Richard Heinsohn -- Artist Statement
Given that Malevich thought of abstraction as non-decorative, and his geometric shapes as meditative portals to a metaphysical world, I aspire to depict scenarios from that other world, beyond those doorways, windows and portals. So, my pictures also refuse decoration and are metaphysical destinations visually realized.
Similarly, Kandinsky wrote extensively about conjuring one’s “inner world” in pursuit of “the spiritual in art” and it has long been thought that access to our collective consciousness comes from one’s subconscious.
As a visual artist in the digital era, I feel compelled not only to pursue advances in science and technology but also to tune in with the swirl of contemporary art’s sweeping engulfment and recycling of concerns ranging from philosophy, social commentary and political satire to applied anthropology and humorous absurdity. It is essential to become aware of art’s incessant appetite for expansion, with its all-inclusive array of new mediums and modi operandi.
However, after years of examining alternative approaches, I find nothing as exhilarating and challenging as transforming, with the most primitive of means, a blank, two-dimensional surface into a virtual portal to another dimension where unconscious impulses construct otherworldly microcosms. In a chaotic and precarious world, ruled by greed and violence but tempered by hope and determination, any good abstraction becomes metaphorical. Painting intuitively enables this to occur automatically. For some, painting is dead. For me, painting is a magic ticket to a wild ride.
The objective in the creation of these recent paintings is to elevate consciousness by expanding the art experience to include the viewers as participants. I call this work "Relational Abstraction" because the ambiguous nature of the biomorphic forms allows viewers to employ their imaginations and make associations particular to their own psyches.
This work is a twenty first century continuum of abstract surrealism and builds on the notion that art can only enlighten society if it elevates consciousness by stimulating the imagination. Amidst the morass of social injustice and calamity we now experience globally, I choose to address the root cause of humanity's decline: a myopic preoccupation with the material world. By involving viewers in the discovery of content and inviting them to look beyond the physical realm, Relational Abstraction can play a meaningful role in reinvigorating the concept of universal empathy and higher understanding.
-Richard Heinsohn 2018
(for more on Relational Abstraction, click on: selected writing )