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STEFAN ARTENI

SolInvictus Press 2006

Acknowledgements

We offer grateful thanks to all those who have helped in so many ways with Stefan Artenis The Way of Form retrospective exhibition (December 2005 March 2006): Harold Newfield for his editorial advice, cooperation and his generous assistance; Kara Vanwoerden for her sensitive and inspired design of the Way of Form exhibition monograph which, unfortunately, did not see the light of day, since the gallery replaced it at the last moment with a smaller brochure; Herb Scher for his support; Mark Jetton for the design of the artists website; Mayer Sasson for video recording the Way of Form exhibition We owe thanks to Abby A. Shaw for her sponsorship of the exhibition with archival framing materials and to Sue Losco and the Museum Program at Nielsen Bainbridge for the generous contribution of matboard. We are particularly indebted to Myriam Snchez Posada de Arteni, co-founder of Sol Invictus Press, for her insights into her husband's work.

Photography Credits The illustration should be considered as a selection of images reflecting the major periods and genres of Artenis painting. Most photographs of Arteni's works have been taken by Robert Lorenzson. Further photography credits are given here. Robert D. Rubic : figure 159. Courtesy Private Collectors: figures 20, 27, 124, 191. Courtesy Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, U.S.A.: figures 302, 325. Courtesy National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts,Taichung, Taiwan: figures 283, 295, 301, 324, 331. Stefan Arteni: figures 189, 326, 327, 332. Unknown photographer: figures 31, 48, 55.

The Way of Form

STEFAN ARTENI

Through time's howling clamor A voice of the nothing Through chattering aeon A wailing of humans Lucian Blaga

The Pluriverse of Stefan Artenis Painting

All that art is capable of is to grieve for the sacrifice it makes and which it itself, in its powerlessness, is. Theodor Adorno Stefan Arteni was born in 1947 in Bucharest, at a geographical and historical crossroads of civilizations, languages, and nations. At that point in time, modernity had reached the zenith of its fortunes. It is the heyday of ideological-aesthetic modernism which, as Boris Groys notes, negates cultural identities and treats memory as non-binding and erasable. Jacques Derrida emphasizes the dissolution of the concept of art. Even an extended canonical modernist model, a conversation of cultures, serves to subtly overpower the other. Markus Steimayr speaks of a desire to extinguish cultural memory. Dragan Kujundzic describes the apocalyptic dimension of that ultra-modernist project known in the twentieth century as Socialist Realism, noting that totalitarianism is a making of the unified visual and imaginative space, motivated by a totalist drive to overcome the difference between art and life. Boris Groys has analyzed this aestheticization of the political, a phenomenon which, to a certain extent, brings to mind Nietzsches notion of the will to power as art. Groys writes: History endedin post-historical reality everything was newTherefore, that aesthetic had no need to strive to be formally new, its novelty was already guaranteed by the total newness of its content. Such a project based on the primordiality of new content continues in the postmodern era. On the other hand, Niklas Luhmann remarks that good form destroys information. Moreover, the concrete character of the artistic form constitutes an alternative path, the way of form. One should not forget Stphane Mallarms words: All mastery casts a chill. A solitary, characterized by a single-minded, even militant, dedication to painting, Arteni develops his research tenaciously on the margins, exploring and making use of overlapping paradigms, seeking an alternative to official, canonized, monologic cultural-artistic systems. What unfolds is the crossroads, the clusters of boundaries and the transgressive boundary crossings. We should accent the Any descent into hell could be endured if only a paradise of culture were possible. Constantin Noica

Simulativeness (the symbols for things become more real than the things themselves) is one of the primary characteristics of postmodernism, and is an inseparable companion of every type of ideologically saturated art. Ants Juske

unified yet heterogenous elements, the attunement to formal, artistic domains. His is an art which investigates the past by looking upon it not melancholically, as a golden age never again to be realized, but as a present past, as an exemplary parallel to the present. It is enough that one man has sailed past the Sirens. Clement of Alexandria Europe is a container of identites, a sedimental layering of cultures past and present, remarks Eric Kluitenberg. Steven Toetoesy de Zepetnek depicts East-Central Europe as an area in-between peripherality, caught between the local cultural self-referentiality and the influences of the major cultures on whose periphery it exists. This follows from historical marginalization the aggregate of territories is situated in the no-mans land lying between, and exposed to being subject of, colliding empires - and from the extensive exile and diaspora phenomenon of the twentieth century, an age cast up by a cataclysmic upheaval, the age of Ulysses or no one, the age of outcasts, vagantes, pilgrims without a destination, the travelling players. We are cultural hybrids, writes Wolfgang Welsch, wanderers beyond local cultures, between cultures, between languages and sign systems, transcultural migrants between the poles of cultural alterity and forced belonging. East-Central European cultures fit with difficulty Procustean classifications. Cultural memory, writes Jan Assmann, implies that we possess history as we remember it selectively, as members of a group and impelled by the desire to appropriate the past in order to solidify present identityWe need a sphere reaching over the horizon of our mortal Dasein, in order to live with this knowledge and remain in a state of balance. The often polylingual individual turns unavoidable cultural hybridization into a survival strategy. Maturanas structural drift thus occurs due to the constant supply of perturbations from various sources. Artenis painting lets shine forth a fate that always plays out a collage of fragmented inheritances, truncated legacies, successive presents and non-localisable connections. Its points of contact with diverse idiomatic styles derive in each case from formal requirements. To borrow a fitting formulation by Michel Serres, there is, however, no message across divides without unpredictable background noise or interference that potentially distorts it, especially when mediated in the form of translation. The channel breaks the flow: dis-placement. The bit of noise, the small random element, transforms one system of order into another. Michel Serres Cultures, semantic, epistemological communities, serve as pools of distinctionsand any of these is highly normatively oriented. S.J.Schmidt

Utopian desecration and destruction, the shattering of many illusions, no longer allows faith in any concept of progress but only a sense of searching deeper. Arteni evolved a pessimistic and skeptical awareness of the mental life of an epoch, and the transient course of history. It appears that no work from before 1971, the year Arteni went to Rome, has survived.

1. Still Life Undated Oil on canvas 14 x 16" ( 35.5 x 40.6 cm)

2. The Studio Undated Oil on canvas 18 x 16 " (45.7 x 40.6 cm)

3. Interior Undated Oil on canvas 16 x 14" (40.6 x 35.5 cm)

4. Self Portrait Undated Oil on canvas 16 x 14" (40.6 x 35.5 cm)

5. Nude Undated Oil in canvas 18 x 16" ( 45.7 x 40.6 cm)

Theorem and theatre have the same rootIt is the spectacle that we see G. Spencer-Brown Evolutionarily, perception is the primary and most widespread mode of information, and only in few cases it is condensed into communication. While animals react to signals and are thus tied to the signalized world, writes Arnold Gehlen, man creates symbols and manipulates symbols instead of objects. Seen systems-theoretically, representation has a dual meaning: the ability to portray and the ability to make present, writes Niklas Luhmann. Signs are also forms, that means marked distinctionsIn the form of the sign, that means in the relation between signifier and signified, there are referents: the signifier signifies the signified. But the form itselfhas no reference; it functions only as a distinction, and that only when it is actually used as such. Visual art originates when the compound activity of doing, and the making of things, grows into a system: it is an activity directed to an object contingent facticity and visible presence, remarks Arteni. There is a sort of circularity, the works circle round a basic, pre-objective world belonging to the myths of culture, a constitutive anamnesis. Needless to say, a different conception of the artwork is involved here, i.e. its two-dimensional appearance, the pre-semiotic presentation level that, in Svend Ostergaards view, conflicts with representation. In Luhmannian terminology, the first distinction demarcates the field that is prepared for a painting. The work will emerge only within the boundaries of this primary form. Only internal operations are possible by distinguishing system from environment they make indications that refer either to themselves or the outside world.

6. Still Life with Florentine Chess Board Undated Oil on canvas 10 x 13.5" (25.4 x 34.3 cm)

The painting becomes a system of processes. Meaning consists of a reference surplus emerging from the differences of selected, coupled, and compared distinct forms, e.g. colors, which will draw perceptual, notational, or spatial distinctions within the work. The importance of the work as a physical entity is meant to exceed its function as a medium of representation. Residual structures, realistic figures, and abstract compositions, all find continuity in the statement of the pictorial problem. For Arteni, that course is essentially visual and tactile. The visual brain is one third of our entire brain, writes Semir Zeki. The greatest effort that can be asked from a man is to be what he is. If he does that, he is an inhuman being. Paul Valery Artenis sense of culture is already substantially well defined, nurtured by an interest in Hesychasm, and a few Masters of Classical Modernism ( Nicolas De Stal and Serge Poliakoff the Byzantine Icon, i.e. color, is the backdrop of their work Marino Marini and Mario Sironi), and by a passion for Zen and Far Eastern Calligraphy. The artists travels further nurture his predilection for the Museum as a place of meditation and not of self-identification. Arteni expands the horizon of his professional training by studying with Professor Luigi Montanarini at the Roman Accademia di Belle Arti. To paint is to participate in history, whether with or against the past. Being aware of the problem of the avant-garde, which must always move beyond itself, and its intrinsically selfdestructive qualities, Arteni remains aloof from the aesthetic movements of his time, their deadening congealment, and their shift in attention to and ceaseless pursuit of an utopic, ever-escaping future. By necessity, one of Artenis principal goals is the reconciliation and integration of the painting process with the great painting tradition, a dialogue with and revitalization of traditional technical sources regarding grounds, mediums, varnishes, paint formulations and ways of use, an unavoidable dialogue with contemporary color manufacturers, and the investigation of the scientific methods for identifying pigments and mediums in paint samples. The results of Artenis research are published in numerous conference proceedings, such as the Reports of the International Council of Museums. In his paintings, Arteni maintains a rich, tactile surface, through the use of areas that rhyme with one another texturally. The ancient name for craftsman, cheironax, means lord of the hands.

7. Venice: the Doge's Palace Undated Oil on canvas 12 x 10" (30.5 x 25.4 cm)

8. Homage to Jan Vermeer, undated Oil on canvas, 18 x 20" (45.7 x50.8 cm)

9. Perspective Intricacies (Reminiscence of Vermeer's Music Lesson), undated, oil on canvas 22 x 20" (55.9 x 50.8 cm)

10. The Peasant Blouse Undated Oil on canvas 22 x 18" (55.9 x 45.7cm)

Arteni grasped the possibility of iconography evocative of past cultures, but working with the past to proceed in the present, selecting iconographic and stylistic elements with an eye to constructs, making use of both Classical Modernist advances and art historical revivals, making the modern ancient, turning it into ruin. The materiality of signs allows their recycling through transposition and transformation, even mutilation, writes Willie van Peer, although their interpretation may thus become difficult. Features of a thematic nature tend to appear and become important for the subsequent evolution and gradual formation of Artenis personal vocabulary. Most fecund is the tradition of Dutch Still Life , within which allegorical subjects often occur - the Vanitas and the Monochrome Banquets - especially the works of Willem Claesz. Heda, Pieter Claesz., Gerrit W. Heda, and Willem Kalf. Arteni also chooses to concentrate on the research pursued by Andr Derain, both in the genre of Still Life and of the complex polyphonic composition. The pure painterliness of Greek vases and of Diego Velasquez, the multi-varied black of Frans Hals, the compositions of Nicolas Poussin, the line arabesque of Lucas Cranach, Sandro Boticelli, and Amedeo Modigliani, should also be mentioned, as well as the color of Pierre Bonnard and Georges Rouault, and the grays of Giorgio Morandi. Somewhat such, however imperfectly sketched, are Artenis teachers. In 1977, Arteni moved to New York.

11.Banquet Piece with Drinking Vessels and Fruit (From Vanitas Series) Undated Oil on paper 7 x 10" (17.8 x 25.4 cm)

12.Still Life with Fruit Basket and other Objects (From Vanitas Series) Undated Oil on paper 7 x 10" (17.8 x 25.4 cm)

13. Composition Undated, mixed technique on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

Hetero-reference is reduced to a play with arts own history, or with the material used by art itself. Niklas Luhmann Starting from a lexic of signs originated in Byzantine, Mannierist, and Baroque iconographies, and even in contemporary advertising imagery, considered as visual depositories, Arteni remakes an inventory of the level of subjacent structure, a formal plundering dominated by a rapacious capacity for transformation and synthesis. The game of differences between emicly distinct artistic worlds is affirmed by interaction, rejection, borrowing, variation due to inner chance, later selected in accordance to formal demands, and outer chance encounters - in short, through a sort of Heideggerian destructive-retrieval. Images and narrative motifs become ambiguous in the sphere of transcultural contacts, and then form new constellations. In his works of 1977-1989, Arteni alternates between stylistic poles: during these years he makes some of his purest abstractions, as well as most of his figurative works. The horizons are multiple, and that multiplicity is itself mutual constitution and interpenetration, different turnings within the same period: variations on the theme of Renaissance-style Portraits, based on the formalized schemata created by Hans Memling, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Titian, Still Lives and Compositional Landscapes, the Studio Series and the Abstract Compositions. The only way to follow the creative act is to pass through all the variations of a series or sub-series, the abrupt changes of idiom, surveying the artists interest in various styles and motifs explored in the works, and his alternating concerns with diagrammatic simplification and literal likeness. The true activity of life is that of the artist. Plotinus

The cognitive-normative difference dissolves earlier symbolizations. The discourse of traits, marks, brushstrokes, traces of the palette knife Jean Marie Flochs pictorial formants - renders contingent the use of the figurative formant which associated to a signified may become a sign. Arteni uses the distinction between the operative and figural component. The signifiers of the artwork refer solely to signifieds within the work itself the self-generated paradox of creating and disrupting illusion. The elements that serve as the medial material substratum may, in the end, be more meaningful than a pure semiotics has assumed. Arteni purges any content that is too narrative, relying instead on the very power of gesture and form.

Peirce's hypoicon, the concrete iconic sign, is selfreferential as such, and hetero-referential as related to symbolic and indexical properties. Winfried Noeth

14. Venus and Adonis Undated Mixed technique on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

15. Bacchic Scene Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

16. Study for a Bacchanal Undated Trois crayons technique on tinted paper 19 x 24" (48.2 x 62.9 cm)

17. Jove and Antiope Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

18. Study for a Composition Undated Trois crayons technique on tinted paper 19 x 24" (48.2 x 62.9 cm)

19. Study for a Bacchanal Undated Trois crayons technique on tinted paper 19 x 24" (48.2 x 62.9 cm)

20. Bacchanal Undated Egg tempera on canvas 29 x 36" (73.6 x 91.5 cm) Private Collection

21. Nude Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5 cm)

23. Nude Seated Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5 cm)

22. Nude Model Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5 cm)

24. The Youth of Dionysos c. 1988 Oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

25. Massacre of the Innocents Undated Mixed technique on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

The ambiguous play between representation and abstraction characterizes the artists variations on what is apparently a single theme for example, the Warriors and Folktales series. All series are synchronous. Arteni reinscribes the process within the framework of the pictorial act and the pictorial fact. He favors petits formats that are always a challenge in an era addicted to gigantism. His is a path which seeks means suitable to his needs and an escape from contemporary formal conventions. The very way in which it is thought leads outside language: it means to expropriate and appropriate metaphoric linkages out of context appropriation, according to Paul Ricoeur, is a recollection and an exercise in suspicion, tension between incompatibility and a newly formulated artistic identity. A non-classical concept of identity becomes possible, writes Eberhard von Goldammer, and it allowsthe modeling of an identity distributed over several contexturesEvery move from a contexture to an other is bound with qualitative transformations which must remain recognizable.

26. Rest on the Flight into Egypt Undated, oil on canvas 9 x 14" (22.8 x 35.6cm)

27. Flight into Egypt Undated Oil on canvas 16 x 16" (40.6 x 40.6 cm) Private Collection

To appropriate what one is through the signs of a culture where other are the authors of the sign implies that appropriation, what I make my own, is not something that lies behind the sign, but, in Paul Ricoeurs words, the world which it opens up, Gadamers Horizontverschmelzung, the postulate of medieval arts where one selects or rejects on the basis of the needs of the work, ad bonum operis. This is why Arteni never looses his artistic self in the transition from one experiment to another and has the ability to react to a wide variety of stimuli, intelligently assimilating them into a coherent oeuvre. There may be a kind of counter-genealogy, a submerged, other history, a manner specific to form that avoids the trap of the alter idem, discontinuous zones with no mediation other than the [altered] self itself, or, to use Hawkes observation in a metaphorical sense: the anaesthetic power of ones language gives foreign speakers their accents. He persists in this absurd world; he stresses its perishability. He gropes his way amid ruins. Albert Camus Artenis creative process begins with studies, collageassemblages of color sample cut-outs from periodicals, decontextualized iconic aggregates, photographs, reproductions, drawings, prints, modified or not by means of various marks and manipulations, i.e., a recursive networking of visual depositories. The process, used for example by Peter Paul Rubens, defines the concept of art and probes its limits. Chance plays an important role. Igor Yevins complexity theory of art speaks of the stabilization of the unstable.

The triadic sign relations have a fuzzy 'implicit' nature. Mihai Nadin

28. Mary and Child with the Infant St.John Undated Collage and acrylic on board 10 5/8 x 8 3/8" (27. 0 x 21.3 cm)

Mark Turner remarks that syntactic forms should be applicable to different situations. Based on the preliminary studies, content free syntactic operations - the form of form, non-representational representation, form-in-a-medium lay the foundation of the work or series of works, followed eventually by medially embodied iconizations. Arteni chooses often to adopt the multi-phasic structure, a device from the art of the Middle Ages, Vittore Carpaccio, and non-Western cultures. Artenis creative path calls to mind Mark Turners and Gilles Fauconniers notion of conceptual and visual blending: an integration network is created by using selective borrowings, contradictory input spaces. A new sense emerges in the integrative blend space subject to medium imposed constraints.

29. Mythological Composition Undated Collage, acrylic and marker on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

30. Perseus and Andromeda Undated Collage, acrylic and marker on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

you break up the distinction and it turns into a Fibonacci series G. Spencer-Brown An artist uses a stock of forms, emptied of their charge, writes Jacques Maritain, to be used for articulating the painting according to the infallible rules corresponding to the contingency of each work, rules relative to the exigencies, nature, and formal conditions of the work. Calling to mind Gotthard Guenthers multi-valued logic and its relation to the configurationality of the visual, one may speak of a series of operations that constitute themselves into a self-referential and recursive process. Kenogrammatics is a trans-semiotic, pre-signifying, pre-speech, non-expressive economy of incisions, of ultra-indicators, write R. Kaehr and J. Ditterich, that is the empty loci that merely indicate organization and structure and which are identified with structural invariance within the realm of sign difference or equivalence, the empty slots where semiotic processes can be inserted, or the self-referential and recursive process that Arteni calls kenosyntax, the mechanism of all relational and operational orders. Relative to the empty place the actual content inserted is entirely contingent. In Nina Orts systems theoretical language, the distinction distinguishes and indicates only differences.
> 32. Portrait (From Sectio Aurea Series) Undated, oil on canvas 30 x 24" (76.2 x 61.0 cm)

31. Study for a Portrait 1966 Black chalk on paper (Present whereabouts unknown, presumably destroyed)

33. Sketch Portrait Undated, gouache on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5 cm)

Operationally this means using the empty structures of kenosyntax, that is to say, either the Golden Section - also called Golden Ratio or Sectio Aurea - and its properties of self-similarity, or the musical consonances of Alberti, as well as the interlinking of planes and/or the perspective systems as organizing systems - all explored by Evaristo Baschenis, Jan Vermeer, Juan Gris, Gino Severini, Serge Poliakoff, and Jacques Villon - or polyperspective systems. It means using the organizing of color relations in all their complexity investigated by Jacques Villon and Raoul Dufy, among others - and the transposition, in a musical sense, of color scales. It also means the use of dissonances, following in the footsteps of Hugo van der Goes, Rosso Fiorentino and El Greco. Kenosyntax describes a pre-semiotic domain. The epistemological import would be, in the words of Peer F. Bundgaard, the unity of a space, the pictorial space, within the same logic of determination.

To the mathematical concept of transformability corresponds the perceptual concept of transposability. Ernst Cassirer

34. Bozzetto for a Portrait Undated Gouache on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5cm)

35. Clio, Muse of History Undated Gouache on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5 cm)

<36. Sonata Undated Gouache on light blue tinted paper 17 x 28 " (43.8 x 72.4 cm)

37. Still Life with Musical Instruments Undated, gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

38.Vanitas Still Life Undated, mixed technique on canvas 24 x 30 " (61.0 x 76.2 cm)

39. John the Frightful at Cahul (From Warriors Series) Undated Mixed technique on canvas 28 x 40" (71.1 x 101.6 cm)

40. Warrior Resting (From Warriors Series) Undated, casein on paper, 30 x 22" (76.2 x 57.8 cm) < 41. Founding Story. The Slaying of the Auroch (From Legends Series) Undated, oil on canvas, 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

For the Gods, it seems, love the obscure and hate the obvious. Brhadaranyaka Upanishad Arteni concurs with Aby Warburg that mythopoietic culture is being transmitted by images, prior to any verbal development - Stefania Caliandros metavisual reflexion. Homo pictor philomythos makes the uncanny familiar by projecting ritualized schemata. Hans Blumenberg speaks of a magical and ritual quid pro quo, the calling forth of that which emerges and abides, the mystery of the artistic play and its productive ambiguity. The play of themes and variations, Artenis Mythologic Compositions, and the contemporaneous Bacchanals, summon up the art of unreality as means of self-defence: Dionysos, born of the moon, is the one marked by the fatality of history and by the lurking selfalienation, the technician and spectator but not the mortal participant - in the play of the world. Why myth? In the words of Mircea Eliade, seasonal festivals and folklores are a creation in which eschatology and soteriology are given cosmic dimensionsit is a passive revolt against the tragedyof History. In East-Central Europe, the pagan survives, either camouflaged or transformed. The past is not dead, it's not even past. William Faulkner

43. Composition, undated Ink and gouache on paper, 22 x 30 " (57.2 x 77.5 cm) 44. Study for a Composition ,undated Ink and gouache on paper, 22 x 29" (55.9 x 73.6cm) 42.Bacchanal Undated Textured watercolor on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5) 45. Bacchanal, undated, casein on paper board 22 x 30" (57.8 x 76.2 cm)

Arteni suggests that imagination embodies the temporal play of presence and absence, the tension between logos and mythos within a polyvalent, multivocal context, and transposes this tension into a vortex of differentiation from which arise new idioms. Myth points to the archaic reformation of the world, the delimitation of boundaries to develop order from chaos. The artists energy, as Nietzsche emphasizes, the polymorphic play of the artist and the fusion of prophecy and tradition, imitates the Dyonisian movement of rebirth and death, regeneration and corruption, in the manner of Mnemosyne, of memory, of the memorializing act. Artenis ability to seek in apparently incompatible approaches a deeper nexus of thinking, is related to his investigation of image theory, phenomenology, autopoietic-, cognitive-, and systems theories, information-, reception-, and neuroaesthetics, Ernst Cassirers theory of symbolic forms and Jan Assmanns examination of cultural memory, radical constructivist epistemology, transclassic logic, and visual semiotics. Artenis essays are published on his Web Site .His essay on Calligraphy is among the topics of the Chinese Society for Aesthetics Congress, October 2002. the break between color and languagecolor is unsayable. J. Claude Piguet In a painting by Arteni, one finds an intensely satisfying, hermetic relationship of pictorial elements. He starts with a complete architecture and adds yet more complexity, until the subtlety of resonance reaches an exquisite pitch. The painting is built on series of visual rhymes, Arteni declares, a system of correspondences, the mixed and fragmentary reality of a synecdochic, metonymic, homomorphic, pseudomorphic, often paratactic, process. Pictorial iconic aggregates are activated in the operational appropriative present as pictograms and ideograms. Sylistic codes wear out by use, says Itamar Even-Zohar, through automatization, de-iconization, de-referentialization. The reactivation of iconographic constructs, freed from the semiotic labyrinth and pragmatic embedding, will constitute, according to Hans Belting, a virtual- or pseudo-iconography. Artenis organization of color offers contrast by layering, juxtaposition, junctures, and conjunctions, that are specifically visible by their effect. The artist has noticed, along with Raoul Dufy and Semir Zeki, that there is a perceptual asynchrony of color and outline, while, in the words of Semir Zeki, color constancy is the most important property of the color system. In Artenis works, the play of color explores

46. The Studio Undated Red, brown and white chalk on paper 23 x 18" (60. 3 x 45. 7 cm)

47. Color Study Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 10" ( 20.3 x 25.4 cm)

dissonance, assonance, and consonance. Color rhymes unite different spatial elements: it is the topological pictorial space described by Svend Ostergaard, the play-space of accord and discontinuity between the local and the global. When we perceive an objectthe brain sees color first, before form or movement. Semir Zeki Niklas Luhmann speaks of a symbolic art concerned with the unity of the difference between accessible and inaccessible. The symbol marks the inaccessible within the realm of the accessible. Using systems-theoretical terms, it is a form of reentry of a distinction into what it distinguishes. Religion may well do without theology, but it cannot exist without art, writes Moisey S. Kagan. Art is unlike religion only because it does not ask that her works be taken for reality. And when myth, icon, or church are deconsecrated, these works become simply works of art. Neuroaesthetics has investigated the primacy of color perception. Artenis Icons series is built around the Byzantine color code, - Byzantium is here understood as a cultural space - each work being usually based on dyads of complementary colors or on triads. Speaking of the semiotics of Icons, Dragan Milivojevic writes that color is not a sign by itself, it has to relate to a context to obtain its full significance, in which case color is a twice removed sign and therefore of an higher order on the symbolic level. Its significance is affirmed within a purely semiotic (in this case liturgical) field, says Jean-Luc Marion. Cognitive psychology admits two kinds of vision: preattentive processes and focal attention. How should an Icon be looked at? Pavel Florenskii describes a sort of contemplative gazing as cognitive process. It is known that through its inverse perspective, the Icon includes the audience space, the space in front of the work. The colors of the Icon are directed towards the recipient, the painting itself is the source of the light that emanates from the colors: a lighting-from-within works as an emanated light. Arteni agrees with Wolfgang Schoene that light metaphysic or light ontology are more fitting concepts than light symbolism, and that in the Icon, light appears as a spiritual, not an optical, reality. Alexei Jawlensky, the creator of the modern Icon, said that the painting itself becomes prayer. The artistic praxis becomes ritual. Color is no longer descriptive, iconic aggregates lose their identity and turn into color-figuration. In fact, it is visual competence that is needed; James R. Hurford remarks that color est lux Robert Grosseteste

For me, to conceive a form, is to perceive a color... Marino Marini

iconic images tend to turn into Peircean symbols when they are employed frequently and based on a rule-system. Artenis works, his Icons interpretations, are constructed in analogy to a musical composition. The works are designed to be variations, vivacissimo, upon themes already familiar. Figures and themes appear transmuted. Many works employ Aristotelian space, described by Patrick A. Heelan as finite in size, progressively shallow, where objects are stacked on an all-enclosing spherical backdrop. This is why distant objects may look larger and nearer. Parallel contemporaneous series are based on Western religious iconographic constructs. The signifying relation needs a guarantee in the works resemblance to what it signifies, although Arteni extends the process to a sometimes ironic inter-iconic and stylistic interpretive citation game. Art is nourished by art, writes Andr Malraux. Artenis almost randomly assembled preliminary collage studies may in fact generate a thematic or stylistic variety of series and sub-series if and when finally crystallizing into specific iconic systems that will be suggested by the distribution and structure of the collages formants. Only the playing of the game can generate the rules. The form of citation, even if subjected to medium related interpretation and transposition, indicates that the diversity of works is emphasized; it is a case of the art systems memory being formalized as information, that is to say, hetero-reference. Ironic and strangely rendered stylistic quotations indicate the stylistic levels underlying certain formal constraints. The tradition of citation and appropriation in painting is a time-tested one: it is worth pointing out Velasquez and Manet as distinguished examples.

48. Composition 1966, collage and marker on paper (present whereabouts unknown, presumably destroyed) > 49. Composition, undated, collage and marker on paper , 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

50. Composition (From Magi Series) Undated Gouache on canvas 29 x 36" (73.6 x 91.5 cm)

52. Composition (From Magi Series) Undated Oil on canvas 16 x 22" (40.6 x 55.9 cm)

51. Composition (From Magi Series) Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

53. Composition (From Magi Series) Undated Oil on canvas 40 x 32" (101.6 x 81.3 cm)

54. Magi with Star (From Magi Series) Undated Oil on canvas 22 x 24" (55.9 x 61.0 cm) 55. Composition Undated Collage and mixed technique on canvas (Present whereabouts unknown, presumably destroyed)

56. Composition Undated Oil on canvas 22 x 24" (55.9 x 61.0 cm)

57. Composition (From Hoc Signo Series) Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 46" (91.5 x 116.9 cm)

58. Winter Landscape Undated Acrylic on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm) 59. Composition. Nine-eleven c.2001-2002, 0il on canvas 44 x 34" (111.8 x 86.3 cm) QCC Art Gallery C.U.N.Y., New York

61. Composition. Landscape. Undated, oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

62. Composition, c.2002 Oil and alkyds on canvas 30 x 49" (76.2 x 124.5 cm) QCC Art Gallery C.U.N.Y., New York

60. Composition. Landscape Undated Oil on canvas 38 x 23" (96.5 x 58.4 cm)

63. Composition. Abstract, c.2002 Oil on canvas 36 x 28" (91.5 x 71.1 cm) QCC Art Gallery C.U.N.Y., New York

Pictorial space is a wall inside which, however, birds fly freely. Nicolas de Stal Since the late 1980s, Arteni devotes himself to exploring in depth the art of East Asian calligraphy - he studies with Professor Yusho Tanaka (Setsuzan), one of Japan's leading calligraphy Masters - concurrent with expanding the formal horizon of his painting on the basis of the principle of synchronous, open series. At the same time, he is engaged in seeking a plural path. One outcome will be his livres dartiste. There is also another dimension relevant to Artenis art. Governed by a potent and visionary virtuosity, Arteni brings together disparate elements, from allusions to Greek and Roman Art to the twilight of the Classical World, from reminiscences of Byzantine mosaics to Far Eastern calligraphy, recomposing them in versions of tactile and synthetic form the gestural material, monumental regardless of size, a sense of underlying architectural order. Artenis art is now made for an ideal destination, the large wall. Mural Art is bound up with space, it requires not only seeing, but a movement of walking about. Arteni successfully resolves the problem of intertwining two seemingly irreconcilable poles, the European (both Eastern and Western) and the East Asian. It is within the formal domain of East Asian calligraphy that a strong tradition of stylistic interpretive citation comes to the fore. The mutation of Artenis own heritage through the strategic appropriation of the East Asian artistic matrix develops into processoriented, spontaneous methods. Once again, the ancient theoria (viewing, contemplating) is sought as fulfillment in the entwined multi-agent heterarchy, the coordination, distribution and operational order mediation of artistic domains or contextures that require a multiplicity of simultaneous points of view, opening up access to new equally valid outlooks. Admittedly, the systematic consistency of the idea of polycontexturality, to borrow another term from Gotthard Guenther, can be confirmed in Artenis work as a whole. Gathered in itself, the beginning and the end of the circle is the same. Heraclitus The Icon is intended to encourage meditation and therefore calls to mind Buddhism and Zen. The Greek word for revelation itself implies a veiling rather than a disclosure. Artenis Apocalypse Triptych is concurrent with the clay monotypes on the same theme, and the numerous related

autonomous studies conceived as a Wall of Paintings. Arteni applies himself to elucidating the twentieth century utopia and Apocalypse, the rise and fall of absolute abstract ideologies, and, in Kim Levins words, the Apocalypse of art. Edward W. Said speaks of a voyage inward. There is no creation, there is no way of being what one actually is, except through ensimismamiento, Jose Ortega y Gassets concept that is the despair of translators. It literally means within-one-selfness. Christoph Doswald names the process recontextualization of traces. Michel de Certeau sees the art of the weak as that very weakness that is strength when inscribed in time. The Allegories series of monumental monotypes is based on the Baroque Iconologia of the Italian knight Cesare Ripa, a compilation of allegories extensively used by artists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Visual memory is populated by characteristic structures. The creative process is dependent on preknowledge of style. By transcending and transforming the images, Arteni creates works incorporating both iconic aggregate and script as pictorial form, works that could be perceived as Nihonga, the Japanese style of ink painting. Arteni is mindful of Hans Blumenbergs metaphorology concept, the symbolic forms of preconceptual expressions. The absolute metaphor structures the world, writes Blumenberg, it represents the never cognizable, never graspable, totality of reality. More precisely, in the case of allegory, which is usually a personification with attributes, it may be said that the polyvalent sense of the image is made visible by the use of metonimy and sinecdoche. This interpretation can be squared with Artenis Orpheus mural project and related studies. Hermes is the god of paths, the journeyer at home while underway. The sum total of pathways is Hermes playground, where the accidental finding, appropriating, the Hermetic event - is transformed into a work of art. A fundamental series of large size monotypes are the Scroll Fragments, calligraphic paintings that incorporate idiolectal pictographic aggregates, a series parallel to the monumental Calligraphies. Studies, intended as elaborations of larger works, but treated as autonomous, are built of an abundant, thick and dense material. One should take into account that these projects are complete in themselves, that they are perfected operations. Gran Sonesson defines pictorial strategies of rhetoric as consisting, on the one hand, of levels of unreality, and, on the other hand, of visual paraphrases that create tension between fictional levels: materiality, iconic aggregates, inter-iconic citations and transmutations, all play a role. Every picture is rhetorical, he writes. [It creates] an impression of similarity on the background of a fundamental difference.

< 64. Beheading of St. John the


Baptist Undated Mixed technique on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

66. Perseus and Andromeda Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

< 65. Abduction of Europa Undated Textured watercolor on paper 30 x 22 " (76.8 x 56.5)

67. Oedipus and the Sphynx Undated Textured watercolor on paper 22 x 30 " (56.5 x 76.8 cm)

68. Study for a Composition Undated Collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

69. Composition Undated Gouache on light blue tinted paper 17 x 28 " (43.8 x 72.4 cm)

Know, brother, that even if we cannot enter the Promised Land, it is better for us to die in the wilderness than to return to Egypt. From the Ancient Sinai Paterikon As one begins to comprehend the complexities of a canvas by Arteni, new qualities emerge: logic of approach, an ability to balance two- and three-dimensional aspects, the abstract construction of form, the ritual character of compositions, color virtuosity, the colors acting on their own, to which one adds tonal painting, polyrhythm, and the value of the stroke, the play of transclassic polycontexturality, and, to use Christoph Zuerchers concept, the creation of a virtual space of re-traditionalisation. One can also speak here of an aesthetics of visual fragments where cultural memory crystallizes itself, a kind of chain reaction exploring the multifaceted relationship between remembering, forgetting, and the pathways of alterity.

70. Study for a composition Undated, collage and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm)

> 71. Composition for a Wall

Undated, casein on paper board 30 x 22" (76.2 x 57.8 cm)

It is an art that affirms Michel de Certeaus concept of heterology, the time and locus of altered alterity, of the boundary crosser, the stranger, the vestigial, multiform, allotropic, under-defined, under-determined post-utopia other who constantly harbors suspicion of the verbal screen, the one who lacks a place and autochthony, the homelandless ever atopos. . Myriam S. P. de Arteni

PLATES

Well then, so call they, the swirlers out of the mist of my soul, They that come mewards, bearing old magic Ezra Pound

72. Abduction of Europa Undated Varnish paint on canvas 30 x 24" (76.2 x 61.0 cm)

73.The Riddle of the Sphynx Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76.2 x 55.9 cm)

74 . Orpheus and Eurydice Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76. 2 x 55.9 cm)

75. Croquis Undated, graphite on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

77. Untitled Undated, graphite on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm)

76. Untitled Undated, graphite on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

78. Drawing. Study for Diana and Actaeon Undated, graphite on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm)

79. Diana and Actaeon Undated Oil on canvas 29 x 36" (73.6 x 91.5 cm)

81. Bozzetto in Camaeu Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 10" ( 20. 3 x 25.4 cm)

80. Apollo and Daphne. Croquis. Undated Ink on tinted paper 24 x 19" ( 62.9 x 48. 2 cm)

82. Apollo and Daphne Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 10" ( 20. 3 x 25.4 cm)

83. Venus and Adonis Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 10" ( 20. 3 x 25.4 cm)

84. Fabulous Kermesse Undated Oil on canvas 12 x 14" (30.5 x 35.5 cm)

85. Hercules, Nessus and Deianira Undated Oil on canvas 38 x 22" (96.5 x 55.9cm)

86. Bacchanal Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 16" (20.3 x 40.6cm)

87. Untitled. Grisaille Composition Undated Oil on canvas 8 x 10" ( 20. 3 x 25.4 cm)

88. Untitled Composition (From Sectio Aurea Series) Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 36" (61.0 x 91.5 cm)

89. Self Portrait (From Sectio Aurea Series) Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 18" (61.0 x 45.7 cm)

90. Color Study. Portrait (From Sectio Aurea Series) Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 20" (61.0 x 50.8 cm)

91. Portrait (From Sectio Aurea Series) Undated, oil on canvas 30 x 24" (76. 2 x 61.0 cm)

92. Red Blanket Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 36 " (61.0 x 91.5 cm)

93. Still Life Composition Undated Oil on canvas 30 x 24" (76. 2 x 61.0 cm)

94. Portrait Study Undated Collage and marker on paper 13 x 9 " (33.7 x 23.5 cm)

96. Untitled Undated Collage and acrylic on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

95. Portrait Undated, collage, marker and gouache on board 24 x 20" (61.0 x 50.8cm)

97. Modello for a portrait Undated Collage on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

98. Modello for The Geographer Undated, collage on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

> 99.The Geographer

Undated Egg tempera on canvas mounted to wood 18 x 13" (45. 7 x 33.0 cm)

100. Untitled c.1971 Collage and marker on paper 9 x13" (23.5 x 33.7 cm) 101. Rosso Antico c.1972 Collage and marker on paper 9 x 13" (23.5 x 33.0 cm)

102. Study for Sonata Undated, collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm) 103. Modello for a Still Life Undated, collage on board 8 x 10" (20.3 x 26.6 cm) 104. Modello for a Vanitas Still Life Undated, collage on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm)

105. Still Life. Composition Undated, collage on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm) 106. Vanitas Still Life Undated, oil on canvas 24x 30" (61.0 x 76.2 cm)

107. Modello for Vanitas Still Life Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

> 108. Vanitas Still Life with Musical Instruments Undated, oil on canvas 30 x 24" (76. 2 x 61.0 cm)

109. Untitled Undated, collage on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm) 110. Composition. Still Life Undated, varnish paint on canvas 17 x 20" (43. 2 x 50.8 cm)

111. Untitled Undated Collage on board 12 x 16" (30.6 x 41.9 cm) 112. Composition (From Warriors Series) Undated Oil on canvas 28 x 36" (71.1 x 91.5 cm)

113. Untitled Undated Collage and acrylic on board 9 x 11" (22.8 x 29.8 cm) 114. Composition. The Polo Game Undated, casein on paper board 22 x 30" (57.8 x 76.2 cm)

115. Untitled Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm) 116. Massacre (From Warriors Series) c.1988 Acrylic on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

117. Untitled Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm) 118. A Field between Heaven and Earth Undated Oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm) 119. Composition Undated Collage and acrylic on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

120. Warrior Resting Undated, collage on board 16 x 13" (40.6 x 33.0 cm) 121. Composition. Reclining Amazon Undated, casein on paper board 22 x 30" (57.8 x 76.2 cm)

122. Untitled Undated, collage and acrylic on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm) 123. Composition. Massacre Undated, casein on paper board 22 x 30" (57. 8 x 76. 2 cm)

124. Bacchanal with Flamenco Dancers Undated Egg tempera on canvas 29 x 36"(73.6 x 91.5 cm) Private Collection

125. Modello for Perseus and Andromeda Undated Collage and gouache on board 22 x 16" (55.9 x 40.6 cm)

>126. Perseus and Andromeda


Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 28" (91.5 x71.1 cm)

129. Untitled Undated, collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm) 127. Composition Undated Collage on board 15 x 18" (38.1 x46.3 cm) 128. Modello for Bacchanal Undated Collage and acrylic on board 16 x 20 " (41.9 x 52.7 cm)

130. Untitled Undated, collage and acrylic on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

131. Untitled Undated, collage and acrylic on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

132. Bacchanal Undated Textured gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (55.9 x 76. 2 cm)

133. Untitled Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

134. Perseus and Andromeda Undated Textured gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (55.9 x 76.2cm)

135. Untitled Composition Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

136. Moira's Tapestry Undated Acrylic on canvas 30 x 38" (76.2 x 96.5 cm)

137. Composition Undated Collage on board 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) 138. Modello Undated Collage and marker on board 17 x 14" (43.2 x 35.5 cm) 139. Orpheus' Descent into Hades Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x73.6 cm)

140. Composition Undated, collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

141. Bacchanal Undated Oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

142. Sisyphus Undated, collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

143. The Judgement of Paris c. 2005 Oil and alkyds on canvas 40 x 32" (101.6 x 81.3 cm)

144. The Education of Dionysos c.2005 Oil and alkyds on canvas 26 x 22" (66.0 x 55.9cm)

145. Bacchanal with Harlequin Undated Collage and gouache on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm) 146. Festinalia Undated Collage on board 16 x 27 " (41.3 x 69.2 cm)

147. Composition with Harlequin and Satyr Undated Collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

148. The Meaning of Meaning c.2001-2002 Oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

149. Bozzetto for Annunciation Undated, textured watercolor on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

150. Annunciation Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 22"(61.0 x 55.9 cm)

151. Baptism Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 22" (61.0 x 55.9 cm)

152. Bozzetto for Baptism Undated, textured watercolor on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

154. Resurrection of Lazarus Undated, oil on canvas 24 x 22" (61.0 x 55.9 cm) 153. Bozzetto for Resurrection of Lazarus Undated, textured watercolor on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm) 155. Agony in the Garden Undated, oil on canvas 24 x 22"(61.0 x 55.9 cm)

156. St.George Undated Oil on canvas 12 x 10"(30.5 x 25.4 cm) Private Collection

157. Bozzetto for Entry into Jerusalem Undated, textured watercolor on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm) 159. Entry into Jerusalem Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30'"(55.9 x 76.2 cm) Private Collection

158. Entry into Jerusalem Undated, oil on canvas 22 x 24" (55.9 x 61.0 cm)

160. Transfiguration Undated Oil on canvas 22 x 20" (55.9 x 50.8 cm)

161. Bozzetto for Transfiguration Undated, textured watercolor on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm)

162. Apocalypse Triptych c. 1998 Mixed technique on paper laid on wire mesh Each panel: 34 x 26" (87.6 x 66.0 cm)

163. Apocalypse Fragment Undated Ink and gouache on paper 35 x 24" (90. 2 x 61.0 cm)

164. Study for Apocalypse Undated Ink and gouache on paper 35 x 24" (90. 2 x 61.0 cm)

166. Idea for Apocalypse Undated Ink on paper 24 x 35" (61.0 x 90. 2 cm)

165. Study for Apocalypse Undated Ink on paper 35 x 24" (90. 2 x 61.0 cm)

167. .Apocalypse Fragment. Croquis Undated Ink on paper 24 x 35" (61.0 x 90. 2 cm)

168. Study for Presentation to the Temple Undated Collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm) 169. Presentation to the Temple Undated Oil on canvas 18 x 22" (45. 7 x 55.9 cm) 170. Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm)

171. Expulsion from Paradise Undated, casein on paper board 22 x 30" (57.8 x 76.2 cm)

173. Study for Suzanna and the Elders Undated Collage and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

174. Penitent Mary Magdalene. (Homage to Guido Reni) Undated, collage on board 8 x 8" (21.6 x 20.3 cm) 172. Bethsabe Undated Oil on canvas 24x 16" (61.0 x 40.6 cm) 175. Bethsabe at her Bath Undated Collage and gouache on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

176. Study for Magi Undated Collage and gouache on board 22 x 16" (55.9 x 40.6 cm) 177. Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm) 178. Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 17 x 14 " (43.2 x 35.5 cm) 179. Untitled Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm) 180. Study for a Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm) 181. Modello for a Composition Undated Collage and gouache on board 22 x 16" (55.9 x 40.6 cm) 182. Study for a Composition Undated Collage and marker on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

183. Composition (From Magi Series) Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 28" (91.5 x 71.1 cm)

184. Modello for a Composition Undated Collage and gouache on board 16 x 22" (40.6 x 55.9 cm)

185. Multiplication of Loaves and Fish Undated Oil on canvas 28 x 40" (71.1 x 101.6cm)

186. Study for a Composition Undated Collage and marker on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

187. Christ Washing the Disciples Feet Undated Oil on canvas 14 x 22" (35.5 x 55.9cm)

188. Study for a Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm)

189. Composition Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 28" (61.0 x 71.1 cm) Private Collection

190. Modello for Flight into Egypt Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm)

191. Flight into Egypt Undated Oil on canvas 24 x 30" (61.0 x 76.2 cm) Private Collection

193. Deposition Undated Collage and marker on board 17 x 14" (43. 2 x 35.5 cm)

192. Composition Undated Collage on board 18 x 12" (45. 7 x 30.5 cm)

194. Modello for a Deposition Undated Collage, marker and gouache on board 22 x 16" (55.9 x 40.6 m)

195. Deposition Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 28" (91.5 x 71.1 cm)

196. Untitled Undated Collage and marker on board 16 x 22" (40.6 x 55.9 cm)

197. Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 14 x 17" (35.5 x 43.2 cm) 199. Composition (From Hoc Signo Series) Undated Oil on canvas 22 x 14" (55.9 x 35.5 cm)

198. Study for a Composition Undated Collage on paper 14 x 8 " (35.5 x 21.6 cm)

200. Nativity with Shepherd and Magi c.2002 Oil and alkyds on canvas 30 x 24" (76. 2 x 61.0 cm)

201. Study for a Composition Undated Collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

202. Abstract Composition Undated Egg tempera on canvas mounted to wood 7 x 12" (17.8 x 30.5 cm)

203. Study for a Composition Undated Collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

204. Study for a Composition Undated Collage on paper 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

205.Composition c.2001 Oil on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

206. Landscape Study Undated, collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

207. Composition. Landscape Undated, oil on canvas 36 x 46" (91.5 x 116.9 cm)

208. Composition Undated, collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

209. Landscape Undated Collage on paper 10 x 13" (25.4 x 33 cm)

210. Landscape Study Undated Collage on board 20 x 14" (50.8 x 35.5 cm)

212. Study for a Landscape Undated, collage on paper 11 x 14" (28.0 x 35.5 cm)

211. Composition Undated Collage on board 20 x 14" (50.8 x 35.5 cm)

213. Landscape Undated Oil on canvas 29 x 36" (73.6 x 91.5 cm)

214. Modello for a Landscape Undated, collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

215. Landscape Undated, acrylic on canvas 24 x 30" (61.0 x 76.2cm)

216. Study Undated Collage on board 8 x 13" (20.3 x 33.7 cm)

219. Landscape Undated Collage on board 13 x 16" (33.0 x 40.6 cm)

217. Modello for a Composition Undated Collage on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

220. Composition Undated Collage on board 20 x "14 (50.8 x 35.5 cm)

218. Composition. Landscape Undated Oil on canvas 32 x 40" (81.3 x 101.6 cm)

221. Composition.Yellow-Violet Undated Collage on board 13 x 18" (34.3 x 45.7 cm)

222. Untitled Undated Collage, marker and gouache on board 20 x 14" (50.8 x 35.5 cm) 223. Untitled Undated Collage and acrylic on board 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) 224. Untitled Undated Collage and marker on board 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) 225. Slaying of the Auroch Undated Collage on board 17 x 13" (43. 2 x 33.7 cm)

226. Modello for a composition Undated Collage, marker and gouache on board 14 x 20" (35.5 x 50.8 cm)

227. Founding Legend. The Slaying of the Auroch (From Legends Series) Undated Oil on canvas 29 x 36" (73.6 x 91.5 cm)

228. Modello for a Composition Undated Collage and marker on board 20 x 25 " (50.8 x 64. 8 cm)

229. Study for a Mosaic (From Folktales Series) c.2002 Oil on canvas 36 x 46" (91.5 x 116.9cm)

230. Calligraphic Idea Undated Collage on board 10 x 9" (25.4 x 22.8 cm) 231. Calligraphic Idea Undated Collage on board 10 x 7" (26.0 x 19.0 cm) 232. Calligraphy. Dance c.2002 Oil and alkyds on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

233. Calligraphy. Empty Center c.2002 Oil and alkyds on canvas 22 x 22" (55.9 x 55.9 cm)

234. Calligraphy Undated Oil on canvas 26 x 22" (66.0 x 55.9 cm)

235. Composition with Horseman (From Folktales Series) Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22 " (76.2 x 55.9cm)

236. Figures and Mythic Bird Undated Textured gouache on paper 30 x 22" (76. 2 x 55.9cm)

237. Moldavian Folktale (From Folktales Series) Undated Oil on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

238. Perseus and Andromeda Undated Textured gouache on paper 30 x 22 " (76. 2 x 55.9cm)

239. Composition with Antique Figures Undated Collage on board 20 x 14" (50.8 x 35.5 cm)

240. The Return of Ulysses Undated Gouache on paper 30 x 22" (76.2 x 55.9cm)

241. Study for a composition Undated, collage and marker on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

242. Study for a composition Undated, collage, marker and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

243. Salome c.2001-2002 Oil on canvas 28 x 22" (71.1 x 55.9 cm)

244. Ariadne, Mistress of the Labyrinth c.2001-2002 Oil on canvas 36 x 29" (91.5 x 73.6 cm)

245. Centaurs and Lapiths Undated Gouache on paper 30 x 22 " (76. 2 x 55.9cm)

246. Zeus and Antiope Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30" (55.9 x76.2 cm)

> 247. Composition Undated Textured gouache on paper 30 x 22" (76.2 x 55.9cm)

248. Ancient Tale Undated Gouache on paper 22 x 30 " (55.9 x 76.2 cm)

249. Composition with Horsemen Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22" (76.2 x 55.9cm)

250. Wall with Idols in Niches Undated Mixed technique on paper 30 x 22" (76.2 x 55.9cm)

251. Study for a Wall Painting Undated, collage and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

252. Study for a Mural Undated, collage and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

253. Study for a Mural Undated, collage and gouache on paper 14 x 11" (35.5 x 28.0 cm)

254. Composition for a Mural Undated, casein on paper board 30 x 22 " (76.2 x 57.8 cm)

256. Study for a Mural Composition Undated, collage and marker on paper, 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm)

257. Study for a Composition Undated, collage and marker on paper, 8 x 14" (21.6 x 35.5 cm) 255. Study for a Wall Painting Undated, gouache on light blue tinted paper 28 x 17" (72.4 x 43.8 cm)

258. Modello for a Wall Composition Undated, collage and marker on paper, 14 x 8 " (35.5 x 21.6 cm)

259. Orpheus (Site Specific Mural Project) c.2000 Mixed technique on paper Chiron: 52 3/8 x 78 5/8" (133.0 x 199.6 cm) ; Silenus: 83 x 58 " (210.8 x 148.6 cm) ; Orpheus: 80 x 58" (203. 2 x 147.7 cm) ; Orpheus and Eurydice: 74 x 55" (189. 3 x 140.9 cm) ; Hermes: 78 5/8 x 53" (200.3 x 134.6 cm) ; Pan: 59 x 59 " (149.8 x 150.5 cm).

260. Nativity Undated Ink and gouache on paper 39 x 27 " (101.0 x 69.2 cm)

261. Entry into Jerusalem Undated Ink and gouache on paper 39 x 24" (99.0 x 61.0 cm)

262. Resurrection of Lazarus Undated Ink on paper 27 x 18 (69. 2 x 46.3 cm)

263. Anastasis Undated Ink on Japanese paper 16 x 11" (40.6 x 28.0 cm)

264. Nostalgia 4 Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 36 " (96.5 x 92.7 cm)

265. Memoria Undated Ink monotype on paper 70 x 37" (179.7 x 95. 2 cm)

266. Nostalgia 2 Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 35 " (96.5 x 90.2 cm)

267. Nostalgia 1 Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 35 " (96.5 x 90.2 cm)

268. Quos Amo Undated Ink monotype on paper 71 x 37 " (182. 2 x 95.2 cm)

269. Study for Wall Painting Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 54 x 27 " (137.8 x 69. 2 cm)

270. Scattered fragments Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 39 x 36" (99.0 x 91. 7 cm)

271. Spaces on the Wall Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 55 x 27 " (140.0 x 70. 2 cm)

272. Tracks of the Unknown One (Third of Time, Myth, Memory, a set of four horizontal scrolls) Undated Ink monotype on paper 12 x 55" (32.4 x 140.0 cm)

273. Calligraphy Undated Ink on paper 27 x 27" (68.6 x 68.6 cm) 274. Calligraphy Undated Mixed technique on paper 37 x 24" (95.9 x 62.9 cm) 275. Calligraphy Undated Mixed technique on paper 27 x 26" (68.6 x 67. 3 cm) 276. Calligraphic Composition Undated Mixed technique on paper 36 x 27" (91.5 x 68.6 cm)

277. Haiku Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 28 x 27" (73.0 x 68.6 cm)

278. Every Day is a Good Day Undated Ink on paper 38 x 22" (96.5 x 55.9 cm)

279. Divine Things Are Indestructible Undated, ink on paper 70 x 38" (178.4 x 96.5 cm) 280. A Heart Like Water Undated, ink on paper 70 x 38" (178.4 x 96.5 cm) 281. Time Waits for No Man Undated, ink on paper 70 x 38" (178.4 x 96.5 cm)

282. A Line from Encountering Sorrow, a Poem by Qu Yuan: a Circle Fits Not with a Square Design Undated, ink on paper 70 x 38" (178.4 x 96.5 cm)

283. Calligraphy 2 Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 53 x 11 " (135.0 x 29.8 cm) National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

284. Calligraphy Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 53 x 11 " (136.8 x 29.8 cm)

289. Calligraphic Spaces (From Heart Sutra Series,) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 25 " (69.2 x 57.8 cm) 285. Brushstrokes (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Ink monotype on paper 27 x 27 " (68.6 x 69.2 cm) 286. Ink Brushstrokes (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated, ink monotype on paper 27 x 25 " (68.6 x 57.8 cm) 287. Ink (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Ink monotype on paper 27 x 25" (68.6 x 57.8 cm) 288. Calligraphy (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated, ink monotype on paper 27 x 25" (69.8 x 57.8 cm)

290. Calligraphy (From Heart Sutra Series,) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 25 " (68.6 x 57.8 cm) 291. Calligraphic Composition (From Heart Sutra Series,) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 28" (68.6 x 71.1 cm)

292. Calligraphy (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 26" (68.6 x 66.0 cm) 293. Calligraphic Composition (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 28" (68.6 x 71.1 cm)

294. Calligraphic Composition (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 27 x 26" (68.6 x 66.0 cm) 295. There is No Life, No Death (From Heart Sutra Series) Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 26 x 27 3/8" (68. 0 x 69.5 cm) National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

296. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated Ink monotype on paper 70 x38 " (178.7 x 96.8 cm) 297. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated Ink monotype on paper 70 x38 " (178.7 x 96.8 cm)

298. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated Ink monotype on paper 70 x38 " (178.7 x 96.8 cm) 299. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 70 x38 " (178.7 x 96.8 cm)

300. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated Ink monotype on paper 70 x 38 " (177.8 x 96.8 cm)

301. No Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 69 x 37 " (175.0 x 95.0 cm) National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

302. From the Long Flutes Comes the Autumn Music Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 54 x 12 (124.0 x 30.5 cm) Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, U.S.A.

303. Calligraphic Composition. Grisaille Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 21" (96.5 x 54.0 cm)

304. Calligraphic composition Undated Ink monotype on paper 27 x 27" (69.2 x 69.8 cm) 305. Ink Undated Ink monotype on paper 38 x 26" (96.5 x 66.0 cm) 306. Ink Composition Undated Ink monotype on paper 38 x 27" (97. 2 x 68.6 cm)

307. A Haiku by Kobayashi Issa: The world of men But in its miry paddy fields The Lotus is fashioned Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 25 " (97.8 x 66.0 cm)

308. Composition Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 19 x 70 " (48.2 x 178.4 cm)

309. Composition Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 35 x 19" (90. 2 x 48. 3 cm)

310. Composition with Idol Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 35 x 19" (90. 2 x 48. 3 cm)

311. Composition with Horseman Undated, mixed technique monotype on paper 54 x 38" (139.0 x 96.5 cm)

312. Composition Undated, mixed technique monotype on paper 54 x 38" (139.0 x 96.5 cm)

313. Calligraphic Composition Undated, mixed technique monotype on paper 38 x 34 " (96.5 x 87.0 cm)

314. Horsemen of the Apocalypse Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 54 x 38" (139.0 x 96.5 cm)

315. Study for a Mural Undated, mixed technique monotype on paper 55 x 27 " (136.5 x 70.0 cm)

316. Abstract Composition Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 19 x 70 " (48.2 x 178.4 cm)

317.Composition with Apollo and Marsyas Undated Mixed technique monotype on paper 70 x 19" (178.4 x 48.2 cm)

318. Homage to Mario Sironi c.2001-2002 Oil and alkyds on canvas 12 x 30" (30.5 x 76.2 cm)

319. Composition with Green Horsemen c.2004 Oil on canvas 40 x 32" (101.6 x 81.3 cm)

320. Composition with Dancers Undated Oil on canvas 38 x 30" (96.5 x 76.2 cm)

321. Apollo and Marsyas c.2003-2004 Oil and alkyds on canvas 40 x 32" (101.6 x 81.3 cm)

ESSAYS

Vibrant certainty its touch so fine, making a sign peak and abyss on the same line Henri Michaux

The Horizon of Stefan Artenis Calligraphic Art

The essence of art is the self-programming of the artwork. Niklas Luhmann Stefan Artenis Chinese name is AI Tayi, and his pen-name is KUANG XIAN (in Chinese) or KYOSEN (in Japanese). A noted Master calligrapher and seal carver, Arteni is grounded in more than one language and culture. Inspired by the other Moderns, Zao Wou-ki and especially Julius Bissier, a friend of Martin Heidegger since their schooldays, Arteni became interested in the art of calligraphy at an early date. Artenis works are often exhibited in the United States as well as in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. In 1996 and 2005, his works were awarded the Grand Prize of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Interaction beyond any particular culture allows for an art which expands itself, or, to put it in the language of the artist himself, artistic paradigms are connected operationally. Experience, graphia, which means both writing and painting, is revalidated. The medium disciplines our perception. According to a well-known calligrapher, the exhibition Calligraphy and Art, organized by the Taiwan Museum of Art at the Taichung County Seaport Art Center between December 9, 2000 and January 14, 2001, inscribes Artenis work simultaneously within the contemporary interpretive Chinese and Japanese calligraphic art and within the formal path of a dialogue between East Asia and the West opened by the post-World War II cole de Paris and Gruppe Zen. To give oneself a rhythm, to take a rhythm upon oneself, to successfully bring one into existence, this is the first condition for producing beautiful things. Silvio Ceccato. The Chinese have decided in favour of visual script, writes Gotthard Guenther. Engelbert Kronthaler emphasizes that while the East lets the foreign be absorbed and rest within itself, and thus, globally seen, lets both foreign and autochthonous elements stay polycontexturally side by side, the West grows through the monocontextural metamorphosis of the foreign into the autochthonous.

322 a-c. Wandering (A Poem by Muso Soseki) English translation from Japanese by W. S. Merwin and Soiku Shigematsu 1995 Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes. 10 x 9" (27.3 x 24.1 cm); [46] leaves, including 2 letterpress leaves printed in Goudy Old Italian ; bound in blue silk boards. In silk drop-spine box. [Letterpress printing, binding and box by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Edition size: 1. The seal on the front page of Wandering, and the monotypes, are based on two Chinese characters written in seal-script styles, which form the word "pilgrim": [like] clouds [over] water

323. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated, ink on paper, 70 x 19" (178.4 x 48.2 cm)

324. Calligraphy Undated, ink on paper 53 x 11 (135 x 30 cm) National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

325. The Old Horse Knows the Road Undated , ink on paper 54 x 12 (137..2 x 30.5 cm) Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, U.S.A.

326. Calligraphy Undated , ink on paper 54 x 12 (137. 2 x 30.5 cm) Private Collection

327. Calligraphy Undated , ink on paper 54 x 12 (137. 2 x 30.5 cm) Private Collection

Speaking of semiotics in Japanese culture, Yoshihiko Ikegami makes mention of the instantiation of a semiotic structure with an empty center. The empty center stands ready to lend itself toall kinds of possible reorganizations. Steve Odin defines Chan (Zen) as a boundless openness devoid of all metaphysical centers", similar to the Hesychasts kenosis, the soteriological concept of Nothingness as Emptiness or Sunyata, Nishitani Keijis self-emptying, the locus of Nothingness where one can say yes to all things. Operationally this suggests multiple coexisting formal systems mediated by a recursive, permutative, polylocal, decentered organization. Arteni proposes the polycontextural interplay of a heterarchy of complementary artistic domains, a simultaneous plurality of equally valid and interwoven differences, an exploration of arts multivariate encodings, transitions from one domain into the other, the transcontextural binding, mediating, blending in of contextures. To experience is to go along a way. Martin Heidegger Arteni investigates the formalism of self-limiting constructs: the linear changes developed in calligraphy, such as center brush and hidden tip, side brush and square brush, round and angular brushwork, techniques such as rubbing and monotype processes. Chinese and Japanese calligraphy use script as the medium of art. It is questionable whether legibility, the communicative function of writing, boosts calligraphys visual art function. In fact, calligraphic art is slowly relinquishing its utilitarian side. Form opens up the possibility of transgression. For Arteni, the matter of interest is the image of writing and the materiality of script, form as form-in-a-medium, that is to say not an analogon, but a spatially and temporally situated operation, a contingent concretization, or, as Niklas Luhmann puts it, the arbitrary generation of nonarbitrariness. Arteni constantly employs strict compositional logic which is perfectly balanced and finds its own enrichment within itself. The mere fact of a transcultural play becomes reworking and creative transformation. Praxis as a type of syntactic creativity, transforms the passivity of the material medium into a functional process, declares Arteni. On the other hand, the fundamental pattern of the morphogram (the Chinese character) or of the phonogram (Hiragana and Katakana), the structural constancy, is so valid, so gripping in every case, that it still presents itself as the most useful material for any search. Formal transfiguration is made possible only by contrast with a configuration that is enduring. The future of art depends on whether it can make use of constraints to expand the room for further distinctions. Niklas Luhmann

The sign is carried by a material medium. In the game of transmedialization, the material media being relatively close to each other, Arteni transfers the calligraphic sign to the medium of monotype or oil painting, keeping in mind the necessity of preserving the underlying structure, although operational alterations may generate new surface structures. As Arteni puts it, art is meant to interrupt automatic reactions, to open up a space of play. The new is there with the old, for with the first strokes, all is already painted, even though all is still to be painted. For Arteni, play harnesses the ability to offset any one mode of appearing, in order to coordinate a plurality of appearances. This is why Arteni endorses the polymorphic spinning of scenarios that chisel out the topography of reciprocal transpositions between his paintings, his Chan (Zen)-like calligraphic Icons interpretations, and his calligraphy and seal cutting, the fusion of invention and traditions. Like painting, scribal writing requires both competency and form. Niklas Luhmann The vitality of Artenis art originates in his accessing the prereflective roots of disclosedness, or, to appropriate Steve Odins cogent formulation, the empty reality of immediate experience. There is no other way, Arteni seems to say, but to introduce emptiness as the necessary space for a transclassical approach, as the frame for the operational exploration of possible formal contextures. And as he does so, many unexpected cross-fertilizations and grafts emerge. The variations on a given pattern, rhythm, and the dynamism of the strokes, underscored by Svend Ostergaard, are vital to Artenis calligraphic work. The traditional glossaries of calligraphic strokes are transmuted into visual and gestural vectors. Conceiving script primarily as form, as manipulation of meaning-less graphic marks located in and bound to a pictorial space, Arteni pursues the emancipation of script from language through scripto-graphic transformations and transposed configurations, through a kind of permutography, underscoring the element of recovery and retrieval of the pictorial-imagic, of the painted marks gestalt quality. Black functions as color; black and white may subsume all chromatic categories. Artenis blacks have many precedents in Moldavian (Bessarabian) folk art and in the works of Frans Hals, Juan Gris, Pierre Soulages, and Zao Wou-ki.

Art is a game, one which may prove sublime, but which is still a game. Andr Derain

328 a-d. River Bank (A Poem by Tu Fu) English translation from the Chinese by Rewi Alley 1997 Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes and calligraphy. [46] leaves; 10 x 9 " (27.3 x 24.1 cm). In drop-spine box. [Binding and box by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Edition size: 1.

329 a-b. Coda (A Poem by Daniel Simko) 1997 Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes and calligraphy. Signed by the poet. [46] leaves; 10 x 9 " (27.3 x 24.1 cm). In drop-spine box. [Binding and box by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Edition size: 1

330 a-c. The Thinker as Poet (Poems by Martin Heidegger) English translation from the German by A.Hofstadter 1994 Unbound leaves. 29 pages of brush and sumi ink calligraphy, sumi ink drawings, and artist's handprint on Japanese handmade paper; text in bamboo stick and sumi ink. [5], 1-50, [6] pp.; 22 x 16" (55.9 x 40.6 cm). Brush and sumi ink calligraphed wrapper. In drop-spine box.[Box by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Edition size: 1.

331. Sake Undated, ink and color on paper 28 x 26 (71.0 x 68.0 cm) National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts,

By calling into question the aesthetics of reception and its limitations, Arteni establishes the site wherein are situated the acts of making in which the artist participates by doing, acts belonging to a dimension that precedes all conceptualization and encompassing the horizon of aisthesis, that is to say, temporal activity, bodily movement, tactility, sight, and making as self-making. Arteni invents new means to answer new purposes: he employs round and square brushes, bamboo pens, palette knives. Then he goes off on yet another tangent: he pours, scratches and gouges the surface, scrabbles, scrapes, scrawls and scrags, in a sort of controlled frenzy. The artists vision knits together details that emerge and coalesce from the fragments enmeshed in the nebulous and blurred background, fragments, now and then quivering with color, that seem as if striving to dissolve and reform. A distinct configuration takes shape. Dieter Mersch defines the paradox of the performative making as the impossibility of representing the moment of the representations instantiation. Artenis calligraphy, a rhapsody of improvisations, gives birth to the singularity of the event itself, it temporalizes the picture by means of the trace of the gesture. Myriam S. P. de Arteni

Each stroke of a character contains all things in the universe. Kukai

The Image-Words of Sol Invictus Press

Since its establishment in 1991 by Stefan Arteni and Myriam Sanchez - Posada de Arteni, Sol Invictus Press has cultivated a unique approach to the genre of the livre d'artiste, or artist's book. There are several reasons for this, all of which are rooted in the Artenis' unique set of talents and skills, and in their confluent expression in books and scrolls of flawless execution and dramatic design. Very few, if any, artists other than Stefan Arteni can bring, with such assuredness, so varied a cultural and aesthetic background to their work. He is steeped in the aesthetic and meditative traditions of Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, in the rich Orthodox iconography of his native Romania, and in the styles of Western abstract art. His work reveals the unifying principles of these apparently disparate ways of seeing and saying with brush and pen. Myriam Sanchez-Posada de Arteni, his wife, an awardwinning painter in her own right, brings to the books' design, printing, and binding a discerning eye and practiced hand. She is as skilled in the execution of accordion or Coptic bindings as she is in the Western codex format, an accomplishment which allows her to display Stefan Arteni's tradition-bending Chinese and Japanese calligraphic works in a traditional format. The handmade papers from China, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and her native Colombia, which she selects for Stefan Arteni's drawn and printed images, unfailingly enhance them. She is also a bold experimenter, as can be seen in her incorporation of wire mesh into the paper used for the leaves of Cantique de Saint Jean . Her playfully dramatic sense of design is evident in the five-paneled folding front for the wrapper of Laudes Creaturarum . The ink-and-brush symbol of the Chrismon (a circle containing the Greek initials of Jesus Christ, I X) on the wrapper front, which closes in two facing panels, opens upon an Ichthys (a fish within a circle). The folding panels themselves become a metaphor for revelation.

332. Laudes Creaturarum (A Poem by Saint Francis of Assisi) Five-paneled folding front of the wrapper

333 a-b. Cantique de Saint Jean (A Poem by Stephane Mallarme) 1996 Modified lithographic ink monotype images and modified lithographic ink calligraphy. Paper handmade in China, Mexico (laid on wire mesh), and the Philippines. [10] leaves; 15 x 12" (39.4 x 31.7 cm.) [Binding by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Copy: no. 2, with 3 additional artist's proofs monotypes. Shown is Arteni's depiction of The Baptism and of The Severed Head Of The Baptist In A Bowl as a calligraphic interpretation of traditional Byzantine iconography.

334 a-c. Laudes Creaturarum (A Poem by Saint Francis of Assisi) English translation from Italian by Barbara Carle 1992 Unbound leaves. Brush and sumi ink drawings, handcarved initials, and red Chinese seal paste prints from signature seals; text printed in letterpress, Goudy Old Italian; all on Colombian handmade paper. [32] leaves; 15 x 23" (38.1 x 58.4 cm)., Wrapper with brush and sumi ink images. In drop-spine box. [Design and box by Myriam S. P. de Arteni.] Edition size: 26. The New York Public Library (Spencer Collection), New York, U.S.A; Private Collection, Verona, Italy; St. Mark's Library, The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York, U.S.A.; Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.; Phoenix Public Library, Phoenix Arizona, U.S.A.; Private Collection, New York, U.S.A.; Private Collection, Virginia, U.S.A.; Private Collection, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Stefan Arteni, though trained thoroughly and rigorously in the East Asian calligraphic arts, often employs them in a non-traditional fashion uniquely his own. This is most obvious in the subjects of his compositions. Many of them describe or are inspired by scenes and figures from the New Testament, and many feature or include symbols from the Greek Orthodox tradition. Other symbols have a Mediterranean or Native American source. Arteni's interpretations of these symbols often use the Zen circle as their basic structure. Tellingly, the lines themselves, regardless of subject matter or Arteni's use of them in New Testament scenes with figures grouped according to Western conventions, seem to form calligraphic characters. This results in a reinterpretation of Orthodox iconography and of Western traditions of New Testament representation. Image becomes character; that is to say, Word, or Logos. The two-dimensionality of these drawings, typical of Orthodox icon painting, as well as of much Western abstract representation, is animated by the spontaneity of brushwork found in Japanese and Chinese hand-drawn characters. As in such characters, the lines work together to form an organic whole, each of them equally important, regardless of its size or position. Paradoxically, this does not lead to a sense of confusion, if the viewer is willing to look with quiet attention. When these images are seen without the interference of our conditioned expectations of how artistic representation should function, the viewer comes to apprehend the importance of each detail to the unity of the entire scene. The uniqueness of Arteni's calligraphic art is also apparent in his technical innovations for monotype printing. A monotype is a single-copy print. Unlike lithographic prints, which can be reproduced from a stone surface a dozen or so times without appreciable change in line or tone, a monotype image can be produced only once. The ink is transferred from the plate to the paper almost in its entirety. In order to produce the "same" image, it would have to be redrawn on the plate after the first image had been printed. (Arteni uses a calligraphy brush or bamboo stick to draw the image on a glass or plexiglass plate). But, of necessity, the second image would not be identical to the first. The movement of arm and wrist, the pressure of the fingers, would be slightly different each time. Even the proportions of the figure would change, not only for physical reasons, but because in Zen calligraphy the movement of the brush is not merely the result of learned technique, but emerges from the artist's response to the moment. Each monotype, like each image or character drawn directly on paper, is unique. Though Arteni has produced entire books in which the images and characters are drawn directly upon paper, he especially enjoys the textures and accidents resulting from the transfer of brushstrokes from a plate.

An unorthodox form of monotype printing, which Arteni happened upon in 1996, is the use of damp clay as a printing surface. A friend of his had recently discovered the technique and introduced him to it. Dyes or acrylic paints are mixed in water with a fine clay powder and applied to a damp clay slab. Arteni, however, radically transformed the technique, releasing the full potential of the clay monotype by cutting into and shaping the topography of the slab, thereby achieving a complex interaction of planographic, relief , and intaglio effects. Occasionally, the furrows in the clay produce rich effects akin to dry point etching. After transferring the image to the paper, Arteni sprays it with a fixative to ensure that the clay pigments will not crumble away after they have dried. The monotype books are usually single-copy editions. When more than one copy has been produced in this fashion, each is unique because of the nature of the monotype process. Other books, like The Large Emerging from the Small, are brush-andink manuscripts to which letterpress leaves have sometimes been added. These, too, are produced as single-copy editions. Intimately related to the Sol Invictus books are the drawings which often serve as studies for images in the books, as well as the scrolls upon which Arteni employs his brush directly. Some of the scrolls are purely calligraphic, employing Japanese characters; others contain images. A distinct genre of Sol Invictus Press is the books of stone-seal carvings of Chinese and Japanese characters. These offer Arteni an opportunity to present an ancient form of art which is today rarely executed with such mastery anywhere in the world; among Western artists Arteni is probably its sole expert practitioner. Here, too, Arteni has combined innovation with tradition. In Casual Writings by a Window, a book of stone-seal prints and calligraphy, Arteni has adopted for his seals the seal-script style of ancient Chinese writing, invented at least as early as 600 B.C., and whose various forms had become standardized by 200 B.C. Now, it is used only for seals. Arteni plays with the traditional seal-script forms in Casual Writings, sometimes intentionally distorting them to the point of illegibility, thereby transforming them into designs of pure form. For the text, he has used a semicursive style of Chinese character. However, instead of employing a brush, the traditional means of forming these characters, he has used a bamboo stick. Arteni's combination of tradition and innovation has made Sol Invictus Press the vehicle not only for his and Myriam de Arteni's rare gifts, but for a sacred art rooted in both Eastern and Western traditions. As the leaves of a Sol Invictus book

335 a-d. Apocalypse 1996 Portfolio of 19 clay monotypes on synthetic paper, including 1 colophon leaf and 1 title leaf. [19] leaves; 21 x 17" (53.3 x 43.2 cm). Edition size: 2 copies. Copy: no. 1.

are turned and the characters/symbols/images succeed each other in space and time, each seemingly the work of an inspired moment which has flowed spontaneously from the artist's hand, the awareness grows that an important message is being spoken to the eye and inscribed in the mind. Isaac Gewirtz (Curator, Henry W. And Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature The New York Public Library)