I'm interested in color belonging to something, where it takes on a completely new kind of vibrancy, rather than being what you would call straight abstract paintings. And anyway it is so much more exciting trying to find out about the three dimensions of color and sticking it down on a two dimensional surface.
Raymond Hendler exhibited a group of abstract paintings that displayed rare high spirits. Using a great deal of fresh white, Hendler devised extremely simple symbols which he dispersed felicitously on his shining grounds. These bright, often linear hieroglyphs serve both as pictorial animators-they often flow in winding patterns or like fluent handwriting-and as references to the plentitude of the artist's existence. Gardens and sky and human joy are read in these exceedingly compressed forms.
Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.
Experience has proved that there is no difference between a so-called realist painting - of a landscape, for example - and an abstract painting. They both have more or less the same effect on the observer.
I remember being handed a score composed by Mozart at the age of eleven. What could I say? I felt like de Kooning, who was asked to comment on a certain abstract painting, and answered in the negative. He was then told it was the work of a celebrated monkey. 'That's different. For a monkey, it's terrific'.
Certainly one of the surprising truths of having a book published is realizing that your book is as open to interpretation as an abstract painting. People bring their own beliefs and attitudes to your work, which is thrilling and surprising at the same time.