Sunday, December 09, 2007

Whois George Rodart?

It’s the game show answer to the question, "who writes FutureModern?" As an artist working in relative solitude I started writing FutureModern two years ago as a way of interacting with a larger audience.

On a hot day in the summer before last, I was walking through the cool dim room in the Met where the Christmas tree is now. It’s a gallery filled with artworks from centuries ago, artworks that I suspect not many people pay much attention to anymore. It happened to be a day when the news from Iraq was an order of magnitude worse than normal. It was an unbearable weight to consider, contemplating the viciousness of mankind as no better than the rest of the animal kingdom.

Yet, as I was walking through the cool dim room in the Met, the one where the Christmas tree is now, I experienced the opposite side to my despair, with an overwhelming sense of the potential goodness in mankind. These artworks from centuries past stand witness to the higher aspirations of mankind, it gave me a moment of peace. It was a profound moment, it is what art should be. It is why I paint and write about art.

For the past several years I’ve been working quietly in relative seclusion. In an effort to expand my audience, I decided I should change that.
This is my website   This is what I do.

George Rodart, "Vertigo"
2007, Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 in. / 71 x 91 cm.


Hans said...

Hello George, my best congratulations, the works are looking really super !! Good, to see your work online ! My favorites are from the recent works are "Worker","Suit,study for Myths" and the "Stairwell" and "Trapped at a Boundary of Consciousness"

What is this for a strange machine in "Vertigo" on the right ??

Best regards, Hans

George said...


For many of the paintings I made on the crushed metal supports, I worked empirically, finding the ‘image’ for the painting in the shadows of the metal. Sometimes I had a starting idea, sometimes not. With "Trapped at a Boundary of Consciousness" I had an initial idea which I was attempting to start from, but in the process of painting, this image of a head just happened in spite of what I thought I was going to do. It was a very insistent and powerful impulse which I chose not to fight.

I have always felt that paintings exist as a two dimensional interface in space time, with the artist on one side and the viewer on the other. Both the artist and the viewer see the same painting (allowing for aging, etc) but they are always separated in time and space.

I was thinking about this as I was working on his particular painting, about the consciousness of another and how we experience it in only the vaguest of terms. At the same time there was, in the news, an irrational controversy surrounding a young woman, Terri Schiavo, who was in a coma. Whatever this woman was experiencing, consciousness or not, we will never know for she died on March 31, 2005. I wasn’t particularly thinking of her, but I was aware of the news, and I realized that I had finished the painting on the day she died. I didn’t know if it was a good painting, or a bad painting, but for me it was a painting which had a will to exist which I did not resist. I’m happy you mentioned it.

Within my body of work there is a wide range of image types as exemplified in the paintings "Stairwell" and "Worker." I have some paintings which are even more abstract that I left off the webpages because someone told me ‘people would become confused with what I was about.’ The problem is that I do not make distinctions, at least distinctions in terms of personal interest or ownership, between "abstract" and "representational" or "conceptual" or whatever. To me that are all aspects of painting’s language which can be used to generate an experience for the viewer.

However in order to do this, one has to have some personal connection with the images, types of images or styles, or whatever you want to call it, and the only way I know how to gain this knowledge is by doing it. This investigative process can screw up the manufacturing of a consistent ‘product’ which I could care less about and is one of the reasons why I dropped out of the commercial scene.

I think the ‘strange object’ in "Vertigo" was some kind of vacuum, an image which I stripped down to its most mechanical and sexual essence.

Hans said...

Hi George, thanks for the reply. I am also aware of Terri Schiavo's fate, and I also thought, that nobody can really know in what kind of world she appeared... "Trapped at a boundary of consciousness" grasps on the whole problematic of painting, surface, space, beholder, subject,object etcetera in what you are more a specialist than I am. By the way, If you like reading on interpretations of art works, I am recently reading about Gustave Courbet's works by Michael Fried. I think you would like it, if you do not know it already.

I would not worry about "‘people would become confused with what I was about.’" as they can make their own story of what has the artist G.Rodart to tell, thus often People as you mention see something else in a work, than we thought to deal with... So for me is an artist the more interesting the more different faces he has. Hans

Hans said...

Hi George, it's time for a new post !! ;-)

Best regards, Hans

Unknown said...

Hello George
I like "vertigo" a lot.