nature as it really is, in its truth. What do these characters reveal? Nothing other than vitality without a mask. Here, what is grotesque and aspiritual is presented in all its conspicuousness.
But the mind is there, in spite of all. Not with the monsters. It is nearly absent from the work. The dogs have it, more human than man, as I have said and as is shown in poet and painter Richard Lindner’s denunciation of such a universe. And it is thus, indirectly, that Richard Lindner’s sensibility is expressed in this enormous revelation, in his refusal without conciliation.
If, perhaps, what dominates the work of Saul Steinberg is an essential irony, at once both sharp and pervaded with melancholy, it is protest that dominates the work of Richard Lindner. Thus we might say that Saul Steinberg, turning his gaze on the world from top to bottom, as it were, is a paradoxical romantic, while Lindner is a realist, grappling hand to hand with this world and its beings whose presence, whose reality astound us. Even more than a realist, he his, in a very broad sense, a paradoxical naturalist, just as Saul Steinberg is paradoxically, ironically, a romantic.
Take the way each artist treats the « solitude» of creatures
(especially evident in Saul Steinberg’s latest works). Steinberg handles it with detachment, while Lindner paints characters that, even alone, have everything they need, they are alone without feeling it, they don’t leave any room for solitude but rather fill up space, they take all the space and they would take even more if more remained on the canvass, or on the paper, or in the world. His characters possess enough explosive or expansive power to do this.
The various blues or the green that sometimes surround a head in Lindner’s work leave, in spite of all, the impression that this man or woman can dream. This blue, this green are not killed by the black (black kills) for they are skilfully removed from the gloom by a white margin which protects against the murderous black.
But dreaming, or this second state, is only possible at rare moments for the beings of the fantastic hyper-realist, the hyper-naturalist that is Richard Lindner. For Saul Steinberg, objects, beings are apart, kept at a distance, thanks to the so personal humor of the artist.