On Regula Stocks' Triptychon

Many of us are familiar with the wall of icons called Iconostasis that can be seen in greek-orthodox churches, most often in Russia. The Iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave. Its origin may go back to the Pantheon in ancient Rome.

Looking at the Triptychon created by Honorée, one might think of an original relationship. The Triptychon (116.5 × 363.5 cm) has a middle part composed of 116 frames, and two wings with additional 49 frames each. The framed representations, masks, symbols and ornaments could have derived from the treasure of various cultures; christian motives are the exception. Let us call this wall of miniatures with its colors so elegantly arranged an Idolostasis, reverberating the original meaning of the word idol: image, shape, fetish. Many of the miniatures appear to have a sacral motive. The Triptychon is a very refined composition that cannot be assigned to the genre of naïve art.

It might be said that the three tableaus lack a centre. But each of the presented frames has its own meaningful focus, with no subordination to an overall purpose. If we look for works of a comparable style in the newer history of art, the imaginative floral paintings of Parisian painter Séraphine Louis (1864-1942) might come to mind. Or the French master Jean Lurçat (1892-1966) with his most beautiful tapistries. Still, the vibration of harmony emanating from the Triptychon of Honorée is probably unequaled…

© E. Sturm Basel, December 2009