Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Storey’

Blackpaint 425 – Dreams, Mary Poppins and Chicken Sex

December 12, 2013

Tate Britain – Five Painters (again)

On second viewing, I saw something I’d missed, or hadn’t fully got, in Simon Ling’s paintings – the dream-like quality.  There’s a particular light, or maybe dullness, in the colours, as if it’s always late afternoon, gloomy, cloudy or actually more than that; sort of drained of light.  Don’t know what the lighting is like in your dreams, but the Ling quality certainly matches mine.

simon ling

I also liked the Storey monolith drawings more this time; not the paintings, but the ones on baking paper.  Definitely something Rachel Whiteread about them.

As for Lucy McKenzie, still can’t understand how she does her trompe l’oeil stuff, but neither can I see haw it relates to Fascism, as suggested in the leaflet, apart from the Lempicka-like figures and the Art Deco interiors… maybe something to do with facades, artificiality, make-believe; Fascisms are surely based on fantasy, after all.

“Stressed” photos by Henderson (forgot his first name), elsewhere in the gallery; one of a boy on bike, wobbly at edges, and one of a man striding across a road, apparently several feet off the ground.  Also, that fantastic photo by Don McCullin of the tramp, which has the quality, somehow, of a sunflower.

Sculptures in niches on stairway: one by Michael Sandle, “Drummer”, a life-size black robot-like figure which I was sure was a Philip King, until I saw the plaque; a William Turnbull, “Idol 2”, like a flatfish with a single large foot, as if fused; and Reg Butler’s brilliant grasshopper/mantis armed with a spear, which is actually called “Woman”, I believe.  Great, memorable image.

reg butler

 

Padre Padrone

I saw this film, directed by the Taviani brothers, many years ago; recently got it on DVD.  What I remembered, apart from the general brutality of the father in the Sardinian shepherd family, was  the boy learning to “hear” in the rural silence; particularly the rustling of the distant trees and the sound of the stream.

What I had forgotten was the scene in which a boy climbed on a box in order to sexually abuse an unfortunate donkey and several of his friends did the same (although not needing boxes) with chickens…  The father, on seeing this disturbing scene from the top of a hill, spurred his donkey on, not to rush down and put a stop to the abuse, but to pay an urgent visit to his wife…

Mrs. Dalloway

I’m finding this book rather less experimental than Jacob’s Room, or perhaps it’s because it is less episodic than that novel, staying with a particular character that little bit longer.  My partner was re-reading it, but stopped in annoyance, saying it reminded her of Mary Poppins (the film I think, not the book).  I was surprised, but I see what she means: the scenes in Regent’s Park, nannies with kids, an aeroplane sky writing, gentlemen with nothing to do sauntering around, observing – you could slot Dick Van Dyke in without great difficulty.  No animal abuse so far.

A Young Doctor’s Notebook (Sky Arts)

This has been going from strength to strength each week; Radcliffe and Hamm are an inspired combination.  Can’t think of any other series like it, off hand.

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Dark Glacier

Blackpaint

12.12.13

Blackpaint 422 – Painting and Guinness at the Tate, Woolf and Joyce about town

November 21, 2013

Tate Britain – Painting Now; Five Contemporary Painters

First, Tomma Abts.  Abstract shapes that resemble metallic strips, bent into shapes, gleaming and casting shadows. as if real; flat patterns and clouded surfaces too but the metallic ones are the ones that stick.  I want some texture, though.

Simon Ling does wonky East End buildings and shopfronts, corners of houses… he does a red/orange undercoat which shines through here and there like Poussin; heavy, livid Kippenburger colours.

simon ling

Catherine Storey paints odd, furniture-like, abstract structures; I liked the drawings of the shell chairs, on yellow baking paper.

Lucy McKenzie paints astonishing, trompe l’oeil “corkboards” with typed sheets and photographs apparently pinned to them – they’re paintings, but they fooled me at first.  What’s the point?  There is something in the leaflet about fascism and nazism, but I didn’t get it.  They have to be seen, though.

Finally, there is Gillian Carnegie.  Black cats lurking on dark staircases, black flowers in black paintings.

Alison Wilding

Her sculptures, no one anything like any of the others, are in the Tate hall.  The one that struck me is like a well head, made from alabaster blocks, broken at the top and “repaired” with poured black latex.  The alabaster is like giant blocks of Turkish Delight.. or the remains of Jacob and the Angel, the Epstein statue in another part of the gallery.

William Scott

The other new picture, in the room with the St.Ives painters, is called Composition in Orange, Black and Brown and looks as if it has a pint of Guinness embedded in it.

william scott

Refreshing image.

The New Staircase

The Tate’s new spiral staircase reminded me of the one photographed by Richard Pare in the Moscow Cheka  flats that I wrote about in Blackpaint 345. Curved steps shaped like orange segments – Fred and Ginger would look good on them, but maybe a bit narrow to dance down.

Chelsea Space

At this little gallery across the art school courtyard opposite Tate Britain, an exhibition of country music posters from Hatch Show Prints of Nashville.  Cash two tones, Nelson headband, Bill Monroe, Airstream, Corn Dogs…

Cash

 

Rescue Dawn

The Werner Herzog film about Dieter Dengler, US pilot shot down in Laos and his amazing escape through the jungle.  At one point, I thought I was back at Aguirre, Wrath of God – that whistling bird call.  Either the same species in Laos and the Amazon or there is a “jungle sounds” tape.  Then, there was a beheading with a machete; Aguirre again.  At the end, it turned into a cheerleader for the US, with the assembled crew of an aircraft carrier applauding Dengler – or maybe Herzog was being ironic.

The Act of Killing

Wrote about this disturbing film last week, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer; how did he pitch this film to the killers and get them to take part?  It must have been a sensitive task, to say the least – or maybe not.  Congo and his horrible mates seemed quite eager to co-operate and to let it all come out.  Proud, in fact.  they seemed to be on great terms with the director, frequently appealing to him on camera, as “Josh”.  Should be a documentary about the making, maybe.

Jacob’s Room, Dalloway, Woolf and Joyce

Interesting to read that Virginia Woolf had read the first few chapters of Ulysses by the time she wrote Jacob’s Room in 1918 and was reading it again while writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1922.  Both Jacob and Dalloway are reminiscent of Ulysses in the way that Woolf skips apparently at random from character to character (some merely one-line sketches) to build up a scene or sequence; Joyce does this, but it’s just one of a whole range of techniques he pioneers.  The sky writing plane in Dalloway reminds me a bit of the sandwich-board men, advertising Wisdom Hely’s in Ulysses.  Not suggesting she was plagiarising – she hated Joyce’s “indecency” and “board-school” showing off, as she termed it.  Fascinating that two such different authors should come up with the same thing at the same time.

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White Line Fever 2

Blackpaint

21.11.13