Form and Color
Rhythm and Lyricism
is working, the artist's choice of shapes and color and their unifying pattern is
presumably determined by the complex emotions and thoughts stimulating him to point
in a particular way at that moment.
It is a mistake to pin the meaning down, but some viewers, cannot help but read
into a painting his own particular associations. In contrast Willi Baumeister's and Paul
Klee's forms found their meaning through pictographs and ideograms. These primitive images
have power to evoke echos in man's consciousness today because fundamental sentiments have
not changed. These symbols convey the artist's feelings and ideas. Fontaine felt he did
not need ideograms or symbols to convey meaning.
Even his titles, "Composition," "Diagonal" and names of
colors are unpretentious, direct and arc literary inventions born after the painting.The
German writer, Egon Vietta,
who planned to write a book on Fontaine, but died, said, "His painting by his
excellent, orderly, floating spatial forms, when he wishes, follows somewhat in the tracks
of Willi Baumeister." Art critic Will
Grohman said Paul's forms resemble outer spacescapes.
Paul was surprised
by this interpretation of form for he did not consciously think of outer space while
composing his paintings. Yet it is known that the subconscious creative energies of a poet
and painter produce startling new images filled with predictions of the future.
Composition: Ochre, Black and White,
Acrylic on Canvas, 1950
New lithe forms were added to his plastic language and his style became a freer,
painterly expression as his inspiration became more intense after 1950. There are themes
of dark organic vertical shapes like prison bars, which separate the viewer from the
sunlight, a bright hope, behind the screen. Is this not an inner revolt of man, his
wish to find freedom of expression, a will to live? This interpretation allows us to share
in the artist's inner life when he otherwise consciously cuts himself off from life around
him. What is shown more directly is the impressive variety and diversity of form as well
as content which became the same.