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CEZANNE DECODED tm.

© 2007
by Paul Henrickson, © 2006

What is more comprehensible than the sphere, the cone and the cube? One might say that
such perfection doesn’t happen in the real world. As a matter of fact such near perfection
does occur in the “real” or natural world but normally one doesn’t get to witness it for it
is either literally hidden beneath the surface or is camouflaged, or just beyond the
sensibilities of our structured visual capabilities.

For example, our eyes are not made to perceive the structured geometry of snow flakes.
In fact our habits of movement make it unlikely we would notice, for example, the
structured poetry of the passion flower.

Passion Flower

We must halt if we wish to understand anything more than the simplest, the most
elementary characteristics of nearly anything that comes across our paths. We must stop,
interrupt our usual patterns of behavior and begin to really observe, intently, what we are
looking at and even that degree of concentrated attention is probably insufficient for us to
achieve a more complete comprehension. And so it is, I think, for an understanding of the
work of Paul Cezanne.

If we are to respect the opinions of those who consider themselves equipped to make
objective judgments on the mental operations of others we must, with equal fervor
respect the reports others provide us of their peculiar realities. For the one labeled
psychotic his experiences are real experiences and, as such, have a profound meaning,
not only for him, but for anyone studying him. However, those meanings may not be
identical.

The companions, family and those in close contact with the psychotic may feel that these
experiences are rather weirdly real for them as well. What makes them disturbing for
most of the rest of us is the absence of consensual validation. We do not see the world the
way they do. That is to say that if the experiences are so particular to the one individual
there are, then, fewer people available with whom to share them. It is comforting to have
reliable touchstones to “reality”, and having a group of acquaintances who see the world
the way one does is reassuring, if both impractical as well as unrealistic.

Accepting consensus is sometimes as realistic as having a third grade group of pupils
vote on the gender of a rabbit. In that case there is a 50% chance that they would be
wrong. But that democratic vote would probably not change Thumper’s behavior. It is
very comforting to have people agree with you, but it may not be wise to always accept
it. It is, somehow, as unrealistically comforting as the comfort we receive from
consulting a roadmap which is only a symbol and not the reality. It is an instance when
we feel we cannot trust the reality, but must trust the symbol because the reality is simply
not immediately available to our senses.

We trust the symbol and when we say, pointing to a spot on the map “we are here!” we
would be hard pressed to defend the logic of the language as it relates to the logic of the
physical reality. Two people are sitting in an automobile by the side of the road and
looking at a map and one says to the other pointing to a dot that gives the name of a city
“we are here” as though one might, were language a determinant of reality, able to
diminish sufficiently in order to exist in the reality of the dot. One might ask: for what
did the creator create us thus simultaneously dependent, independent and careless about
how we use out inventions?

It is not my intention to submit a thesis that will explain Cezanne’s creative work on the
basis that he might be certifiable. I would not, nor could I, do that, for I do not believe
there are any experts in the field whose certification would be incontestable. I do not
know of any and I do not think any exist, or can exist.

What I am quite certain does exist is the drive, the intense drive, to bring a
comprehensible order to our experiences and that drive may be stronger in some than it is
in others because the frequency of pertinent data seems to be more constant in some than
in others. Cezanne may have been able to seriously state that the real world was
interpretable in terms of spheres, cones and cubes because he was more constantly aware
than others of their existence “out there” and his work was all about rendering that reality
in terms of pigment. In this case it would be correct to say that Cezanne’s works were
abstractions, or, in other words, equivalent symbols of a reality he was attempting to
make manifest an awareness of through paint.

Of the painters allegedly influenced by Cezanne it was Duchamp in his “Nude
Descending a Staircase” where frame by frame the succeeding positions of the body and
its parts on the descending path are depicted without a subjective comment regarding
what kind of body it is or how alluring it may be found. This objective observation,
vacuumed of personal passion, is more consistently in agreement with Cezanne’s
approach than the early cubist works of either Picasso or Braque where despite the
superficial similarities neither of these artists was able to really follow through with this
approach. Even Duchamp, eventually gave up painting to play chess. I am not ready to
say that Cezanne’s efforts were a dead-end and pointless effort. I am more inclined to
think that we have not, as yet, discovered the particular key to correctly associate color
and form as Cezanne seemed to be suggesting. I do think there is more in favor of the
interpretation that all succeeding artists, Picasso and Braque included, took the easy way
out and settled for the superficial characteristics of Cezanne’s approach, not unlike,
perhaps, an actor, assuming a French accent might try to pass himself off as Charles
Boyer when what was convincingly Boyer was the energy he emitted.

Charles Boyer

Marcel Duchamp

Cezanne ultimately succeeded in eliminating his subjective and erotically dominated
responses to the world whereas Van Gogh and Ryder had not. And Braque and Picasso
took flight from the strictly scientific and emotionally uninvolved when they first had
reacted to Cezanne’s dictum (see the three illustrated below) into the fantastic world of the
possible and the possibly less significant (see the two below the three).
Cezanne Picasso Braque

George Braque Pablo Picasso

When we consider Cezanne’s claim that all the world can be seen in terms of spheres,
cones and cubes I have no problem in considering that he is speaking somewhat, if not
entirely, metaphorically. I think there may be reason to suspect him of responding to the
multiplicity of sensual data in a somewhat procrustean manner, perhaps defensively, as a
bulwark against over stimulation, but maybe not if this space view of Antarctic is any indication or
any of the other natural formations illustrated below.

or or or or

or or or
All these worlds come from the natural world and there are many many more
symmetrical images out there, but these eight might shake up our preconceptions
somewhat.
Certainly Cezanne’s work has left many another’s mind trying to resolve the imperfect
images he had left us. Why are they “imperfect” …because they are approximations?

What, if anything, does this process of analyzing data tell us? Is it simply the designed
function of the human mind to migrate toward, reach for, and achieve satisfaction? And
once having achieved it, go through the process yet again in the hope of achieving a
better organization? Subsequent to the middle ages the northern aesthetic was described
as a horror vacuae where the idea seemed to be, if there was an empty space, fill it!

And, in opposition to this concept, the 20th century minimalist idea seemed to be get rid
of everything that has thus far characterized art production, subject matter, form, content,
placement.

Karl Benjamin Baziotes Rauschenberg

Instead. let the image the artist creates consume the artist, like Jackson Pollack melting
and dripping himself onto the canvas.
Jackson Pollack

This idea of art being a concept, that is, an idea, has validity, ultimately and logically it
(art) will need no material substance with which to be embodied, or, any body (person) to
form it. Although, having material form or being expressed through some other sense
data certainly assists us in understanding the idea.. Otherwise, unexpressed or
unembodied ideas remain unattached or dislocated memes waiting for the vehicle of the
human mind to employ them. All are particles of spirit, or, in the material world, nano
particles, the basic, and perhaps irreducible elements of material existence and infinitely
interchangeable.

We have been told that “In the beginning there was the word and the word was with God
and the word was God” this encapsulated concept, awesomely brief, suggests that all
material formulations were the result of, not just a thought, but an utterance. The recent
research work in the material sciences suggest that this concept may have a legitimate
basis beyond metaphor. I am now wondering whether this mightn’t have been the
understanding that Cezanne had been trying to express and which accounts for the
startling change from the awkward and clumsy material expressions of his early work to
the light, abbreviated and seemingly transparent notations of his later work.

Description of the return of the nano particles to their origins might be compared to the
divine realization which was that the original wor(l)d had been, perhaps, misspelled and
something must be erased, added or rearranged for a better conceptual fit. It is written
that God destroyed what he had created because he was dissatisfied with it at one time
before the universal flood. This may be the felt need for reformation.

This anecdote, or parable, of God being dissatisfied with his creation is an experience
every creative artist goes through in his search to arrive at the best possible solution. In
this way God is, in our terms, an artist as well, and this may have some integral part to
play and the human experience is justified by the divine example.

This insistence on trying something different in order to get something, some meaning,
more appropriate, more telling, more satisfactory has sometimes been called the divine
dis-ease. Germans call it the gestalt, the organization, the arrangement, but the point is
not any of the local stops along the way, not even some theoretical final destination. The
point is the trip itself, the compulsion to travel, be on the move, to change, to alter, in
some fashion, whatever organization there is. The goal is the goal, but, at the same time
the goal is not the goal, for the goal is the process. A rose is a rose is a rose. It is the goal
of the rose to become, to be and to disappear as a rose having once entered into the
consciousness of all with whom its rosiness had come into contact so the rose’s goal was
not to do and to decay, but to be remembered just as, it might be easier to understand that
Nijinsky’s goal was not the end of the dance “Le Spectre de la Rose” but the memory that
members of the audience carried away as they left for home..

This concept, as well, is quite likely related to that of “entanglement” which tells us that
once two objects have become entangled and later separated even if at great distances
something happens to the one the other experiences it as well. Brian Clegg has written
about this phenomenon in a book entitled “The God Effect”. Human twins have reported
being able to know what is happening to the other and the Aborigines of Australia have
reported receiving physical sensations in their bodies when family members are in need.
Metals having been formed into one shape have a tendency to return to their original
conformation, so I have been told.

• Vaslav Nijinsky"Nijinsky’s life can be simply summed up: ten years of growth, ten years of learning, ten
years of dancing, thirty years of darkness. Altogether some sixty years. How long he will live on in people’s
memories, we can only guess."
o Richard Buckle (biographer, 1971)
o .

Nijinsky was yet another searching personality who had demonstrably thrilled his
audiences by the perfection of his dance technique and his creative movements on stage,
but off stage and in society, he was a very uncertain fellow, probably even more awkward
in dealing with his fellow human beings than was Cezanne.

It has been said that Cezanne's early works were dark and composed of heavy, fluid
(sic?)pigment suggesting the moody, romantic expression of previous generations.
Quite frankly, what this source identified as “fluid pigment” I probably would have
called weighty impasto. Now, there are other painters whose application of the
pigment might be said to be heavily laid on. One of these is a European
contemporary of Cezanne (1839-1906)0 by the name of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-
1890). Another is an American by the name of Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917)

Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

Paintings by Albert Pinkham Ryder

Paintings by Paul Cezanne

Even a casual glance at the nine paintings above would inform us that in contrast to
both Ryder and Van Gogh Cezanne became more spare as he matured, more select,
more distanced from viewing the painting medium as an adversary. Originally,
however, all three used the pigment in a rather heavy handed way, laying the paint
on thickly and in Ryder’s case, relentlessly, sometimes he would work on one canvas
for years, a process which eventually adversely affected them.

For Cezanne, it would appear, the subject tended to become much less important to
the work…almost incidental. But the subject matter for both Van Gogh and Ryder
remained paramount and inseparable from the way in which they laid the paint on
the canvas. Why?

If one considers the canvas as one battle field of the emerging spirit it would seem
that Cezanne solved his particular problems by dismissing the source of his
discontent which may have been emotional entanglements involved in the erotic life.
Ryder may never have solved his at all but merely came to a truce, a stalemate,
some sort of supportable compromise and Van Gogh as is well known, eventually
succumbed to the demands of retaining a balance by shooting himself, but the
artistic results are momentous and awesome in revealing the tracks of that effort.
The solutions, the art works, though temporary, are truly full of wonder if looked on
as evidences of the human struggle. Is a more perfect artistic technique, as judged
by various academies, a more acceptable evidence of behavior?

Chasseriau da Vinci Dix Ingres Cadmus
Even the problem of selecting an appropriate hypothesis is troublesome. Many
commentators have suggested that Pablo Picasso and George Braque had had reliable
insights into the work of Paul Cezanne when they developed their cubist images. I, on the
other hand, maintain that they did not understand him, that it wasn’t their job to
understand him, and more than that, he was far from understanding himself. Picasso,
Braque, Duchanp and others latched onto what they were able to grasp…any port in a
storm will do, and what they did when they were there turned out to be pretty fair stuff,
but in all the totality of other artists’ work it doesn’t even come close to defining
Cezanne. Is Cezanne definable? In any event I reject the idea that Cezanne’s work can be
explained by the works of those who may have tried, but were unable, to follow him. The
question must be asked at some point, why bother to follow anyone?

There was some years back a small volume (published by Curt Valentin in 1951) published of
Cezanne’s sketch book. The original, I believe, is owned by The Art Institute of Chicago
It “reads” as intimately as a diary and there is abundant evidence that Cezanne’s young
son had access to the sketch book as well and took its existence and the activities of his
father very seriously indeed.

There are several drawings of the child and a few of Mme. Cezanne as well. There are
also drawings of what appear to have been plaster casts and an excellent copy of a
drawing by another artist. I recognize the source but have forgotten the name of the artist.
What seems to distinguish the drawings of his son and his wife is the very real
understanding of who they were. They are well done, thoughtful studies, but when it
comes to other subject matter some sort of terror seems to lay hold of Cezanne and he
looses all objectivity and proper control over the medium with the exception of the copy
of the drawing mentioned.
Left more on his own devices however, without the assistance of another’s insight,
Cezanne exhibits more than identifiable clumsiness, even, it might be said, in his
landscapes and still lives.

This copy by Cezanne seems to speak of the painstaking effort he took to follow the
pathway of the markings of the earlier artist to see whether, perhaps, he might be able to
train both his eye and his hand to perform in what he considered to be an appropriate way
for an appropriate result. He was not successful.

Francois Boucher: drawing of a man reclining, strumming an instrument

This drawing by Boucher which may have been available for Cezanne’s inspection
certainly represents the level of draughtsman-like achievement characteristic of the
century preceding and could well have been an eidetic model for Cezanne. A model, if,
indeed, it was, he had utterly failed to emulate.

This seems to indicate the missing link, or one of them, in Cezanne’s development. He
seemed quite unable to achieve that degree of control and of confidence that would have
allowed him to conventionally excel in draughtsmanship. What a burden for a man who
must surely have felt himself to be visionary and, like Moses and Salieri, in some way,
mute. Failure is not unknown to innovators, yet ultimately successful innovators pass
through and beyond episodes of failure and persist until they find what it is they may not
have been sure they were looking for. But, it must be said, they do not always become
aware of it.

Had Cezanne been successful in drawing in those ways he initially admired, he probably
might never have drawn the way he did. A look at some of his later watercolor drawings
of landscapes and still lives…two normally, non-threatening subjects there are two very
distinctive characteristics: the uncertain hesitancy of the graphite marks and the very
sheer quality of the pigment.
Fig.1 Fig.2 Fig 3
These observations need to be clarified and I believe I have an acceptable explanation.

My view of the behavior of other artists in regard to what Cezanne had to offer, Picasso
and Braque included, is that they had before them a rich banana split sundae covered with
hot chocolate sauce and topped with a cherry and they have chosen the cherry and left the
other behind….on the other hand, just possibly, on the other hand, they sensed the real
message of Cezanne and sympathetic vibrations in their own souls should have pointed
out to them to take a similar path as a process in the reintegration of their creative spirits..
a divinely wrought reintegration and rebirth as innocent as a child…a blank canvas. One
upon which they do the creation…one grand life-long self-portrait, assembled one detail
at a time. To a great extent this is precisely what happened. And, if subsequent
developments are an indication the motivation for the creation of art shifted from that
which complimented the appreciative public in mirroring their comfortable environments
to emphasizing the personal involvement and development of the individual involved in
the creation of works of art, in short, art moved from being involved with describing
exterior events to transcription of personal responses to the creative process itself. Not
unlike God being self-evaluating.

To this extent art became therapeutic and the artist became a sort of social thermometer.
It also became a matter of public belief that artists were likely to be somewhat mad,
alcoholic, anti-social and suicidal.

If the analogy we have been building holds true, that the elementizing process of what
had been considered art is somehow comparable to the discovery of memes (thought
elements capable of colonizing human minds) and the emerging nano-technologies,
technologies built on the reordering of physical elements what we might logically look
for in contemporary art might be a character like Jeff Koons (and there are armies of like
ulenspegeler performers), except for the fact that Koons, who has been involved in a few
copyright lawsuits, dispensed with his personal and physical involvement, except when he
plays the clownish show off in his collection of 36 porn pictures, in the products of works, and thus
putting his technical abilities to the test. Actually, his personal technical abilities are not
involved, since in one television interview he admitted that he never touched a work, but
that the works were the products of his orders (once again God created the world by his
word) and other people’s applied training ( I do not know of any indication that God had
helpers, but maybe the angels served that purpose) and simply made a more direct
reference to already existing works. In this regard his procedure follows in the tradition
of Rubens who had an atelier of fifty technicians helping him produce the vast number of
works attributed to him.(personally I much prefer Vermeer where the sensitivity of the
individual reveals itself ) It would appear Koon’s only directly physical involvement in
works are seen in the following two photographs:

Koons adds a maliciously satirical note, although quite true, regarding the relationship
between artists, their works and the public that claims to like them.

Jeff Koons and his tribe of fellow travelers such as Kirk Hughy, Paul Shapiro, Paul
Brach, Richard Thompson might justifiably be called the collective “coups de grace” for
a visual arts system, that has hypocritically thrived on a combination of unintelligent
intellectual activity, ineffably poetic language, unscrupulous poseurs and a contentedly
ignorant public willing to play the game so long as they are able to one-up their
associates and salvage an income by a donation to a public institution.

Nevertheless, in all this scrap heap of deceit there are valuable concept to be detected.

Koons is forthright about his satire, continues to play the role of ten year-old show-off
even when he tells us: The basic story line is about art leaving the realm of the artist, when the artist looses
control of the work. It's defined basically by two ends, one would be Louis (XIV): that if you put art in the hands of an
aristocracy or monarch, art will become reflective of ego and decorative, and on the other hand of the scale would be Bob
In such a
Hope: that if you give art to the masses, art will become reflective of mass ego and also decorative….
continuum, which I find to be intellectually misleading for there are many more
dimensions to be considered than the tastes of extreme ends of the social scale, the
population of subjects in the middle of this hypothetical bell curve should normally, using
Koon’s illustration, contain those who have rejected the enticements of aristocracy as
well as the call to socialistic arms in defense of the hoi polloi. There, we should, in
theory, find the more creative practitioners. But, in point of fact, we hardly find them at
all among the popular venues Koons offers us. Koons, may still be very honest in his
statements, it could well be that those extremes are all he knows…a falsely egalitarian
world where the elite in the forms of “Madonna”, John F, Kennedy Jr., (as a center fold),
and Jeff Koons demonstrably boasting of his sexual prowess attract the attention of the
ignorant, those who want to miss the point, and the stupid. So much for the cultural
contributions of a democracy.
It seems all devoted to the felt requirement to give the people what they are thought to
want and trash any other consideration. There must be another measuring continuum
somewhere around for Cezanne certainly doesn’t fit any measurement of a characteristic
shared by Koons. What Koon’s example does, I fear, is to make invalid the claim, so dear
to my heart, that the artist’s creativity lies in his attempt to reach a more satisfying
solution to his perceptions. Koon’s perceptions are clear, the failure is in his having given
up the more valiant effort of making more positive contributions rather than focusing on
mundanely clever one-upmanship ridicule. On the other had, I must admit, that as Thor’s
hammer dictates, one must destroy before one creates and, maybe, Koons is the destroyer
having fun, the comic pubescent pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.

The artist, Sol LeWitt, whose work, I think is hardly measureably more acceptable stated:

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses
a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and
the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.

Sol LeWitt
American, born 1928
Wall Drawing No. 681 C / A wall divided vertically into four equal squares separated and bordered by
black bands. Within each square, bands in one of four directions, each with color ink washes
superimposed., 1993
colored ink washes, image: 304.8 x 1127.76 cm (120 x 444 in.)
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, Gift of Dorothy Vogel and Herbert Vogel, Trustees
1993.41.1

In addition to the visual impact, which is hardly more intellectually demanding,
significantly less attractive sentimentally and lacking any measure of humor, but
gains credits for having been “hand done” LeWitt still expects most of his
audience to stand by observing rather witlessly. The author of the caption
describing the work tells us first off that the wall is vertically divided.. I am forced
to ask the reader to seriously consider how one really goes about dividing a wall
vertically. The statement at least has the virtue of describing Presumably the author has
been employed by the National Gallery of Art…another victory for democracy.
Koons is quoted as having explained "I've always looked at my art and what I do in a very moral way,", smiling sweetly
( I add,like the Marquis de Sade) as he surveys big, splashy, collage-like paintings in his exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in
Beverly Hills. I wonder why the Gagosian Gallery on its website had adopted such a “loftier than the observer” image.
Does it have the same purpose as a plain brown paper wrapping?

“Jeff Koons is among the most controversial and intriguing artists to have emerged in the
past decade. Like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol before him, he is concerned with
the transformation of everyday objects into art and takes such post-modern issues as high
and low culture, context, and commodification of art as the central focus of his work.”
— From the Nov/Dec issue of At the Modern, the publication of the San
Francisco MoMA
“It's the most important visual arts exhibition in San Francisco this year.”
— The San Francisco Examiner (12/11/92)

“Jeff Koons, the self-proclaimed "most written-about artist in the world," now headlining
at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has indubitably attained a certain "star"
status. However, the Koons phenomenon — Koons himself, his objects, and the
discursive reception that surrounds it all — seems gravely paradoxical. This problem
arises because Koons is made out to be a critical commentator in the tradition of the
Dadaists, a controversial figure in the footsteps of the avant-garde. Yet, Koons' art
historical glory resides in the fact that he is flat — no depth, all surface (even flatter than
Warhol). This meaninglessness and banality, if nothing else, is his most important
contribution to art.”

This last statement which I have highlighted in purple, as a wry comment of my own, is
done so to underscore an additional point. That point being that language itself,
originally intended, I had always supposed, was an attempt to clarify intent is, even in
this critical purple passage, employing word sounds such as “is his most important
contribution to art” to the effect that the image conveyed is precisely opposite of the one
presumably intended. Language here has, unintentionally, I would suppose, become
intellect’s traitor and a subverter of intelligence. It does appear that language has become
incapable of defending itself in the face of this culture’s perverse intent to destroy itself.
There are many signs of this phenomenon which might make it appear that our Muslim
critics are absolutely correct and a portion of us are quite willing to go along and help in
this destruction.

Paul Cezanne was not one of those, and he probably knew little and cared less about
Muslims, but in the face of Koon’s exhibitionist charade, pulling all the stops on the
organ, including even nature’s gifts of a handsome face and beautiful body, in his effort to
expose and ridicule an on going purposefully destructive process introduced and
encouraged by refined cynics.

I think Cezanne, who probably never had a deceitful motivation, would have been baffled
by the Koon’s energy and his well-rewarded complicity and immensely saddened by the
loss of his vision of an art based on the powers of light and color.
Can you imagine the frustration of the dog whose master had fallen unto a diabetic
comma trying to dial 911 on the cell phone and barking into the mouthpiece his anxiety
over the welfare of his beloved owner? The dog may have been more passionate about
saving his master than Cezanne might have been were he aware of Koon’s efforts. I do
not know how concerned Cezanne might have allowed himself to get under any
circumstances seeing that it appears he tended to retreat from emotional involvements

The cubist work of Pablo Picasso and George Braque as interesting and as valid as it is in
its own right does not shed a great deal of light on explanations for the appearances in
Cezanne’s work. Tracing the course of Cezanne’s interest in pictorialization might be
helpful.

On the beginning we see Cezanne clumsily giving expression to his romantic and erotic
concerns. These efforts which might be embarrassingly compared to some of the mature
work of Delacroix, Rubens and others, finally gives way, or up, to a less emotionally
involved and flavored preoccupation. In fact, it does seem that Cezanne repented his
earlier behavior and chose an approach characterized more by dispassionate analysis of
landscapes and still lives. Where human subjects are involved they are desiccated, dried-
up, immovable, more real as manikins than the real living subjects they, in fact, were.

The six works illustrated below are by Cezanne.
It may appear a far fetched comparison to make, but Cezanne’s concern for his shoes
while he slept on a park bench might also be seen as an indication of his reluctance to be
sexually involved. Shoes as protection for the feet might be seen under greater threat than
the feet themselves if one psychoanalytically applies the Biblical references to feet as the
metaphor they often are when what is actually being referenced are the sexual organs.
There is an Old Testament injunction to shave the hair of the feet which Muslims, in
Turkey, today still observe. My Turkish landlord informed me that if the pubic hairs are
more than 3mm long it is considered to be a social offense. When I asked him how would
anyone know he did not reply.

I did not further enquire whether anyone measured. There is something in behavior that is
motivated more by the symbolism attached than by any practical consideration that
makes its appearance absolutely fascinating. On the practical level to sleep with your
shoes beneath your head while you lie on a public bench may possibly offer more
comfort for the feet if the temperature is warm, but if the temperature is cold the shoes
offer more comfort on than off. As for there being more easily stolen from on one’s feet
than from beneath one’s head is an argument I can not accept as obviously removing
shoes from the feet involves more manipulation than snatching them from beneath the
head and of taken from beneath one’s head one is without shoes with which to pursue the
thief whereas, probably, one would wake up sometime before the thief would have untied
and removed the first shoe.

No, Cezanne’s behavior definitely lacked practical sense, but probably made a great deal
of symbolic sense. More important than the sexual organ itself was that which protected it
from abuse. Consequently, keeping the shoe, the protective cod piece, next to its parent,
the symbol-generating mind, becomes the more practical solution. Render unto Caesar
that which is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.
Cezanne’s work does, I believe, document the efficient role of image making and material
manipulation in achieving psychic balance. The development of his material technique
from the earliest to the last and his consistent choice of non-threatening subject matter
may reflect his particular personal pathway it does not, as yet, show us its relationship to
a larger picture of graphic development in the western world, a development that has
spilled over and influenced developments in other parts of the world as well.

The only relatively satisfactory conclusion I am able to arrive at involves the concepts of
the meme, the nano, and the relatively current art emphasis on destructuralizing concepts,
images and processes –perhaps with the expectation of reorganizing them more
satisfactorily. Now, to make a comment relative to the social sciences, this seems to have
been the purpose of the film A Torch Song Trilogy where a broader continuum of erotic
responses were investigated than is customary. Retrospectively, that play 1983, the film
1988, has now been nearly a quarter of a century in our consciousness and only now are
there political movements forming in response to its subject matter, so, in the broad view,
it has been said, and it might be said again, that the arts touch upon areas of concern in
the consciousness of some and eventually find their way into changed social behavior.
While such a summary statement may, in part, apply to the work of Cezanne, I have a
problem with its being considered the final answer, on the other hand, maybe it was the
preliminary exploring activity of the memes in colonizing the mind of Cezanne that gave
rise to the nano technology work of physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988),

approximately a half century later.

I realize this essay has roamed, like some bee after nectar, from topic to topic starting
with structures found in nature, psychological labeling, learning through sense data,
dropped pursuits, no pressing persistence, a vague sense of something else being “out
there”, the function of analysis, historic graphic solutions, art reflecting scientific
interests, the disolution of traditional parameters, failures fueling achievement, social
achievement, therapy and personal development and the role of the clown, all these, and
more, have been left hanging and unresolved. Somehow, I find myself content with that
arrangement having abundant faith that, at some point, it will all come together and the
memes will have brought everything to a proper conclusion in their time.
I realize that it is comfortable for most readers to have a theorist come to a conclusion
against which there might be some reaction. If one considers all of the above as some sort
of introduction to the Cezanne enigma then my conclusion about Cezanne would be that
he was still sorting things out and had le lived another ten or twenty years he might have
discovered the colored light systems that would have established, holographically. the
optical solidity he sought.

Gozo, 2006