Henry Gorski's Letter to Dr. Levis, 1987
“William Blake’s prophetic and apocalyptic poem speaks to our present age of all-pervasive de- humanization:
“My mother groan’d! My father wept. Into the dangerous world I leapt”
I leapt out of my mother’s womb in the back room of a working man’s tavern located in a steel town during a world war. My personal odyssey since that traumatic day encompassed half the spinning globe and spanned a depression, another war worth three bronze stars, apprehensions of atomic dissolution as a map maker, still another war which threatened one son, dealing with a severely handicapped hyperactive other son, etc., etc...Painting and art became a defensive shield which cushioned the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” What these “interesting” times (“interesting” in the acrimonious sense of cursing an enemy: “May you live in an interesting age!”) had wrought to my inner person determined the directions my painting would take.
Interest in other cultures dealing with these inward conflicts and bogey men of spiritual under- grounds took me to Pre-Columbian Mexico, mystical Spain and most recently to Italy. The study of Primitive Art experienced first hand in New Guinea, the island arts of the Pacific, Australia and the West Coast, the anxieties of Kafka and Dostoevsky and the mosaics of Italian basilicas established my particular thrust toward expressing and revealing some dimension of the inner person.
A chance meeting, perhaps a natural gravitation, a confluence of opposite attractions (of Art grafting onto Science) has since developed into a fecund relationship. Albert Levis perceived seemingly parallel directions in my paintings as symbols applicable to his Formal Theory of human behavior-- directions of which I was not consciously aware.
My own comments on my paintings in the following text are, to the best of my memory, the sources of inspiration which motivated them. At times there may be differing, even contradictory responses to my work; but that is the multifaceted nature of art--that it can present different aspects, evoke varying responses at different times.
Albert Levis in his formal approach to behavior theory, as seen and interpreted through the artist’s eye, has enhanced the realm of creative vision which I experienced intuitively as a painter. His new dimension of insight fostered a meaningful relationship between the Formalist and the Intuitionist. This manuscript extends the frontiers of understanding our humanity.”