A painting by André Enard appearing in An Art of Our Own by Roger Lipsey.

Number 27

Number 27, 1975, oil and goldleaf on wood (black-and-white reproduction).

“What are we looking at? A geometry that recalls both the Platonic ‘perfect figures’ and Tantric designs, the image of the labyrinth rendered as a looping intestinal pattern, gestational images of seed and egg — drawn into a whole by craftsmanship that brings to mind the skills of jeweler and icon-maker” (Lipsey, p414).

Enard writes, in a 1987 letter to the author, “Most manifestations of art today lack good common sense, lack relation with a higher reality, and lack spiritual purpose.

“What can there be of value without a search into oneself, linked to essential knowledge?

“Isn’t the ultimate desire of human beings to perceive an order of laws that surpasses us yet is also within us, and to participate in that order?

“Isn’t the role of the artist to reflect on and to reflect back something of this greater order, for the sake of stimulating the viewer to reconstruct the original idea?

“Isn’t this quest the purpose, conscious or unconscious, of all artistic effort?

“To try to grasp the soul, that which animates each thing at its source!

“Finally, what seems most important in the process of painting is the quality of feeling that the artist conveys by doing what he does, no matter what subject he chooses; and then, the care he takes and the quality of attention he communicates, which may arouse the same quality in the viewer.

“When that quality of energy is there, it can be felt — it is palpable, visible in the canvas. It has an action; one is touched, and one can glimpse the reality behind appearances.

“The act of painting can be understood as an act of contemplation, of meditation, through which the artist can rediscover and remember what is laid down in his deepest nature, his primal consciousness — and by that very means summon the same in response from the viewer” (p415-6).

3 Responses to “Enard and the Quality of Attention”

  1. Greg Pass Says:


    Thanks for turning me on to Enard.

  2. PolyMathicus Says:

    GP, thanks to you, for making my former Teacher Monsieur Andre’ Enard known in your established gallery.

    An interesting conversation with Andre’ can be read here:

    It would be tempting to reminisce a bit over the two years period during which I met AE at his apartment in NYC, for brief but dense face-to-face meetings. Perhaps I shall do it another time, when I feel I can offer him a good service.

    For now I shall just mention one simple fact, which I consider of very great importance: Andre Enard, for several decades now, has been waking up early in the morning to sit on a beautiful persian cushion on his bed, immobile, for about 1/2 hour.

    He sits, relaxes, and watches, till he generates “that quality of attention”. Then, and only then, he goes about his business in life, whatever that may be.


  3. Mélanie Enard Says:

    The artwork of André really graps your soul, it’s full of energy and draw your attention. I would say André is enthusiastic as in the antic meaning of this word: he’s inspired.

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