amid this realm of fields…

5' x 5'
oil on canvas
wood and
flattened aluminum cans

this was one of the earliest large scale paintings i made and also the few that i’ve ever made where objects were adhered to the painting’s surface. the painting was inspired by a short quote from rilke: “There are here, amid this realm of fields, spots of dark ploughed land. They are empty, and yet lie there as though the bright columns around them were there for their sakes, rows of fencing for their protection…”

many of the early paintings included text elements. in the earliest works, such as this one, the text is, for the most part, legible; while in the latter works with letters the words became more difficult to decipher.

rilke was a huge influence at this time, particularly in relation to a text in letters to a young poet where he speaks of  inconsiderable things – “if you will cling to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marvelling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance.”