All works shown are from the J.C Leissring Fine Arts Gallery

JAMES SPITZER (b.1936, American)

 Woodcut, 1958

If there is a collective unconscious, a need to tell the same stories to each other, if this concept is workable, then we see it here, embellished by humor. Without humor as part  of life, another character specific to the human species, there seems little reason to live it at all.

Acrylic on Masonite, 1986

It is in works that concern this problem that  Spitzer whispers the connectedness of each strand of DNA each of us harbors, for in that stuff, most of it, is shared. The small part that  makes each of us unique, while important to us as individuals and thus to species success, nevertheless is not the whole of it. The sound here is: we are all one. Thus we share each other's folly, genius, and abject  ignorance.     Also see Hogarth (below).

Acrylic on Masonite, 1992            

Another of this theme. Spitzer is not a trained scientist, but that thready stuff inside the apparent egg will  not be lost on a geneticist.

FRANSCISCO deGOYA (1746-1828)

"Tu Que no Puedes", Los Caprichios, #42,
etching and aquatint, 1856              

When you give your freedom away, this is the result.  Goya states it perfectly: when we place our confidence in, and give power  to, others, we do all the work, they do  the talking, and the taking.  Personal liberty . That is what it means to me. What better emblem for the organization you love to hate. The law (an ass in the view of most)  occupies this kind of  position in society.  See yourself there?   See  Colescott

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
"Homme  Devoilant une Femme," Drypoint,1931

It is like other artists who include themselves in art-work. They do not draw themselves from life, but from within, the life that exists, there. The theme is perfect. As Brenner says of artists: "All artists screw their models." The theme is larger by far than daliance, however. Models formulate universal idealization of women, by both sexes. Sex is everywhere and no-where. Behind it all is one and only one theme-make babies; keep this thing we got, going.

ARTIST  AND MODEL, Aquatint, 1968

Picasso says it again, in a different way. At the end of all explanations, there is one explanation. Some call it one thing, some another. Sex = God = Desire = Rapture.
The  included middle here is the totality of the meeting of (apparent) opposites. If you really look, it is everywhere, disguised as nothing/everything.

Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)
 CADIEUX ( DANCING), Petit Casino series, Lithograph, 1893

Well, we know a lot about Lautrec, or think we do. And, if we have learned of his inner joy through our studies, then we see it  here, manifested in his human-sized friend, Cadieux. Dancing, joy, love,  just of life, and in particular, "that" life, lived by Cadieux  and Lautrec, one of Parisian cafes, joyous brothels, song, wine, women.  Lautrec projected his  essence to me in this lithograph.

 "NU SE MIRANT ," Etching,1931

Obviously, for Gromaire, and for me who resonates to the marks of his burin or steelpoint, the idea of woman, idealized woman, is basic, essential, sufficiently so to warrant his  imagery, the theme of which recapitulates itself endlessly.

DRAPED FIGURE STANDING, Lithograph in color, 1896

Whistler's most honest work, where he dare speaks of what lies within his soul, are his images of women. From the sensitive and overly well-known portrait of his mother, to small  works such as these, I gather the nature of his appreciation.

WILLIAM HOGARTH, (1697-1764)
 LEARNED FACULTY, Engraving, 1736

When I first encountered Hogarth's images, I felt I had  at last found someone who saw the world as it really is, not as we might  wish it to be. He stands with Goya,  Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain, Voltaire,  Balzac and Shaw in the great tradition of social satirists. There are a few among us today: see Colescott and Spitzer

WARRINGTON COLESCOTT (b. 1930, American)

SUPREME COURT IN SESSION, Watercolor on paper

 Colescott draws high praise from me with this one. There is nothing so asinine as the law and the highest level of this is achieved at the highest levels. The thing in my own life that comes to resemble this poking-about in people's lives happens in hospital tumor boards. When heroic medical means are taken, it is always the patient (and in this image of the law, the defendant) who plays the role of the hero. This image, the etching of Goya that shows how we allow our agents (1awyers/politicians) to tide us, and the engraving by Hogarth "Learned Faculty," should be taken together.

(c) Copyright 1999-2002 J.C. Leissring Fine Arts