Posts Tagged ‘Blind Lemon Jefferson’

Blackpaint 246

January 27, 2011

Gabriel Orozco and Damien Hirst

Orozco exhibiting at the Tate Modern, reviewed in the Guardian the other day, by Adrian Searle.  Referring to Orozco’s skull, drawn all over with a chessboard pattern, Searle says: “It is a thousand times better than that glittery, diamond-crusted skull of Damien Hirst’s.”

He doesn’t say why, though.  Maybe he thinks there is something repugnant about the conspicuous money (waste) involved, the spurious “value” of the Hirst piece – that’s one of the points that Hirst’s skull makes, surely.  The art market has to do with vulgarity, conspicuous consumption, bad bad taste and sensation.  Also, it reminds you that you can’t take it with you, however much you’ve got – and you’ve got to go.  True, these are well-worn observations and he’s made £50 million – or was it $? – by re-stating them; but he can’t take it with him and he’s got to go…

I suppose his exhibit in Modern British Sculptors (Blackpaint 245) says more or less the same thing; lovely juicy steaks, nice bottle of wine, summer al fresco dining, all rotting away with a smelly, disgusting carpet of dead flies;  says it better, probably.

What about the Orozco?  Searle says it is to do with “mapping the cranium, like a mind meeting its container”; that sounds plausible to me and it certainly looks great and is apparently beautifully executed.  Perhaps that’s enough – it’s enough for me, anyway.  Others  may feel the need to “read” the work…

Epstein 

Reading the teacher’s notes to the Royal Academy exhibition, I was intrigued to find that Epstein began his massively proportioned “Adam” by sculpting the genitalia.  So, you visit his studio  a few days or maybe a week in, and he says, “I haven’t done much so far, just this – what do you think?”

Caro

A  simple, obvious thing, again from the notes, was that with Caro’s sculpture, the plinth was abandoned and it became normal for sculptures to rest on the floor – when not hanging or occupying a vitrine, of course…

Charles Sargeant Jagger

How closely his reliefs for the war memorials resemble the Assyrian sieges and lion hunts; not only because they are also reliefs, but in the angularity, the musculature, the sharpness of the relief.

Carl Andre

Final point from notes on Andre’s famous bricks, or “Equivalent VIII”, to give proper name.  The notes quote the Daily Mirror’s headline from 1976, commenting on the Tate purchase of the bricks in 1972: “What a Load of Rubbish!” and later: “the gallery didn’t even get  the original pile of bricks.”  So it would have been OK if they’d got the originals, then…

Turner

I don’t know why, but I haven’t paid enough attention to this painter before -many of  his later pictures  are just staggering and I have a feeling that he should be the most important and  influential English painter ever; I’m not sure why he’s not.  Maybe he was too far ahead of his time to influence others and they just turned away  from him and carried on doing the more acceptable stuff.  “The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16th 1834” (the one in Cleveland, Ohio); doesn’t need a title, looks just as good on  its side, judging by the Phaidon book.  Or the Petworth interiors; look like Roman murals at Pompeii.  Or “The Ship on Fire” watercolour – level of abstraction comparable to Melville’s “Moulin Rouge” (see Blackpaint 139 and 146).  

These paintings are still too much for some people (Blackpaint 195). 

Listening to Blind Lemon Jefferson, Matchbox Blues:

“Now when the sun goes down, she crochets all the time;

Sun  goes down, crochets all the time;

Babe, if you don’t quit crocheting,

You gonna lose your mind.”

Blackpaint

27.01.11

 

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Blackpaint 71

February 17, 2010

Gorky

Read today something of interest on influence of above: he is cited as an influence on Sam Francis, in his use of thinned paint allowed to run down canvas, and in his predilection, shared by Francis,  for biomorphic forms, resembling, say, leaves.  I never would have thought of that, the two seem so different; Sam Francis to me usually means vivid deep blues in flower or petal shapes, interlaced maybe with bright yellows or ruby reds. 

Gotz

Karl Otto; great bloke, painted with a broom!  He swept great swathes of black towards the corners of his paintings.  He had a knack for titles too – “Painting of Feb. 8th, 1953”, much snappier than the earlier “Painting of Feb.5th, 1953” – but then, that one was smaller.  Taschen page on him ends with this sentence: “Gotz managed not to let uncontrolled autonomism end in artistic chaos, but instead to direct it along compositional channels” – so, he managed to control his lack of control.

The broom thing brings to mind another favourite, Kazuo Shiraga, who, according to the catalogue of “Action Painting – Jackson Pollock”, “would paint canvases (lying on the floor) that he had previously thrown lumps of paint at whilst hanging by his feet from a rope”.

Listening to Blind Lemon Jefferson, Matchbox Blues:

“I don’t mind marryin’ but  I can’t stand settlin’ down (*2)

Gonna act just like a preacher so’s I can ride from town to town.”

Blackpaint

17.02.10