Red

Monday: a Egglestonesque moment in Balzano’s car park, and reading Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red flashed into my mind

In the novel: ‘Two Europeans (“Franks” to the Turks and, to this day, Farangi to Iranians) stroll through a meadow. As accomplished miniaturists, their work sets out to render both the individualism of the object depicted and the inner truth which issues from the artist’s mind. Theirs is the progressivist story of western art itself, from Duccio to Picasso. The more inward the better, as we stand on predecessors’ shoulders; sensibility shifts according to perspective. This is our version of modernity, with its varying styles of expression in both life and art.’

‘Such painting, says one modernist to the other, means that “if you depicted one of the trees in this forest, a man who looked upon that painting could come here and, if he so desired, correctly select that tree from among the others”. A tree with Ottoman roots relates the conversation and objects: “I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.”’Hywel Williams, Guardian 2001

Photo: Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, October 2018

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