Friday, October 02, 2015

Influenced by a Musical Heritage

“A painting, like an intimate relationship, reveals more and more
about the person/painting as time passes.
There is always a mystery to discover.

Andrew Hart Adler

Being the son of the famed Broadway composer Richard Adler it is unsurprising that music plays an important part in the work of the American painter Andrew Hart Adler. An added dimension to aid in his quest to interact with his audience.

From his early childhood Adler studied both the violin and piano but it was through the influence of his mother who as well as being a musician was also a painter that he was introduced to the visual arts in general and drawing in particular. And it was the visual rather than the aural that took root.

A two year stint as an assistant to Willem de Kooning in his early twenties encouraged the painter to blossom.

But Adler’s inherited genetic code, for as well as his father’s musicality his paternal grandfather was a noted concert pianist, is never far away from his painting with music having a profound effect on his work in both inspiration and studio practice.

As he explained in an interview on National Public Radio’s Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired “Sometimes I will interpret the music and I will use that as the point of departure and take what I get from the music and put it into the painting and then see what someone else will take out of it as the viewer.”

Alder also uses music whilst working in the studio as a way to recapture the initial mood of a work over the six to ten weeks it takes to complete.

“Usually I use it [music] to keep this sort of emotional stability through the period of time that I’m working,” he said.

And then there’s music’s contribution to the painting itself.

About which he says “I see it in crescendos and accents and the way music flows. We don’t just look at a canvas, especially when it can be on the large side. You have to go from one side to the other on top of it. I usually structure my canvases from right to left, but there’s definitely areas where, I leave areas for people to rest in before they go on to the next place. I do sort of construct it in such a way, like a piece of music. When I listen to a symphony or jazz or whatever it maybe it works towards something and then there’s the bridge so you can collect yourself. And then there’s parts that are more repetitive, the rhythm changes, whatever. It’s all a language to get inside of you.”

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