Bill Lynch Painted on Wood

… Untitled work by Bill Lynch painted on five planks. Photograph: Rob Harris/ Brighton CCA

“I realised that the art of the 20th century is the fruit of personal revelation,” Lynch wrote, “while ancient art is the product of mystery initiation.”

I’ve no idea what Bill Lynch (1960 – 2013) meant by his incantation about the meaning of art, using words ending in -ation. The journalist isn’t helpful in contextualizing the comment, writing only that it’s “taken from a letter to a friend in the 1990s.” She adds, “It is surprisingly hard to discover very much about him… He died of cancer aged 53, but his inner life appears private, unknown even to the curator of this show.”

Four Corners Sunset, 1994, by Bill Lynch. Photograph Bob Harris / Brighton CCA.

Born in Albuquerque, Lynch studied art at Cooper Union in New York, lived in California for a time, and ended up in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Untitled by Bill Lynch. Photograph Bob Harris / Brighton CCA.

Old plywood, used planks, the top of a table pocked with woodworm: he found a way of painting on this hard and resistant substrate as if it were as light as parchment. And his brushwork, moreover, is rightly described as calligraphic. Owls, hawks, tangled blossoms, the pale discs of honesty seeds hanging like silver moons from skeletal black boughs: his art has all the delicacy of nature, combined with a swirling, stuttering, sometimes wayward abruptness.

Still Life With Milkweed Seed, undated, by Bill Lynch. Photograph Bob Harris / Brighton CCA.

(Laura Cumming, “Bill Lynch: The Exile of Dionysus review — the greatest American artist you’ve never heard of?” theguardian.com, 8-21-22)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Quotations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.