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Lyceum Society - The Science of Oriental Watercolors


for Members

Lyceum Society - The Science of Oriental Watercolors

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Lyceum Society


The Lyceum Society is comprised of the Academy's retired and semi-retired members. Talks cover various scientific fields. All Academy members are welcome.

All Lyceum meetings (except December) are Brown Bag lunches.

Brown Bag: 11:30 am; Brief-Brief: 12:00pm; Lecture & Discussion: 1pm to 3 pm.


The Science and Creativity of Oriental Watercolors

Lynn Vergano

Is there a science to art? Consider: Hang a Mondrian upside down and you know it at once. With no horizon to guide you, somehow it is no longer stable. Flip the slide of a Rembrandt etching. The projection of it now looks wrong, not at rest. What forces are at work on a flat surface to bring stability - right and left, up and down?

Consider: The psychology professor drew a large square on the board, then a thick squiggle. "Which one is Winston Churchill?" Everyone pointed to the large square, of course. "How could that be? I don't see eyes or a nose. Why is the large square an image of power?"

"Lynn Vergano's delicate brush paintings are a perfect example of this wedding of form and meaning. When she paints a cat with a few deft strokes, she leaves us, of course, with an impression of a particular cat, a living black and white cat that exists in real time and space. This is the initial effect and is satisfying in itself. But afterward, the mind of the viewer retains a sense of grace, of alertness, of strength within softness, that goes beyond that particular cat to a universal mystery." Joan Morrison, The New York Times

She paints in a difficult - some would say, impossible - medium, using a huge goat's hair brush dipped in fresh-ground permanent ink directly onto soft, silky hand-made rice paper without pre-sketching, each stroke a final statement. When an error is made, the painting is promptly discarded and another begun until the subject is mastered. The proper combination of speed, water, and pressure creates the rare perfect painting.

A world-renowned expert in this unique style of oriental watercolor, Lynn has had one-woman exhibitions from Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Istanbul to Lincoln Center, and is in private collections on every continent.

She is well-known in the art world for an "unusual combination of talents--the ability to create art, and the ability to analyze art" (Vassar), "superb and scintillating rendition so well explained" (CUNY), "Your talent for catching the real spirit of Oriental art and its difficult technique...," (PPSEAWA), "...inspires me deeply, like drinking from the fountain of imagination... transforms in a universal language" (Mexico).

Since 1997 she has been listed in Who's Who of America. A long-time member of Lyceum, her BA is from Pratt, MA from NYU. Her recent Best in Show at the National Arts Club is regarded as the top annual art award in the world.

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