Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Pas, Gerard - by Graham Birtwistle

Graham Birtwistle in discussion with Gerard P. Pas

At the turn of the eighties, when I first got to know Gerard Pas, he was undergoing some profound changes. He had just put a stop to a career as a performance  artist in which he had been steering by a punk sense of the distasteful and the provocative. One of his main performance themes consisted of an uncompromising focus on his own physical disability: his polio-damaged leg which he showed in a brace   or in a seemingly impossible contortion, hooked around the back of his neck. By 1982 he had turned to painting serene landscapes in an exacting realistic technique. The new work was deliberately antithetical to the old, though by the mid-eighties Pas with some trepidation, as I remember once again picked up the theme of his handicap, this time using the crutch as motif  in objects and paintings and making his striking Red-Blue Wheelchair construction as a wry commentary on the Rietveld chair, an icon from the early modernist De Stijl movement.