by Robert Sievert
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Painting In The Studio
Dance of the Muses
Landscape With Still Life
Paul Georges possessed a monster talent for painting.
His Last Paintings show at Salander-O’Reilly proved to
be the one of the high points of his career. How great
it is maintain a talent to the very end as Georges
did. The paintings sing with color and form as this
grand master of the painterly style bows out. He died
suddenly last year at the age of 78.
Paul Georges had a direct link to the old masters. He also had a direct link to the action painters of the fifties. As a young man he studied with Hans Hoffmann. Hoffmann’s theoretical dissection of space and form, examination of the masters of painterly style (Rembrandt through Matisse), supposedly inspired Abstract Expressionism, but less celebrated are the painters who went on to take the same practice down the representational road.
Georges did not rely on theory. His paintings were always informed by spatial theory but not didactic. His handling of paint was intutitive, lavish and direct, as painterly as any abstract expressionst. This was a platform for the work which flowed out of him. He seemed to effortlessly create paintings he said were inspired by his muse, whom he often pictured as a robust young woman. All Georges' figures were exuberant. One of his last paintings was of the nine muses dancing through his studio. These images of women were earthy and humanistic... no obsession with anatomy... a direct and loving comment. Draughtsmansip created volume as well as line.
Strangely,while his health seemed to be in good shape, he painted this "MY POSTHUMOUS SERIES", which make up a good deal of the show. Here are endgame paintings that fit the discription of so many other final works of other artists at the end of their lives. Large dark masses taking over the space, none more prophetic than his ANGEL AT THE SKYLIGHT. In this picture the artist represents himself in a small figure at the bottom of a oppressive gray mass; above a black ceiling slices through the picture like a guillu