It was Lennart Anderson that led me to Brooklyn College in the late '80s to pursue a Masters in Painting.
I had discovered his work in the book, ART OF THE REAL, edited by Mark Strand, and it came to me at a time when I was searching for my own voice after spending years working as an illustrator predominantly in monochrome media.
The green table!!
In his painting "Still LIfe with Kettle", I was struck by the subtle changes in the green, the warmth and the chroma of the table increasing slightly to separate it from the cooler background of the same value. A range of tonal variations in the cold metal kettle is echoed in smaller bits by the salt shaker, plate, bottle, and the duller metal blade. Highly saturated fruit and the yellow roll punctuate the composition. Symmetry is disrupted with the placement of all the smaller elements. The result is sublime.
I have a green table in my front entry hall, that is a kind of homage to Lennart and this painting.
My Saturdays spent in Lennart's painting classes at Brooklyn College were monastic in tenor. I don't remember him talking very much or commenting on my work, but it was as if he was channeling Dickenson and Hawthorne, and we became acutely aware of the subtlest changes in value and color, spots of color next to each other. An old figure study from these classes is posted below.
In an art culture that celebrates the conceptual and the landscapes of our interior, Lennart helped us to carry the art of observation into the contemporary. He has had a profound influence on me and so many others. I will always be grateful to him.