Ernest Lindner - Degen Lindner - Loneliness and Boredom

To keep growing as an artist, I think you have to absolutely step out into the unknown.  But my father used to say that even though he was a very controlled painter, that some of the changes that he made in his career were scary.  It was the unknown for him.  So everybody’s unknown – some people’s are more extreme than others.  Although my father didn’t have any formal art training, in high school in Vienna they taught them drafting.  They…he knew very well how to draw and how to do perspective and things like that.  And I think he had always wanted to draw.  They had caught him when he was a child, actually and he had diphtheria, and he wasn’t to be having light, and they caught him drawing by candlelight and had to stop him, because he nearly died from diphtheria.  So that interest was always there.  But I think when he came to Canada, and he was so lonely, and he did it out of loneliness and boredom, he told me originally, and it pleased people to have around this odd fellow with an accent who could paint.  But I think probably the artist workshops that started in the ‘50s were probably the biggest influence on his painting.  In particular Clement Greenberg, the New York art critic, changed his painting, suggested to him what wasn’t working in his painting, didn’t tell him what to do about it.  And it was…it absolutely turned his painting.  When he retired and could paint full-time, all of a sudden his painting became less of the kind of painting that he’s known for now.  Clement Greenberg was a marvelous influence, a marvelous influence, and I really liked him period as a person because he never had a problem looking at any kind of work even though at the time abstraction was what was happening in New York.  He said he personally has always preferred landscape painting more but that the best painting being done was abstract art at the time.  But he could look at any kind of work and it didn’t matter if it was realism or abstraction or expressionism or whatever, and he would relate to it as he would relate to any work.  The formal elements were what mattered, and it wasn’t…they applied to every kind of painting, it didn’t matter what the subject was or not subject… there’s always a subject I suppose, even if it’s a line.

Duration: 2:58 min
Size: 12783kb

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