Gregory Amenoff
Hard Press, Inc. West Stockbridge, MA
The Sky Below
By William Corbett and Donald Kuspit


by William Corbett

Hear the voice of the Bard!

Who Present, Past, & Future sees,

Whose ears have heard

The Holy Word

That walk’d among the ancient trees,

Calling the lapsed Soul,

And weeping in the evening dew,

That might controll

The starry pole,

And fallen fallen light renew!

‘O Earth, O Earth return!

Arise from out the dewy grass;

Night is worn,

And the morn

Rises from the slumberous mass.

‘Turn away no more.

Why wilt thou turn away?

The starry floor,

The wat’ry shore,

Is giv’n thee till the break of day.’

William Blake, Songs of Experience

It was on a flight home to New York from Paris just after the new year in 1994 that Gregory Amenoff began to organize the impulses that resulted in the three series of paintings that make up The Sky Below. His personal life in upheaval and his painting life unsettled, Amenoff remembers seizing upon a few drawings he had done the previous fall. In these he saw overt references to landscape. Critics and friends over the years had often pointed out the elements of landscape in his painting, but Amenoff felt that, to some degree, they missed the point. He thought that he had transformed these elements into something more, something other and seemed to feel that to actually paint the landscape was inauthentic and somehow just not right. But now he thought again.

When he entered his studio with the visions conjured up during the plane flight he began at once to paint the six pictures that make up The Starry Floor series. Neither William Blake nor his poem were on Amenoff’s mind, but the work of Charles Burchfield was as can be seen in both "V" and "VI" of the series. Amenoff’s work has always, for his viewer at least, taken a good deal of its inspiration from American painters of the late 19th and early 20th century: Albert Ryder, Martin Johnson Heade, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Burchfield. Their subject matter, the natural world mutating into the visionary, has run through Amenoff’s work since the late nineteen-seventies.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1994 Amenoff worked with a freedom and intensity he had not known for several years. For the first time in a decade he was not under pressure to produce for a gallery. He was, he began to see, painting these pictures for himself and obeying their command. Amenoff had never before executed anything other than mono-prints in a series, but now he saw that he wanted to carry over his vision from picture to picture or his vision carried him in that direction by the force of its will.

I first saw these pictures in November of 1994, in the small, almost square yet high ceilinged studio Amenoff then had at 49 Vestry Street in Tribeca. I had been following his work and occasionally writing about it since the mid-nineteen-seventies when Amenoff lived, as I continue to do, in Boston. At some point I realized that when I saw new Amenoffs my first reaction was to be overwhelmed, to feel that this time he had done too much — too much paint, too many colors. As in the past on that November morning I felt a little queasy, uncertain and needing to get my legs back under me. Not love at first sight, but something a little repulsive that you cannot take your eyes off of. It is the paradox of feeling that I do not like what I am looking at but will shortly love it.

A version of this happened as I stood in the Vestry Street loft and looked at The Starry Floorseries and the few Starry Poles on which he was then working. For some reason the high ceiling did not shrink these paintings. If anything the air and space above the pictures seemed charged by them. They created a high pressure front and their weather and light ruled. Indeed. I have since seen many of them in a conventional gallery at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and their power is such that the room began to feel claustrophobic.

As Amenoff arranged the paintings around the studio my initial uneasiness disappeared, and I became more and more engrossed in them. The Burchfield pictures were the first to knock me out. The world in them melts just as it does in Burchfield, becomes a single molten element, lava, ceaselessly in flux and harmonious and yet the stars are distinct in the water. We can clearly see in this mass how the up becomes down, how the sky has come below.

As Amenoff explored this territory he also searched for a title or titles to convey something of the pull of heaven and earth, the spirit and the flesh, to speak for the turmoil of metaphorical possibilities he saw emerge as he worked. He hit upon Blake’s "Introduction," and there could be no more perfect match. These paintings do show, as Blake subtitled his Songs of Innocence and of Experience," the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul."

There is, for example, the sexual and the celestial as represented in The Starry Pole series. These are to my eyes the most physical of Amenoff’s paintings, not only in their reference to the body, but because they are vertical and as high and wide as a man of Amenoff’s 6’1" could reach with outstretched arms. (Before this Amenoff preferred square or rectangular canvasses.)The Starry Pole series not only pushes the landscape elements into new combinations but the pole unifies Blake’s contrary states. It becomes a symbol of, among other things, the painter’s will as in the poem where "pole" rhymes with "controll."

But this makes it all sound too literary. That morning in the studio Blake was not in the forefront of my mind, paint was. Years ago Amenoff had told me how much he liked "pushing paint around" and even at a quick glance his way with paint arrests the attention. He had, I knew, turned away from oil paint, toned down his palette and worked for a time with a thin medium that gave his paintings a dry look right for their origin in New Mexico and their focus on thorns, wooden crosses and the ascetic in general. He had clearly left this period behind, and the joy at being set free was, and is, everywhere evident across the surface of these canvasses. He is, as he has been for some years, a painter who can get his colors to knit and breed. This material fact of Amenoff’s work speaks both of the spiritual–his aesthetic notions and great talent–and the earth from which his medium comes. Painting, he makes you think, can transcend because it is so stubbornly of our common clay.

Leaving Amenoff’s that day I was as excited as I had ever been after seeing new work in a painter’s studio. I walked uptown wishing that my wife Beverly, with whom I love to look at painting, would come down the block so that I could hustle her back to Amenoff’s studio. I could not get the Burchfield’s nor the red, cape-like "Starry Pole" out of my eye. My thoughts were many and scattered, each new one quickly generating another. The further I walked, the richer and more extraordinarily varied the world I had just left became to me. I remember nothing of the streets I went through that morning. It was some time in the afternoon before the events of the day began to take precedence over the world Amenoff had created on Vestry Street.

I saw none of these paintings again until April 1996 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I was there, at Amenoff’s invitation, to read poems and talk with students around a show of paintings from the now completed three series. The University’s Allen Priebe Gallery, in which the paintings hung, has conventional neutral gray cloth wall covering into which all paintings will sink a little. Because of this and the room’s shape and the show’s installers had a daunting task. Yet the paintings more than held their own. Here were Stary Pole pictures I had not seen, and the new Wat’ry Shore series including the sublime "V." It’s blast of heavenly gold makes it the most Blakean of these paintings. "V" projects the hail of light from which Urizen, the Creator, in the most famous of Blake’s designs, comes to measure the material world with his calipers.

One night I read from my poems in this room, and the next I spoke briefly to welcome guests to the show’s official opening. I read from Blake and then said of the paintings, what I suddenly knew to be the case, that they exemplified Blake’s proverb, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." Amenoff’s art is one that must go too far, has to push its way into a place where it is not either / or but either and or. The resolution comes, or has come in these three series, in his putting whatever contraries he can imagine to work simultaneously. The breakthrough to these pictures may have begun in landscape for Amenoff, but it ended when those elements, artfully and consciously described and accepted as such, took their place under heaven. For him the sky had to be brought down to earth, down the shaft that is the starry pole, down the shaft that is light reflected on water so that he could conceive the earth under our feet as made of some sky. Perhaps as a mid-westerner growing up on flat Illinois farm land he had absorbed this congruence of earth and sky as a boy and now, in these paintings, has come home again.

Today, as in his Vestry Studio, a quote from Cormac McCarthy’s novel Outer Dark is pinned to Amenoff’s painting wall: "What discordant vespers do the tinker’s goods chime through . . ." One visionary artist drawing nourishment from another. Like McCarthy’s work, Amenoff’s is shot through with an awful light, the breaking of day and the coming of dark. There is a strangely heartening pitilessness to this light. It does not care for us or acknowledge us in any way, and perhaps because of this indifference we are free to be thrilled by the imaginings we glean from it of the absolute and eternal.


Gregory Amenoff: Renewing Romatic Mystical Nature Painting

by Donald Kuspit

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.

Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state

of the mind, and that state can only be described by

presenting that natural appearance as its picture.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature," 1836

Shall we say then that Transcendentalism is the

Saturnalia or excess of Faith. . . ? Nature is

transcendental, exists primarily, necessarily, ever

works and advances, yet takes no thought of the


--Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Transcendentalist," 1842

‘What’, it will be Question’d, ‘When the Sun rises do

you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a

Guinea?’ O no, no, I see an innumerable company of

the Heavenly host crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord

Gold Almighty.’ I question not my Corporeal or

Vegetative Eye any more than I would question a

window concerning a Sight. I look thro’ it & not with it.

--William Blake, 1810

I now affirm of Nature and of Truth,

Whom I have served, that their Divinity

Revolts, offended at the ways of men.

--William Wordsworth, "Excursion," 1814

The sense of freedom, spontaneous, unpolluted

power of nature was essential . . . Wordsworth’s

‘haunted me like a passion’ is no description of it,

for it is not like, but is, a passion; the point is to

define how it differs from other passions,--what sort

of human, pre-eminently human, feeling it is that

loves a stone for a stone’s sake, a cloud for a cloud’s.

--John Ruskin, describing his love of nature at age 18



WHAT A FUNNY WAY TO BEGIN an essay on a fin de siècle post-avant-garde twentieth century painter: with a pile of quotations from nineteenth century poets and thinkers. And yet the seemingly old-fashioned idea they express–their moral romance with nature–remains as fresh and relevant to our lives as it did when it was first enunciated. Indeed, more relevant, for the ways of men seem more offensive than ever. And the ways of art have become offensive: the prevailing conceptual orthodoxy or neo-avant-garde art has left art emotionally bankrupt. Neo-avant-garde art claims to carry the banner of avant-garde art, but it has none of its spirit, if all of its hubris, which is one definition of decadence. This is part of what it means to say that it is avant-garde art petrified–avant-garde art without the fragile balance between heuristic method and archaic emotion that underlay its innovations: neo-avant-garde art reifies innovation into novelty and upsets the balance, leaving a dispirited intellectuality in its wake. In contrast to neo-avant-garde art, the romantic belief in the healing, restorative power of nature, and in art’s capacity to distill and convey that power–mediate it in a so-called therapeutic landscape, emotionally resonant with the possibility of self-renewal–seems the only adequate response to such decadence.

Amenoff’s paintings pick up on a seemingly marginal aspect of modernism, one that has been regarded as beside the main thrust of its development, supposedly beside its main point of conceptual purification of art–yet that flourished unapologetically in the United States, from the nineteenth century Luminists and Albert Pinkham Ryder to Charles Burchfield, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley in the twentieth century, to name only artists with whom Amenoff feels affinity. This strongly suggests that their nature mysticism–their spontaneous passion for unpolluted nature, and evocation of it as a Divinity, in Wordsworth’s sense–has inner necessity. Nature mysticism continues to have appeal because it speaks to a need that has become impossible to satisfy in the modern urban world, that is, in the same claustrophobic cities, full of pseudo-humanity and rank artificiality, in which it originated. Amenoff’s paintings attempt to satisfy it, and, like the best romantic nature painting, reach toward mysticism to do so, for only at the orgasmic extreme of mysticism can there be complete satisfaction of a need that has been systematically repressed.

In Amenoff's paintings, modern romantic nature mysticism makes one of its strongest, most defiant statements, coming into its own again, and, perhaps most crucially, offering itself as the healthy fin de siecle alternative to neo-avant-garde decadence. They offer a way out of the impasse of self-styled progressive conceptual modernism by regression to modernism's earliest, most romantic "theory" of the function of art: art is to serve humanity by distilling and mediating a sublime image of nature, presenting it as a beacon of hope in a dehumanizing society. This gave art faith in itself-a brave, new, modern sense of purpose in a brave, new, modern world which threatened to dismiss it as the relic of an old, obsolete, traditional world. In Amenoff, sublimity commemorates-mourns-a nature that has come to seem doomed: no doubt it will continue to exist "technically," in the attenuated, ghettoized form of gardens and parks, where it is preserved but subtly devalued, but it will never again be the force it was for the nineteenth century romantics. That force can now only live in art-in Amenof's paintings, where his gesturalism communicates and idealizes it. They make it clear that nature's phenomenal appearance no longer matters, only its numinous meaning, which must be preserved. There is no nostalgia-no facile historicism-in this, only emotional necessity.

Thus Amenoff's saturnalian gesturalism mystifies Ruskin's stone and cloud-and pine tree and ocean, sunlight and starlight-completely undeminng their conventional appearance, which remains evident, however distorted, in traditional romantic nature painting. In Amenoff's paintings natural phenomena are barely recognizeable, not because they have been altogether distorted, but because they have been completely transformed: they exist as aura rather than substance. They have been transcendentalized-spiritualized-to the extent that they can no longer be thought of or even seen as natural phenomena. Amenoff has carried the romantic project of revelation-the project of Blake, Emerson, Ruskin, and Wordsworth, among other romantic thinkers-to a climactic conclusion: natural phenomena are stripped of their materiality to reveal their innate "supernatural" character. For Amenoff, as for all the romantics, nature is a sacred reality that seems profane to mundane eyes, which is why one needs the eyes of art to see it. The transcendentalist ambition is to display the inner divity of nature, and to show that it can only be grasped in and through passion, and that once passionatley experienced it radically changes human life for the better: it answers one's deepest need for change-the need to change oneself.

Amenoff transcendetalizes nature not only because it is inherently worthy to do so, as well as the subliminally basic task of modern art, but in response to the modern need for nature, as I have suggested. This need has grown stronger than ever, as through to undermine the foundation of modernity, which involves not only a Faustian will to master nature, but ultimately to eliminate it. Replaced by a world totalized by technology, nature becomes a mirage. Thus, while it is hard to know what is special about nature in our increasingly unnatural world, and to recognize that we remain part of it however removed from it we think we are, we continue, however unconsciously, to feel the need for a passionate, unpressured relationship with it as an antidote to the daily pressure of our lives. The need is too strong for nature, however lovingly, and assume that the contemporary viewer will get the spiritual point-to experience natural fact as spiritual fact is "no longer enough to establish an intense, convincing, consummate relationship with it." In our secular world nobody believes such symbolic correspondence: nobody has a direct spiritual relationship with nature, as the first romantics did, and it seems naive to have the faith necessary for such a relationship. In our time, the point must be forced, as Amenoff does, by carrying it to a seemingly extravagant, even absurd artistic extreme, where the passion for nature becomes inalienable, thus ending our alienation from our own nautre.

We have then, ironically, come to the emotionally decadent point where only are can acknowledge and satisfy our profound need for a "peak experience," to use Abraham Maslow's term, of nature. Amenoff's art, which affords such experience, is no doubt socially and artistically advanced modern art and technologically advanced modern society: what Erich Fromm calls the psychic need for transceendence, which bespeaks the fact that "man transcends all other life because he is, for the first time, life aware of itself." Thus Amenoff's modern nature painting represents modern life's deepest self-awareness, indeed, its secret self-criticism.

Amenoff is an important painter not only because he is heir to the great tradition of romantic nature painting, but because he renews faith in nature without sentimenttalizing it-renews it with a certain rugged, almost harsh, and peculiarly tragic undertone, which seems specifically American, as the paintings of Burchfield, Dove, and Hartley indicate. It is this tragic ruggedness that radicalizes their paintings, and that Amenoff carries to an extreame from which there seems no return to the matter-of-fact representation of nature. Indeed, the tragic vehemence of his image of nature is an aggressive critique of the sterile, matter-of-fact appearance to which it has been reduced in photography, which has become the commonplace, even puerile (as Baudelaire suggested) means of representing-and commodifying-it. Thus Amenoff's mystical nature paintings are not only an important alternative to avant-garde art-a way of underlining the fact that it has become academic, redundant, and commercial, that is , decadent-but to the mechanical standardization of natural appearance. Where phbotography tends to make nature look inorganic, artificial, mummified-as static as a clothes dummy-Amenoff's painterliness restores living process to its appearance-the same organic process that Pop art mocked and dnied. Pop art, by reason of its capitulation to urban industrial imagery and commodity photography-clearly for the sake of capitalist success-was the biginning of the end of avant-garde art, its self-destructive handwriting on the wall, and Amenoff's elated gestural painting can be read as a rebuttal of it and all it stands for.

Thus Amenoff's mysticism is a form of social and artistic subversion and resistance, all the more so because it signals the possibility of "anoriginal relation to the universe," as Emerson called it, in a society in which it seems impossible, a society too disillusioned and faithless-too scientifically enlightened-to believe such a relation is possible, or even meaningful. "Why should we not enjoy" such a relation, emerson asked, never realizing that it would one day be regarded as a decadent response to social progress, rather than a healthy response to social pathology. But Amenoff's paintings convince us that even in our technological society it is possible to have an original, inspired relation with the universe. Indeed, they suggest that it is something we should consciously srive for-a romantic vision of the universe that may seem absurd from an everyday perspective, but that ultimately makes more emotional sense.


As their titles suggest-they come from Blake's Songs of Experience-Amenoff's seris of nature paintings range far and wide, reaching high into the sky and deep into the sea: on the one sideThe Starry Floor (all 1994) and The Starry Pole (1994-95), on the other The Wat'ry Shore (all 1995). But whatever their ostensible site, the same mystical, visionary point is made again and again: the primordial sky above and the primordial earth and sea below are linked, indeed, all but one, whatever their apparent differences. They sky has roots of light in the earth and sea: one sees them reaching down, no doubt deep below the surface, in "The Wat'ry Shore" and "The Wat'ry Shore II". In "The Wat'ry Shore III" a tree of light is suspended above the earth, as though uprooted from it. In "The Wat'ry Shore IV" dazzling circles of light are set within a sky that seems to be raw terain, as the earth color mixed with its blue suggests. Light suffuses the earth in "The Wat'ry Shore VI": Blake's holy light dematerializes the earth, turning it into a sacred substance. In "The Wat'ry Shore I" striations of light echo the curvy of the shore, as though they were partners in a dance the movement of one reciprocated in the shape of the other. In "The Wat'ry Shore V" triangular shapes, presumably pines, are tinged with light from the circular stars above-stars that, however remote, seem to exist on the same plane as the trees.

In all these works Amenoff seems to view the earth and sky and sea from an infinite distance above them-sub specie aeternitatis. This universal point of view sets their finitude in bold, dynamic outline: their form is all force, their material is excited energy. The Starry Floor andThe Starry Pole series make the perspective of revelation explicit: the stars are larger and more glowing-fiery-than ever, as though we are viewing them up close rather than from a distance, as in The Wat'ry Shore series, and climactic, crucial new element is added-the starry pole, a sturdy vertical, as thick as the trunk of a large tree, that directly links heaven and earth. It is in effect a Jacob's ladder-a visionary pathway along which the stars move, more mysterious than ever, like Blakean angels in abstract diguise. Ths vertical appears, already outsized and burning bright-glowing with extraordinary presence-in "The Starry Floor IV" and "The Starry Floor VI". Growing out of the earth-indeed, seeming to shoot out of it like a rocket-it spreads to form a heavenly platform, akind of launching pad for angels. It is the centerpiece of all the works inThe Starry Pole series, generally sky blue in appearance, although one is the color of radiant sunlight. In "The Starry Pole I" and "The Starry Pole III" it seems to be accompanied by the tangle of a burning bush-the same volcanic burning bush out of which the pole seems to grow in "The Starry Floor IV" and "The Starry Floor VI", and a huge bush which seems to have burnt itself out, becoming a charred root, in "The Starry Floor I." There are other omens-heavenly and elemental signs, intmidating and full of foreboding in The Starry Pole works, as there are in all of Amenoff's images-but in The Starry Pole they seem more abstract. However derived from geomorphic heaven or biomorphic earth, and gesturally intense and tangled, they belong to neither: they have become universal. An original relation to the universe transforms its appearances so that they become transcendental symbols-enigmatic emblems that bespeak the universe's own mysterious originality. Amenoff's visionary paintings are about the problem of origin, not as a concept or a literal moment, but as a certain kind of experience of being.

All of Amenoff's paintings are a compound of dark earth and illumined sky, which seem to be locked in a Manichean struggle as well as a loving embrace. This paradox-"mystification"-is crucial: the sense of transformation-and transvaluation-in process is crucial to the visionary effect. A certain tendency toward extremes-apparently irreconcilable opposites-is also necessary: broad planar handling, as in the smoldering dark blue lower section of "The Starry Pole IV" and the upper section of "The Starry Floor III", contrasting with violently busy, dense, raw-gritty-gesture, as in "The Starry Pole I" and , in a different tone, "The Starry Pole III." The calm and tranquility of "The Starry Floor V," with its balance of bright blue sea, luminous pines, and dark sky, with red stars is rare. "The Wat'ry Shore V" is another example of a relatively balanced work-a stablized scene, in which all the natural elements are at peace, however uneasily. In fact, balance is always precarious in Amenoff's pictures, and lack of balance-a sense of the impossibility of balance, in the midst of what seems like a struggle to achieve balance-reigns in most of them, as the stunning disproportion between earth, water, sky, and the light in The Wat'ry Shore indicates. Again and again such disproportion between the elements manifests itself-"The Starry Floor II" is another stunning example-suggesting that Amenoff is more interested in conflict than its resolution, which at best occurs fitfully. For all the apparent coherence of Amenoff's picturs-a scene, however strange to ordinary eyes, is clearly recognizable-they are a sum of wild fragments that do not add up to an integral whole. No doubt this contributes to their visionary character: the ordinary world of appearances is shattered, and the fragments become luminous with mysterious significance.

Art historically, Amenoff's paintings belong to the American transcendentalist tradition of visionary landscpe, as I have argued, and specific influences can be traced. But Amenoff never simply takes them over and touches them up; he is not just another postmodern historicist, adding an ironical twist to what he appropriates. On the contrary, he is anti-ironical, and realizes that the past had a certain vision of reality that must be recovered however irrecoverable and unrealistic it seems today. It must be taken seiously, for our own good, for it has something to give us that we have forgotten how to give ourselfves. The credibility of Amenoff's appropriations comes from the fact that he renders them dynamically and abstractly, thus ending their art historical petrification and estrangement. They become dialectical structures rather than sanctimonius reifications. Unresolved ialectic is in fact at the core of Amenoff's paintings, as I have suggested, and it is operational in his relationship to his sources. "The Wat'ry Shore IV" is a case in point. It is derived from Ryder's famous marine landscapes, but luminous sky and dark sea are more fused and confused in Amenoff's marine landscapes: in Ryder they remain clear and distinct-puritanically separate, while in Amenoff they are set in dialectical motion-erotically interpenetrate. The same thing happens in the works derived from Munch: the sky in Munch's The Scream reappears in tattered, almost chaotic form, less fixed and more beside itself than anything Muncdh dared imagine. Similarly, Amenoff's phantom-like forms have a more sinister intensity than those of Munch, and spread like a tumorous growth-the earth brown sky, with its morbid black aura, in "The Starry Floor I" and the amoeba-like form in "The Starry Floor III," are good examples. Amenoff's starry sky is wilder than that of Van Gogh's; so is his light. In general, Amenoff's abstract naturalism is the most intense and dramatic of the entire tradition, which, on its absract side, culminates with Arthur Dove, whose Sunrise series, 1037 seems to be the springboard of Amenoff's work.

Amenoff seems to recapitulate the history of abstraction, but he takes it back to its beginnings, when it was an expression of revelation that walked a fine line between pure expressive form and visionary experience of nature, and the picture was neither all immanent form nor blind emotional response to external nature, but an equivocal compond of both. Where Kandinsky saw through Monet's haystack to the luminous abstract pentagon it was, discarding its naturalness in the process, Amenoff sees its organic truth-luminous vitality-through its abstract form. But he does not so much reverse the process, as struggle to balance precarious truths-the equally endangered truths of radical abstraction and radical abstraction and radical concreteness, truths that are equally impossible to grasp in an ordinary state of mind- all the while knowing that they can never be completely reconciled, for they derive from different, if obliquely related, orders of experience. Each can aid the revelation of the other, but neither by itself is a revelation-this is Amenoff's ltimate point. He suggests that only be renewing the friction between them can each cast serious light on the other.

Thus, where Kandinsky and Mondrian dispensed with and finally destroyed the image of nature for the sake of artistic truth, Amenoff shows that its true image can only be recreated with abstract means. Their fusion makes clear, in an awsome imagistic reveleation, that nature is emotionally indispensable. Successfully synthesizing them, Amenoff overcomes the dissociatin of sensiblity endemic to modernism, as T.S. Eliot observed. Formalist abstraction and photographic representation are its polor opposites. Both secularize art, by undermining its aura and resonance-the aura and resonance of Amenoff's stars-which can catalyze a transvaluative, even sanctifying experience of existence. Amenoff's neo-transcendentalism, as I suppose art historicans will call it, convincingly restores aura and resonance to art, suggesting that, however much art's only purpose seems to be to advance and refine style, it can still have a sacred purpose. Artist and viewer may still have to pass through the deedle's eye of style, but beyond that the horizon is infinite.

© Gregory Amenoff - 2012 - All rights reserved.