by Jonathan Beer
Since Expressionism artists have used painting to confront the interior world, wrestling to create with what German artist Willi Baumeister called “the self-engendered vision.” Like a prospector, an artist searches through layers of self-made bedrock and sediment, mining for a vein to follow. Many artists are enchanted by this parallel interior place, a zone where the fabric of reality is twisted and altered by the subconscious, intersected by memories and augmented by the imagination. It is a constantly shifting place, populated by things which have no name. There is no guidebook. A thorough investigation of the psychological is found in both abstract and representational work, from the disconcerting worlds of Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage to the imposing paintings of Milton Resnick and Mark Rothko. Somewhere between abstraction and figuration the psychological has re-emerged in the painterly fictions of Ali Banisadr.