Monday, January 9, 2012

The Square Egg and The Vicious Circle

It is with great regret that I acknowledge the recent passing of Ronald Searle, one of my favorite artists and most consistent influences. I'd advise anybody who isn't familiar with him to read Warren Bernard's illuminating overview at TCJ. I usually keep a number of books close by for inspiration. A couple on Otto Dix, George Grosz, Max Ernst, and more than a few by Ronald Searle. The Searle book I break out most often and with most zeal is The Square Egg and The Vicious Circle (Stephen Greene Press, 1968). On the surface it's a collection of drawings from various magazines. Beyond that, it is a masterly device for innovation. A sermon on living, working and expressing. Searle shows you page after page, how to loosen up, how to keep experimenting. Anytime I feel like I'm stagnating, I reach for some Searle and soak his work in. I study those lines, I absorb the energy, and take in the wit. His distortions, along with those of the other artists I mentioned, are the most telling and accurate renderings we have of ourselves. Ronald Searle 1920-2012

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