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ARCHIVED - The Glenn Gould Archive

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Art and Poetry

Four Last Songs


Four Last Songs are paintings created by the New York artist, Brian Rutenberg, and are mounted here with his permission. The title for these paintings derives from the musical composition of the same name by the 'classical' composer, Richard Strauss, who was much admired by Gould. Mr. Rutenberg describes the recordings and writings of Glenn Gould as "a tremendous source of inspiration to my own work."

In the artist's own words:

"These paintings address two fundamental Gouldian themes, the notion of ecstasy and introspection, both being vital ingredients in the production and assimilation of works of art. Gould said that the path of art is always the same, 'from inwardness to lucidity.' How true."

"I also believe that painting, especially abstraction, requires the casting aside of rational thought in favor of syncretic vision, possessing an architecture not unlike the contrapuntal music Gould favored above all else. That simultaneous explosion of ideas pursuing their own trajectories yet all commenting on the overall theme or subject is applicable to every form of art. My artworks use painted form, pencil lines and punctured holes to represent these different voices. Together they work to create one homogeneous form."

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