GORDON GOETEMANN

A Narrative of Life and Glory

A suite of 15 paintings based on the Second (Resurrection) Symphony of Gustav Mahler

Movement 1

Studio Diary

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136 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

MOVEMENT ONE is a Funeral Rite in which Mahler reflects on the life of a deceased person, perhaps the Titan - Hero of his First Symphony.  He is perplexed, sometimes angered by the dichotomous realities of our existence, if not the near meaninglessness of it all.  In major themes, he addresses man's entrapment as encrusted earth, false power in the form of national pride or militaristic might, anxiety and anguish, pastoral moments which provide glimpses of eternal life, our second rising and mars to final judgement, and above all a pervasive sense of longing.

Movement 2

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68 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

MOVEMENT TWO is about fleeting moments of joy and healing memories of laughter, good times and peaceful exchanges.  But the realities of our finite struggle burst upon us and destroy these precious moments.  Once and again our spiritual contentment is shattered.  Yet we believe and take solace in our resilient faith.

Movement 3

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136 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

MOVEMENT THREE is an iconic and contorted lesson in futility.  In it our feelings run the gamut between good and eveil, euphoria and terror.  Both can be a source of awe.  Here the bursts of timpani are overwhelming.  They breakdown all the forces of stability in our psychological foundation and put us in a schizoid state of mind.  As if seen through a concave lens, a world of distorted happenings and dizzying intrusions bombard us.  Order and structure atrophy.  Chaos prevails.  We scream out of anguish and anxiety.

Movement 4

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68 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

MOVEMENT FOUR is called "Urlicht" of "Primal Light."  In it Mahler addresses the deepest level of spiritual content of the Symphony as we will see.  The pain expressed in Movement Three leads one to the realization that only by believing, by willfully choosing salvation can one be saved.  An alto soloist (childlike) sings, "I am from God and will return to God.  The dear God will give me a light; will lighten me to eternal blessed life."

Movement 5

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136 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

MOVEMENT FIVE returns to the grandeur of the First Movement and the angst of the Third but with fully developed form and expressive power.  We are met with an outburst of terror.  We plead for consolation and release.  Souls rise from their graves and process toward Final Judgement.

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68 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

Suddenly the world becomes silent  Time looses meaning.  All is still.

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136 inches x 87 inches, oil on canvas

From this hushed world a chorus sings "Rise again my heart in the twinkling of an eye.  What thou has fought for shall lead thee to God."