Blackpaint 55


I see Laura Cumming in Observer thinks Lazarus was like Matisse, but I still reckon Art Nouveau; thought her review was a bit sniffy – it was a great show, at least four distinct “phases” and good to see changes in an artist’s work.  The thin, dry surfaces of the latest pieces remind me a little of the Per Kirkesby, on reflection.

Grayson Perry

The above had a column in the Observer on Sunday which I hope will be a regular feature, as I think he talks more sense about art than any other (living, British) artist I can think of.  And, judging from the exhibition he curated in Bexhill a while back, called “Unpopular Culture”, his taste coincides quite closely to mine – the Burra, and the Colquhoun, Chadwick…

Anyway, his article was about class and he describes how, in 2001, he was waiting to discuss his first solo show in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum when he was assailed by “the ghost of (his) working class past”, which said to him “What are you doing here, you oik? These places ain’t for the likes of you.”

Reading this reminded me of “Intensely Dutch”, the book on Dutch post-war art I’ve been reading; I was struck by the fact that nearly all the artists featured came from a working class background; fathers were – glazier, blacksmith, painter of Delftware, grocer/saddlemaker, furniture maker, postman, fine carpenter, barber.  One farmer, one office manager.

If you compare this with, say, the St.Ives painters (the men, anyway – not so much seems to have been written about  the women), only Terry Frost seems to have come from a working class background and, of course, Alfred Wallis; although I’m not sure about Bryan Wynter – the Tate book isn’t clear on it.

I’m not sure what all this means, if anything, but it might have a bearing on Grayson’s feelings expressed in the article.

Listening to Son House, Death Letter Blues.

“Got a letter this morning, how d’you reckon it read? (*2)

Said, hurry, hurry; gal you love is dead”.



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