Blackpaint 47


Mentioned him yesterday in relation to drawing ability and Robert Hughes, and behold, he’s on the TV last night, on Sky Arts, I think; putting up massive pictures in a gallery in Italy (or at least, a number of Italians were putting them up, under his orders).  Several commentators and I think Schnabel himself, spoke about his huge self-confidence as his great asset.

Van Doesburg

The preview by Simon Mawer in the Guardian today, of the above artist’s coming exhibition at the Tate Modern, points out his apparently contradictory allegiance to both De Stijl and Dada.  Mawer describes a Dada event in Holland in 1923: “On stage, wearing a monocle and with his face whited up, Van Doesburg would recite from his recent pamphlet Wat is Dada???, while Schwitters, incognito at the back of the auditorium, would interrupt the lecture by barking like a dog.”

Apparently, this sort of thing sometimes led to riots and violence.  I remember at my school in 1960, prefects performing a similar routine with piano and assorted farmyard noises; they were imitating the Goon Show.  No riot ensued.

Abstract Expressionism

Last night, painting, I found I had produced  a tame looking, pseudo-surrealist painting, utterly lifeless, with a sort of dusky reddy, yellowy brown background – I was overcome with nausea. 

A darkness descended on me and I can only surmise that I worked through out the night in an unconscious frenzy to destroy the monstrosity I had created.  As the sky lightened and the birds began to sing, I calmed down and surveyed the result – a genuine abstract expressionist painting, representing accurately my intense emotions at the time.



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