New series

There’s a 20 paintings for 2020 project on now ( instagram #20_for_2020). In 2019 I happened to finish 19 paintings which is my best yearly score so far and I’ve decided to reach number of 20 by the end of 2020 for a star of a new decade. A whole programma had to be arranged around this. It has got plenty to do with music and literature as usually ( almost exclusively since 2016 ). The last series of the 2019 was the 4 autumn memories loosely based on FOUR AUTUMN SKETCHES by Amy Beach – the series of painitng having for title THE ABSENT DIALOGUE. But I’ve came to concslusion of Amy Beach’s music not being really suitable for what I’ve came up with – so the music is absent from this series now. And if there’s someone who could get inspired by it to write some you’re very welcome to do so.

The first 2020 series is the LIEUX RETROUVES – a group of four landscape compositions. I’ve been bearing the idea of picturing the landscapes of my home region in Slovakia for a while already and was really strugling with this. Then in April 2019 I was sent the arrangement of Thomas Adès’ Lieux Retrouvés for small orchestra and I’ve fitted the subject on his music in four parts: Les Eaux (The Waters) , La Montagne (The Mountain), Les Champs (The Fields), and La Ville (The Town). As I made four trips home in that year I’ve picked up one picture from each trip around the year and started to work on paintings which adopt the titles from the musical suite but disrespect the order of a score in regard of the season pictured on each of my paintings go : Les Eaux (spring/April), Les Champs (summer/July), La Montagne (autumn/October), and finally La Ville (winter/January).

CONSOLATIONS is the second series which will probably get finished before the others. Franz Liszt’s Piano Suite of 6 Consolations ( Tröstungen ) is the base for these composition following trees from September to February in different parts of the Globe. In February two first Consolations were done: #3 I Pini di Roma (Tramonto) – for January and #1 Les Platanes à Versailles (La promenade solitaire le jour de la Chandeleure) for February. In October and November, the four remining composition joined them: #2 The eight rays of the autumn sun in the golden folliage for October #4 La forêt desolée (l’air satgne et pèse) for November then # 5 L’envol des tourterelles (the last full moon in the summer) for September and #6 Au bord d’un glacier sur lac (the day of summer solistice) for December.

Gustav Holst is one of my favourite composers. His Indra and Cloud Messenger always transport me elswhere when I listen to it. After my recent trip to Japan I came to review all my old memories collected during the past five passages to the Nihon archipelago and inspired by Holst’s Japanese suite, I’ve come with the Japanese suite of dances with prelude and interlude.

The first sketches of LUDI series were made in Slovakia early january with three portrait studies of my nephew and his two older sisters. LUDI is about children’s games in our small family garden around the year. The word LUDI ( ludus in sing.) comes from latin word for GAME of PLAY. So we have here now a feeling of a garden when kid decides to play in it. It follows four seasons > hence four compositions picturing my younger brother’s childrens and my cousins playing around in our garden in my hometown Partizanske. I believe it a very tender-feeling series of paintings. This didn’t really got based on anything I’ve done before, because the focus doesn’t really falls on garden itself but the children’s game wich is the main subject of these. The garden now is rather being only a set for them. The japanese print-artist Tamamoto Shoun, August Renoir, Edouard Vuillard and Werner Berg among the others were the main source of reference for me, in terms of trying to interprete the intangible: excitement, hesitation, impatience of a children while at play.

The score’s up and goes:

Papillons Blancs ( #2 from 2 pièces pour piano) by Jules Massenet for spring : To Play Hide and Seek;
A Little Tipsy ( #1 from Burlesques) by Béla Bartòk for summer: After a Ball;
Phantoms (#3 from 4 sketches) by Amy Beach for autumn: By the Turtle Pit;
Kinderspiel by Alastair Putt for winter: With the Sparklers.

There are some smaller pieces exectured around music too:
For the two Étretat cliffs paintings there’s Debussy with this Prélude: Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest and for the Two Little Pieces the musical inspiration was by André Caplet and his Deux petites pièces #1 Rêverie for the Sea and #2 Petite valse for the Clouds. L’Eau Courante ( Two boats at Loing – summer ) and l’Eau Dormante ( Two figures by a canal ) are inspired by two small pieces for piano by Jules Massenet. Amusing.

« Reflections on Works of God in the Nature » by Christoph Christian Sturm is a litterary work which have inspired me to the largest of the series I’m working on now, this will be devided into three groups: ECSTASIAE, MEDITATIONES, and HARMONIAE. But by now I only have worked on one « test » painting which is a composition inspired by Beethoven’s Piano sonata n°17 – so called « Tempest ».

Michal Korman: The Tempest ( Saint-Cloud, November ), oil on canvas 100×120 cm, Paris 2020