The Kant Drawings

This series of works was made over a period of several months when early each morning I was absorbed in reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Kant’s analytical penetration and conceptual daring never failed to cast a lingering spell; and I worked on the drawings in a deeply ruminative mood. Only in retrospect did I come to realize the experience of reading Kant had entered into the content of my drawings in a curious form of visual thinking. I would now venture to say that the substance of much of their imagery refers to a single theme—on the possibility of objects.

Throughout the drawings, for example, shapes exhibit different phases of object formation, described by different modes and degrees of concretion. Large, indeterminate surfaces (a kind of vague, inchoate “sensory manifold”) variously take on appreciable form: to become “background” monumental masses and, in a further manifestation, refer to free-standing, individuated rock-like objects. These in turn may be rendered as transparent, schematic entities; delineated in flat diagrammatic lines or described as volumetric, opaque bodies subject to gravity (or the lack thereof.) When thrust into the foreground they aggressively occupy space and assert a precise location. Thus, indistinct incorporeal regions become articulated entities. In addition, various abstract serial structures and units of measure, emblematic signs and markings, play a role. Perhaps, as I like to imagine them, they represent tracings of informing agencies in the interplay of conceptual and visual events–analogues of cognitive activity.

All such fanciful speculation after the fact merely underscores throughout the creation of the series, the extent of my intuitive responses to Kant’s great text. 

Series of 14