more on bonnard

I have been thinking more about Bonnard, domestic interiors, perspective and so on.

Googling ‘bonnard’s perspective’ and ‘bonnard’s tables’ certainly produced some extraordinary results!

However there were some gems, prime amongst them a paper by Macleod & Holdridge in the Journal of Visual Art Practice (2005, vol 4, 197-207). Very interesting, and I liked this quote:

‘We would contend that not only do the philosophies and methodologies entwined within Bonnard’s work contribute to its radicality, but that his own highly focused, sustained and intelligent artistic enquiry mirrors the intellectual rigour required to undertake a creative practice Ph.D. The process of undertaking such a degree removes it (at least for the duration) from the arena of professional practice into a new and as yet publicly undetermined area of art practice. In this respect, Bonnard’s own practice of remaining outside the mainstream whilst following his own intellectual enactment of thinking could be seen as comparable and as such, a most useful precedent for artist/researchers.’

I hadn’t appreciated that Bonnard worked entirely from memory, apart from a brief initial sketch, and as such what he painted was as much a product of his inner experience as of the objective gaze.

When intellect combines with instinct, it ‘develops the capacity of intuition for more profound and more sustained insights’.

Bonnard said: ‘One can take all possible liberties of line, form, proportions, colours, to make feeling intelligible and clearly visible.’

I particularly like the fact that Bonnard was concerned with the space between self and the world, and that this concern informed his work, particularly his perspective. I can really identify with the idea of being in reality but at the same time separated from it – in fact the tenuousness of the thread that connects self and others, self and reality, is (in my opinion) the pivot on which mental health turns.

‘In this way, Bonnard subverts notions of pictorial space, author, gender, and viewer through this exchange between self and other. Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible comments on this self in seeing: ‘As soon as I see, it is inevitable that vision is doubled with a complementary vision. Myself seen from without, such as another would see me, installed in the midst of the visible….’