Hans Breder sends me “The Phenomenology of Roundness,” a chapter from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. Two sentences are underlined: “But Michelet seized the bird’s being in its cosmic situation, as a centralization of life guarded on every side, enclosed in alive ball, and consequently, at the maximum of unity”; “The round cry of round being makes the sky round like a cupola.” I look at Breder’s pastel pictures, a project now in its second year: he makes one a day, like a spiritual vitamin. They are images of roundness, recreations of roundness, over and over, roundness engulfing squareness, roundness deflecting all shapes towards itself, a magnet that eats what its attracted to it, a Venus Flytrap consuming whatever colors alight on it, showing them as they are about to be swallowed into the abyss of roundness.
Breder’s pastels are an object lesson in the roundness of being; “being is round,” wrote Bachelard, in a revision, in the name of phenomenological purity, as he says, of Karl Jaspers’ assertion that “Every being seems in itself round.”
-Donald Kuspit, Exhibition Catalogue, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1987