Internal realism of the spotless mind

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Post by Dan Schimmel


One of John Murphy’s false landscapes from the series Seeing is Believing, 2004, digital print, dimensions variable

The ArtBlog quoted a quote (see post):

“Instead of inventing landscapes as a reflection of interior states of mind—a much more common practice nowadays in the art world—Diane Burko is an uncommon artist-explorer of the majesty of the land and its psychological and spiritual effects on us.”



The Problem of Prevost’s Squirrel, one of Samantha Simpson’s landscapes of the mind, partly obscured by a ladder and slashes of sunlight

I am very amused by the ill-logic of that quote that actually completes itself as a circuitous whole. It’s like that myth of the snake eating it’s own tail.

Isn’t any art form an invention of an ‘interior’ state if it is created by choices human as opposed to chance or computer machine? Even a camera is aimed. And painting from photographs is no cure for the hopelessly personal attempts at becoming more than ourselves.


Cloud Plume, by April Gornick, also an imaginary landscape

I think it is misguided to imply that what one artist paints is a better realism than another because one is invented while another is….not invented???!!!

Do Diane Burko’s ‘majestic’ landscapes trump Paul Klee’s little cosmos’ in the realm of ‘psychological and spiritual effect’ because her painted reflections are superficially more external than his?

Internal, external. Blah blah blah.

–Artist Dan Schimmel is director and curator of exhibitions at the Esther Klein Gallery

ahem. Dan had some extra thoughts about this post, so I put them in the comments section. If you don’t see Dan’s comment below, just click on the red word “Comments” at the bottom of the post.

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