Answer: Lawren Harris.
Problem Statement: by way of John Berger on Magritte found in About Looking. Beginning with a few lines from the conclusion of Notes on Conceptualisms by Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman:
This is the difference between Narcissus and Medusa. This is the difference between the barren and the baroque. This is the problem.
Indeed the problem morphed into a search for the “barren baroque”. And so it was a turn with Berger on the readable evinced in Margritte’s painting that gave us a hint, a strong hint in a parenthesis.
(I use the word readable metaphorically: his language is visual, not literary, though being a language, it signifies something other than itself.) Yet what he had to say destroyed the raison-d’être of the language he used; the point of most of his paintings depends on what is not shown, upon the event that is not taking place, upon what can disappear.
It was at a used book stall and leafing through a monograph about Bernini with copious illustrations — I came to understand that all the flowing scrollwork was the “barren baroque” because I was reading the record as it went by. Stationary as I was, I was ambulating. It was at that moment that I thought of the late Harris landscapes. Sublime. Barren. Baroque. In one space. Still. Thrusting upwards. Flick through a book of these and a similar readable flow is present and gone.
And so for day 1277