Paul Coleman was granted a B.A. from Heidelberg College in 1975. Between 1976 and 1991 there were eight or ten exhibits of my paintings, mostly at community venues in Ohio,but also including C.A.G.E in Cincinnati and several May Shows at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
I don’t actually think of these as abstract paintings. My idea is to illustrate a sort of imaginary vertical flow—an up-and-down wind. A physicist might call it a field, if it actually existed. Since it doesn’t exist why, you might ask, would I bother? Have you heard that phrase, “As Above, So Below”? In the past I took it as a verbal shrug, as in, “That’s life”. It turns out that it has quite a history. It refers to a line in a nearly two millennia old text, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus: That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.—trans. D. Hauck Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great) was possibly Egyptian and lived sometime between 500 BC. And 200 AD. It was through his writings that the occult studies of Alchemy, Astrology, and Theurgy were popularized (hence Thrice). Although aspects of Hermeticism come down to us as ignorant or pagan, it peacefully coexisted with early Christianity and helped prepare the way for the scientific method. Reintroduction of Hermetic texts into Europe, in 1640, paved the way for a new enthusiasm for science. For instance, Isaac Newton was a big fan and studied the Corpus Hermeticum to learn techniques for influencing the forces of nature. Cleverly, Hermes says only that the microcosm of Below corresponds to the macrocosm of Above. That is to say, you are not influenced by the stars, but you and the stars are both influenced by the same greater forces.
I think that’s what I’m picking up on here. My vertical whoosh represents an artistic connection between the tiny and near, and the vast and far. As Above, so Below. Paul Coleman 11/28/17 Sandusky
“Flow #5” oil on canvas Driven To Abstraction – February 2-March 16, 2018