Monday, December 11, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Michel Seuphor (1901 – 1999)


Pseudonym Michel Seuphor, was a Belgian painter, draughtsman, and a designer of carpets.
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Michel Seuphor
But who does not see that the work goes beyond the one (the artist, fh) who created it? It marches before him and he will never again be able to catch up with it, it soon leaves his orbit, it will soon belong to another, since he, more quickly than his work, changes and becomes deformed, since before his work dies, he dies.
Seuphor quotes
p. 104
Seuphor
When I came back to Paris in 1931, after a long convalescence in the South, the 'Abstraction-Création' group had just be founded. Vantongerloo had been given our mailing list. At the same time I learned of Van Doesburg's death in Davos. The first issue of 'Abstraction-Création' came off the press just a year later, printed in the same dusty small shop that had brought out 'Cercle et Carré' and where I had earned a meagre living as a non-union proof-reader and make-up man. 'Abstraction-Création' had a much wider influence than its predecessor. From 1932 to 1936 an annual cahier presented reproductions and statements by painters.




Seuphor Michel quotes
To me, the circle and the square (in 1929) were the sky and the earth, as symbolized by the ancient Oriental religions; they formed a kind of rudimentary alphabet by means of which everything could be expressed with the most limited means. They evoked prehistoric runes and the early I-Ching, or Book of Changes.
Seuphor Michel
p. 105
Michel Seuphor quotes
..Kandinsky in Munich uttered the well known words: 'Everything is permitted!' In 1961; we still live by this heritage, which in truth is inexhaustible.
Michel Seuphor
..In 1936, when the last issue of 'Abstraction-Création' appeared, Europe was in a deep slump. Hitlerism was rampant in Germany and many artists had already fled there.. ..There were evil portents on the horizon; night was about to descend over Europe. It was at that moment that America took up the case of abstract art. The association of 'American Abstract Artists' was founded that year, and it was also in 1936 that the exhibition '‘Cubism and Abstract Art' was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.. ..At about this time a flood of refugees – artists, intellectuals, and men of science – began to pour into the United States.
Seuphor Michel quotes
For if art, like religion, belongs to no country, it is perhaps itself the only country and the only true religion. Only those hear its call who have that siren’s song within them. The inner riches of the eyes bring out the secret virtues of the work, and little by little they begin to speak.. ..Every artist, every work of every artist, establishes, in his or its own absolutely inaccessible way, this contact of the spirit with the spirit. Provided of course, that the viewer is in 'a state of grace'.
Seuphor
In very other period of art history, the idea itself –the what – had been primary. Today (1961) the idea matters less than the way it is arrived at; it is the how that makes the work. This word brings us again face to face with the theme and its infinite variations. It is no longer a matter of knowing, of possessing the truth, but of approaching it.. ..knowing that the road is long, knowing that the road does not end, knowing that the road is the end in itself.
Seuphor Michel
p. 159
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