Here it is or I Love this?

26 February, 2018

"These paintings go beyond even love.  It is, of course, natural to love each one of these things if you have made them.  In the latter, everyone must then look carefully to see whether I have loved it."

Rainer Maria Rilke, Poet

How did we move from Realism to Impressionism?  Once upon a time, people painted the actual things and then there was a feeling of an impression of those things - the appearance became different.  How did it arise within humans to move from the actual to sensuousness?  From the real to the atmospheric?  According to Rilke, instead of painting, 'Here it is', Impressionists painted 'I love this.'  They - being, Cezanne, then Turner and Rothko and now Zumthor.  All four Lovers are my favourites.  In some realistic painting, I can tell the artist did not love the landscape.  In the latter, I get the impression that Cezanne has been consumed by the act of love in his work.  I then consume and Love his work out of which a pure thing arose.  The same can be said of poetry or sculpture or film, I just know if the maker loves their work.

Architects need to learn from the early 19th century Impressionist movement.  I still see buildings today, in 2018, that say, "Here it is."  It conveys itself to the world and is consumed.  Some Architects say, "I hate this" to me.  But I want architecture where the architect talks to me eloquently, slowly, thoughtfully and I want them to say to me bashfully, "I love this."  I want them to have humility when they say this to me through their details.  Of course I am interested in my continual absorption of things visually, but I am also interested in the this tangible world versus the ambiguity of our own nature.  What has become decisive for me in my work and all the arts is not the outward appearance but their inner most origin of meaning, which is beauty and love.  It helps me as an Architect to appreciate these things if I have beauty and love in my life, which I do.  I believe there is a realm beyond our human senses that the arts tap into and that is what I am searching for and will continue to do so for my entire life.  I want to say to people about the things I make, "He loved this."