Golden Rectangle II


To order the world.  Big order that!  Artists are compelled to do it one way or another.  More or less, intuitively or with preconceived structure:  naming, sorting, analyzing, comparing, remaking in their own style as they grow from spontaneous children to professional fabricators of the world as it should be whether as architects, painters, potters or printmakers.   We are besotted with the beautiful, dumbstruck with desire to “fix” what is imperfect, despairing of our inadequacy.  And at the same time in love with what we see; each tiny grain of sand and each enormous sky.  What a dilemma!  What a thrill!

Our limitations mystify us.   We only experience from behind our own eyes.  My eye, MY “I” is the screen on which my own universe is recorded and from which my imagery is edited.  How to pick the essence to share?  How to make our visual autobiography both personal and universal?  Too tall an order.  And to seductive not to try.

The perfection of the Greek mathematical construct with which the ubiquitous spiral may be drawn seems both inevitable and inscrutable.  Mathematical beauty working outward to the universe and inward to the spiral of a gene.

Golden Rectangle I begins with the smallest arc:

  1. “I” begins the procession with an arc that leads to the animal kingdom.
  2. “Heron” is the animal kingdom represented by a collaboration with Spencer Field.
  3. “Seeds” represents the kingdom of plants.
  4. “Penthesilea and Achilles” represents art, love, and war in 5th century Greece.
  5. “Neumark Women’s Concentration Camp, Germany”, The Stuthoffer Tent
  6. ”Taro Fields”, Hawaii is the beauty of agriculture.
  7. “Island in a Sea of Stars” off the coast of Maine c. end of the ice age to now

Golden Rectangle II also begins with the smallest arc:

  1. “We the People”, the collective as Americans conceive ourselves.
  2. “Carp” represents the creatures of the sea.  From my “Cosmic Geometry” suite.
  3. “Fetus” is the beginning of human life.
  4. “Bull from Altamira, Spain”, a 50,000 year old evocation of power.
  5. “Hiroshima” the day after we proved our capacity for industrial scale violence.
  6. “Wheat Fields north of Rome” millennia of agricultural beauty still intact.
  7. “Ocean Swells” The surface of our water planet as it moves to moon rhythm.

Printmaker’s description of the making of Golden Rectangle I and II

Do you remember the first time you realized you were alone in this world?  That we are each a separate being unable to ever experience existence from anyone else’s point of view: isolated.  As Tennessee Williams said in “The Rose Tattoo”, “a prisoner in our own skin”.

Artists  constantly reach out for affirmation that they are NOT alone by describing their own place in space and time in hopes someone else will say “Yes, I see!”  We attempt to find a logic and an order to the physical world by describing it in terms of music and mathematics.  We delight in harmony.  We mourn confusion and conflict.  At the same time we cherish freedom to create our own world view that we may impose our interpretations on you. Our images say over and over “I love you, please love me!”

I’ve visualized history from childhood as a huge spiral unwinding from beyond outer space down to our very moment in time.  Thus the top image, “Golden Rectangle I”  begins  behind my own eyes as I look out from my solitary confinement and contemplate life on earth: its beginnings,the animal kingdom, love and war as depicted in Greek art and mass murder in our own time which coexists on the planet with earthly paradises recreated for our survival, and over all  the great sea and skyscapes as they were “In the Beginning”.

The bottom  image, “Golden Rectangle II” begins not with me but with “WE” the Western ideal of shared order as described in the Declaration of Independence. My image of a carp represents the animal kingdom.  Then comes a baby human in the womb followed by  pre-historic art of the hunt. Other technology creates  the beauty and order of agriculture and finally the virgin ocean moving to the rhythm of our planet’s moon and our star the Sun.

The images each get a place in the structure formed by a Fibonacci spiral which contains them and suggest a myriad other reflectaphors of life on Planet Earth, all manifesting in ways we do not yet understand but which move us to awe as well as terror.

Imagine filling a set of squares of your own as you contemplate the universe from your own point of view.

I made my images, some reproduced from the work of others, most newly conceived by me from travel and study first as linoleum or woodcuts at the scale here presented.  They werephotographed at North Light Editions in White River Junction, VT by Dave O’Neil who assembled them into  the Golden Rectangles and printed them on his Epsom press.

All the  images will be available as individual archival ink jet prints without the arcs of the spiral.

  1. top left ISLAND IN A SEA OF STARS  Woodcut 26″ x 26″  a moonless night, “down east”  Maine where star shine is’ reflected in the ocean on a windless night.  woodcut
  2. TARO FIELDS by the Hanalei river which irrigates them from mountains with the greatest rainfall on earth. woodcut
  3. WOMEN PRISONERS at Neumark prison camp, Germany, prior to execution. linocut
  4. Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons as Achilles falls in love with her while killing her. linocut
  5. Mitosis, linocut
  6. Heron by Spencer and Sabra Field, woodcut
  7. ME, linocut

Individual prints in the Golden Rectangle Suite, II

  1. top right OCEAN SWELLS, north shore of Kauai, woodcut
  2. WHEAT FIELDS, ITALY, woodccut
  3. HIROSHIMA, linocut
  4. CAVE PAINTING, Altamira Spain, linocut
  5. FETUS IN UTERO, linocut
  6. CARP from my “Cosmic Geometry” suite of linocuts
  7. “WE” from the Declaration of Independence, linocut

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Additional information

Print size

Framed 28.5" x 44.25", Unframed 26.5" x 42.5"