“One of your archetypal ones. You think you have seen it before [...] it has that special quality. A creation by one artist that somehow is universal. And we all know it at first glance. And this is one of a series that you have done. [...] Hauntingly beautiful, mysterious, and you can't forget it.” Cornelius Sullivan
“You constantly make iconic works, they are boiled down to essences and we do not forget them. What artists do, how different this is from a photo postcard of Italy. We remember the weathered ochres and siennas and the architecture or remnants of it that are monumental and can still be close and in human scale. You sneak in the Tuscan hill that frees us from being trapped on x y flat world. And I remember the Italian skies, just so.”
We decided to have a closing celebration for the exhibition of Neta Goren at the Cornelius Sullivan Gallery, on Rocky Neck because of some surprising successes. The appreciation of the paintings themselves, the excellent review in the Gloucester times by Gail McCarthy, and the revelation that there were poems written about the paintings.
Neta and I had talked about painting for several years and we talked about the San Francisco Bay figurative artists. We understood that in the 1960’s they wanted to have all the excitement that the abstract expressionists were having in NY, but they were committed to keeping the figure. I had always thought that that was what Neta was doing in her paintings. To be more precise about it, she had found her own way to combine not only “the figure” but portraiture and place it in a made-up space that she created. She did not use thick paints like David Parks, who with his luscious color, was a precursor to Philip Guston, who was known for this thick paint with blacks and grays. She was different in temperament from Richard Diebenkorn, whose figures were presented interwoven with Matisse like flat geometry.
She was more like the mysterious Bay Area painter, Nathan Olivera, whose figures were effervescent and dream like. What she has done in her recent paintings is place well-drawn figures in a transcendent cloud like space, a particular creation of her own invention. It was astounding to see the vocabulary used in the poems written after the paintings because they described this particular space.
It is not usual to find this synchronicity between paintings and poetry, working so seamlessly and beautifully.
Cornelius Sullivan, Summer, 2016