29 November 2009

Landslides in art

Posted by Dave Petley

I thought that it would be interesting to run a series of occasional posts on landslides in art. The first is, rather predictably, called “Landslide” by Francie Lyshak, the source of which is here:

Landslide, by Francie Lyshak, Oil on linen, 50 x 37, 1990

The accompanying text, by Joe Vojkto, says:

“The cosmic site-gag of Francie Lyshak’s painting, Landslide, hits like a ton of bricks and opens up old scars, where pieces of ourselves have been removed, to shine an unforgiving light inside. Viewing this painting for the first time is a sobering act, resonating with aftershocks of emotional recognition that can drag your thoughts unwillingly back through creaky episodes of your own personal history that you never wanted to inhabit the first time around. Landslide unapologetically assaults, and in refusing to be simply beautiful, its stones us numb with the sour truth that beauty is a beast. It’s Golgotha, the place of skulls, the scene of the crime for which we are all supposed to be paying. There are no crosses at the summit of the rubble, but the source of light makes it obvious that some heaven has delivered this cold load. Landslide remains in the memory, almost the quintessential symbol of life at this late hour in the rocky history of our species, a tarot card to represent the stasis of despair, the metastasis of betrayal.”

So now you know (no, I don’t understand it either)!