Landscape is one of my favorite genres of painting and, for me, it comes in many forms. I do not distinguish between “abstraction” and “realism” as far as their power to render a scene or evoke memories or response. I have painted both ways, and  feel that all my abstract paintings were the evocation of particular landscapes at specific moments.  I see abstraction as a way to find a corollary (objective correlative) to the multi-sensual experience of light, space, form, tone, color that makes up the physical world. The brain creates a reference for all symbols, and it does so in the only framework it is programmed to to use associatively, i.e. the physical world. For me, it’s all about how to transmit and evoke the maximum amount of information that provokes an interactive experience.. There are many ways to skin that cat. I will talk later in another post about the way we actually see and the phenomenology of perception. (Basically what we we think of as hyper realism is not the way we actually see, but a very “abstract” manipulation of “reality.” ) Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these landscapes and that by looking at these kinds of pairings together you get a sense of why I feel them both to be equally evocative.

Arshile Gorky                                        Winslow Homer

Rembrandt van Rijin                     Jackson Pollock

Helen Frankenthaler                  Paul Signac

Jean-Baptiste Corot                                   Per Kirkiby

Hans Hoffman                        J.M.W. Turner

Jacob Van Ruisdael                         Clyfford Still

Juan Miro                                                      Claude Monet

Claude Monet                                                Adolphe Gottlieb

John Constable                             Richard Diebenkorn

Helen Frankenthaler                                       Alan Whiting

David Leeds                                       J.M.W. Turner

Winslow Homer                                   Richard Diebenkorn

I’d like to hear your reactions to these different approaches to “landscape,”
and which you prefer.


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  1. spelling type error it was suppose to be an m not a n

  2. Eliana Delbuck says:

    I’m always attracted, respond to beautiful paintings. All your selections are beautiful. The glow of Turner’s paintings are glorious and love the simplicity and depth of Winslow Homer’s landscapes -they’re moving. ‘Like very much your red landscape, David- and enjoy reading everyone’s comments. Very enlightening!

    • David Leeds says:

      Thanks Eliana, I always find Winslow Homer a very deceptive artist. It’s exactly his simplicity that sometimes masks such a sphoisticated aesthetic.

  3. Also being a painter who creates pure abstractions as well as abstracted landscape works, I very much appreciate your pairing images from different time periods as comparison studies. To me there is no such thing as absolute realism -everything amounts to perception. Thanks for the presentation!

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Sculptor, painter, poet. Currently living in Los Angeles and Martha's Vineyard