Blackpaint 14


Rothko and Boyd (cont.)

The other thing that Boyd did in his article was divide artists up into “foxes” and “hedgehogs”;  foxes do all sorts of different art, hedgehogs are “one-trick ponies” (lots of animal metaphors in use).  Among the hedgehogs, he includes Lucian Freud and Vermeer, as well as Rothko, of course.  I can see why Rothko is included,  although surely he had three tricks- the stripes and panels, the arches and, earlier, the so-called Multiforms.  Maybe these were sub-divisions of the main trick.

Freud is “one trick” because of the figure studies, presumably; but then, he has done naked, clothed, full body, heads – and backyards and gardens on occasion.  But why Vermeer? Interiors, mysterious women?  I find it hard to think of many artists who could not be called “hedgehogs”, to use Boyd’s term, if one wanted to make the trick big enough-Picasso, Richter, Cezanne, Van Gogh….

But, for all the above cavils, it raised some questions for me such as why paint (or sculpt, or photograph, or…)?  To be answered in coming blogs, no doubt.

Listened to: Church Street Blues, by Norman Blake.

“Get myself a rocking chair, see if I can lose

Them thin dime, hard time,

Hell on Church Street Blues.”

More tomorrow,

Blackpaint

13.12.09

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