Posts Tagged ‘Camus’

Blackpaint 680 – The Rebel, Arkansas and Tate

October 18, 2020

Albert Camus, The Rebel

Another opportunity to show Andre Masson’s great image on the Penguin Modern Classics edition.  Reading this, I found it difficult to believe that this was Camus – in his novels, the prose is so clear and precise,  Here, he seems to be forcing his thoughts to fit some dialectical process,  characterised by arbitrary assertions,  false oppositions and repetition.  It raises great questions though – is justice compatible with freedom? (I think he concludes not) can a rebel free himself without freeing, or trying to free others?  (again, I think he concludes not).  However, I was constantly saying to myself “No it doesn’t – No it isn’t” as he makes dodgy statements.  Comes to the right conclusion somehow. though: moderation is the thing, killing others for the revolution is wrong – although maybe not SO bad if the target is bad enough and the killer is willing to die, like some of the Russian bomb chuckers in 19th century.

Of course, he was writing in the 1950s.  He’d maybe have a different perspective now,..

 

The Forgotten West Memphis Three, Sky Documentaries

This two-part documentary on the Sky Documentary channel is horrifying in several ways.  First, the murders: three children, out on their bikes in the afternoon, disappear.  They turn up in a shallow river, bound hands to feet, dead and severely mutilated (one had his penis removed).  Damien Echols, a self-described satanist (the long haired one in the photo) is immediately arrested on the say-so of a couple of probation officers who have had dealings with him in the past.  There is no evidence against him, he denies involvement,  Two others are arrested – because he knows them.  Again, no evidence.  Then one, the one with the low IQ, confesses after a long interrogation – that’s enough.  Death sentence for Echols, life for the other two.

Echols was not executed; they did 18 years before the vigorous campaign to free them got anywhere.  Eventually, they were released – but they had to enter a formal guilty plea beforehand!

The documentary made a plausible case that the injuries and mutilations were the result of predation by turtles post mortem, and not some horrible satanic ritual; it had no answers as to the real culprit(s) – but gestured vaguely in the direction of the step-dad of one of the boys.  So – don’t fall foul of the law when you next visit Arkansas…

Tate Britain

So we went to Tate Britain again, to do the two bits of the permanent exhibition, 1930 – present day and 15 something to 1930.  We had no trouble booking the visit this morning, and few visitors, so no problem with social distancing.  Some new pictures and sculptures below:

Winifred Nicholson

 

Bomberg, Vanessa Bell – and Bell again

 

There’s a roomful of Spencers, a small room of Gwen Johns and a room of Vorticists.

 

Stanley Spencer. The Bridge – suspicion of early Beatles here?  Never seen this one before.

 

Spencer again – and again, new to me.  A touch of Beryl Cook about these ladies…

 

Gwen John, Woman with Black Cat –Wysiwyg

 

Peter Lely

There ARE strings on the 10 string guitar – but they are very faint.

 

Michael Dahl – She has that standard Lely period face, the bulgy eyes, big sulky lips, pasty complexion…

 

John Bettes the Elder, Man in a Black Cap (1545) – earliest portrait in Tate B

 

Monster Chetwynd – Jesus and Barrabas  – that’s a repro of the Richard Dadd head in the background

 

Monster Chetwynd – Crazy Bat Woman.  Again, my lack of observation shows itself – I never noticed the bat on her forehead until I uploaded the photo.

 

Eva Rothschild – you can’t see it here so well but that red, green and mauve “mesh” really stands out in a trompe l’oeil effect, in the flesh (so to speak).

 

Kim Lim, Shogun

 

Kim Lin

Richard Deacon

 

Richard Deacon

 

Ben Nicholson, White and Brown Chocolate (I think)

 

And a few of mine to end with:

Running Figure 1

 

Running Figure 2

 

Seated Woman on Red

 

Seated Figure (Leather Jacket)

Blackpaint 18/10/20

Blackpaint 675- Camus, Sade, Satan and Still Life

July 19, 2020

Apples, Pears and Paint: How to make a Still Life Painting

Staggeringly beautiful paintings and detailed almost beyond possibility, especially those by Kalf and the other Dutch show-offs.  This programme traces the development of the still life from Caravaggio’s flowers sitting on the bottom of the canvas, through to present day tableaux which reproduce Old Masters on film and in which bullets are shot through the fruit.  It looks back to classical times, fabulous wall paintings of Pompeii for instance, and mosaics from Roman villas in Britain and elsewhere in the Roman Empire.  Some examples below:

 

Cezanne Apples

 

Asparagus

 

Not sure who this is…  Conspicuous consumption in the Netherlands.

I will be returning to this programme to find more treasures; Chardin, for example – but right now, I’m in a hurry to publish.  Some interesting points;  the still life was at the bottom of pile as far as prestige was concerned; history and mythological painting at the top. portraiture next, then landscape, then still life.  Many of the Dutch and Flemish still lifes. perhaps most, contained aspects of decay and corruption – rotting fruit, insects – mementos mori, in fact.

 

Albert Camus – The Rebel (1951)

I love the cover; painting by Andre Masson, “The Suntrap” 1938 (Penguin Modern Classics, 1971).     I’ve had it since then, but found the philosophy quite hard going after his brilliant novels and short stories, so never finished it.  I think I’m finally ready for it.  I find his style of reasoning exhilarating – no tiresome linguistic analysis in the manner of Ayer or Ryle or Russell, but a flowing series of assertions, several ( but not all)  of which follow from what he was asserting before.  Examples;  “Undoubtedly, he (the rebel) demands respect for himself, but only insofar as he identifies himself with humanity in general”; or, “the rebel, on principle, persistently refuses to be humiliated without asking that others should be.  He will even accept pain, provided that his integrity is respected.”

This is what I never understood about critical theory until a couple of years ago; you come up with a “reading” of a topic or proposition, rather than examining it to see if it holds water.  Then, having asserted your “reading”,  you can storm on to conclusions and build castles of thought in the style of Nietzsche, or proclaim that everything is relative like Derrida. without that irritating business of interrogating the truth of your assertions.

To be fair, I’m early on in the book; he’s just dealt with de Sade and is moving on to the “Dandies”, the first of whom appears to be Milton’s Satan in “Paradise Lost”.

Old Friends from Paris

Got some paintings back from shows in Paris.  I was very glad to see them again (not really; rather have sold them) – but they always look better when you haven’t seen them for a while.  I think so, anyway.

 

God Only Knows

Not a religious observation – I was listening to the Beachboys while painting.

 

On the Rocks

Mine’s a Martini.

Tenby Wall

In 2013, my son Ted and his friend Dave Greaves swam, rode and ran the Iron Man Triathlon at Tenby.  Anyone who’s been there and run on the beach will know the stretch between the fort and the wall of rock; I remember running it with “Baba O’Reilly” blaring on the Ipod;  You know, “Teenage Wasteland”…

 

And a New One

Louisiana Blues

Not only  the state in America, but also  the fabulous gallery near Copenhagen, with the Giacometti landing and the view over the sea.

If you are lucky enough to be in London, drop down to Tooting and see our window exhibition in Sprout Gallery, Moyser Road SW16, 10.30am – 8.00pm every day until next Saturday inclusive.

Blackpaint

19.07.20