“Time present and time past. Are both perhaps present in time future. And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present. All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction. Remaining a perpetual possibility.”
— T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” from The Four Quartets
Back in the studio, with fresh canvases stretched and primed, I have begun work on a series of four like-sized paintings. My initial inspiration for this series has been an earlier painting I made in 2016, The Memory of the Body, which is one of the pieces I’ve made that feels especially personal to me—intimate and complicated and difficult to let go.
While the new works incorporate the palette and general brushwork as the earlier one, I am also interested in their relationships to one another—how they are similar and how they vary to, together, create a four-part composition or dialogues.
Though this body of work is, of course, not musical, I have begun to think of it as a quartet. And I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s own Quartets, which are among my favorite poems and have inspired me since even before I began to paint. I will allow, also to quote Eliot, “but a little consciousness” to see where these paintings take me.