Arthur Haven's Pure color,
or how to bring the viewer to tears
Arthur Haven
(1913 - 1986)
New York, with its countless eateries, bars and cinemas, as well as residents immersed in their thoughts, in the 1930s and 1940s became an indicator of general depression not only for Arthur Haven - it was then that American genre painting came to the fore, the model of which can be considered the famous "Midnighters" by Edward Hopper. But Haven's painting was already unlike the paintings of other artists, executed in a naturalistic manner — in the way the edges of the platform, walls and columns of metro stations are depicted, one can see Haven's first steps towards his abstract painting, understanding that art should express life through emotions, not descriptions.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, surrealism conquered New York - some innovative artists, including Salvador Dali, moved to the States from Europe. Arthur Haven, along with Adolf Gottlieb and Barnett Newman, spend a lot of time discussing the ideas of Dali, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Piet Mondrian, and inevitably find themselves influenced by them. The surrealist period of Haven's work, however, again turns out to be unlike anyone else, and speaking of influence, here, along with the pioneers of the European avant-garde, Friedrich Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy" and mythology with its symbolism should be mentioned. At the same time, Haven was fascinated by the works of Freud and Jung, and in 1940 he even left painting for a while in order to fully immerse himself in the theory of the collective unconscious and the archetypal interpretation of dreams.
Artists that respond to their environment and produce work that invades space in a monumental manner are very instructive to me. Cornelia Parker, Judy Pfaff, and Michelle Segre are artists that are somewhere between painting and sculpture but achieve great success in articulating their intelligent missives.

The horrors of war and its senselessness became one of the main themes of creative reflection in the second half of the 1940s and 1950s. Haven's close friend Cyril Kaufman then uttered the words that became a manifesto for many artists — "There is no longer any opportunity to paint the same as before and the same as before" — and he left painting for four years. At this time, Arthur Haven travels to Europe, where he meets Picasso in Florence, and De Chirico in Paris; in Italy he meets avant—garde artists; in Berlin he meets expressionists. He visits museums and galleries. But all this does not give him what he wanted — it does not immerse him in the world of art, does not make him think about how he can express himself, his attitude to the world, his life.

On the contrary, he feels a sense of alienation from everything that surrounds him, from the surrounding world, which seems to him vain and transitory. And this is also not accidental. In this world where everything is moving so fast, so elusive, there is one thing that does not change — it's time. It is eternal and unchangeable, it determines everything in a person's life. And if you don't count those who are engaged in art, then time can be the biggest enemy of a person. A person cannot escape from time. Time never waits, it is inexorable.