Monday 14 April 2008

Quote Of The Day (14/04/08)

'In a way, art is a theory about the way the world looks to human beings. It`s abundantly obvious that one doesn`t know the world around us in detail. What artists have accomplished is realizing that there`s only a small amount of stuff that`s important, and then seeing what it was. So they can do some of my research for me.

When you look at early stuff of Van Gogh there are zillions of details that are put into it, there`s always an immense amount of information in his paintings. It obviously occurred to him, what is the irreducible amount of this stuff that you have to put in. Or you can study the horizons in in Dutch ink drawings from around 1600, with tiny trees and cows that look very real. If you look closely, the trees have sort of leafy boundaries, but it doesn`t work if that`s all it is - there are also, sticking in it, little pieces of twiglike stuff. There`s a definite interplay between the softer textures and things with more definite lines. Somehow the combination gives the correct perception.

With Ruysdael and Turner, if you look at the way they construct complicated water, it is clearly done in an iterative way. There`s some level of stuff, and then stuff painted on top of that, and then corrections to that. Turbulent fluids for those painters is always something with a scale idea in it'
Mitchell Feigenbaum, quoted in 'Chaos' by James Gleick.

Mitchell Feigenbaum, courtesy Rockerfeller University.

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