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An artist of transcendental intimacy

When perceiving the artistic creation of Frank Kortan we are down, if we want to apply the methods and clichés of classical art history. We have to turn to the newest spiritual and theoretical conceptions from various fields of anthropology. We are led to it by honest intentions to get into the aesthetics of Frank Kortan. The inspirations of artistic creation of this painter are near to the surrealistic aesthetics of free imaginations and associations, the experience of subconscious and nonconscious defined by Freud. But not everything created by Kortan can be explained in this way. According to him antitheses cease to be "real or imaginative"; he is a follower of the relativity of existence. When contemplating of Kortan's artistic creation we remember the words of André Breton from the Second Manifesto of Surrealism. He says that the aim of a surrealistic activity is to define "a certain spiritual point from which life and death, real and imaginative, past and present, notifiable and unnotifiable, high and low cease to be perceived as antitheses." Kortan's everyday motives express his love of dreaming which has been named "via regia" - nonconsciousness. Nevertheless, we cannot confine the perception of Kortan to classical psychoanalysis. It seems to us that the most thruthful are concepts, which Gaston Bachelard applied in his Phenomenology of Dreaming where he distinguished the values of dream. In this respect Kortan is a master of absolute dream and half-dream. In his paintings full of "old" and "new" eternity we register something, which is named "dreaming about dreaming". Kortan's absolute dream of a night sleep is in fact a Universe. We acquaint with Kortan's animism: nothing is death in his still lives - everything is live. The activity of subconsciousness is evident: one motive is replaced by another; psychical accents are transferred to other ones. Aesthetic condensation defined by psychoanalyses is substantial: two - or more - imaginations combine and create more complex imagination with deeper meaning and stronger energy. We register out-of-sensuous perception, especially the transfer of aesthetic meanings. As a matter of fact, Kortan is one of world avant-gardists because his paintings are near to "individual mythology" which is focused on the retrospective classification of the past and inspired by the "tracks of human civilisation" and which emphasises "the re-vitalisation of fragments". While Anne and Patrick Poirier look for archeological inspirations, Nikolaus Lang depicts the atmosphere of a Bavarian family and Jürgen Brodwolf paints miniature shop-windows, Frank Kortan confines himself neither to a metaphor nor a concrete event. We have to point out to Kortan's aesthetics, which reflects the out-of-sensuous psychology of C.A.Mace who presupposes the existence of a "psychical ether" through which the waves of thought spread and in which the tracks of events remain. In addition, the aspect of temptation is presumed. If he did not admire the symbolic-sexual aspects of a woman nude, he would not be a surrealist. Nevertheless, in his artistic creation these aspects oscillate between latent, evident and mysterious. These are the symbols of woman. As noncousciousness follows the principles of delight and not reality - as we know from psychoanalysis - Kortan expresses the eternity of delight. He reminds the words by Nietzsche on his tablet in Sils-Maria See in Upper Engadin: "Every delight is eternity". Kortan invites to introspection and purification from the sentimentality of civilisation. He wants a man to be immune against any tie resulted from work and the world of things. In this respect he is "transcendental". In this respect we can cite an idea from Indian spiritual culture: "A work which does not cause any tie is a work with transcendental result, i.e. karma-yoga." Kortan does not aim at the Absolute Personality of the Deity: he represents a happy soul and wants everybody to be like him ...

Prof. Dr. Miroslav Klivar, member of The American Society for Aesthetics


We stay consterned in front of his paintings. This extremely talented artist draws skilfully from the depths of his soul and connects material realism with almost mystical surrealistic form; his perfect technique of painting reminds of ancient masters; the concerto of colours and the rhythm of lights and shades offer a new space, a new reality. We are fascinated. Have not we ever imagined art like this? Is this painting, music or the poetry of dreams? In any case he is the master of his instruments: brush and colour!

Prof. Gerhard Bluhm