Apolliniaire I 1984

Oil painting by victor Gordon

94 x 150 cm

1 An abstracted image for Apollinaire’s conception.

In late 1983 I was approached by David Hoenigsberg a composer who I had become friendly with at University. We had worked on a music / fine art collaboration during the seventies while we were undergraduates. He had written a score for a cross disciplinary theatrical art production – The life and times of Apollinaire. It was comprised of a nine piece orchestra with David conducting; two emerging actors Megan Kruskal and Marc Colli acting the play and my paintings as the backdrop. He commissioned me to paint a cycle of seven paintings each of which depicted the milieu against which Apollinaire’s life played out. One of which was purposefully made to be destroyed during the (one and only) performance. For me this was an opportunity to get immersed in a most pleasurable task which involved historical research and my exploiting differing artistic techniques in setting the backdrop to the production. This relatively early exploiting of differing techniques goes some way to contributing to my later deployment of a wide range of approaches in my art.

The paintings of the Apollinaire series are read in a simple chronological sequence culminating in the walking the tightrope of modernism image, which gets destroyed in the performance. Reflecting on my subsequent work the destruction or challenging of modernism gave impetus to my combining aspects of realism with modernist devices.