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Abstraction: Rhythm and Lyricism

Paris 1949
Social Drama
Form and Color
Rhythm and Lyricism
Holistic Significance
The only relation to the classical scheme in Fontaine's motifs is the memory that certain shapes satisfy us long after the iconographical meaning has been forgotten. Thus he uses constructions of identifiable geometrical shapes which overlap in plane upon plane or unfold with no pattern or rule to follow other than a harmonious rhythm all their own.

For example, the "Cliffs" rhythmic classic counterpart was both in the suggested diagonal lines of force of Greek heroes and the overlapping of folds of drapery. What appeals to us is the feeling of infinite possibility through the implied future in movement. The painting wears well because of the subtle variety of color tones and shapes of planes which move in and out in shallow depth.

Fontaine's lyricism finds response in our imagination and his use of the Chinese brushstrokes creates a basic sensual sweeping motion which gives his paintings authority and momentum.

1969Cliffs.jpg (160215 bytes)
Acrylic on Canvas, 59"x40", 1969 ?

The lyricism is not as unbounded as Dionysus's irrational element in human nature. Fontaine's fundamental rhythms may suggest the vital forces breaking through the earth's crust, the symbols of rebirth or resurrection.

Color and Notan are the elements that excited Fontaine the most. Fontaine instinctively used color to its fullest potential. Fontaine said the color defines the "spiritual intent"- - sometimes in a sensual Romantic way, but always controlling it so that the balance of the composition is not destroyed. His control of color also controls our response to it.   next >>


This site was last updated on 07/22/00
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