Two Paintings by Summer Sullivan

Private Collection


Essentially the problem is, when you paint, things happen. "Picasso didn't know what blue was until he painted blue," says Godard. Apply black in large forms on a mauve ground, say, advancing from the lower left quadrant to nearly fill the painting, add a broken, buttery slash of ocher across the top of them, cutting a V of umbrageous red with a crimson vertex, so that black is on a field of red suspended over the backpainting, with a latitudinal spire of black emanating, and you have a start on Picasso by Van Velde, not so?


A later painting, and here things happen by a swatch of magenta cut across the bottom, over a modulated red trapezoid (deep to light-imbued, over vague greens, with an admirable smear of white and orange breaking over its irregular central edge). Behind this, a white-capped blue wave surmounting a shade of violet differentiated from the lighter violet background over, ultimately, blue; this violet background has, faintly discernible, a square of deeper color emerging from the mists over the blue wave.