Rescue 1

Kriesberg, Irving
2005.02
Gift of an anonymous donor

We know at once that these are not animals in the biological sense nor are they humans either. They are not animals acting as neither humans nor humans masquerading as animals. They exist outside of such categories. We recognize that they confront, they converse, they confer. Yet we do not know their purpose. Such unanswered questions create tensions – a psychic tension so that the elements of painting, color, mass, direction, interval all become charged. The arena is an abstract psychic field; the particulars of the drama matter less. Acting within that psychic field, I see no distinction between the image of an owl and white painted mass having a certain weight, direction and role within the canvas. As with the use of masks in traditional theater, my few animals play various roles in my art. ... Aesop’s animals are sly, doltish or wise; they inhabit the human world. I feel closer to Herriman’s Krazy Kat. In his little panels he projects perfectly the dear foolishness of life.—Irving Kriesberg, 2006

1919–2009
1986
oil on canvas
American
74 x 74 inches