I think that every painter is more or less obligated to re-enact, very rapidly, the entire history of painting in his or her own development - that is to understand and pass through classicism, the 19th century, the Harlem Renaissance, impressionism, surrealism, and abstraction. Contrary to the myth of the artist as an exceptional being neither parents nor conditioning, I am persuaded that there is a precise theoretical logic in the history of painting.
The most important dimension
of painting lives in the zones of silence, emotions, and mystery created
by the forms, the lines, the colors, the materials, the brushstroke,
and the frailties forged by chance. No one would dare say that a painting
by Rembrandt or Monet is not an accumulation of abstract passages even
if there is a figure. You need simply observe the picture surface to
understand the extent to which, if you isolate any given square centimeter,
you are immersed in an abstract canvas.