Previous Shows: 2013: States of Being: Essay
States of Being
I think of these works as ‘states of being’ paintings rather than self-portraits, the artist being immersed in a state of being that shines through the work. The artists in this exhibition may be working with different materials, some may be working with recognizable figurative elements and others not, and yet each one identifies a particular state of being at the time the work was being made as essential, whether articulated or not. Is it a state of mind? A state of being or way of being is not necessarily a state of mind, as described in the accompanying paragraph by psychoanalyst/philosopher Robert Stolorow, Ph.D. Our paintings and sculptures are like Lacan’s “symbols written in the sands of the flesh.” They are how we find ourselves and show ourselves- as mothers, fathers, women, men, artists, survivors, and humans above all else.
Art and the Truth of Being
Robert D. Stolorow
According to philosopher Martin Heidegger, the fundamental role of meaningful art is to reveal “the truth of Being.” What can this mean? By “the Being (Sein) of beings (Seiendes),” Heidegger means the way beings or entities, including human beings, are intelligible or understandable to us in a particular historical-cultural epoch. It is art above all else, claims Heidegger, that discloses how the world shows up for us. To say that a painting conveys a “state of Being” means that it serves as a window into how the artist is making sense out of his or her existence as a human being at the time of the creative act.