This piece was finished in time for inclusion in the Venice Biennale of 1988. After completing it, I learned that the word “ecstacy” – which I love so much – derives from the Latin ex stasis literally “out of static.” This seems to have been my life-long effort; the pleasure of finding new growth among all the experiences of living has always excited me. As many artists know, this excitement is close to the erotic.
As can be seen, I have not been as prolific as many of my contemporaries. I am a slow worker, needing much time for contemplation between the spurts of growth in the development of emotionally and physically with LIFE. Yet where else but from what we have seen, felt and thought do the forms and gestures of art come?
This work, like Man as Miracle contains the same vertical aspiration which seems to inhabit all my efforts. The “X” of its main form is a happy symbolic coincidence, but the piece does express, even at this late date in my life, my identification with the growth efforts of all living things. While life goes on, I shall opt for life; when I am dying, I shall opt for death, although, like the Etruscans, I feel the two as equal parts of an eternal energy and I shall continue to enjoy dreaming and drifting in both, through undifferentiated space and time, like the clouds on which I wanted to float forever as a child of four, like the ending of Mahler’s “Song of the Earth” – “ewig, ewig, ewig, ewig, ewig, ewig…”
From Richard Lippold’s Memoirs
Photo of Richard Lippold with Ex Stasis