Blackpaint 375 – Sexual Politics and the Ozenfant Coincidence


Out of sync. this week, because of the annual review, so will do a short one today and another on Thursday to get back on track.

Contre Toi

DVD of French film featuring Kristin Scott Thomas as a doctor, abducted by a young man whose wife died following childbirth attended by KST.  She is held captive in a bricked up cellar room and treated brutally – knife at throat, denied water, pushed around and eventually punched in the eye, after he tries to force her to masturbate him (he soon desists).  Naturally – it’s a French film – she soon starts to feel affection for him; he’s lonely, like her, and of course, there’s Stockholm Syndrome…

She escapes, turns the tables on him, takes him to bed wearing a very fetching slip – her, not him – so the sex we have been expecting is the inevitable pay off.  But she then turns him in.  So, interesting sexual politics; abducted, threatened, assaulted – of course, she has to fall for him.  But it’s OK, because she got free and CHOSE (sort of) to do it – and she gets him put away.  It’s written and directed by a woman, Lola Doillon.

The Ozenfant Co-incidence

I got Alasdair Gray’s Lanark for Christmas; I’d just got to the bit where Lanark meets Dr. Ozenfant when I stopped reading for the day.  Minutes later, I was reading Jane Rye’s great book on Adrian Heath and happened to see, in the notes, a reference to “Apres le cubisme” by Amedee Ozenfant and someone else.  What are the chances? Coincidence, you say;  I wonder…  then again, Gray is an artist and might well have studied or come across the book…

This is only one example of mysterious cosmic forces that I have noted – see previous Blackpaints on “The Taylor Vincent Ad”, Blackpaint’s Law of Spurious Plausibility and my convincing argument that Shakespeare was the reincarnation of Michelangelo.

Adrian Heath

Before leaving the Heath book, I was intrigued to see that, whilst teaching at Cosham, he used an exercise in which he developed a sort of abstracted landscape out of a figure drawing.  It’s a pretty common exercise apparently, and I only mention it because I find that I’ve done more or less the same thing in most of my last dozen or so paintings – maybe even more.  He does it better though.

Commenting on Heath’s practice of making preparatory drawings or sketches for his paintings, Rye writes,”This practice was certainly at odds with the ideas of the American expressionists who regarded preliminary drawing as a decadent practice incompatible with true spontaneity” (p.141).  Well,  yes, you would have thought so – but Franz Kline and de Kooning both used sketches and indeed, DK imported whole images from previous paintings.  They LOOK spontaneous though…

OK, stopping now; more on Thursday.

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Blackpaint

7.1.13

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2 Responses to “Blackpaint 375 – Sexual Politics and the Ozenfant Coincidence”

  1. Janie Says:

    Have just discovered your blog.. I am also a painter and lover of Abstract Expressionism and the St Ives artists! I paint down that way every year and continue to try and probably mostly fail to produce work of substance.
    Peter Lanyon being one of my heroes. His drive, energy and passion, intuitive gestural mark making, the way he poured his very being onto and into each work. I love also his delicate and yet powerful ‘constructions’ I saw his huge retrospective at Tate St Ives and standing before each work I experienced an almost blushing embarrassment, as though meeting a long lost love. I look forward to keeping up with your observations. Janie

    • blackpaint Says:

      Thanks for the comment Janie. Lanyon is the business, I think, but Adrian Heath, Sandra Blow, Robyn Denny, Paul Feiler, Douglas Swan… the list goes on and that’s just England. I had a look at your pictures and I think they’re great.

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