Tale’s Abstract Work
The inclusion of an exciting abstract element, always contained within his work since the beginning, is exemplified in Autumn Forest. The move towards total abstraction is a natural progression for Tale. Life may be viewed as a series of seamless changes and artistically this is the situation here; not a sudden dramatic change of focus, more a mature re-focusing in depth on a particular quality which has always fascinated. In this imaginative vein Tale has produced a stream of drawing and painting of real significance.
As observed above Tale’s work has always contained strong calligraphic elements. To state briefly he deploys lines and marks in the description of the essence of the subject rather than the factual form, as so evident in Autumn Forest – the spontaneous, free use of line always a central characteristic in his drawing. In many of the first totally abstract drawings and paintings, Tale concentrated separately on the calligraphic component as a subject in its own right. As this proved such fertile territory Tale continued to explore and develop its potential in subsequent work. Mark and symbol become synonymous. In the process, Tale creates a new language and extends his identity to encompass another realm but one with clearly identifiable links to his past. The calligraphic element may be seen in a comparatively less complex form in Transition. However, Tale broadens its development to include, ultimately, many contrasting functions in his work.
In the context of his absorption in the natural world Tale’s initial use of and singleminded concentration on reductive bio-morphic forms, redolent with multi-allusive references, do not appear without precedent. One of his first works in this direction is portrayed in Hymn. Tale begins to integrate these two elements, the calligraphic and the bio-morphic, to great effect as seen in Metamorphoses. In Thinker Tale is so confident in his experiments that he reverts to an overtly figurative inclusion.
Tale cannot and does not wish to exclude space from his abstract work. By its inclusion on varied scales he concurrently creates other worlds, as seen in Cosmos, and in a totally contrasting configuration in Refraction III. Again Tale’s knowledge and experience of creating emblematic space throughout his working life have created the catalyst for these insights. He succeeds in achieving these, not with obsessive introspection but quiet, experienced reflection and observation, which enable him to produce works pulsating with dynamic harmony.
Distinctive contemporary character
While there are familial affinities with some aspects of 20th Century painting and evocations of Kandinsky, Tobey, Gorky and Pollock, Tale’s abstract work maintains its distinctive character. His work provides several new elements: the quality and nature of the marks which ‘translate’ directly into the expression and feelings of the recesses of the mind; his inclusion and innovative treatment of abstract space, discussed further in the painting notes; and the subtlety and range of his palette, with its wealth of innate sophistication drenched in the European tradition. Finally, Tale’s restrained control of his media, combined with technical assurance, enable him to achieve his objectives without a hint of excess or dogmatic rigidity. Tale’s abstract visions culminate in the large and exhilarating oil and mixed media canvases.
In his most recent work Tale has continued to develop this abstract aspect of his work. Some on vast scale with predictably exciting and original results.