Monday, Linz
Dear Vera
Being back here for a day now, I seem to have settled from a week of some energetic turbulence.

What follows is a story, I have brought some bits together, I could of course have brought other bits together. But for me this last week had much to do with a missing artwork - an absence and a chance to find memory - a longing - in this presence of absence.

It was Wednesday night in the Offenes Kulturhaus and Barbara had left that morning.

I had stayed for my third painting. I was having some difficulties with my orange pigment and I was experimenting with a new ground. My previous attempts lay under this new ground. I felt that this third and last work for Linz had to have something which the others didn't have.

The first two weeks my thoughts had been with Linz itself:
with the history and memory I found there.

Now I was beginning to let in what was happening in the house.

I had gone into Piotr's room, next to mine, as three half naked men were working meticulously to transpose the image of another, now dead, onto the wall. The image was projected over the three of them as they worked in an otherwise dark room.They didn't see me but I stood and looked for a few seconds, happy that that had happened without their attention being disturbed.

My ground was almost dry, dry enough I thought for me to continue with the
next layer. As I came to a part that was not quite dry, the colour from the layer
beneath came through in a form that made me think of a wound. I sometimes listen
to music when I am doing the ground work and I had Arvo Paert's Passio playing. This wound happened in about three places. It didn't disturb me but
I hadn't experienced this before. I then went to bed.
Thursday I worked further and noted that this new orange ground in combination with the red and violet pigments that I was using achieved a particular transparency which gave the work a quality more like that of a drawing than a painting.

When we talked in the bar that last night, I said Tintoretto, I think I really meant to say Tiepolo, but Tintoretto came out and sure enough there was one on the lists, a red chalk drawing, Jesus dead supported by two angels, missing from the Uffizi.

Then, as you know, I asked you for a copy of the lists as I thought a painting to be more suitable for my means.

Only next morning, when I saw this third work stretched up did I make a connection.

The thoughts kept on coming during the journey back to Frankfurt and over the next two days. I dealt with urgent affairs but I was very uneasy. I didnęt know what I had left in Linz, I had pulled myself away so abruptly, I was only relieved by the thought that I was coming back.

I decided to start another painting. I worked and slept in the studio.
There was nothing more important than to leave the best work that I could in Linz.

Then on Friday I began my research in the Staedel Museum's library. I could find no reference to the drawing, but I did find the painting for which I think the red chalk drawing must have been made:

Christo morto soretto da angeli in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.

The new painting is here. I need to stretch it up, but I don't have a stretcher ot that size as yet. I think that the third painting and this new one have a lot to do with the missing Tintoretto drawing. They were both made before I found the actual reference and saw the reproduction of the painting with the same title as the drawing.

I was working with the freedom of absence.

What do you think? Do you find the dimensions too extreme for the 28cm x 69cm red chalk drawing?

Vera that's it. If you have a moment to discuss some of this I should be very happy.

love, Joanna