoron, the poet develops a sense of suspense. “Will the fulehung ever catch up with him?” we ask ourselves.

The painting, like a Rorschach inkblot, stimulates the poet’s primal archaic fears. The poet expresses his terrifying recollection by an oxymoron: "...for though / I ran as hard as ever I could, / I did not stir a foot." The bitter irony is that, as the poem progressses, the poet gradually becomes the fulehung’s foil if not his potential "clone". In the epilogue, the fulehung finally finds the poet who can, no longer, escape him although, he can still escape the fulehung by writing the poem. The poem ends in a descrescendo and presents the reader with a parody of the Sublime: "The Fulehung has found me." From the ekphrastic and textual perspective, Fuller’s poem suggests that abstract painting is a medium that can stir free associations in the poet and the reader, making us confront our deepest fears and partially escape them through writing.

One significant feature of de Jonge’s painting is his symbolic usage of geometric forms. For him, the wave connects different historical threads and he uses the figure of the fish for the symbol of Christ. As such, his painting is an abstract symbolic expressionism which stimulates our cognition. Mondriaan, in « New Art – New Life » says that « abstract art creates just like nature creates – i.e according to the same natural laws. Abstract Art creates a reality hidden in the palpable reality around us. Hence it abolishes this palpable reality, it shows only its way. » Joost de Jonge paints colours in harmony by varying complementary colours and forms ; the painter also uses colour contrasts to emphasize overlapping spatial planes decorated with geometric shapes.

De Jonge, in his painting, through the repetition of seemingly insignificant forms, like the half-circle, the parallel line, the ellipse, or wave-like shapes, re-vivifies old archaic ideas of original forms, which Jung called architypes, in contemporary painting. Much like Miro’s and Kandinsky’s compositions, De Jonge’s use of archaic forms in his painting, combined with the inventive spatial play of harmonious colours, adds movement to the whole composition.

In “The Sense of Order : Musical Analogies”, Professor Gombrich emphasizes the direct links between perception, memory, and rhythm that enhance our cognitive capacities by establishing the link between our perceptions and our anticipation. Our idea of rhythm depends upon on the memory of a time interval, and our ability to hold this memory in anticipation of the next sound. St. Augustine emphasized the importance of “echo memory” or the continued presence of a sensation in our consciousness before it fades and is filed in our long-term memory.

What is true of musical intervals can also apply to the perception of colours and their variations. We can conclude that the active perception of colours stimulates our cognitive functions and improve our long-term memory. De Jonge’s abstract paintings based on complimentary and/or contrasting colour patterns provide cues to these cognitive stimulations which are the foundations of creativity.

Joost de Jonge — Synestheet en kunstschilder

oals Wassily Kandinsky, de vier zintuigen, tast, reuk, gehoor en gezichtsvermogen combineerde in de totstandkoming van zijn schilderijen, is De Jonge geïnspireerd door de ervaring van muziek, die hij omzet in harmonieuze kleuren. Synaesthesia, van het klassieke Grieks σύν syn, "samen", en ασθησις aisthēsis, "gewaarwording/sensatie" is een neurologisch fenomeen waarbij de stimulering van het ene zintuig automatisch leidt tot een onvrijwillige reactie in een ander, hierbij worden verschillende cognitieve trajecten aangedaan.

Voor Paul Cézanne bestonden kleuren autonoom (an sich). Kandinsky liet zich door al zijn zintuigen beïnvloeden als hij schilderde. Joost de Jonge volgt hen hierin. De kunstschilder stelt dat voor hem kleur “kan worden vergeleken met een harmonie van verschillende instrumenten die tezamen klinken en onderling een klankverwantschap vertonen, zoals in een orkest; de gelen in het schilderij zijn dan als de violen te beschouwen, de bruinen en roden als een cello, Basso continuo. Een duidelijke orkestratie van kleur betreft dan ook vaak een helder formeel thema, zoals in het werk “The Archeology of Personhood 6” (zie afb.: ) waarbij dit thema de curve betreft die is opgebouwd uit zo’n orkestratie van kleur, hier komen het thema van de vorm, zijn herhaling en opdeling in kleurverwantschappen, die als een beweging te lezen zijn, als muzikale, fugatische analogie samen.” Elders stelt de kunstenaar:”Mijn allereerste herinneringen zijn die van grote oneindige kleurvelden, van groen goudgeel en blauw. Deze ervaring van kleur als oneindigheid, als onbegrensde ruimtelijkheid, vergezelt mij altijd wanneer ik schilder. Ik ben mij dan ook heel bewust van de kleuren die ik gebruik, met name van het proces van totstandkoming van de kleur, zijn gelaagdheid. Is de kleur door een glacis , of puur, door nat in nat menging ontstaan, of is door frottis of drogekwasttechniek een specifieke kleurwerking ontstaan. Hiernevens blijf ik buitengemeen gevoelig voor de relatieve waarde van kleur, hun interactie, dit is een belangrijke activiteit, het “wegen” van de kleuren tijdens het schilderen, hun samenspraak te “horen.” Het gedicht van Eva Bosch over Joost zijn schilderij getiteld: “ Animisme 3” (afb.:) concentreert zich geheel en al op kleur om het gevoel dat het schilderij bij haar teweeg brengt te beschrijven: “Pale, pale pink / Dark indigo / Red / Pinkie red // Yellow, and yellow.”

Plutarchus: “Schilderkunst is stomme poëzie – poëzie sprekende schilderkunst “ In deze context, heeft Joost de Jonge een hommage gebracht aan de dichters die door zijn werk werden geïnspireerd en ter ere van wie hij zelf gedichten heeft geschreven, een stem gevend aan zijn intuïtieve gevoel bij de bijdrage van de verschillende participanten aan zijn “Ekphrasis Project”. Door het variëren van kleuren, de bouwstenen van Joost zijn abstracte composities, beschrijven de dichters de verschillende beelden en betekenissen die zij in zijn werk vinden. Het schilderij “The Archeology of Personhood, No. 3 “ (zie afb.:) inspireerde mij tot de vergelijking van dit werk met een polychroom glas-in-loodraam, een kathedraal van gekleurd licht, dit in mijn gedicht «A River of Light». De Jonge’s abstracties in rood en blauw met grove penseelstreken toveren beelden van het eerste leven op aarde tevoorschijn, wat heeft moeten bestaan als een oer-bewegen van amoeben die ik weerspiegeld zag in de uitgerekte elliptische en cirkelachtige vormen. Robert Wynne projecteert de loop van twee rivieren die slik vervoeren onder een oranje zonsondergang door roze wolken, op de Jonge’s Variation 014b (zie afb.:) die gekarakteriseerd wordt door bewuste herhalingen van vorm en kleur en de kenmerkende verfstreken van de schilder. Wynne’s terzetten geleiden ons naar natuurlijke taferelen van bomen, een roze zonsondergang, de wolken in de lucht, waardoor de dichter het werk van De Jonge waarneemt. “Between crimson banks / civilisation is a torso cut open, a riot of colour, / an explosion of thick brush strokes”.

In «The Queen Tweets» van Peter Frank wordt ook het beeld van een rivier opgeroepen, hij is geïnspireerd door de « Variation series » en in het bijzonder door Variation 014d (zie afb.:) waarin hij ziet: “several / lithe plans, coarse bones, / lissome and (/or) obsequious / checklists, chickens all / chagrined, poked off, etc.” dus: “ verscheidene/flexibele ontwerpschetsen, grof gebeente/soepel en (/of) onderworpen/cheklists, kippen alle/ teleurgesteld”. De projecties van de dichter bewijzen dat hij geheel vrij is in het oproepen van beelden wanneer hij een abstract schilderij bekijkt. Dit gevoel krijgen we ook als we lezen hoe Peter Clothier het schilderij “Variation C” (zie afb.:) interpreteert in zijn gedicht “The act of Love”, “that intense / moment of creation,” net zoals het bedrijven van de liefde zijn zowel Peter Clothier’s gedicht als Joost zijn schilderij artistieke creaties.

In het eerste vers van « The Sere Yellow of the bulk Continuum » geïnspireerd door de Jonge’s Variation E (zie afb.:), stelt Norman Dubie zich rode kraaien voor in een toekomstige zonsondergang en roert hij associaties van zijn stervende grootmoeder aan, op de boerderij van de familie, zes maanden voor de geboorte van de dichter, voorbij een rivier/“beyond a river.” De ouverture van het gedicht is sterk gerelateerd aan de affectie van de dichter voor zijn familie. In het verdere verloop van het gedicht intensiveert de dichter zijn band met z’n grootmoeder door haar aan het woord te laten en haar tegen haar nicht te laten zeggen: “shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colours / that attack us, not the designs / we have of them…” Op symbolische wijze stelt de dichter zo dat de kleuren alleen een sterke impact op ons hebben, veel meer nog dan de ontwerpen en vormen waarin wij deze zien. De dichter eindigt met een zich vereenzelvigen met verlies, die vereenzelviging is ook een nieuw begin, het einde van de winter die hem vertrouwen geeft, in zichzelf en de lente van zijn poëtische zoektocht.

Peter Frank schept het beeld van een stromende rivier met de vorm van zijn gedicht “First Variations on themes by Joost de Jonge” en maakt het stromende water welhaast tastbaar: “Down / The surface / The shade shrinks / as if we are flying over it / as if water were not simply central / to it but the reason for it”. De woorden zijn zo op de pagina gearrangeerd dat de lezer een visueel equivalent van het verloop van een rivier wordt gegeven. In de tweede variatie “Second Variation on themes by Joost de Jonge” geven Joost zijn variaties hem wilde dieren in: “the winter wind agitating the owls” (de uilen worden beroerd door een winterse storm, het geritsel van bladeren) .De dichter vraagt zich af “Who has blown through / this terrified garden?” (wie is er door deze angstaanjagende tuin gaan bloesemen/ wie heeft deze angstaanjagende tuin doorkruist/wie heeft er in deze tuin geblazen, er het stof doen opwaaien...) Zou het antwoord op deze vraag kunnen zijn dat dit de twee creatieven Peter Frank en Joost de Jonge waren, de een maker van het schilderij en de ander de schrijver van het gedicht?

In het geheel van zijn werk ervaren we hoe muziek de aanzet geeft tot de schilder zijn abstracties, waarop de dichters vrij associëren, desondanks houdt iedere poëtische voorstelling het gedicht bijeen, verleent het samenhang en betekenis. In « The Fulehung » spreekt John Fuller door de persoon van een nar, “Half-terror, half-buffoon” die hij probeert te ontvluchten omdat deze niet vergevingsgezind is en ervoor wil zorgen dat de dichter zich gedraagt. In dit verband is de nar de dichter zijn waakzame superego. De dichter houdt de spanning gedurende het gehele gedicht vast met de vraag of de nar hem in zal halen. Aan het einde van het gedicht treft de nar (Fulehung) de dichter, die wel wil rennen maar het niet kan, zodat hij zich genoodzaakt ziet zijn angst onder ogen te zien en te overwinnen. Fuller’s gedicht is weer een getuigenis van een abstractie die een vrije associatie bij de dichter oproept. Vanuit psychologisch perspectief, kunnen we stellen dat het schilderij de dichter zijn verborgen angsten ontsloot als bij een Rorschach-inktvlekkentest. De dichter kwam niet onder zijn angstgevoelens uit en moest de confrontatie aangaan.

Aldus doet abstracte schilderkunst dienst als basis van waaruit de poëtische verbeelding vrij kan associëren zonder begrenzing in de tijd, ontketend door bijzondere kleurencombinaties en vrije abstracte vormen, krachtige verfstreken en een afwisseling van dekkend geschilderde vlakken en doorzichtige (geglaceerde) verfvlakken, als in Joost de Jonge’s schilderijen. In één van mijn gedichten uit “La rivière de soi” (Slatkine Genève 2010) getiteld « L’ urne monochrome », hetwelk mijn intuïtie verwoordt dat alle vormen en kleuren ontspringen aan een monochromatische urn, die ik de “moederbron” noem, vergelijkbaar met Jung’s concept van archetypen en de Jonge’s gebruik van rudimentaire half-vormen die op larven gelijken, het beginstadium van leven.

De l’urne monochrome
Le carré
Le triangle
Le Losange
Du Puits-Mère
La couleur
La teinte
La nuance

Een in het oogspringend kenmerk van Joost zijn werk is zijn symbolisch gebruik van geometrische vormen. Voor hem verbindt het golfmotief verscheidene historische beeldculturen en staat het gebruik van de globale vorm van een vis voor Christus. In deze zin is zijn schilderkunst een abstract-symbolisch-expressionisme dat onze cognitie stimuleert. Mondriaan stelt dat abstracte kunst schept, net als de natuur schept, namelijk volgens soortgelijke algemene natuurkundige wetmatigheden. Abstracte kunst roept een realiteit in het leven die verborgen ligt in de ons omringende zichtbare werkelijkheid. Aldus verwerpt het deze alledaagse zichtbare werkelijkheid en toont slechts haar wetmatigheden in abstractie... Joost schildert kleuren die harmoniëren, dit door het variëren van complementaire kleuren en vorm; de schilder maakt ook gebruik van kleurcontrasten om overlappende vlakken hun ruimtelijkheid te benadrukken, vlakken die gedecoreerd zijn met geometrische vormen.

Door het variëren van op het eerste gezicht betekenisloze vormen, zoals een halve cirkel, een parallelle lijn, de ellips of op golven gelijkende vormen blaast De Jonge archaïsche ideeën met betrekking tot de oorspronkelijke ofwel oervorm, Jungiaanse archetypen, de hedendaagse schilderkunst nieuw leven in. Net als in de composities van Miro en Kandinsky paart de Jonge archaïsche vormen aan harmonieuze kleuren en geeft zo een gevoel van beweging aan de compositie.

In het boek “The Sense of Order: Musical Analogies” benadrukt Gombrich de directe verbanden tussen waarneming, geheugen en ritme die onze cognitieve capaciteiten vergroten door het verband tussen onze perceptie en anticipatie. Ons idee van ritme berust op de herinnering van een tijdsinterval en ons vermogen om deze in het geheugen vast te houden in anticipatie op de volgende klank. St. Augustinus benadrukte het belang van het echoïsche geheugen, ofwel de voortdurende aanwezigheid van een sensatie in ons bewustzijn alvorens opgeslagen te worden in ons lange termijn geheugen en zijn interactie met onze ervaring van het moment.

Wat geldt voor muzikale intervallen kan ook gelden voor onze perceptie van kleur en de variaties in kleur. We kunnen concluderen dat de actieve waarneming van kleur onze cognitie stimuleert en ons lange termijn geheugen sterkt. De Jonge’s abstracte schilderijen die gebaseerd zijn op complementaire en/of contrasterende kleurpatronen maken cognitieve impulsen los die het fundament vormen van de creativiteit.

Joost de Jonge — Sinestésico y Pintor

sí como Wassily Kandinsky combinó los cuatro sentidos del tacto, el olfato, el oído y la vista en la creación de sus pinturas, De Jonge se inspira en la experiencia musical que transforma en colores armoniosos. Synaesthesia, del griego clásico σύν syn, "junto", y ασθησις aisthēsis, "sensación" es un fenómeno neurológico en el que la estimulación de un sentido provoca automáticamente una reacción involuntaria en un sentido diferente, por lo que se pasa por diferentes trayectos cognitivos.

Para Paul Cézanne los colores existían de forma autónoma (en sí mismos). Kandinsky se dejaba llevar por todos sus sentidos cuando pintaba. Joost de Jonge es, en este sentido, su seguidor. El pintor dice que para él, el color “se puede comparar con una armonía de los diferentes instrumentos que suenan al unísono, como en una orquesta. Los amarillos en la pintura son como los violines, los marrones y rojos son un violonchelo, un Bajo Continuo. Una nítida orquestación de color se compone, también, a menudo, de un claro tema formal como en la obra “The Archeology of Personhood 6” (imagen: ) en el que el tema es la curva creada a partir de tal orquestación de color. El tema de la forma, la repetición y el reparto por colores emparentados, que se leen juntos como en un movimiento, como en una analogía musical fugada”. En algún momento, comenta el artista: “Mis primeros recuerdos son de campos infinitivos llenos de color, de verde dorado y azul. Esta experiencia de color como infinitud, como amplitud ilimitada, me acompaña siempre cuando pinto. También soy más que consciente de los colores que uso, en especial, del proceso de nacimiento del color, por capas. ¿Nace el color de un glacis, o es puro, nacido en húmedo de la mezcla húmeda o nace el efecto de color por una rascadura o técnica del pincel seco? Además, soy especialmente sensible al valor relativo del color, su interacción. Es una actividad importante, “pesar” los colores mientras pinto, “oír” su diálogo. El poema de Eva Bosch sobre la pintura de Joost se titula: “Animisme 3” (imagen:) y se concentra totalmente en el color para describir el sentimiento que la pintura le inspira a ella: “Pale, pale pink / Dark indigo / Red / Pinkie red / Yellow, and yellow.”

Plutarco: “La pintura es poesía muda y la poesía es pintura que habla”. En este contexto, Joost de Jonge hace un homenaje a los poetas inspirados por su obra y a quien él dedica las poesías que él mismo escribe, poniendo voz a su intuición en las aportaciones de los diferentes participantes a su “Proyecto Ekphrasis”. Las piedras angulares de Joost son composiciones abstractas nacidas de las variaciones de los colores que los poetas describen en las diferentes imágenes y significados que encuentran en su obra. La pintura “The Archeology of Personhood, No. 3” (imagen:) me inspira a comparar esta obra con una vidriera, una catedral de luz colorida, en mi poema “A River of Light”. Las abstracciones de De Jonge en rojo y azul con gruesas pinceladas surgen como imágenes del inicio de la vida en la tierra, semejante al movimiento ancestral de las amebas que vi reflejadas en círculos y elipses alargadas.

Robert Wynne proyecta el curso de dos ríos que transportan lodo a la luz anaranjada del atardecer entre nubes rosadas en la Variation 014b de De Jonge (imagen:) que se caracteriza por las conscientes repeticiones de forma y color y las peculiares pinceladas del pintor. Los tercetos de Wynne nos conducen a escenas naturales, nubes rosadas a la luz del atardecer, que es como el poeta observa la obra de De Jonge. “Between crimson banks / civilisation is a torso cut open, a riot of colour, / an explosion of thick brush strokes”.

En “The Queen Tweets” de Peter Frank también se recurre a la imagen del río. Inspirado en las “Variation Series” y, en especial, por la Variation 014d (imagen:) en la que él ve: “several / lithe plans, coarse bones, / lissome and (/or) obsequious / checklists, chickens all / chagrined, poked off, etc.”, es decir, “diferentes / bocetos ágiles, huesos gruesos / flexibles y (/ u) obsequiosos / lista de verificación, gallinas todas / disgusto”. Las proyecciones del poeta demuestran que es totalmente libre en la evocación de las imágenes cuando observa una pintura abstracta. Sensación que también tenemos cuando leemos como Peter Clothier interpreta la pintura “Variation C” (imagen:) en su poema “The act of Love”, “that intense / moment of creation”, la creación artística es como hacer el amor, para Peter Clothier su poesía, para Joost su pintura.

En el primer verso de “The Sere Yellow of the bulk Continuum” inspirado por la “Variación E” (imagen:), Norman Dubie nos presenta cuervos rojos en un atardecer futuro y remueve asociaciones de su abuela moribunda, y de una granja familiar, más allá de un río “beyond a river”, seis meses antes de que naciera el poeta. La apertura del poema está muy relacionada con el afecto del poeta hacia su familia. En el poema, el poeta intensifica la relación con su abuela dándole la palabra por la que le dice a su prima: “shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colours / that attack us, not the designs / we have of them…” De forma simbólica, el poeta afirma que los colores tienen un mayor impacto sobre nosotros que los diseños y las formas con los que los vemos. El poeta termina identificándose con la pérdida, identificación que también es un nuevo comienzo, de sí mismo, el final del invierno que le inspira confianza y la primavera de su búsqueda poética. Peter Frank crea la imagen de un río que fluye con la forma de su poema “First Variations on themes by Joost de Jonge” y hace del agua que fluye algo casi tangible: “Down / The surface / The shade shrinks / as if we are flying over it / as if water were not simply central / to it but the reason for it”. Las palabras están colocadas de tal forma en la página que el lector percibe el equivalente visual del fluir de un río. En la segunda variación “Second Variation on themes by Joost de Jonge” las variaciones de Joost le inspiran animales salvajes: “the winter wind agitating the owls”, los búhos están inquietos por la tormenta invernal y el crujir de las hojas. El poeta se pregunta “Who has blown through / this terrified garden?” ¿Quién sopla por este jardín terrorífico?¿Quién ha cruzado este jardín temible? ¿Quién ha levantado nubes de polvo?...) La respuesta a esta pregunta es que ambos, Peter Frank y Joost de Jonge son creativos, uno como pintor y el otro como poeta.

En la totalidad de su obra, experimentamos cómo la música inspira al pintor sus abstracciones, de las que nacen las libres asociaciones de los poetas, aunque cada representación poética conserve unido el poema, dotándolo de cohesión y significado. En “The Fulehung”, John Fuller habla a través del personaje como de “Half-terror, half-buffoon” del que intenta huir porque no perdona y quiere que el poeta se comporte bien. En este contexto, el bufón es el ego superior vigilante del poeta. El poeta mantiene el suspense durante todo el poema con la pregunta de si el bufón le va a alcanzar o no. Al final del poema, el bufón atrapa al poeta, que quiere correr pero no puede, con lo que está obligado a hacer frente a sus miedos y sobreponerse a ellos. El poema de Fuller es un ejemplo de abstracción que evoca asociaciones libres en el poeta. Desde una perspectiva psicológica, podemos decir que la pintura le revela al poeta sus miedos ocultos como en el test de las manchas de tinta de Rorschach. El poeta no puede escapar a sus miedos y debe hacerlos frente.

Por lo tanto el arte pictórico abstracto sirve de base a la imaginación poética por la que esta se asocia libremente sin estar limitada por el tiempo, liberada por las combinaciones de color especiales y formas abstractas libres, pinceladas sólidas y un intercambio de superficies pintadas y superficies transparentes (glaseadas) como en las pinturas de Joost de Jonge.

En uno de mis poemas de “La rivière de soi” (Slatkine Genève 2010) titulado “L’ urne monochrome”, mi intuición expresa como todas las formas y colores se escapan de una urna monocromática, a la que llamo “fuente madre” y que es comparable al concepto de Jung de los arquetipos y el uso, por parte de De Jonge, de formas rudimentarias que parecen larvas, en un primer estadio de vida.

De l’urne monochrome
Le carré
Le triangle
Le Losange
Du Puits-Mère
La couleur
La teinte
La nuance

Una de las características que salta a la vista en la obra de Joost es el uso simbólico de las formas geométricas. Para él, el patrón ondulado se conecta con diferentes culturas históricas imaginarias al usar, por ejemplo, la figura internacional del pez como símbolo de Cristo. En este sentido, su obra pictórica es un expresionismo abstracto y simbólico que estimula nuestra cognición. Mondriaan afirma que la obra abstracta crea, al igual que la naturaleza también crea, siguiendo patrones generales y naturales. El arte abstracto evoca una realidad vital oculta en la realidad visible que nos rodea y que rechaza mostrando solamente, en lugar de esa realidad diaria visible, sus patrones en abstracción. Joost pinta colores que armonizan al variar en los colores complementarios y en la forma. El pintor también usa los contrastes en superficies superpuestas para acentuar su espacialidad, superficies que están decoradas con formas geométricas.

Al ir variando lo que, a primera vista, parecen formas sin sentido, tales como una semicircunferencia, una línea paralela, una elipse o las ondas de formas parecidas, las ideas arcaicas de De Jonge vinculadas a formas de vida primitiva y los arquetipos de Jung van dando nueva vida a la pintura actual. Al igual que las composiciones de Miró y Kandinsky , empareja De Jonge las formas arcaicas a los colores armoniosos y parece como que la composición se moviera.

En el libro “The Sense of Order: Musical Analogies”, Gombrich acentúa la relación directa entre la observación, la memoria y el ritmo que aumentan nuestras capacidades cognitivas por la relación entre la percepción y la anticipación. Nuestra idea del ritmo descansa en el recuerdo de un intervalo de tiempo y nuestra capacidad de recordarlo en anticipación al siguiente sonido. San Agustín hizo hincapié en la importancia de la memoria ecoica o bien la presencia constante de una sensación en nuestro consciente antes de ser almacenada en nuestra memoria a largo plazo y su interacción con la experiencia del momento.

Lo que sirve para los intervalos musicales también puede servir para nuestra percepción y variaciones del color. Podemos concluir que la observación activa del color estimula nuestra cognición y fortalece la memoria a largo plazo. Las pinturas abstractas de De Jonge, basadas en patrones de color complementarios u opuestos hacen que los impulsos cognitivos se liberen y formen el cimiento de la creatividad.

Joost de Jonge — Sinesteta e pittore

ome per Wassily Kandinsky i quattro sensi, tatto, olfatto, udito e vista, avevano costituito la base per la formazione dei suoi quadri, per De Jonge l’ispirazione proviene dalla sua esperienza con la musica che egli trasforma in colori armoniosi. La sinestesia, dal greco σύν syn, "insieme", e ασθησις aisthēsis, "percezione/sensazione" è un fenomeno neurologico in cui la stimolazione di un senso provoca automaticamente una reazione involontaria in un altro, con conseguente contaminazione di diversi percorsi cognitivi. Per Paul Cézanne i colori esistevano in modo autonomo (indipendente). Kandinsky si faceva influenzare da tutti i sensi quando dipingeva. Joost de Jonge segue entrambi in questa tendenza. Il pittore afferma che per lui il colore “può essere paragonato all’armonia creata da diversi strumenti musicali che suonano insieme con reciproca affinità musicale, come in un’orchestra; le tonalità di giallo di un quadro sono come i violini, quelle marroni e rosse come i violoncelli, in basso continuo. A una chiara orchestrazione del colore corrisponde spesso un tema chiaramente formale, come nell’opera “L’Archeologia della Personalità 6” (vedi fig.: ) in cui il tema concerne la curva generata da una tale orchestrazione del colore, qui il tema della forma, la sua ripetizione e scomposizione in affinità cromatiche, da leggere come un movimento continuo, confluiscono come analogia musicale, fugata.” Altrove l’artista afferma: ”I miei primissimi ricordi rievocano grandi campi cromatici infiniti, verde, giallo oro e blu. Questa esperienza del colore come sinonimo di infinito, di spazio illimitato, mi accompagna sempre quando dipingo. Sono pertanto sempre molto consapevole dei colori che uso, soprattutto del processo che porta alla formazione del colore stesso, della sua struttura. Il colore è nato con il glacis, o è puro, formato da una miscelazione bagnato su bagnato, o si è creata una particolare lavorazione cromatica con il frottage o con la tecnica a pennello asciutto? Resto sempre particolarmente sensibile al valore relativo dei colori, alla loro interazione, questa è un’attività particolarmente significativa, il “pesare” i colori mentre dipingo, ’’ascoltare” il loro concerto. La poesia di Eva Bosch sull’opera di Joost intitolata: “ Animisme 3” (fig.:) si concentra interamente sul colore per descrivere la sensazione che il quadro suscita su di lei: “Pale, pale pink / Dark indigo / Red / Pinkie red // Yellow, and yellow.”

Plutarco: “La pittura è poesia muta – la poesia pittura parlante“ In questo contesto, Joost de Jonge ha fatto omaggio ai poeti che sono stati ispirati dalle sue opere ed in onore dei quali egli stesso ha scritto alcune poesie, dando voce al suo intuito di fronte al contributo dei diversi partecipanti al suo “Ekphrasis Project”. È grazie alla varietà dei colori, gli elementi costitutivi delle composizioni astratte di Joost, che i poeti riescono a descrivere le diverse immagini ed i diversi significati che trovano nelle sue opere. Il quadro “L’Archeologia della Personalità, Nr. 3 “ (vedi fig.:) mi ha ispirato a trovare un paragone tra questa opera ed una vetrata policroma, una cattedrale di luce colorata, questo nella mia poesia «A River of Light». Le astrazioni di De Jonge in rosso e blu apportate con pennellate grossolane evocano immagini di vita ancestrale sulla terra, quello che sarebbe dovuto esistere come movimento primordiale di amebe che ho visto rispecchiate nelle sue forme elittiche e circolari allungate.

Robert Wynne proietta il corso di due fiumi che trasportano melma sotto un tramonto arancione in mezzo a nuvole rosa, sulla Variation 014b (vedi fig.:) di de Jonge, caratterizzata da consapevoli ripetizioni di forma e colore e dalle tipiche pennellate del pittore. Le terzine di Wynne ci accompagnano ad immaginare scenari naturali di alberi, un tramonto rosa, nuvole nel cielo, elementi grazie ai quali il poeta percepisce l’opera di De Jonge. “Between crimson banks / civilisation is a torso cut open, a riot of colour, / an explosion of thick brush strokes”.

Anche nel «The Queen Tweets» di Peter Frank viene evocata l’immagine di un fiume, egli è ispirato dalla « Variation series » e in particolare dalla Variation 014d (vedi fig.:) in cui vede: “several / lithe plans, coarse bones, / lissome and (/or) obsequious / checklists, chickens all / chagrined, poked off, etc.” quindi: “ diversi/mutevoli schizzi, ossatura grossolana, / flessibile e (/o) sottomessa/checklists, galline tutti/ delusi”. Le proiezioni del poeta ci confermano la sua totale libertà nell’evocare determinate immagini quando guarda un quadro astratto. Percepiamo questa stessa sensazione leggendo il modo in cui Peter Clothier interpreta il quadro “Variation C” (vedi fig.:) nella sua poesia “The act of Love”, “that intense / moment of creation,” proprio come l’atto di fare l’amore, sia la poesia di Peter Clothier, sia il quadro di Joost sono creazioni artistiche.

Nel primo verso di « The Sere Yellow of the bulk Continuum » ispirata dall’opera Variation E (vedi fig.:) di De Jonge, Norman Dubie si immagina corvi rossi in un tramonto che deve ancora arrivare ed evoca associazioni di sua nonna in punto di morte, nella fattoria della famiglia, sei mesi prima della nascita del poeta, oltre un fiume/“beyond a river.” La parte iniziale della poesia è fortemente relazionata all’affetto del poeta per la sua famiglia. Nel corso della poesia il poeta intensifica il suo legame con sua nonna facendola parlare e facendole dire a sua nipote: “shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colours / that attack us, not the designs / we have of them…” In tal modo il poeta afferma in modo simbolico che solamente i colori hanno un forte impatto su di noi, molto di più di quanto possano fare i modelli e le forme in cui noi li percepiamo. Il poeta conclude con l’identificarsi nella perdita, un’identificazione che è anche un nuovo inizio, la fine dell’inverno che gli infonde fiducia, un riscoprire se stesso e la primavera della sua ricerca verso la poesia.

Peter Frank evoca l’immagine di un fiume che scorre con la forma della sua poesia “First Variations on themes by Joost de Jonge” rendendo pressoché tangibile l’idea dell’acqua corrente: “Down / The surface / The shade shrinks / as if we are flying over it / as if water were not simply central / to it but the reason for it”. L’arrangiamento delle parole sulla pagina è stato tale da rendere perfettamente visibile al lettore il movimento di un corso d’acqua. Nella seconda variazione “Second Variation on themes by Joost de Jonge” le variazioni di Joost gli evocano immagini di animali selvatici: “the winter wind agitating the owls” (il forte vento invernale che agita i gufi, il fruscio delle foglie). Il poeta si chiede “Who has blown through / this terrified garden?” (chi si è risvegliato in questo giardino terrificante/ chi è passato da questo giardino terrificante / chi ha soffiato in questo giardino, smuovendo le acque...) La risposta a questa domanda potrebbe essere che sono stati i due estri creativi di Peter Frank e Joost de Jonge, uno artefice del quadro e l’altro autore della poesia?

In tutte le sue opere è visibile il processo con il quale la musica forma la base per le astrazioni del pittore, astrazioni che a loro volta ispirano i poeti ad associare liberamente i loro pensieri, nonostante ogni singola espressione poetica mantenga unita e coesa la poesia stessa, fornisce nel contempo possibilità di collegamento e profondità di significato. In « The Fulehung » John Fuller parla attraverso la persona di un giullare, “Mezzo terrore, mezzo buffone” da cui egli stesso prova a fuggire perché questa figura non è clemente nei suoi confronti e vuole fare in modo che il poeta si comporti correttamente. In questo contesto il giullare rappresenta il vigile superego del poeta. Per tutta la durata della poesia, il poeta mantiene alta la tensione chiedendosi se il giullare potrà mai arrivare a prenderlo. Alla fine della poesia il giullare (Fulehung) raggiunge il poeta, che vorrebbe sì scappare ma che non riesce a farlo, in modo da costringerlo ad affrontare la sua paura e a superarla. La poesia di Fuller è nuovamente una testimonianza di un’astrazione che evoca una libera associazione nel poeta. Da un punto di vista psicologico potremmo affermare che il quadro ha liberato il poeta dalle sue paure nascoste proprio come farebbe il test di Rorschach. Il poeta non era riuscito a risolvere la sua ansia e ha dovuto confrontarsi con essa.

In questo modo la pittura astratta fa da terreno fertile da cui l’immaginazione poetica trova nutrimento per la libera associazione senza limiti di tempo, stimolata da particolari abbinamenti cromatici, forme libere astratte, forti pennellature e l’alternanza di superfici in cui l’effetto pittorico è coprente ad altre in cui è trasparente (velato), come nei quadri di Joost de Jonge. In una delle mie poesie estratta da “La rivière de soi” (Slatkine Genève 2010) intitolata « L’ urne monochrome », che esprime la mia intuizione che tutte le forme ed i colori sorgono da un’urna monocromatica, che ho chiamato “sorgente materna”, paragonabile al concetto degli archetipi di Jung e all’utilizzo di de Jonge di mezze-forme rudimentali che assomigliano a delle larve, la fase iniziale della vita.

De l’urne monochrome
Le carré
Le triangle
Le Losange
Du Puits-Mère
La couleur
La teinte
La nuance

Una caratteristica particolarmente evidente dell’opera di Joost è l’uso simbolico che fa delle forme geometriche. Per lui il motivo a curva collega diversi periodi storici di cultura dell’immagine e l’uso della forma intera del pesce rappresenta Cristo. In questo senso la sua pittura si può leggere come un tipo di espressionismo astratto-simbolico che stimola il nostro sistema cognitivo. Mondriaan afferma che, proprio come la natura, anche l’arte astratta crea, seguendo simili leggi naturali. L’arte astratta porta alla creazione di una realtà rimasta nascosta nella verità tangibile che ci circonda. Rigetta così la verità quotidianamente tangibile, mostrandone solamente le leggi naturali nell’astrazione... Joost dipinge colori che si armonizzano, variando i colori complementari e le forme; il pittore fa inoltre uso di contrasti cromatici per valorizzare la spaziosità di superfici sovrapposte, superfici che sono state decodificate grazie a forme geometriche.

Modificando forme che al primo approccio potrebbero sembrare insignificanti, come un mezzo cerchio, una linea parallela, l’ellissi o forme simili a curve, De Jonge infonde nuova vita ad idee arcaiche riguardanti la forma primordiale o primitiva, gli archetipi di Jung, la pittura contemporanea. Proprio come nelle composizioni di Miro e Kandinsky, de Jonge collega forme arcaiche a colori armoniosi, creando in tal modo una sensazione di movimento nell’intera composizione.

Nel libro “The Sense of Order: Musical Analogies” Gombrich sottolinea i collegamenti diretti presenti tra osservazione, memoria e ritmo che aumentano le nostre capacità cognitive grazie al legame esistente tra la nostra percezione e l’anticipazione. La nostra idea del ritmo si basa sul ricordo di un intervallo di tempo e sulla nostra capacità di ricordarlo nella nostra memoria preannunciando il suono successivo. Sant’Agostino valorizzò l’importanza della memoria ecoica, vale a dire la costante presenza di una sensazione nella nostra coscienza prima che questa venga registrata nella nostra memoria a lungo termine e la sua interazione con la nostra esperienza del momento.

Ciò che vale per gli intervalli musicali può anche valere per la nostra percezione del colore e delle variazioni di colore. Possiamo pertanto concludere che l’attiva percezione del colore stimola la nostra capacità cognitiva rafforzando la nostra memoria a lungo termine. I quadri astratti di De Jonge, basati su modelli cromatici complementari e/o contrastanti, stimolano attivamente i nostri impulsi cognitivi che formano il fondamento della creatività.

Joost de Jonge — Synesthète et artiste peintre

omme Vassily Kandinsky qui combinait les quatre sens du toucher, odorat, ouïe et vue dans ses peintures, De Jonge s’inspire de son expérience de la musique qu’il transpose en couleurs harmonieuses sur ses peintures. La synesthésie, du grec classique σύν syn, qui veut dire « ensemble », et ασθησις aisthēsis, ou « perception/sensation », est un phénomène neurologique dans lequel la stimulation d’un sens conduit automatiquement à une réaction involontaire d’un autre sens, stimulant divers trajets cognitifs.

Pour Joost de Jonge, la couleur « peut être comparée à une harmonie de plusieurs instruments jouant à l’unisson et présentant, entre eux, une analogie tonale, comme dans un orchestre, les jaunes du tableau étant alors considérés comme les violons, et les bruns et les rouges comme un violoncelle en basse continue. Une orchestration de couleurs explicite concerne, donc, souvent, un thème formel clair, comme dans l’ouvrage « The Archeology of Personhood 6 » (voir l’illustration :) où ce thème concerne la courbe construite à partir d’une orchestration chromatique. Ici, c’est le thème de la forme, sa répétition et sa division en affinités sonores qu’il faut voir comme un mouvement, convergent en une analogie musicale comme dans une fugue ».

Ailleurs, l’artiste fait observer : « Mes tout premiers souvenirs sont des champs de couleurs infinis, verts, jaunes d’or et bleus. Cette expérience de la couleur en tant qu’infini, espace illimité, m’accompagne toujours lorsque je peins. Je suis, alors, pleinement conscient des couleurs que j’utilise, notamment du processus d’apparition de la couleur, de ses couches successives, si elle naît d’un glacis, ou si elle est pure, naît d’un mélange mouillé sur mouillé, ou si un effet de couleur spécifique jaillit d’un frottis ou d’une technique de pinceau sec. D’autre part, je reste extrêmement sensible à la valeur relative des couleurs, à leur interaction. « Peser » les couleurs pendant le processus de la peinture pour « entendre » leur dialogue représente une activité importante. »

Ainsi, le poème d’Eva Bosch sur l’œuvre de Joost intitulée : « Animisme 3 » (illustration :) se concentre entièrement sur la couleur pour décrire le sentiment que le tableau fait naître en elle : « Rose, pâle, très pâle / indigo foncé / rouge / rouge rosé// jaune, et encore jaune. »

Au sujet d’ekphrasis, Plutarque a dit que « La peinture est une poésie muette et la poésie est une peinture parlante ». Dans ce contexte, Joost a rendu hommage aux poètes inspirés par son œuvre et en l’honneur desquels il a lui-même rédigé des poèmes sur son « Projet Ekphrasis ».

La variation des couleurs, les pierres angulaires des compositions abstraites de Joost, inspire aux poètes les diverses images et significations qu’ils voient dans son œuvre. Ce sont, en effet, les projections du poète sur ses tableaux. Le tableau « The Archeology of Personhood No. 3 » (voir l’illustration) m’a inspiré la comparaison avec un vitrail polychrome, une cathédrale de lumière colorée, dans mon poème intitulé « A River of Light ». Les abstractions de Joost en rouge et bleu, à traits de pinceaux uniformes, font surgir comme par magie, des images de la première vie sur terre, de ce qui a dû être un mouvement primitif d’amibes que je voyais se refléter dans les formes elliptiques étirées et circulaires du peintre.

Dans son poème, Robert Wynne projette l’image du cours de deux rivières charriant de la boue sous un coucher de soleil orangé à travers des nuages rosés sur la Variation De Jonge 014b (voir l’illustration :). Cette peinture se caractérise par des répétitions délibérées de formes et de couleurs et par les traits de pinceaux distinctifs du peintre. Pour Wynne, cette émeute de couleurs représente la civilisation. Les tercets de Wynne nous mènent vers des scènes naturelles d’arbres et un coucher de soleil rosé, impliquant la dichotomie entre nature et culture. « Between crimson banks / civilisation is a torso cut open, a riot of colour, / an explosion of thick brush strokes ».

Dans «The Queen Tweets» de Peter Frank évoque aussi l’image d’une rivière. Frank est inspiré par les « Variation series », et en particulier par la Variation 014d (voir l’illustration :) où il voit : « several / lithe plans, coarse bones, / lissome and (/or) obsequious / checklists, chickens all / chagrined, poked off, etc. », soit : « diverses/ébauches flexibles, charpente robuste/souple et (/ou) servile/check-lists, poulets tous/déçus ». Les projections du poète démontrent qu’il est entièrement libre d’évoquer des images lorsqu’il regarde une peinture abstraite.

On ressent la même chose lorsqu’on lit comment Peter Clothier interprète la peinture « Variation C ». (voir l’illustration :) Dans son poème, « The act of Love », « that intense / moment of creation, ». Le poème de Peter Clothier, ainsi que le tableau de Joost, sont des créations artistiques au même titre que l’acte amoureux.

Dans le premier vers de « The Sere Yellow of the bulk Continuum » inspiré par Variation E (voir l’illustration :) de Joost, Norman Dubie imagine ou rêve de corbeaux rouges dans un futur coucher de soleil. La temporalité est complètement détruite dans le poème de Dubie qui est, en fait, un rêve éveillé. Dubie associe sa grand-mère mourante, dans la ferme familiale, six mois avant sa naissance, à la peinture de Joost. L’ouverture du poème est fortement liée à l’affection du poète pour sa famille. Dans le poème, il intensifie son lien avec sa grand-mère en lui faisant dire à sa nièce :« shut up, sweetheart, it’s the colours / that attack us, not the designs / we have of them… »

Le poète affirme, ainsi, de façon symbolique que les couleurs seules ont un fort impact sur nous, bien plus encore que les dessins et les formes dans lesquelles nous les voyons. Il termine le poème en s’assimilant à la perte d’un être cher en s’effaçant lui-même. Ainsi, son identification à sa grandmère, représente, également, un nouveau départ à la fin de l’hiver, qui lui donne une nouvelle confiance dans le printemps de sa quête poétique qu’elle lui inspire avant de mourir.

Par la forme de son poème, « First Variations on themes by Joost de Jonge », Peter Frank crée l’image d’une rivière qui coule et rend ce flux presque tangible : « Down / The surface / The shade shrinks / as if we are flying over it / as if water were not simply central / to it but the reason for it ». Les mots sont disposés sur la page de telle sorte qu’ils représentent l’équivalent visuel du cours d’une rivière. Dans le second poème « Second Variation on themes by Joost de Jonge », ses variations inspirent au poète des images d’animaux sauvages : « the winter wind agitating the owls » (les hiboux agités par une bourrasque hivernale, le bruissement des feuilles). Le poète se demande : « Who has blown through / this terrified garden? » (qui a soufflé dans ce jardin térrifié?) Pourrait-on répondre à cette question en disant qu’il s’agit de deux créateurs, Peter Frank et Joost de Jonge, l’un réalisateur du tableau et l’autre, le rédacteur du poème?

L’ensemble de l’œuvre du peintre nous fait ressentir comment la musique sert d’amorce à ses abstractions à partir desquelles les poètes associent des images librement. Dans « The Fulehung », John Fuller parle du personnage d’un bouffon, « Half-terror, half-buffoon » qu’il tente de fuir parce qu’il est cruel et qu’il surveille la conduite du poète. Dans ce cadre, le bouffon personnifie le surmoi vigilant du poète, lequel maintient le suspense durant le poème en laissant le lecteur se demander si le bouffon va le rattraper. À la fin du poème, le bouffon (Fulehung) rattrape le poète, qui veut s’enfuir mais reste cloué sur place, contraint d’affronter sa peur et de la vaincre. Là encore, le poème de Fuller est le témoin d’une abstraction qui fait naître chez lui une association libre. D’un point de vue psychologique, on peut dire que le tableau révèle les peurs cachées du poète comme le ferait les images de Rorschach.

Ainsi, la peinture abstraite sert-elle de base à la libre association, sans limite temporelle, de l’imagination poétique, déclenchée par des combinaisons chromatiques particulières et des formes libres et abstraites, des traits de pinceaux puissants et une alternance de surfaces de peinture couvrante et de peinture transparente (glacée) qui caractérisent les tableaux de Joost de Jonge. Comme dans le poème de Dubie, le manque de temporalité du poème-rêve rapproche le texte du poème, qui normalement se déroule dans le temps, de l’abstraction de la peinture sur laquelle notre regard peut se promener sans aucune contrainte temporelle.

Dans l’un de mes poèmes du recueil « La rivière de soi » (Slatkine Genève 2010) intitulé « L’ urne monochrome », j’exprime mon intuition que toutes les formes et couleurs jaillissent d’une urne monochromatique que j’appelle le puits-mère, comparable au concept d’archétypes de Jung ainsi qu’à l’utilisation que fait De Jonge de demi-formes rudimentaires ressemblant à des larves ou des amibes dans les stade initiales de la vie sur terre.

De l’urne monochrome
Le carré
Le triangle
Le Losange
Du Puits-Mère
La couleur
La teinte
La nuance

L’une des caractéristiques saillantes de l’œuvre de Joost est son usage symbolique des formes géométriques. Pour le peintre, le motif de la vague relie diverses cultures historiques de l’image, et la forme globale du poisson représente le Christ. En ce sens, sa peinture est un expressionisme abstrait et symbolique qui stimule nos fonctions cognitives.

Mondrian affirme que l’art abstrait crée de la même façon que la nature, c’est-à-dire selon des mécanismes physiques généraux analogues. L’art abstrait évoque la réalité de la vie cachée dans le monde visible qui nous entoure, repoussant ainsi la réalité quotidienne pour n’en montrer que ses mécanismes sous-jacents de façon abstraite. Joost peint des couleurs qui s’harmonisent par la variation des couleurs complémentaires et des formes variantes. Il utilise des contrastes chromatiques pour souligner la spatialité des surfaces décorées de formes géométriques qui, parfois, se recoupent. Ainsi, il nous laisse entrevoir l’espace dans laquelle qui donnent naissances aux formes essentielles de notre vie.

En variant des formes qui, à première vue n’ont aucune signification, telles qu’un demi-cercle, une ligne parallèle, une ellipse ou des formes ondulées, De Jonge insuffle une nouvelle vie à la peinture contemporaine par ses images archaïques concernant la forme initiale ou primitive, tout comme les archétypes jungiens. Tout comme dans les compositions de Mirò et de Kandinsky, De Jonge combine les formes archaïques et des couleurs harmonieuses, créant l’impression de mouvement vitale.

Dans son livre « The Sense of Order: Musical Analogies », Gombrich souligne les correspondances directes entre perception, mémoire et rythme qui augmentent nos facultés cognitives par les liens existant entre notre perception et notre anticipation. En effet, notre idée du rythme repose sur le souvenir d’un intervalle de temps et notre capacité à le garder dans notre mémoire tout en anticipant sur le ton suivant. Saint Augustin, de son côté, soulignait l’importance de la mémoire échoïque, soit la présence constante d’une sensation dans notre conscience avant qu’elle soit stockée dans notre mémoire à long terme, et son interaction avec notre expérience du moment.

Ce qui vaut pour les intervalles musicaux peut également s’appliquer à notre perception de la couleur et des variations chromatiques. Nous pouvons conclure que la perception active de la couleur stimule nos facultés cognitives et renforce notre mémoire à long terme. Les peintures abstraites de Joost, qui se basent sur des schémas chromatiques complémentaires et/ou contrastants, libèrent et renforcent nos impulsions cognitives qui constituent le fondement de notre créativité.

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The Ekphrastic Moment: Poetry Faces Painting

— by Peter Frank

or several years the discussion around the painting of Joost de Jonge has concerned itself notably with its relation to music. De Jonge himself has at various times explained the motivation he takes, in some cases, from specific compositions in the classical vein or, in others, from what Walter Pater called the “condition of music,” a condition of abstraction, of apictoriality, that provided modern art its original escape from narrative. In all cases, those of us involved in the discussion with and around de Jonge have maintained that such reliance on musicality is not a synesthetic response on de Jonge’s part; he does not claim, as have so many artists and musicians alike, an involuntary coded response to sound that manifests in sight, or vice versa. Rather, his response to music has been conscious and willful, deduced from rather than induced by music. In this respect, we have called such a response ekphrastic.

Ekphrasis, in ancient Greek theory, postulates the translation of expression in one creative discipline into the means of another, entirely distinct discipline. Modern theorists (for example Siglind Bruhn, author of Musical Ekphrasis) have adapted the term and its implications to relations between sonic and visual arts; but in its original elaboration (as Bruhn acknowledges), “ekphrasis” applied to the manifestation of visual expression in language – in rhetoric, in particular, but also in poetry.

Without abandoning music (as if he could), de Jonge has lately turned his attention to poetic sources for his inspiration, returning his ekphrastic impulse, you might say, to its historic source. He has bidden several poets to respond to his artworks in their fashion, awakening not simply an appreciation for his painting among those who use language obliquely, metaphorically, and telegraphically, but reactivating the expansion of literature into new visual contexts. The ekphrastic discourse between poetry and painting has maintained throughout the ages, as Auden implied in the first line of Musée des Beaux Arts, his exegesis on Breughel’s Fall of Icarus: “About suffering they were never wrong, the old Masters …” De Jonge wants to prove the poets “never wrong” all over again.

At the same time, de Jonge has reached out to writers of art criticism, no less than poets, to engage in dialogue about ekphrastic relationships. Art criticism, after all, is a rhetorical pursuit, one obviously pinned to a visual source. Whether or not it is considered an “art” these days is beside the point; its Hellenic equivalent was considered an art, and it remains a recognized and respected realm of commentary.

Let me modify that a bit. Art criticism is a broadly recognized form of commentary, but, at present, not necessarily a respected one. Its practitioners work to earn credibility, and a history going back several centuries substantiates their – our – claim to such respect. But in the space of at most two generations, the impact of commentary on artistic discourse itself has apparently weakened, the result of other forces – most economic – assuming primacy among factors affecting today’s artistic discourse (not to mention practice). Writing about art, always a tool for propaganda irrespective of its writers’ motives, has lately been yoked not simply into service, but into servility, to the art market. Recognition of this circumstance has prompted a discussion of a “crisis in art criticism.” Whether such a crisis is real or manufactured – whether it reflects a true turning point in the meaning and use of art criticism in contemporary artistic discourse or just a diminution in intellectual standing among art critics – remains to be determined.

One provocation for this “crisis,” however, can be found in the 21st century shift from analog to digital communication. The verbal arts, arguably, have been transformed even more than have other artistic media in this new world; the book has been superannuated (but not eliminated), the page has been re-invented, the formal possibilities for writing itself have exploded, and the reach of writing has accelerated hyperbolically. Unlike any other art form, after all, writing starts and remains on the page. Iit is the only creative medium entirely uncompromised by the electronic format, as that format itself takes the form of the page. On the computer, paintings are reproductions no less than they are in art books. Computer-delivered music is recorded sound, just as it is on disc. Even film has its visual expanse shrunk by the normal computer screen. Only writing is completely at home on the now-ubiquitous screen.

We who write, then, are charged with a new responsibility. Our words can go out unmodified and unfettered into the discursive ether. Our words enliven the images of paintings on the Internet no less than they might enliven the paintings themselves in galleries. Our words stand on their own at the same time they stand for what they are about – poems no less than prosaic commentaries, however different they may be from one another. No matter who reads us, we writers are now capable of being fully read, while our sibling artists are still having their works mediated. Yes, new digitally formatted work in all disciplines is appearing and proliferating, toward the determination of a digital intermedium embracing all the arts as it suits itself uniquely to the pixelated screen. Until that intermedium finds its level, however, writing is the art form (or forms) that most completely occupies the digital frame. In reaching out to writers, painter Joost de Jonge reminds us of this, even as he reminds us that a written art is based in language and thus requires translation to achieve universal grasp within its medium; and in presenting our writing both on screen and on the printed page, he reminds us of where we have come from, and where we can go.

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The Ladder of Divine Ascent: John Fuller’s

— by Joost de Jonge

ohn Fuller’s Fulehung is about emotion, which is represented in the poem by a figure in Swiss historical myth, a court jester-fool in a devil’s mask called the Fulehung (The original Fulehung was the court jester of Burgundian king Charles the Bold, captured by the Bernese and turned into a figure of derision; there is an historic festival by that name held yearly in Thun, just south of Bern.) The poem is about perception, represented by the reading of the painting and indicated in the text as “It.” It is also about the viewer, who acts as the speaker and to whom all is related: he is the one who conjures up these versatile readings and experiences, of himself as well as of the painting.

There is an intricate play between these three modes of assessment and the three stages of being, the speaker, the painting and the Fulehung. At times the Fulehung stands for the figurative reading of the painting, at times he stands for the true existential angst of the speaker, and at times he is a true historical presence within the poem as such, almost as a trace of history – a trace both of the history of texts and of the troubadour. This seems to emphasize the structure of the poem as emphatically musical, and in a way represents in its form the melodic transition of the speaker’s experience of the painting. The speaker voices the work, the painting voices the Fulehung, the Fulehung voices the speaker’s existential angst, and the painting itself acts as voice…

The Fulehung is the reading of the painting as a face. As such it is interpretation itself that overtakes the reader. The identification of speaker (reader) with subject brings him to the brink of selflessness. Is he himself the Fulehung? Is it a dream he is in? Is he an incarnation of the Fulehung, or did the memories and experiences of the Fulehung travel through time in some strange and inexplicable manner and enter the mind and soul of the speaker? This question touches upon one of Modernism’s most important topics, topics that find their origin within, for instance, the work of Matisse: the loss of self. The “I” in the text switches between different notions of self: the waking person, the dreamer, the person troubled by a psychosomatic disorder, and the spirit which may be at the very base of all possible experience. Also, it is about the reading of the painting, of how to direct one’s energies. It is about the freedom we’ve come to regard as our own, the capacity to choose. But what to choose from, and whom to guide our choices? I refer here to the last sentence of the poem, “Who’s there to make me behave”.

That is, what is the ethical impulse, where is our knowledge of good, where is the good as an incentive to action? This is how we can consider thinking an act, the readings of the mind an action superseded by a being, a being whose notion of self in this context is close to the romantic Wanderer, an emotional speaker like Goethe’s Werther. But far from being an overtly Romantic self, generally associated with Werther and his lovesickness, the speaker is more drawn to the Romantic Sublime, as in Casper David Friedrich’s painting Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer. It is from up here, above the skies, that the conscience of the speaker lies. His being is there to be lifted and to be made aware of the makings of his split personality. He can only be a contingent thinker, there where he is the knowing self, as he can only live by accepting the mechanisms of his perception – although these workings do not exclude a mystery, they do not exclude the inexplicable, they do provide their reading. Before reaching such clarity, the speaker must suffer, from real or imagined pain. The poem claims that most suffering is related to one’s own mind, to the choices we make in the constitution of our world view. Ethics and Aesthetics are closely related in the experience of the Sublime.

Fuller’s poem also hints at the freedom of the eye, the vision that isn’t directly an experience within the organ as such, but needs to be processed and at least for an instance can objectify its registrations. But, as within the poem, we’re tossed about, Schopenhauer himself couldn’t but complicate his own theory of a pure observation free of will; in the end the theory rests upon all-deceiving impressions (Täuschungen) of immediacy and proximity. How can the speaker free himself from the constraints of the workings of the human machine? Once again the poem directs the speaker towards acceptance, though not without that other level of knowingness which he proclaims to be the ascendance via his ribs – which we could view as a reference to the old adage of the Monk’s rise to knowledge and divinity via the thirty steps on the ladder of Divine Ascent, here twelve in the body (of course a meaningful number in itself). The body is viewed as a cage through which we may learn to ascend, by accepting its grip on our existence. By knowing the body we can free our perception and in a sense enjoy all the various forms of existence.

The view we hold decides how we experience ourselves and the world. “View” is a word open to alteration (tabula rasa). In its innermost activity as a verb, and itself regarded and reflected upon as a vista, the word, through its various readings, becomes the main constituent of this poem’s stance.

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Abstract Painting and its Other

— by Robert C. Morgan

he primary task in abstract painting concerns the trace left by the act of painting, that is, the embedded absence after the fact of it being made. As for those who would write to grasp the meaning embedded somewhere within painting, there appears little to signify other than an analysis of a different kind of task, that is, writing about a painting in the process of experiencing it. I am as certain as I am uncertain that the process of gaining experience as I stare, dumbfounded, at a recent work by Joost de Jonge, that the nature of my experience is fully intact. What does it mean, after all, to be in the presence of absence? Such a practice sounds, if not antithetical, then oxymoronic, a ploy to accentuate the stem cells of Wilde’s “Artist as Critic” (and shall we anoint, once again, Tom Wolfe’s exquisite pretense forty years ago, The Painted Word?).

Here I refer to painting as a phenomenon, the kind of phenomenon that became abstract in the early twentieth century, shortly before it became non-objective, and finally (according to van Doesburg) “concrete” (1920). I say “finally” with some trepidation; there is little in the way of finality in either gestural abstraction or concrete painting, largely because there are no overt narratives or iconographies visibly present. There is a history of the development of abstract and non-objective painting, but no real finality other than what theorists have announced. Narratives are for writers who pursue the premise of writing’s existence, and thus acknowledge their own existence on equal terms. But if there were finality to art or poetry, what would that be? The irony, as Ad Reinhardt knew, is pervasive. Even artists who announce they are not doing art still depend on collectors and institutions to validate and support their claims.

Through scientific articles, we may learn about the finality of our solar system through speculations written by esteemed scientists. While they are clever at measuring the speed and distance of infinite galaxies with a modest authority, they are rarely known to predict the weather accurately.

The paintings of Joost de Jonge rehabilitate an ethical component in painting, thereby admitting the content of expressionist feeling rather than merely the appearance of expressionist signs. The paintings of de Jonge return to a significant moment retained from twentieth century art after a European deluge of (dare I say) torpid, asexual forms of figuration. Although I hesitate to call Joost’s paintings “heroic,” in that such qualitative measures are best attributed to specific works, his paintings nevertheless lean toward an ethical renewal through the attention paid in them to sensory details. This recovery fulfills the balance that must be struck among his versatile approaches to gestural abstraction as a complement to concrete painting. These might be understood as the two irreducible, if not decisive, parameters that made Abstract Expressionism significant. In this regard, De Kooning’s vitality gives prescience to the stoical fields of Newman, and vice versa.

The problem with painting is language. More specifically, the problem is external to painting, yet somehow implicit in it. The problem is in at least some of the purposes, both bad and good, to which language is put in the dire hope of defining something that the artist/subject at hand can only suggest. Thus far I have found no narrative. Nor have I bothered to uncoil the remnants of the artist’s absence as to what s/he has given us. What is this ruptured sanctuary of thought in the guise of an inevitable recourse toward feeling? If feeling is the case, then what is the nature of this coy surrogate left in the wake of some primal narrative? Would this be the case, the heat apparently resurfaced from the lower depths of a masterful consciousness? This is what I see and sense.

Yet, even the seminal non-objective painter Malevich, in writing about his painting, was confused about how to make language express what he made on a canvas. When asked to nail down what he was doing in specific terms, he was reticent to account for what he said or wrote. For example, “I invented nothing, but only felt in myself night and saw in it the new, and this new I named Suprematism, and it expressed itself in me as a black plane that has formed a square.” (Suprematism: 34 drawings (Vitebsk: Unovis, 1920).

The question may further arise, whether or not it is necessary to go beyond the intention of painting as a nexus of material and spiritual concerns into the zone where language suddenly begins to quiver at the nerve-ends of form about to become known. May I intrude upon a painter’s blithe intention? Might I distend the painter’s presumed intention through a language on the cusp of becoming less form than its own ironic obsolescence?

My process of writing about painting is something other than what I do as a painter. Writing may become a means of imagist thinking, which is different from pictorial thinking, and in turn different from painting. I refer here to forms of Beat literature, such as Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose” or William Burroughs’s employment of the “cut-up” technique – which in itself is also a form of convoluted imagism in writing, accounting on some level for a concept of appropriation in writing, seemingly to confront the slippage back into the academy. Perhaps it is the ultimate deferral, questioning the current fatigue in critical art writing from a clear and conscientious point of view.

So painting, it seems, carries the burden of a prevailing absence that writing can scarcely achieve today. (Is it no wonder that Samuel Beckett continues to be read by painters, even today?) My argument, which may or may not concur with de Jonge’s, is that writing about painting is an oblique affair more than a confrontation by way of descriptive prose. For me to look at a painting by de Jonge is enough to begin the process. I rarely, if ever, know what I will say. I only know that abstract painting – a medium I share indirectly with de Jonge – has its own rebellious rules, its own manners and differences. I read the surfaces. Writ by de Jonge, they comprise another language, their own language, one possessed by original ways of thought and exclamations, subtle terrains and passages, conduits, if you will, that come to the mind differently in ways unique to the inventiveness and endurance of the artist. If abstract painting is dreaming, then writing remains one of the most persuasive means for interpretation still available.

Then do the gestural abstract paintings of de Jonge have any connection to what I have written, or what I may continue to write?

Mais oui. Quelque difficile que ce soit, Seulement, c’est ca!

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The Flow of Creative Power: the Dialogic Approach of Joost de Jonge’s Twenty-First-Century Ekphrasis Project

— by prof. dr. Diederik Oostdijk


cliché about poetry that has survived the ages is that it is an exclusive and exclusionary activity. Understood by few and fully appreciated by even fewer, poetry is the domain of the intelligentsia and art lovers only. The Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin famously charged that of all art forms, poetry was the one that was most directly concerned with itself, “suspended from any mutual interaction with alien discourse” (Bakhtin 285). The image of the painter in the popular imagination is not unlike that of the poet. Alone in his mind, he waits for inspiration, seemingly unencumbered by what happens outside his studio. Painting and poetry, in this view, are monologic enterprises. Yet if this is the case, why does Joost de Jonge send out so many emails to poets all around the world asking them to exchange a poem for one of his paintings? And why do those poets – who never met the Dutch painter and often have never heard of de Jonge yet – respond so eagerly, often leading them not only to write that one poem, but to multiple poems and other artistic exchanges, such as essays and even paintings?

One way of explaining the success of de Jonge’s interartistic enterprise might be that neither poetry nor painting is essentially monologic. Several critics have recently belied Bakhtin’s reductive view of poetry. Jahan Ramazani, for instance, has contradicted Bakhtin’s claim most directly. In Poetry and Its Others (2014) Ramazani suggests that “the twentieth and twenty-first centuries may be especially fertile ground for a dialogic approach to poetry” (9). Poetry has hybridized with “the novel, journalism, song, religious discourse, the visual arts, commerce, science, and so forth” (Ramazani 10). The principal reason for poets’ remarkable interest in other art forms is poetry’s marginalized position in contemporary culture, according to Ramazani. Yet he notes that many of the poems that do so “reassert themselves as poems even in the moment of seeming to fuse with their others” (Ramazani 14). Twenty-first century poets are more dialogic than monologic, Ramazani argues, even if those dialogic poems are often self-reflexive poems.

Ramazani has not comprehensively investigated poetry’s relationship to visual arts, but other critics who have also suggest that Bakhtin’s claim that poetry “is a unitary and singular Ptolemaic world” simply does not hold true, or at least not any more (Bakhtin 286). Elizabeth Bergmann Loizeaux’s book Twentieth-Century Poetry and the Visual Arts (2008) was groundbreaking for its realization that ekphrasis – poets speaking out to or for visual arts – is fundamentally based on social interaction. Loizeaux owed some debt to W.J.T. Mitchell who conjectured something similar. Yet while Mitchell felt that the relationship was primarily paragonal, Loizeaux finds that the reasons why poets reach out to the visual arts are more various than just antagonistic. Ekphrasis “is created and operates within a whole network of textual and social relations that open out of and into the relation of word and image, self and other, and audience,” Loizeaux argues, and in Twentieth-Century Poetry and the Visual Arts she studies these kinds of relations in all their variety (18).

Unfortunately Loizeaux’s book cannot function as a template for Joost de Jonge’s success in drawing out poets in his intercultural and transnational exchange. The examples that she refers to involve well-known twentieth-century poets who either formed intense friendships and initiated extensive collaborations with visual artists, such as Ted Hughes and Leonard Baskin, or poets who bickered with each other over a painter, for instance Anne Sexton and W.D. Snodgrass over Vincent van Gogh, or poets who took issue with W.H. Auden’s interpretation of Pieter Breughel’s Fall of Icarus, in his exemplary ekphrastic poem “Musée des Beaux Arts.” While helpful in proving that ekphrastic poetry is essentially a social interaction, Loizeaux’s Twentieth-Century Poetry and the Visual Arts does not fully explain the kinds of interactions de Jonge has engendered. De Jonge has established social relations with a multitude of poets over a much shorter period of time, and the media he has used to establish them are also different. Using email and a website accessed from his studio in Vianen, the Netherlands, de Jonge casts his spider web of relations across the globe to give and seek inspiration from poets.

Whereas Loizeaux traces the social relations of 20th-century poets and painters, in other words, de Jonge has invented an essentially 21st-century method of reaching out to an “alien discourse.” Judging from the poetic response to de Jonge’s call to the poets, his has also led to a different kind of ekphrastic verse. The social reactions of the poems that Loizeaux describes are often personally addressed to the poet and direct, while the poems de Jonge have received appear to be more indirect and more freely associative. This difference may reside in the fact that the poets and artists that Loizeaux describes knew each other intimately, and that the poets de Jonge sought out initially only know the painter through email. Yet the difference in the type of ekphrastic poetry they write may also be caused by de Jonge’s abstract patternings and vibrant colors which may make the creative, poetic power flow more freely.

Improvisation Lemniscaat, 2014
35x20cm, oils and acrylics on panel


I was also lured into writing this essay by a small painting that Joost de Jonge promised to give to me upon completion. Visiting his studio on a gloriously sunny morning in April 2015, I picked one measuring 35 x 21 centimeters following our engaging colloquy. When choosing the crimson colored painting with thick impasto blots on either side, I told myself I chose it because I immediately recognized in it a river and what looked like a fetus. Were both symbols of fertility or of creativity, birth, and flux? Was the death of my mother two months earlier haunting me in this reverie of a landscape too? The colors reminded me of the landscape of New Mexico which I visited more than a decade and a half ago. That southwestern American state must have been on my mind because de Jonge had forwarded me an email the day before my visit with a new poem by Joy Harjo, “The Dawn Singers,” which she had written earlier that month and in response to a painting by de Jonge. Harjo’s poem opens as follows:

It was the birds who taught us to sing.
They were the first singers.
When they walk the dark to dawn,
Sun erupts in a zigzag happiness.
This morning, when my spirit was still traveling in a faraway land
Stepping over a river
Made by rain, I heard a robin
Talk-singing the epic he repeats every day in the tree
Above our house.

The flow of my imagination perhaps connected Harjo’s Oklahoma to my own memory of New Mexico. Whether it was the pueblos I visited fifteen years ago or Georgia O’Keeffe’s studio, I do not know, but when confronted with the “zigzag happiness” of de Jonge’s thick brushstrokes, I realized this was the painting I was taking home with me.

Like Harjo, I crossed a river to reach de Jonge that morning, many more in fact, and I crossed several more before I came home with his painting. That is another reason I explained to myself how I picked the painting with the river in it. When reading the other ekphrastic poems inspired by de Jonge’s work, however, I was struck by how often the poets also see rivers emerge from his paintings. Peter Frank evokes a “river” which “walks through” a landscape in the very first line of “First Variation on Themes by Joost de Jonge,” while Robert Wynne discerns “[t]wo blood-red rivers, silt-ridden and rusty / continually carrying the earth downstream” likewise in the opening of his poem, “The View from Here.” Like me, Wynne cannot help but comment on the lustrous colors of de Jonge’s paintings, although he and others sometimes have to readjust the filters of their mind to make sense of the disconcertingly radiant color combinations. Norman Dubie, for instance, sees in de Jonge’s Variations:

[…] smirking
red crows of some future sunset are not aghast
with one weak lens of sun, not the Polaroid stepping
nervously into the dull rowboat – theories
arriving at my grandfather’s farm
six months before I am born…              beyond a river

Dubie connects de Jonge’s colors and the creative flow of the painter’s brush strokes to his own family lineage, arriving “beyond a river” to the fetus he once was. The poet thereby articulates a truth in line with my intuitive understanding of de Jonge’s painting. Yet I sense it also connects with de Jonge’s own vocation as a painter, which is rooted in his grandfather’s dreams and ambitions.

The lines in de Jonge’s paintings which half a dozen poets and I discern as rivers are symbolic, whether the painter intended them to be or not. They not only represent the flow of artistic power, but also the social connections that are created through the ekphrastic exchange. “Ekphrasis opens out of lyric subjectivity into a social world,” as Loizeaux has reminded us (5). De Jonge’s invitation to me to contribute to his Ekphrasis Project has allowed me to feel connected to creative minds close by and elsewhere in the world. For de Jonge himself and the poets involved, it has allowed them to become involved in the miracle of seeing their art work truthfully reflected in a slightly distorting mirror. As Dinah Berland ends her poem “Fugue for a New Life,” which was inspired by de Jonge’s Fughetta on Paper:

A miracle
awaits you, my dear, a mirror in the river:

Out of the whirling blue
comes someone from another lifetime—
a strangely harmonious friend
who sees you as you were,
as you will be, as you really are.

Unlike what Bakhtin suggested, poets crave “mutual interaction” if it allows them to meet painters such as Joost de Jonge, “a strangely harmonious friend” who paints how he really is.


- M.M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981.
- Elizabeth Bergmann Loizeaux, Twentieth-Century Poetry and the Visual Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
-W.J.T. Mitchell, Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995.
- Jahan Ramazani, Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2014.

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Seeing Through Language

— by Saul Ostrow

s an art critic I ask myself: what may be said about what one sees? To what degree does this need to translate from image to language affect what is seen? I know from experience that writing, like any other attempt to represent, is an enterprise based on a deficit economy. The means of conveyance always undermines the effort to capture the visual, while what is seen seeks to elude language. The problem resides in the fact that one is linear, the other simultaneous, what can be seen cannot be said, and what can be said points elsewhere. What may be re-imaged comes to exist between the parentheses that are language and vision’s differences.

I am aware I cannot adequately describe the Joost de Jonge painting that sits before me – not because of my lack of skills, but because nothing can be translated into another form and still retain its own qualities. For instance, the photograph from which I chose the painting did not capture what I now come to see. When the painting arrived, I was immediately aware that that image I had chosen was not what I had received. Not that the wrong painting had arrived, but that the photograph, in keeping with the limitations of its medium, could not represent the actuality of the thing. Likewise, given my medium and craft, I can only offer up a description of the transcription of this painting into still another medium.

With language, and in particular written language, the object is gone. It comes to be erased – its size and surface no longer exist – and gone, too, is all that might be thought to constitute the superfluousness and excess of its materiality. It is in this economy of dis-appearances that we discern how language cannot conjoin what is given (the referent) and what the writer comprehends (that which is isolated and indexed). One does not see this effacement because a condition of language is that it seamlessly sutures together that which it fractures. The result of this is that language’s mediation is made invisible, yet no less intrusive. This is why we so often unintentionally misrepresent things and events.

By translating a paining’s appearance – the unity of color, texture, gesture, surface, etc. –into indexical information, I am in actuality recording the very means of language’s re-representation. From this, you may infer that what the writing “I” seeks to do here is regulate the technical and subjective possibilities of its form by making explicit the external standards and criteria by which this transcription-cum-transfiguration may be recognized. I do this to call attention to the conditions accompanying the use of language — that is, its limitations and their affects. Such self-reflection and awareness may be taken to indicate that the writer is searching for a type of specificity. Such an enterprise may be understood to be both an archly conservative and a radical gesture.

The affect and effect of seeing through language (its opacity) and seeing language (its transparency) does not merely end with their acknowledgment. By conceptually exploiting representations, two operations, that of representing things in the world and that of self-referentially representing the impossibility of language itself (the act of transcription and transformation), the writer and the reader both come to see the world formally (self-referentially) and generically (as a system of concepts and signs). Due to this duality, I question not only my comprehension, but also my judgments.

Looking at criticism as a form of writing rather than as writing per se, it appears critics as writers appropriate the object they look upon so that they may express the conflict at the heart of the conditions language places upon them and all others: that we are trapped in a constantly simulated narrative present. It is in this frame that critics, rather than capitulate to the impossibility of capturing the thing, attempt to reclaim it for the complex economy of how it might be represented. In the framework of this exchange, paradoxically, writers become both the authors of the things they deploy as subjects and their copyists.

Which brings us back to the painting before me. I cannot paint a word-picture of it – I am not that type of writer – nor am I a diarist or journalist who might paint a picture of my response to it. Instead, I can report that, though this small abstract painting presents itself as a fragment, on inspection, its edges tell me it is not. Yet I know I cannot be certain even of that. The bit of paint that licks around onto the wood stretcher might be some devious act on the part of the artist – a deception. Such speculation has value in terms of what it tells us about how we might come to know things, seeking out supporting evidence or, in this case, recognizing that such an inquiry must come to a dead end. So what else might I communicate to you about Joost de Jonge’s painting? It is tall and narrow and appears to have been painted directly onto a prepared panel – which is to say, it seems spontaneously painted, with neither forethought nor preparatory study; its format was its only given consideration. Thus the artist was to some degree responding to some a priori consideration and decision. Beyond that it is impossible to determine if the painting in question is to be regarded as a sketch, a study, or an exercise. With greater certainty it can be determined to be an improvisation, which means the terms and means of its making are known to the artist before he began to paint. What he did not know was how those terms and means would be distributed across his chosen support. As such, the painting is not intuited, but the product of habit, of learned responses that form a vocabulary of variable forms, marks, color choices and aesthetic preferences. This does not mean that the painting is a product either of routine or indifference. Instead, this can be taken as evidence of the seriousness of the artist’s interrogation of both himself and his form. It is also fair to conclude he believes to some degree that it succeeds in fulfilling his intentions. But again, to what end? Once again this leads to speculation. Given his style and aesthetic, it would appear his project is an expressive one: he seeks to objectify some aspect of his inner being, which iconically consists of alternating moments of intense activity, which he then responds to, as we are given a painterly passage characterized by impastos which are then rapidly enclosed by linear brush marks. The results of this are figures; rudimentary circles, squares, and irregular forms are demarcated. These forms are distributed in a seemingly random manner across the surface, forming an asymmetrical composition. Ironically, despite its vertical format, there is something landscape-like about the work. This may have to do with its palette of greens, yellows, blues and brownish reds. I will end on that note. All else I might write beyond this point would be associative, evaluative, or historicizing, which, though it affects how I see de Jonge's painting, has less to do with what is there then what I see.

Having written what I have, I now realize that by engaging in a process of self-referentiality, I replay the conflict that was at the heart of modernity – the conflict between language as the pre-eminent means for the modeling of a representation of being and its inability to give representation to experience. A critic rather than an author, ironically, makes no attempt to reconcile the two but instead leaves thesis (the thing) and antithesis (language) to penetrate one another as each seeks to recreate or remodel its stimulus.

Ten associations:

  1. An object in hand, turned in every direction, each view a different story
  2. The eye seeks an illusionistic space, so that the body might follow it
  3. Fingertips move across the surface, reading it like braille
  4. Visually it is smooth here, rough there
  5. Its surface is a dry encrusted skin
  6. Form dissolves into texture
  7. Short choppy marks form edges in relief
  8. Un-nameable patches of color
  9. Like a Chinese landscape, it moves away from me
  10. Machine-like edges separate it from the world

Variation 02, 2015
35x20cm, oils and acrylics on panel

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— 87 —

Joost de Jonge

he freedom of abstract art is self-referential. It is a joyous play of form and color. Rhythm is at the heart of my compositions; the pulse hidden there reflects the living pulse of my heart and the workings of my flesh. Spaciousness is evoked as if without corporeal existence, a play of the mind. The colors can lift heart and spirit, their interplay can truly define merit and intrinsic meaning, revealing humanity within its play, beyond the individual, beyond intended meaning or spiritual inquisition. Art can disclose a meaning of its own, a value so deeply hidden inside the core of its intimate play that it beats as a heart for all mankind. It is the voice of freedom and reason all through its innate character, a spiritual site where the beautiful and the good can meet in unity.

Some say words have no meaning, but haven’t we true readers agree upon their use and value? Sometimes philosophers declare all texts intertwined, referring only to one another as such, drained of all value and indexical capacity within the domain of the real. But, I say, words do have an indexical capacity. Though they may not be able to describe objects and feelings as they are, an sich, words do nevertheless re-create the domain of the real as they speak our thoughts and lead to understanding, as they unite and divide at the center of our hearts.

The formless movements, the life forces, underlying the constitution of the personal activate our existential dramas. They activate our will to consolidate meaning, to express the most sublime of feelings, to elevate humankind within the experience of the aesthetic, to harbor the sense of self-actualization. This is my dream and ideal, my aim for art: through its freedom of form may it be iconic, a form of freedom for the Soul, a form of freedom in which each of us can see the reflection of our hearts. Beauty and true feeling manifest as a sensation of God’s love for creation, for the most tender of hearts, strengthening such hearts with compassion and gaining wisdom through introspection. True beauty in art is a given, by art itself or quite possibly by some divine grace, to relieve all from the prison of bodily entrapment; vision is set free through experience of that which can only be coveted for itself. Such enjoyment offers no other reward, but what a reward it is!

The heart is understood to be the most elusive center of being – not the heart muscle, but the heart as the conspicuous light of awareness that constitutes the scholar as s/he truly loves the finer relations amongst people. The scholar thus functions in freedom, with an inquisitive mind, sound of will. Such light pervades the universe, touching upon all these hearts striving for unity and elevation. May the arts remain at the core of our quest for the understanding of ourselves as living beings in the ever-changing light of our own time. I believe this light to be the voice of our creator, alluding to the joy of our uniqueness, of the thread of life between the individual human and the creator.

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— 89 —

Domenico de Chirico

Statement available in English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German and French

he eye cannot comprehend the true form of things by simply gazing upon them (aspectus), but only through diligent intuition (obtudus),’ wrote the Polish mathematician and scholar Witelo.

Forms and bodies live together in their substance, but without really ever distinguishing themselves from each other.

Within them, the modern concepts of association and subconscious coexist.

Intuition suggests an immediate eroticism and a strong link with “earthly” vanity.

et oog kan de werkelijke vorm der dingen niet bevatten door simpelweg te kijken (aspectus), echter wel door middel van een opmerkzaam, toegewijd innerlijk voelen (obtudus)", schreef de Poolse intellectueel en wiskundige Witelo.

Vormen en stoffelijke lichamen leven in hun onderling verbonden realiteit samen, maar onthullen elkaar nooit.

Binnen in hen bestaan de moderne concepten ‘associatie’ en ‘het onbewuste’ naast elkaar.

Bewust innerlijk voelen suggereert een direct erotisch perspectief en een sterke verbondenheid met de aardse “vanitas”.

o es posible para el ojo captar la verdadera forma de las cosas con su simple visión (aspectus), pero sí a través de la intuición diligente (obtudus)”, escribía el matemático e intelectual polaco Witelo.

Las formas y los cuerpos cohabitan en su propia sustancia, pero nunca llegan a definirse. En su interior coexisten las nociones modernas de asociación y subconsciente.

La intuición invoca un aspecto erótico inmediato y un fuerte nexo con la vanidad “terrenal”.

’occhio non può comprendere la forma vera delle cose con il semplice sguardo (aspectus), ma sì con l'intuizione diligente (obtudus)”, scriveva il matematico e intellettuale polacco Witelo.

Le forme e i corpi coabitano, nella loro consistenza, ma senza mai definirsi. Al loro interno, convivono le nozioni moderne di associazione e subconscio.

L’intuizione suggerisce un aspetto erotico immediato ed un forte legame con la vanità “terrena”.

as Auge kann die wirkliche Form der Dinge nicht durch das einfache Sehen (aspectus) erfassen, sondern nur durch ein aufmerksames, überlegtes und innerlich gefühltes Hinschauen (obtudus)“, schrieb der polnische Gelehrte und Mathematiker Witelo.

Formen und körperliche Gestalten existieren in ihrer gegenseitig verbundenen Realität nebeneinander, geben sich jedoch gegenseitig nicht preis.

In ihnen bestehen gemeinsam die beiden modernen Konzepte „Assoziation“ und das „Unbewusste“.

Das aufmerksame, überlegte und innerliche Fühlen ruft eine akut erotische Perspektive und eine deutliche Verbindung zur „irdischen“ Vergänglichkeit hervor.

'œil ne peut pas saisir la forme réelle des choses par le seul regard (aspectus), mais par l'intuition diligente (obtudus) », écrivit le mathématicien et philosophe d'origine polonaise Witelo.

Les formes et les corps cohabitent, dans leur consistance, mais sans jamais se différencier.

Ils sont habités par les concepts modernes d' « association » et de « subconscient ».

L'intuition suggère un aspect érotique immédiat et un lien fort avec la vanité « terrestre ».

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— 91 —


Dinah Berland is a poet and book editor with a background in art. She has worked as a book editor for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles since 1994 until January 2015. Her poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, and many other magazines and anthologies. She earned her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College and an international prize from The Atlanta Review. She is the editor of Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda’s Book of Prayers for Jewish Women (Shocken, 2007).She works as an independent book editor, based in Los Angeles.

Emily Bilman lives in Geneva and writes poetry in English and in French. She also translates in these languages. She has read her poetry on BBC Radio Norfolk and her poems were published in the UK, USA and in Geneva.

Eva Bosch is a Catalan painter born in Barcelona. At present she lives and works in London with regular sojourns in her atelier in Montmany-Figueró (Barcelona). She combines her studio work with lecturing in the history of art. She is also the editor of Dark Vales by Raimon Casellas.

Curator Domenico de Chirico works and lives in Milano. He has been teaching Fashion and Art at IED. He is professor of Visual Culture at IED and assistant director at mc2gallery in Milano. He works with many international galleries, artists and magazines. He is a web editor for DUST Magazine and community manager for Stage Fashion Magazine. Since December 2014 he took part in the Rivoli2 Foundation scientific board.

Peter Clothier s a novelist, art critic, and lecturer; an internationally-known writer who specializes in writing about art and artists. Clothier has served in numerous academic positions. One of his most notable publications is David Hockney, a monograph in the Abbeville Modern Masters Series (New York 1994).

Robbie Dell'Aira is a writer, an art historian and teacher.

Norman Dubie is the author of twenty-four books, including most recently The Volcano (2010), The Insomniac Liar of Topo (2007), Ordinary Mornings of a Coliseum (2004), and The Mercy Seat: Collected & New Poems 1967-2001 (2001), all from Copper Canyon Press, as well as a collection of aphorisms, The Clouds of Magellan (Recursos de Santa Fe, 1991) and his earlier Selected and New Poems (Norton, 1983), among many other notable collections. He is the recipient of the Bess Hokin Award from the Modern Poetry Association, the PEN USA prize for best poetry collection in 2002, and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Tempe, Arizona, and is Regents’ Professor of English at Arizona State University.

Peter Frank is a poet and an independent art critic, curator and editor. Frank was born in 1950 in New York, where he wrote art criticism for The Village Voice and The SoHo Weekly News, and moved to Los Angeles in 1988. He contributes articles to numerous publications and has written many catalogues for one‑person and group exhibitions. Frank has also organized numerous theme and survey shows, most notably: 19 Artists – Emergent Americans, the 1981 Exxon National Exhibition mounted at the Guggenheim Museum.

John Fuller is a poet, novelist and critic (‘A significant presence in British letters’: The Times). He is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where for many years he was Tutor in English. His Collected Poems were published in 1996 by Chatto and Windus. He has published 21 books of poetry. The first of his seven novels, Flying to Nowhere, won a Whitbread Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. Her seven books of poetry, have garnered many awards. These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has released four award-winning CD’s of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. She has received a Rasmusson US Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, The Muscogee Nation News.

Juliën Holtrigter is a well known Dutch poet.

Joost de Jonge is a Dutch abstract painter, showing his work internationally. His work was part of well over 50 shows at galleries and art fairs across Europe and the United States of America.

Onno Kosters is a well known Dutch poet and Associate Professor of English literature and translation at the University of Utrecht. His teaching and research centre around contemporary literature, (literary) translation, and Modernist writing. Kosters wrote his doctoral dissertation on Joyce (Ending in Progress, 1999), his translation (with Han van der Vegt) of Seamus Heaney's District and Circle was published in February 2013 (Uitgeverij Meulenhoff).

Robert C. Morgan is an internationally renowned art critic, curator, artist, writer, art historian, poet, and lecturer. He holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1975), and a Ph.D. in contemporary art history from the School of Education, New York University (1978). Dr. Morgan lives in New York, where he lectures at the School of Visual Arts and is Adjunct Professor in the graduate fine arts department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is Professor Emeritus in Art History from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Diederik Oostdijk is Professor of English Literature at the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He completed his Ph.D. on the editorship of Karl Shapiro at Poetry: A Magazine of Verse (1950-1955) in September 2000 and received his doctorate from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He is the author of Among the Nightmare Fighters: American Poets of World War II (2011). He has received two Fulbright scholarships, research fellowships from Emory University, Indiana University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Netherlands-America Foundation and a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in the first semester of 2014-2015.

Saul Ostrow is an American art critic and art curator. Since 1987, he has curated over 80 exhibitions in the US and abroad. Saul Ostrow is the editor of the book series Critical Voices in Art, Theory and Culture published by Routledge London and is the Art Editor for Bomb Magazine.

Andrin Schütz is art historian, a critic, writer and curator at Seekultour in Murg, Switzerland.

Robert Wynne is a two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets College Award and the Poetry Super Highway online poetry contest, as well as the recipient of The Poetry Society of Texas’ Eakin Book Award, the Masters Poetry Prize and the Grasslands Review Editor’s Prize. He is the author of 2 full-length collections of poetry: Remembering How to Sleep (2007, Eakin Press), and Museum of Parallel Art (2008, Tebot Bach). His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines throughout North America.

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— 93 —

“As if water were not simply central to it but the reason for it”

— Peter Frank, from: 'Variations on Themes' by Joost de Jonge


Painted Poetry & Painterly Poetics, an Ekphrastic Notion by Joost de Jonge

August 2015

Published by The Authentic Art Agency / Joost de Jonge

Edited by Peter Frank and Dr. Emily Bilman

Translations by ACB Tekst- en Vertaalbureau and Nicoletta Cuneo

Design by Autobahn (www.autobahn.nl)

Digital scans by Re-Art and Repro Van de Kamp