David Gryn blog

Text for Jane Bustin by Anthony Rudolf

In abstraction, Anthony Rudolf, Berlin, Gallery, Jane Bustin, Leslie, Minimal, painting, Uncategorized on 05/07/2017 at 6:53 pm
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Jane Bustin, Fühler at Leslie, Berlin

TEXT FOR JANE BUSTIN
Anthony Rudolf

What could be less verbal than a Jane Bustin painting?

What could be more verbal than a Mallarmé poem?

‘One does not write with ideas but with words’, Mallarmé said to Degas, who fancied himself as a poet and had plenty of ideas.

As Borges might have said, we would expect the first livre d’artiste to have been created by Mallarmé (as translator) and Manet: Poe’s ‘Raven’, and we would be right.

Let me rephrase my first sentence: not what could be less verbal but what could be more silent than a Jane Bustin painting? After all, Debussy’s La Mer is as wordless as a Bustin painting. Silent it is not.

(Debussy set one of Mallarmé’s most significant poems, ‘L’Après-midi d’un faune’, to music. Mallarmé told Degas: ‘I thought I had already set it to music’).

My answer to the question posed above — what could be more silent than a Jane Bustin painting? — is a dead child whose absence his poet father commemorates, that “absence [which] is condensed presence” (the phrase is from a letter of Emily Dickinson, a poet well worth reading “against” Mallarmé).

The dead child is Anatole Mallarmé, whom Jane Bustin too commemorates and whose existence breathes into, inspires, Jane Bustin’s paintings, via the father’s heart-rending posthumously published poem.

It is neither paradoxical nor ironic that Jane Bustin depends so heavily on words during the gestation of her work exhibited at Test-tube. Goya went further: he included words inside the visual image.

Mallarmé would have reacted to these paintings with silence. He was always eloquent.

By Anthony Rudolf 2012

from
European Hours: Collected Poems by Anthony Rudolf

Born in London in 1942, Anthony Rudolf has two children and two grandchildren. He is the author of books of literary criticism (on Primo Levi, Piotr Rawicz and others), autobiography (The Arithmetic of Memory) and poetry (The Same River Twice and collaborations with artists), and translator of books of poetry from French (Bonnefoy, Vigée, Jabès), Russian (Vinokourov and Tvardovsky) and other languages. He has edited various anthologies. His essay on R.B. Kitaj was published by the National Gallery in 2001, and he has published essays on other painters. He is Paula Rego’s partner and main male model. He has completed a volume of short stories and is now at work on two new memoirs. His reviews, articles, poems, translations, obituaries and interviews with writers have appeared in numerous journals. Rudolf is an occasional broadcaster on radio and television and founder of Menard Press. After a lifetime of uninvolving day jobs, he became Visiting Lecturer in Arts and Humanities at London Metropolitan University (2000-2003) and Royal Literary Fund fellow at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Westminster (2003-2008). In 2004, he was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and, in 2005, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

Jane Bustin, Fühler at Leslie, Berlin

http://lesliegallery.de/jane-bustin/

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