Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly — 1914 (Heft 45)

Page: 17
DOI article: DOI article: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/camera_work1914_45/0029
License: Camera Work Online: Free access – no reuse
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“I do not doubt that interiors have their interiors—and exteriors have their exteriors,
and that the eyesight has another eyesight and the hearing another hearing and the voice
another voice.”—Walt Whitman.
“Put off intellect and put in imagination. The imagination is the man.”—Wm. Blake.
The purpose of this foreword is to state merely the uselessness in art of forewords—of
theses. It is to state that in the present exhibition there is nothing in the way of a theory of
art of aesthetics or of science to offer. The intention of the pictures separately and collectively
is to state a personal conviction—to express a purely personal approach. It has nothing what-
soever to do with the prevailing modes and tendencies—cliques and groups of the day. It has
not intellectual motives—only visionary ones. It is not to be expounded. It is not a riddle.
It is a discovery; but it does not purport to be the last great discovery in the scientific phase
of aesthetics. Its only idea and ideal is life itself, sensations and emotions drawn out of great and
simple things. There is an inner substance, an inner content in all things—an interior in an
interior, an exterior to an exterior—and there are forms for the expression of them. It is the
artist’s business to select forms suitable to his own specialized experience, forms which express
naturally the emotions he personally desires to present, leaving conjectures and discussions to
take care of themselves. They add nothing to art. Art creates itself out of the spirit substance
in all things. There are signs and symbols for ideas of the spirit or soul as there are signs and
symbols for ideas of the mind. For the former they are distinct and separate as for the latter
they are distinct and separate. A picture is but a given space where things of moment which
happen to the painter occur. The essential of a real picture is that the things which occur in it
occur to him in his peculiarly personal fashion. It is essential that they occur to him directly
from his experience, and not suggested to him by way of prevailing modes. True modes of art
are derived from modes of individuals understanding life. The idea of modernity is but a new
attachment to things universal—a fresh relationship to the courses of the sun and to the living
swing of the earth—a new fire of affection for the living essence present everywhere. The new
wonder of the moment. The Creator never loses his sense of wonder—he is continually in the
state of simple amaze. The delight which exists in ordinary moments is his ecstasy. In the
art of the ordinary there is the sense of devotion. In the art of the specialist there is the sense
of habit. It is devotion which is closest to creation. Boehme was a devotional ordinary—
Cezanne and Rousseau also. A real visionary believes what he sees. The present exhibition is
the work of one who sees—who believes in what is seen—and to whom every picture is as a
portrait of that something seen. Marsden Hartley.

FROM A PLAY BY GERTRUDE STEIN
MARSDEN HARTLEY
A cook. A cook can see. Pointedly in uniform, exertion in a medium. A cook can see.
Clark which is awful, dark which is shameful, dark and order.
A pin is a plump point and pecking and combined and more much more is in fine.
Rats is, rats is oaken, robber. Height, age, miles, plaster, peddle, more order.
Bake, a barn has cause and more late oak-cake specially.
Spend rubber, holder and coal, high, careful, in a pointed collar. A hideous southwest
is always a climb in aged seldom succeeded flavoring untimely, necessity white, hour in a blaze.
Break, sky blue light, obliquely, in a cut carpet, in the pack. A sound.
MARSDEN HARTLEY
No noon back. No noon settler, no sun in the slant and carpet utterly surrounded.
No pressed plaster. None.
No pressing pan and pan cake. Not related exactly. Not related.
Matter in the center of single sand and slide in the hut.
No account of gibberish. No skylark utterly.
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