Untitled

Cox jan zt 1973 photo m hka14

Jan Cox

1973

Drawing, 755 x 565 mm.
Materials: charcoal on paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Donated by Adriaan Raemdonck, 2014 (Inv. no. S0491_28).

These charcoal sketches of an organic aspect evoke a good many questions and might at first seem a bit strange, for here we essentially are dealing with an abstraction of feelings and sense-experience.  The figure looks like a butterfly, and makes us think of the earlier works Butterfly of Love (Boston, 1960), Escapade de Papillon (Boston, 1961) and Butterfly of Tears (Boston, 1963).  The butterfly motif also returns later in The Fog in Maine (Boston, 1974) and in De droeve vlinder (Antwerp, 1975). 

Applying Freudian dream analysis to contemporary art, we might suggest that first-and-foremost the artist represents him/herself in the work, and that certain feelings continue to emerge as recurring signs or motifs.  This butterfly and other animals - but also shells and flowers - within Jan Cox's oeuvre give shape to particular, acutely felt emotions.

The butterfly is a sort of indefinable thing, of which the 'eyes' are clear and recognizable.  Just as with Untitled (1979) where the motif of the door dominates, here the 'eyes' (like 'two fringed carbuncles') again evoke the feminine and reflect upon the quest for freedom

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