Doctor of Creative Arts
School of Creative Arts
Murphy, Idris, The Eucumbene suite and the Heretic: paintings, prints and livre d'artiste, Doctor of Creative Arts thesis, School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 1993. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/958
The following discussion attempts to place my work in relation to a continuing Australian landscape tradition which itself has continuities and connections to a Northern European, Romantic landscape tradition. I believe that certain philosophical attitudes inherent in Romanticism have continued alongside Modernism; that is the early Modernism, into which I was initiated.
By introducing my work in relation to that of George Rouault, who is often considered in the light of both these 'isms', I hope to show not only a similar, underlying spiritual attitude, but that our work also differs in fundamental ways from Romanticism and Modernism.
In my statement above: the use of terms such as 'otherness' and 'something elseness' should be seen as an attempt to elucidate m y relationship to landscape and to the paintings themselves. In doing so I will be looking to introduce views that may extend the nature of my work as a whole and point to a way-out from both these 'isms'.
The Northern Romantic movement, and the romantic philosophies, have had profound effect on artists in the Modern movement, up to and including the present-day, and give us a new structure for the history of modern art. The tradition runs from Goya through Casper David Freidrich to Mark Rothko.
There seems little doubt that, alongside the Modernist landscape tradition, which was Paris based and, with few exceptions, ran on formal values, extending to artists such as Richard Diebenkorn in the USA, there is a Romantic tradition, a northern tradition, which uses the landscape as its main motif, and which is metaphysical in approach: an attempt to evoke the sublime, to use painting to touch the divine.