Christopher Saunders atmospheric, abstract landscape paintings are an exploration of the relationships between traditional landscapes and contemporary consciousness. They are contemplative, sublime compositions that are conceptually centred on Brian Eno’s theory of ‘The long Now’ (also the title of Saunders new show) which states:
the precise moment you’re in grows out of the past and is a seed for the future. The longer your sense of Now, the more past and future it includes.
Saunders process is slow and methodical often starting by sourcing found imagery from the Internet, media and his personal archives. From there he slowly applies thin layers of paint that eventually create a luminous quality with shifting horizon lines that result in a landscape that offers us both the past, present and future – a philosophical temporality that gives us space to contemplate the essence of things.
Here’s what Saunders has to say about his work:
Even as we pass through it, a landscape is already in the process of being remembered and reinvented. These artifacts, witnessed and conditioned by memory, may be appropriated for unrelated purposes within a contemporary context, reconstructed for the present. As Husserl observed in “Transcendental Aesthetics”, there is a process of observation and interaction between a symbol created in the past and the contemporary viewer, establishing an ongoing dynamic between subject and object. The re-implacement of landscape- generalized, particularized, and idealized, can summon that peculiar boundary between the iconic and the personal. Landscape can be used as a medium with which we are creatively involved, a locus for the interplay of orientation, identity, memory and the poetic possibilities of misrecognition. Its value lies in its openness, its internal dynamism, and the scope of the imaginary variations to which it lends itself.
If you’re in New York over the next four weeks you can see Christopher Saunders new show, ‘The long Now’, until 23rd February, 2013 at The Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 87 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, New York