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Saturday, 9 March 2013

We Shall Not Go to Market Today


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We Shall Not Go to Market Today (Ta Matete): Paul Gauguin, 1892, oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm (Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel)


A step away from them
Remember to forget
Stay out of their way
Let it all go
Don't turn your head

Differentiate yesterday from tomorrow

Know it's coming but not when
Don't stare back
Pause at the corner
Expect quiet of mind to show up any time now
Wash off that human stain
We shall not go to market today
 
 




In the Garden of the Hospital at Arles: Paul Gauguin, 1888, oil on canvas, 72 x 93 cm (Art Institute, Chicago)

5 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,
Thanks for this, a beauty -----------------------

A step away from them
Remember to forget

Differentiate yesterday from tomorrow

Know it's coming but not when

3.9

light coming into sky above still black
ridge, jet passing above black branches
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

still to see this, physical
formed which in a way

reflects size of sky, white
touch, colors distant

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
shadowed green canyon of ridge above it

TC said...

Steve,

How lovely to make a tent of cloudless blue sky and shadowed green of ridge over the brilliant colours of Gauguin's canvases.

ll est extraordinaire qu'on puisse mettre tant de mystère dans tant d'éclat. (It is extraordinary that anyone could put so much mystery into so much brightness.)

-- Stéphane Mallarmé, after seeing an exhibition of Gauguin's work in November 1893.

Ta Matete, a work of great brightness and primal mystery, is a compelling example of the synthetic style Gauguin arrived at after much contemplation of the arts of the East, not only of Java but of ancient Egypt. He considered Egypt the birthplace of Western civilization. In his writings (L'esprit moderne et le Catholicism and Diverse choses) he conflates the
god Amon with Buddha, Christ, and the Tahitian Taaroa.

In this case his acknowledged source is the Banqueting Scene from the tomb of Neb Amon.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,
I've never seen "Ta Matete" before -- what a painting! What mystery in brightness. And what good knowledge too ("In this case his acknowledged source is the Banqueting Scene from the tomb of Neb Amon.").

Wooden Boy said...

Stephen's right - a beauty.

Those imperatives make for a quiet trouble in the mind.

Wash off that human stain
We shall not go to market today

A very faint hope there.

I love the Arles painting especially.

TC said...

Thanks, WB. Indeed the quiet may be troubled and the hope faint. Yet stained as one is, one staggers on, after one's fashion.

I did select the two Gauguins as bookends here. Glad to hear equal credit now given to the dark-clad women in the hospital garden.