ABOUT THE WORK
In the artist's words
I began making art while at the same time searching for answers to fundamental questions about the nature of being. I explored the laws of geometric forms and discovered that my art and basic philosophical questions came together. Two fragments by Heraclitus, the early Greek thinker, are vital to my work. These are: "Nature Loves to hide," and "A hidden connection is stronger than an apparent one."
The wonder is that what may seem fixed and static laws are instead dynamic and expressive of great potential and creativity. One principle in particular, the so-called Golden Mean Proportion, is perhaps the most dynamic of all, and I have worked with its potential for years. Within it’s rigor I activate and alter the surface of canvases, works on paper and constructions freely, creating contrasts of light and dark, depth and surface, energy and stillness, using saturated color inspired by trips to the ancient sites of Greece and Egypt.
Nature indeed loves to hide and it has taken time and patience to tease out her secret laws. I have been aided in this process by earlier seekers devoted to the wonder of philosophical geometry, among them Mondrian, Kupka, Kandinsky, Rothko and the great artists of the Italian Renaissance.
My aim remains constant: to make art and objects with a presence that can be appreciated on both its physical aspect and its intrinsic content. The statement by Heraclitus that a hidden connection is stronger than an apparent one also suggests that anyone looking at these works may find that time and patience in front of a given piece might be rewarding. I hope it is true. I believe it is.
Excerpts from Essays and Reviews
“These quiet icons, produced from generation to generation (Mondrian 50 years ago, Rothko 30 years ago, Fitzgerald today), are signs of an underlying contemplativeness that will not settle for being rushed through a deformed world....[these works] are respectful of the world and its order, respectful of human consciousness, ready to explore them both with a sense of privilege....
The harmoniously related squares, rectangles, arcs, and circles generated by the Golden Section provide Fitzgerald with a stable composition which she then freely alters and activates, creating contrast of light and dark, deep space and surface....” - ROGER LIPSEY, PH.D., AN ART OF OUR OWN: THE SPIRITUAL IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY ART.
"Whether in the paintings, drawings, or wall-constructions of Astrid Fitzgerald, the work emanates a sense of logic and clarity that belies the artistic endeavor and challenge standing behind their creation... Fitzgerald's creations are timeless, and true to themselves... her oeuvre enables us to view and appreciate fresh expressions of some ancient thoughts." - ZIBA DE WECK, PH.D.
"These works exude a rare quality of harmony and balance and create an atmosphere of peace..."
"Today, fifteen years after I first saw her work, it still exhibits this effect of balance and harmony. It is this strength we recognize in all of her works, which always aims to tie together the past with the future; order with chaos; stability with instability; concentration with diffusion; the visual arts with other forms of art and ultimately western with eastern culture. This is the essential in Astrid's work. Her goal remains unaltered, it is only the means which changes with every phase of her creative work...
Despite the complex content, the aesthetic of the work remains simple, that is, geometric and abstract. Often it seems as if the design in the shapes of rectangle and circle overlap in a completely spontaneous manner, but in fact, the overlaps are never by chance. How these designs overlay and where they cross is always subject to the ancient laws of the Golden Mean, which has influenced Astrid's work for more than two decades...
When contemplating Astrid's images, we should never forget that the content concerns itself with a universal vision having to do with humanity and its creative force. Through her work, Astrid brings us to the path, but we should wish to take this journey of discovery on our own." - ZIBA DE WECK, PH.D.
"A keyword in Fitzgerald's pictorial voice is the concept "gold." Not only is she indebted to the "Golden Mean" and its resulting harmony, gold as a color hue appears in several works and gives these a festive as well as spiritual character...." - ANNEMARIE STUESSI, ART CRITIC
"For almost 20 years Fitzgerald has taken as a starting point for her work the Golden Mean, a system of geometric proportion mathematically formulated since Pythagorean times. This, plus an abiding interest in Quantum physics and the unified field, are the scientific tethers for her work.
One of the major innovators of the modern art movement, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), has been an inspirational influence for Fitzgerald. Intriguingly, it appears Kandinsky has helped direct Fitzgerald back through the Golden Section to the geometric mysteries revered by the ancients and replete within nature. Kandinsky, coming to prominence a few years before the Russian Revolution of 1917, for a while was part of it, running art schools that extolled geometric design and abstraction in the artistic intellectual exodus that followed.... Kandinsky's book, Concerning The Spiritual in Art, passionately acclaimed abstract art as the way to the "soul" of art and expression. Indeed it could be argued that although Cubism, manifesting around the same time in Paris, irrevocably shattered the smooth-as-glass Victorian art picture plane already torqued by the Impressionists and Fauves, it was Abstractionism out of Russia that had a stronger cultural effect, fertilizing the ascendancy of American abstract art through the '50s, leading to the feet-on-the-ground, painted-from-the-hip, libidinal splattered gems of Jackson Pollock.
Fitzgerald, although having a quieter, less stormy, more rational take on the Golden Mean, comes out of this modernist tradition as well as hearkening back to the ancients by investing the incontrovertible yet mysterious measurements (in her works on paper) with a stippled, layered juxtaposition of pastels reminiscent of Seurat. Points of light flare and darken at the perimeters of the timeless, circular forms, traces hinting of yin and yang, stillness, infinity, potential...
Fitzgerald has taken us on a journey. Her work, though formally modern...is actually rife with natural law....Perhaps, what by some is seen as unrelated cerebral, conceptual abstraction is really at home and rooted in the natural world - the falling autumn seeds curving, whirling in the wind, rustling off our orbed planet. Fitzgerald helps return us to the quiet, the balance, the harmony within all. - ADRIAN FROST, ART CRITIC
Gallery Talk by Art Historian, Roger Lipsey - Video
A retrospective of Astrid Fitzgerald's Work -Video
INTUITIONS OF THE pRIMAL FORCES - VIDEO
More revues and interviews
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