the retina splinters under the assault of so many things
February 18, 2008, 3:51 am
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: , , , , , , ,

To understand Cezanne is to know that the world can’t be summed up singularly.  In him and Picasso, you can’t see the world in simple terms or in one figure.  Quetglas describes our reordered apprehension in terms of our vision which splinters to accept the world’s attack on our senses.

“It is quite easy to distinguish between a Gris and a Picasso painting.  Each one is derived from opposing operations.  Picasso studied Cezanne, Gris studied Cezanne postcards.  It is a radical opposition because he who has understood Cezanne ceases to be capable of summarizing his view of the world in a single figure.  In Cezanne and Picasso, the eye faces the world and is unable to encompass it in one figure, the retina splinters under the assault of so many things, ‘all convex, each one with its own escape, ruining itself, falling.  The eye becomes concentric from the effort of looking,’ says Cezanne.  His natural gaze and that of the cubist is then produced from the splintered condition of the retina, through which it inevitably reaches the hand, the brush and the brush-stroke, scaly with its comma-like bent line, and hence to the cubist construction.  I, a Cezannistcubist have a glass, an apple or a tree in front of my eyes and in my retina I hear the cracking hum of the scales of colors.  Read Cezanne if you don’t believe me:  he has set it out in literature.  All his energy is aimed at learning to look with precision.  And when one sees in that way, what is produced cannot be cubist.

-Don’t Be Deluded, Josep Quetglas in the book Enric Miralles