GILAH YELIN HIRSCH
Gilah Yelin Hirsch (1944, Montreal) is a multidisciplinary artist:
painter, photographer, filmmaker, theoretist and Professor of Art at
California State University Dominguez Hills. She is engaged in art,
architecture, theology, philosophy, psychology, psychoneuroimunology,
neurotheology and world culture. Her traveling influences her interests
and knowledge – she traveled round Europe and Asia where she lived some
time and North Africa. This was one of the moments that has influenced her
in the formulation of the theory about the origin of the alphabet
established on the natural forms. She called the theory Cosmography –
the writing of the universe: an investigation into the relation between
pattern in nature and the origin of alphabet. This theory about the
morphology of alphabet deals with neuropsychological affect of form in the
oscillating process of perception and cognition. Cosmography explains the
relationship between the emotion and form too, how can the pictures
influence the psychology of the viewer. It was presented to the Menninger
Foudatin’s Council Grove conference in 1985 first time.
The viewer starts to perceive in G. Y. Hirsch’s pictures only the colors of the paintings in the first moment. Later he starts to perceive the shapes and organically components of her pictures. The climbing floral and trailing ornaments are one of the most dominant elements of her paintings. We can find such type of ornaments in Pre-Romanesque Anglo-Irish art. The art with decorative style refusing realistic forms was developed in this area. The art works, which was based on complicated combinations of different ornaments and fine polychromes, were origin here. These can be found mostly in the production of illuminated manuscripts from 8th century (for example Book of Lindisfarne, Book of Durrow, Book of Kells). G. Y. Hirsch makes use of her education in the art history by her artwork, and she uses the motives from the art history as in the case of the series of the paintings with the name ”Book of Keys”. This is an allusion to the Irish ”Book of Kells” from the 8th century. This cycle is characteristic with decorative plain – initials and decorative writings. She uses those decorative elements as well as astragal, plait, ovoid, laurel, derived from the history of art in others her art works too.
We cannot deny a strong mental dimension, which is a reflection of her inner relics, and it can be an aftermath of her Jewish heritage. Finally, she doesn’t try inhibiting this heritage, on the contrary, we can find the Jewish script in less or more stylized forms in a lot of her paintings. It is not a chance that we can find in G. Y. Hirsch’s paintings letristic forms of Jewish script and initials from Anglo-Saxon Pre-Romanesque manuscripts. This is right, because she is the author of the theory of Cosmography, which deals with the origin of alphabet from natural forms, what was mentioned above.
The nature is after all the next very important formal element of her paintings. There are classical landscapes as for example the ”Dorland Ponds Series” or ”Landscape Series”, on the one side which reminds the real nature, as for example the picture ”Jadis”. This picture is a simple composition of a water level reflected the sun with very simple framing on the borders On the other hand, there are pictures with floral elements shaping seemingly decorative pictures. They are not only decorative paintings, but also the pictures permeated with the mysticism and spirituality of the author. The names of the pictures testify in favour the psychological and theological determination of G.Y.Hirsch, for example ”Temple of Midnight, Kingdom, Grace” alebo cyklus nazvaný ”Windows In The Temple Of Mind”.
The format of her paintings is very important. A lot of them are composed as a rhombus picture, which she calls ”Diamond Series". From the Freud’s psychoanalytical point of view, this shape can be interpreted as a motive of feminine loins. This erotic motive is developed in the painting, which consist in some cases of stylized primary and secondary sexual anatomical signs, as in case of the pictures: ” Gratitude, Who Will Live and Who Will Die” and others. There can be found in this paintings another anatomical details of human body, as for example blood capillary, neurons, etc. A wide spectrum of the author´s activities in the field of psychology and neuropsychoimunologie can be illustrated with such examples.
Mgr. Viera Radziwill - Anoškinová
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