David Rabinowitch Drawings of a Tree
Untitled, 1997 beeswax and charcoal on paper 60x40 in

"I don't represent things. I only represent the difference between things." - Henri Matisse

The twofold relationship of the artist to his subject Matisse characterizes in terms of the two ways of depicting a tree: on the one hand by imitation, as pupils are taught to do, and on the other by working from the feeling generated by approaching the object and contemplating it. This feeling he defines as a process of reconstruction. "I have been told that the Chinese professors said to their pupils: 'When you are drawing a tree you must have the impression of growing with it when you start from the bottom.'" Reconstruction does not aim at likeness but rather traces precisely the transition from one element to the next.

Excerpted from David Rabinowitch Drawings of a Tree, 1993 by Dieter Schwartz