Posts Tagged ‘Bellini’

Blackpaint 522 – Cartels, Carpaccio, Cheever

November 27, 2015

Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman (2015)

This compelling documentary, about a self-defence militia in Mexico, set up by a charismatic doctor to defend his local towns and  villages against the Knights Templar cartel, is rather problematic.  There are a number of scenes that must surely be reconstructions, as the camera appears to be always in the right place to get the crucial shot and soundbite for the purpose of the narrative.  If it’s just the result of bravery, luck and brilliant editing, it’s stunning.  I’ve no doubt that the shoot  outs are genuine; at one point, someone appears to give the order on the soundtrack for a suspect to be murdered – and these are the good guys.  In the light of the beheadings, hangings, torture and rape shown and described, it’s not surprising that the “autodefensas” are likely to be merciless to the perpetrators when they catch them, I suppose.

cartel

It all goes wrong, of course; corruption sets in, the “autodefensas” are infiltrated by gangsters,  who form their own cartel within, the doctor turns out to be a sleaze who chats up young women on camera; he ends up in prison, having been betrayed by his erstwhile “officers”, who are co-opted by a corrupt government.

There is a parallel story about Tim Foley and his Arizona Border Recon, an American paramilitary force resisting incursions by “cartel members”.  Their operations seem rather pathetic, in comparison.

More from Venice

accademia1

Carpaccio, Accademia

Love those hats.

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Bellini,  Correr Museum

 

Albert Oehlen

Oehlen Hetzler

A beautiful catalogue published by the Galerie Max Hetzler of an exhibition seven or eight large paintings from 2014.  They are all on wood panels, with a white background; gestural, patches and flickering lines of fairly subdued colours, mostly including a grey cloud; no spray or computer work in these.  The trickle downs and freshness or the colours recall 60s Joan Mitchell.  And the cover unfolds into a poster of one of the paintings – pretty good for £14 odd.

John Cheever

I find his short stories just get better every time I read them; I’m on my third trip through the Collected Stories now.  They are polished, funny, often sad, sometimes shocking, sardonic, wise, brilliantly readable and they never pall, which is surprising, given the quite narrow social milieu in which they are set; New York/New England, upper middle class, servants, mansion apartments, holiday homes, leafy suburbs.  I’ve just finished “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill”.  I don’t think he’s a great novelist, however.  I’ve read most of them and the only memorable one, I think, is “Falconer”, his short prison novel.  The others just strike me as the short stories extended unnecessarily.

Finally finished a couple of new paintings:

Ospedale

Ospedale

black storm1

Black Storm

Blackpaint

27.11.15

Blackpaint 254

February 25, 2011

London Street Photography

At the Museum of London.  As always, with photography like this, there is the historical interest: clothes, transport, shops, trades… but there are four whose work jumps out:

Wolfgang Suschitsky – a single blossom tree in a misty street, reminiscent (to me, anyway) of Whistler; and a night scene of a man pushing a milk cart past the neon-lit frontage of the “Revudebar”.  It turns out that he’s a famous cinematographer who worked on “Get Carter”, “Theatre of Blood” and the “Ulysses” which starred Milo O’Shea as the definitive Bloom, TP McKenna as Buck Mulligan and for some reason, is always described as a failed project.  Of course it fails to present the book adequately – how could it not?  Fantastic success in its own right, however.

Back to Suschitzky – born in 1912, still living, son Peter also a cinematographer (Naked Lunch and other Cronenburg films).

Humphrey Spender – A beautifully “lit” view of a lake or riverside with sitters on grass and  swans, I think; Seurat via Cartier Bresson.  Stephen’s brother, worked for Mass Observation, most photos of cloth-capped workers, factories, mills, stadiums – only one other I could find on Google like this one, on a river or canal bank in North East.

Terry Spencer – Mods and skinheads; I thought Terry was probably a Mod himself, but no – Spitfire pilot, DFC, record for baling out of an aircraft at lowest height, subsequently war photographer…

Roger Mayne – Those great shots of Notting Hill boys and girls in the 50s.

In all above cases, I recommend Google Images to see some beautiful photographic art.

Courtauld Gallery

Bellini, Assassination of Peter Martyr – gory murder in a forest, knife lodged in his head, “CREDO” written in his own blood on ground, the surrounding chopped tree trunks bleeding in sympathy.

Signorelli, Massacre of the Innocents, little picture in which dead babies lie around marinating in pools of their own blood – he’s a real sensationalist.  His Last Judgement in Orvieto Cathedral on TV the other night (Fig Leaf, see last blog) green demons dragging the damned to the pit – a real cartoon feel to it, in the modern sense.  I like him -he’s the graphic novel version.  There’s a touch of that to Michelangelo’s too, but more classy.

Gauguin, Haystacks, a sort of huge, incoming yellow wave of hay rolling towards the viewer, white-capped women surfing it with hayforks.  Thinly painted, outlined, a “drawn” quality.

British Art Show 7 – “In the Days of the Comet”

At the Hayward.  A lot to write about so I’ll do a couple today and carry on next time.

Phoebe Unwin – Proper paintings, hints of Clough, Hodgkin and maybe Rauschenburg.  Silver Shower, a showerhead against a background of aluminium foil; another like a stack of cake slices, thin red filling..

Charles Avery – A long, white, cartoon riverside panorama; hotel with a lot of sex going on in windows; dogs cavorting, a big shop or restaurant at top of picture, a ship coming in on right.. a long, jokey title, seems to be a feature of this exhibition.

Also – A big glass case containing a desert scene, sand, snakes, broken glass a young woman in shorts and a see through shirt, reflected on outside of case; a big excrescence on top of case – glazed triangles stuck together like a bunch of coagulated wigwams.

Roger Hiorns – Transparent globs of epoxy resin, distorted by application of heat, perhaps, hanging from ceiling.  Also – a complete engine and drive shaft (?) just lying flat on the floor like a dead pterodactyl.

We waited by the bench to see if the naked man turned up; every so often, he comes to the bench and a small fire starts up under it.  On this occasion, we were disappointed – no show.

Enough for today; more tomorrow.

Blackpaint

25.02.11

Blackpaint 131

May 10, 2010

Robert Natkin

Obituary today of another great painter I’d never heard of until I saw the Guardian.  An abstract expressionist and colour field painter, his paintings are misty light blue and red/orange patches and ovals, often with a milky surface, as if seen through white muslin.  I like his stuff a lot; a bit like a washed-out Hans Hoffman in some.  There’s a photographer of the same name, who died in 1996.

Fra Angelico to Leonardo – Italian Renaissance Drawings

Finally got to this today; crowded, but not packed.  So much in it that I’ll do it over a couple of days.

Here goes, in no particular order: Michelangelo, “old man in a hat” – shading vertical lines and top left to bottom right and cross hatching.  Elsewhere in exhibition, notes refer to cross hatching as the characteristic Michelangelo style (new to me; see Blackpaint 16 about Mick’s, Leo’s and others’ shading habits).

Several Siennese drawings, all based on Duccio paintings.

“Hanged men” by Pisanello, clearly done from life, as it were; the one with the drooping thigh boot rather haunting.

Gozzoli and Lippo Lippi pictures on blue paper, in metal- and silverpoint highlights picked out in white lead, really effective.

Ghirlandaio drawing of servant woman pouring out a jug, with cross-hatching “in the Michelangelo style”.  One of the best drawings, I think; he was Mick’s mentor.

Da Vinci’s 1473 landscape – the earliest European landscape say the notes – must check on other cultures.  Very variable shading, all directions, short and long, a little like some of Van Gogh’s. 

More Leo, Virgin and child with cat, loose sketching, hardly any shading, quick and – sketchy.  Also Christ with cat.

Leo, background to Adoration of the Magi with perspective lines ruled in, like a diagram – surely just an intellectual exercise for him.

Rosselli, Mount Sinai – again, no trees (see Blackpaint 112 on Michelangelo, who doesn’t do trees either).

Pollaiuolo – a very strange Adam; rangy and muscular, with a right arm completely out of proportion and short bandy legs, leaning on a stick as if it were a crutch, teamed with a more conventional drawing of Eve.

Mantegna, St.James led to execution, the shading lines run from bottom left to top right, some horizontal; in the next picture, Man on Slab (Lazarus?), the shading is reversed, as it is in his Virgin and Child.

Two beautiful drawings by Bellini with tonal shading, that to me, were reminiscent of Ingres; in the next picture, however, attributed to Bellini and done in the same medium, there was clear parallel shading from top left to bottom right.  They looked quite different to me.  this latter drawing was called “Campo San Lio”.

I’ll finish today with Ghirlandaio’s drapery study (beautiful); apparently, he dipped the cloth  in wax and hung it on an armature so that it hardened and the folds were preserved.

More tomorrow, including Carpaccio, more Michelangelo, more Leonardo, Raphael and – more.

Apotheosis of Blackpaint

10.05.2010