'Dear Thief', Samantha Harvey
2014

 

...I will surprise you with the fact that I remember exactly what the exhibition was at the Serpentine when Nicolas and I went twenty-six years ago – it was a retrospective of a painter called Jeremy Moon, who made abstract canvases of blocks and blocks of colour that were supposed to represent nothing. He wanted us to see a canvas painted yellow and not think of the sun or of cornfields in childhood or of golden beaches or of happiness and optimism, but to see only yellow paint. I did not like his paintings much, but I have always held onto their noble cause – to keep working away from the seduction of memory and metaphors, towards the honest, simple truth. This is green, this is blue, this is yellow, this is a slope, this is a curve, this is bright or dark. I have failed abysmally in this. And yet at work, seeing Gene, at last! Twenty -six years too late, but suddenly I have looked at the body of an old man and managed, with some success, that most difficult of things...