Spontaneous Painting

Spontaneous Painting

Swallow's Nest Castle

Swallow’s Nest Castle

I don’t know if anyone ever applied the expression «spontaneous art» to painting. Yes, it’s widely used among jazz musicians, but there it’s obvious – for its audience music exists as a process in time. Musical performance is always an improvisation; the only question is – how much improvisation is there in the music. It can lay anywhere from minor variations in tempo, volume, pitch, which make a great maestro from a mere amateur, and to the entire music piece. While painting stands in front of the spectator as instantly accessible whole.

And yet, every time I’m looking at the paintings by Maya Gerr, I think just that – spontaneous art. One can transcribe notes for a jazz composition, and then somebody will meticulously learn to play it. It take a real pro to tell some copies from an original, but anyone can tell an improvisation from a finished composition. Just like that Maya’s works leave the same feeling with the an attentive spectator. Just like in a musical improvisation, where an almost accidental, unimportant note or a chord suddenly create in the composer’s imagination a new move, which later unravel in front of us, the artist leads the painting, making it follow her, and sometimes even vise versa – the painting leads the artist. Otherwise how could it Maya Gerr manage to deliver the mood – excitement, desperation, overflowing tenderness – while painting a bouquet, blooming shrub, or trees leaning over water surface… And all that is not so distant from the nature, the same blooming shrub or bouquet…

It’s a pity Maya can’t work when she pas audience. Such three- or four-hour performance could receive undivided attention of its spectators. But even without it, looking at her works of art, especially her watercolor on canvas, we, the spectators, feel we’re the part of the improvisation process. Many, including the author of these lines, think that a real master is the one who can involve the audiences, turn them into co-authors. Few artists managed to succeed to the measure Maya Gerr did.

Max Erge
Translated by Yuliya Shulman