Recently, I've been looking through several discs of photos from an overseas trip I took in 2003 to the USA and UK. The pics I took at the Met in NYC bring back vivid memories and significant realisations as an artist standing in front of emotive paintings that I'd been studying since high school.
I had not consciously come across Mark Tansey before. His painting below, The Innocent Eye Test, 1981 was a revelation because of its Po-Mo tenets and use of Paulus Potter's The Young Bull, 1647, which I had read about in Frank Stella's Working Space (which I've recently re-read). Stella's critique of Potter's painting as an example of minimal, if not any, 'working' pictorial space, especially in comparison to Caravaggio, who had revolutionised the use of pictorial space 50 years beforehand. I see this in the weightlessness of the bull's back legs and the clarity of the sky that shortens the pictorial depth.
After doing a quick search, I see that Andrew Paul Wood has used Tansey's painting to describe Denis Dutton's academic enquires as needing a ".. .call for a truly innocent eye...
I like the touch of the Monet Haystack to the right of the Potter painting, another thing that bovine are into.

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