Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Parker’

Blackpaint 638 – Asger, Louis, Lorenzo and the Singing Raspberry

February 8, 2019

Amadeo Lorenzato, David Zwirner Gallery W1 until 9th February

You’ll have to hurry if you want to see this one – ends on Saturday!  He’s a Brazilian artist, about whom I have no information; don’t even know if he’s living.  The paintings are small, mostly around 19×15 or 16 inches.  They have a strange, “combed” surface – that’s to say it looks like he’s run a comb through the wet paint.  Most are titled “Untitled” and these three are all undated.  Dates for the others are 1971 – 1993.  There are two that look a little like miniature Hockneys, those treescapes of Yorkshire he’s been doing over the last few years.  The Zwirner Gallery is in Grafton Street.




Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Tal R, Victoria Miro Gallery W1 until 23rd March

Jorn and Kirkeby among my favourite artists; never heard of Tal R and he seems to me to be unlike the other two.  The Guardian reviewed this exhibition last Saturday and dealt only with Tal R, whose works, the reviewer found, concealed perhaps sinister secrets behind the unrevealing facades and fences in his works.

Jorn and Kirkeby both dealt with Scandinavian myth and also with historical themes; Stalingrad and the battle of Copenhagen come to mind, both Jorn, I think.


Asger Jorn, “Overlord and Underlings”, 1951

Typical Jorn mythic figures…


Per Kirkeby, “Untitled”, 1964


Tal R, “punta de chroores”, 2006

That’s not Tal R in the picture, but a punter, rapt, by the look of him.  Oil and pins on cardboard, wood, artist-made frame.


Per Kirkeby, “Untitled”, 1964

Very Jorn-like, this one, with the floating jelly fish figure emerging from the black and reaching towards the reddish outline figure (looks like a female symbol or one of those Egyptian crosses, an ankh).


Jorn, “Aurorapide”, 67-68

Lovely, thick, swirling paint…


Jorn, “Untitled”, 1943


Jorn, “Black Lac Blues”, 1960

Great title, great painting – love the crusty, creosote-y surface.


Richard Pousette-Dart, Pace Gallery, Burlington Gardens W1 until 20th February

Pousette-Dart is the lost Abstract Expressionist – he was in the famous photo with Pollock, Kline, de Kooning, Rothko et al, Hedda Stern the only woman, in the foreground.  To be honest, the smaller works like that below strike me as not especially great; they look to me a little like surrealist automatic drawings, or maybe the early Rothkos.  Most of the pictures are the usual Ab-Ex size, that is to say huge; they are “all over”, densely coloured and figured canvases like those of Mark Tobey – another “Ab-Ex” who really wasn’t.

Lorenzo Lotto, National Gallery

This is absolutely the best free exhibition in London at the moment; several of the portraits are up there with Holbein – well, nearly, overstated a little maybe – and there is a madonna and child with a couple of saints in which the colours are superlative; Mary’s dress is a sort of raspberry which sings against blues and a lovely ochre.  No photos, I’m afraid.

Louis Malle’s Films

Lacombe, Lucien (1974)

Got a box set of 10 Malle films for £25 from Fopp at Cambridge Circus; same box costs £54 odd at the BFI.  Tragically, Fopp is owned by HMV, so its demise might not be far away, if this Canadian buyer decides not to keep it afloat.  Where will all the old gits like me go to get their CDs, DVDs and vinyl?  Another one gone into the darkness, maybe, like Gaby’s and Koenig and Blackwells a while ago…

Anyway, I’d always thought that Malle was a bit soft, bit romantic; turns out not so.  Seen six so far, and apart from “Zazie Dans le Metro”, they have all been about transgression.  “Lift to the Scaffold” is about murder, both planned and random, “The Lovers”, adultery (and child desertion), “The Fire Within”, alcoholism and suicide, “Murmur of the Heart”, incest (mother and son) and “Lacombe, Lucien”, collaboration with the Nazis and anti-semitism.  So quite strong stuff, but done with a light touch.  His use of music is brilliant too.  Scaffold has Miles Davis, Lovers a Brahms string quartet, Fire, Eric Satie, Heart, Charlie Parker –  and Lucien, Django Reinhardt.  I can’t think of a more exciting opening than Lucien tearing along country lanes on his bike to the strains of Django and Grappelly tearing through “Swing 42”.


Dream South Bank



Blackpaint 354 – The Taylor – Vincent Ad; Abstract Art is Mistaken

August 9, 2012

The Taylor – Vincent Ad

In “Common People”, the Pulp song, Jarvis Cocker refers to the “Taylor – Vincent Ad” – or so it appeared to me.  I checked the lyrics on Google and there was no such line; asked others – never heard it.  So, I googled “Taylor Vincent” and arrived on a blog which critiqued the song at length.  In the thread that followed, a correspondent wrote that his mate insisted there was a mention of the TVA.  It turns out that the actual words are “..tear your insides out.” I like Taylor – Vincent ad better.

Because at least two people – myself and the correspondent’s mate – heard “Taylor Vincent”, I feel that TVA has acqired a sort of integrity.  It exists in some sense because we both (mis)heard it.  I see an analogy – spurious, no doubt – with to abstract painting here; I feel that every time I do a painting, I potentially make a Taylor Vincent Ad.  The shape, or device, or motif, or squiggle might not exist in the “real world” (except in the painting, of course) but it has a sort of potential Taylor Vincentiality – especially if someone else sees the same thing.  Or no – if they see something else, maybe that’s the TVA.

Can’t quite get the analogy right; is it me mistaking, or the viewer?  Maybe abstract painting itself is a sort of “mistaking”…  Pseud’s Corner stuff, really.

Picasso the Abstract Painter?

In Art in Three Colours (BBC4), Dr. Fox referred to Picasso as an abstract painter.  I don’t think Picasso painted an abstract painting in his life – I’ve never seen one, anyway; they’re all figurative.  They bear the same relationship to reality as Charlie Parker’s recordings bear to the original themes – maybe more.

de Kooning

Interesting to read in the Retrospective, that dK was another scraper (see Auerbach).  Put loads of paint on, then scraped it off again, leaving perhaps faint traces that he could build on.  This habit developed, understandably, as he became more successful in selling -so he could afford to waste more paint.


I’m reading “Militant Modernism” by Owen Hatherley, in which the author refers to the great photos Richard Pare took in Russia in 1990 (collected in “The Lost Vanguard” and some of which were in a recent exhibition at the RA – see previous Blackpaint).  He compares some of these photographs of semi-derelict Soviet avant-garde architecture with the devastated urban landscape of the Zone in “Stalker”.

This may be pushing it a bit far, but I see what he means; weeds pushing through, water dripping and cascading, flooded basements, piles of rubble – but interesting, evocative rubble in the Zone..  If the Soviet buildings haven’t arrived at this state in Pare’s pictures, many of them look as if they are on the way there.


Despite the nakedly capitalist aspects of the enterprise, the sponsorship deals, advertising, monopolies in the park, etc., it has been possible to detect a socialist,rather than Stalinist, flavour here and there – the target setting of medals for each sport, the similarity of responses when athletes are interviewed – I think they’ve been coached to follow a particular line – and the emphasis on Team GB, the collective over the individual.