Geometric and Gestural Abstraction

In the course of his years of work in digital media, Adi Da developed and defined precise working principles of abstraction. In Orpheus One and Linead One, he made use of two such working principles, which he named “Geome” and “Linead.”

Geomes are the “primary geometries” of square (or rectangle), circle, and triangle. Lineads, in contrast, are gestural lines, freely drawn (or brush painted) by the artist’s hand.

Both Geome and Linead are abstract (rather than representational) forms—although they can be composed into aggregate forms that have representational impact.

Adi Da defined Geome and Linead as follows:

The “Geome” is the formal geometric abstract—essentially rectilinear, triangular, and circular—or the forms and structures made of geometric primaries, indicated by line and/or color.

The “Linead” is the free-line abstract, that I [first] draw by hand [on paper] and [then] progressively compose within the specific image-context [of the final, digitally-based work of art]. [1]

(click image to enlarge)
An Image from Orpheus One, composed of Lineads and rectilinear Geomes

In 2006, Adi Da intensively developed his use of Geomes as the core “building blocks” of his abstract oeuvre in the suites Geome One through Geome Five. [2]

As he sets forth in his artist’s statement, these rectilinear, triangular, and circular geometries are the (largely unperceived) substance of all visual perception—as recognized by Cézanne and others in both West and East.

Cézanne’s famous dictum was couched in terms of three-dimensional (rather than two-dimensional) geometries: “treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone.” [3] When “viewed” in two dimensions, the cylinder is equivalent to the square/rectangle, the sphere to the circle, and the cone to the triangle.

(click image to enlarge)
Sengai Gibon (1750–1837). Circle, Triangle, and Square. Edo period, early 19th century. Hanging scroll; ink on paper, 28.4 x 48.1 cm. Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo

In 2007, Adi Da intensively developed his use of Lineads in the later images of Orpheus One and in the entire Linead One suite.

All of the artist’s subsequent work was founded in the interplay between geometric and gestural abstraction.

Working in the mode of pure abstraction is what I find interesting—not merely the potentials of representation, either of what is outside the eyes or behind them. [4]

The image-art I make and do has required profound philosophical and Spiritual preparation even to be made–decades of intensive consideration regarding fundamental issues of Truth, of Reality Itself, of the means to go through and beyond all traditional and ego-based modes of thinking and understanding, in order to come to the point where I could make and do image-art on an intrinsically and entirely “point-of-view”-less basis. [5]

I have been working, image by image, on how to use the natural human mechanism of the bodily-perceiving process in a new (and intrinsically egoless) manner, such that the perceptual mechanism no longer enforces a conventional, or perspectival, or “point-of-view”-referring, or representational, or otherwise egoic mode of image.

Thus, I am working on a mode of image-making that is becoming more and more profoundly abstract, in the sense of transcending the “point-of-view”-based use of perception—such that the images I make and do are Transcendental Realism in the fullest sense. [6]

  1. Transcendental Realism, p. 44.
  2. The World As Light: An Introduction to the Art of Adi Da Samraj, by Mei-Ling Israel (Middletown, CA: Da Plastique, 2007), pp. 98–107.
  3. Letter to Émile Bernard, April 15, 1904.
  4. Adi Da Samraj, January 31, 2007.
  5. Transcendental Realism, p. 76.
  6. Transcendental Realism, p. 53.

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