Posts Tagged ‘Corneille’

Blackpaint 289

August 20, 2011

Guggenheim Bilbao – Painterly Abstraction

Great exhibition, based on Gug’s own collection, including Ab exes, colour fielders and even minimalist/post painterly abstractionists like Frank Stella – seems to bely the title, but maybe that room wasn’t part of the main show – doesn’t matter.

Asger Jorn

A beautiful Asger entitled “Green Ballet”; usual Jorn goblin faces and globular, floating things in a green sea.  Loads of brilliant colours and textures swirling around, that made me want to go straight home and paint.

Sam Francis

“Red and Black”,  cluster of red globules, rising into a Prussian blue, then black upper field.  Also “Shining Back”, that characteristic Francis indigo, violet blue with orange, sliding/dripping down the unbleached canvas.

Jack Twarkov

“Red Lode” – fiery coals of red piled at the base; rest looks like grey-black, but on closer inspection, it contains fields of dark blue and green.

Jose Guerrero

“Signs and Portents”; awful title, but striking picture – yellow, orange, blue with black dabs, swipes and dribbles.

Corneille

“Spell of the Island” – There was a painting in the Tate Britain by Gillian Ayres a while ago that resembled the parts of a full English breakfast spread out; this Corneille looks like a giant yellow pizza with the Ayres bits gathered round and on it like toppings and side dishes.  It’s very enjoyable.

Conrad Marca-Relli

Collages produced by overlapping cuts of shaped canvas – a strange, Diebenkorn – like effect.  Never heard of him before.

More from Guggenheim next time.

Pretention

A correspondent has taken me to task for calling “Last Year in Marienbad”  pretentious;  I think all art contains pretention – difficult to see how you can make anything worthwhile without overreaching sometimes, and doing something laughable/ludicrous/ridiculous.  Sometimes you get the sublime and the ridiculous in the same work.  This especially applies to film makers – I can think of bits of both in the work of Tarkovsky, Tarr, Pasolini…  Bunuel and Fellini, of course, are both sublime at all times.

Thomas Hardy

Some great scenes in “Return of the Native”;  two men gambling frenziedly by night on the open heath – by the light of glowworms!  A secret assignation, in which the agreed sign that the man has arrived is the throwing of a moth into a candle flame!  Can you imagine arriving on time to meet your lover and then having to chase moths around until you find one slow enough…

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Re-reading this for the first time since 1989, and I think there is clear evidence that Shakespeare lost interest and wanted to get on to the next play.  Proteus is about to rape Silvia (Valentine’s beloved) when he is prevented – but he says sorry to Valentine.  I’m paraphrasing here, as you might guess, but Valentine’s reaction boils down to; “Oh well, if you’re sorry, that’s OK – let’s be friends again and you can have her.”  Lots of phrases that foreshadow Romeo and Juliet.

 

Yes, the fingers are part of this work.

Blackpaint

19.08.11

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Blackpaint 190

September 9, 2010

Michelangelo’s Method

Should have checked out Wikipedia before I wrote yesterday’s blog; I was quite wrong, as usual.  He didn’t use cartoons and pricking – he did paint directly onto the wet plaster, with no previously prepared markers.  Sometimes he worked from a small drawing divided into a grid.  Incredible, isn’t it? 

Corneille

His obituary in the Guardian today.  When CoBrA exhibited in Amsterdam in 1948, there were fist fights at poetry readings during the exhibition.  That’s what art should provoke; punters should want to punch the artist for having the effrontery to show such offensive rubbish;  these days, the only reactions are from religious fanatics.. oh, and those who didn’t like the Myra Hindley hands portrait and those who thought photos of unclothed children encouraged paedophiles.. so, yes, people are still prepared  to be provoked – but by the content, rather than the style.

I would welcome a riot at my next private view; pity I can’t afford to pay people to be offended by my paintings.  I bet some artists have done that in the past…

Alphabetical Art Books

I love the way you sometimes get great juxtapositions in these books, purely by alphabetical arrangement.  I’m looking at the Phaidon Art Book now, and I have Leon Kossoff on one page with “Christchurch No.1”, and on the facing page, Peter Kroyer’s  “Summer Evening on the Southern Beach”.  The Kossoff, from 1991, is distorted, crudely painted in his usual dull and dirty palette – “a sort of churned-up, mud-like morass”.  It “deliberately avoids the picturesque”.  It positively seethes with movement.

The Kroyer, from nearly 100 years earlier, is a blue-grey beach stretching into a misty distance towards a headland, with two women in beautiful white dresses progressing slowly along the sea’s edge.  It exudes tranquility,  perhaps melancholy; it positively doesn’t seethe with movement.  What a fantastic contrast of scene, technique, purpose, mood, conception, just about everything – and that fortuitous 100 year gap.  Could make a good art history lesson…

A few pages earlier, Klimt’s “Kiss” faces off Kline and the Kline black square and bar echo the black rectangles in the cloak of Klimt’s man beautifully.  You could go on forever – Turner’s whirling sea “Snowstorm” against Twombly’s “Bolsena”, for example.  Maybe the editors pick the paintings to go with each other.  Anyway, trivial I know, but one can’t concentrate on important things ALL the time.

RIP Corneille – and Anton Geesink, the judo giant who was the first European to take a judo world championship title from the Japanese, in 1964.

Walcheren by Blackpaint

Blackpaint 169

July 20, 2010

Gillian Ayres

I compared one of my paintings to an Ayres picture called “Hinba” the other day; quite wrong.  Her surface positively seethes, mine is inert – Andrews Liver Salts compared to still water. 

Kiefer, Jorn etc.

The thing about German and Scandinavian artists like the above is that they have that “dark” mythology to fall back on.  It was a brilliant idea (whoever had it first) to start mining this sort of stuff for pictures – you can have, for example, childlike figures in bright colours and amusing shapes looming out of foggy, gloomy backgrounds, great  flares and swirls of colour making ghosts and maelstroms, erupting insect figures… a great combination of innocence and menace, hidden depths and all that.  I’m thinking of pictures like Kiefer’s “Song of the Wayland” and the Jorn “Out of the Silent Myth” series.

Not a path really open to an English artist; plenty of history, of course, but all a bit pageanty, kings and queens, not much in the way of mythology.  Stonehenge, of course, Robin Hood, Hereward the Wake, King Arthur…..   OK, that’s it, I’m going to do an abstract mythological series based on England – Druids, Blake, satanic mills, soldiers of the Empire slogging through Burmese jungles behind giant moustaches, and its all going to be abstract.

Oil Surfaces

Fairly encouraged by the early results with oils; the thickness and richness as it is forced out out of the tube, the way it slides about on the canvas and stays slimy – a bit disgusting really, like a snail trail or something more obscene…

For oil surfaces, it has to be Christopher Wool, with his black and grey sweeps, or Bram Van Velde (the slidy triangles), or see Raimunde Girke’s “Contrast” 1992, in Taschen Art of the 20th Century – or Jasper Johns’ paintings, or de Kooning, of course.

Corneille and Eva Hesse

Latest pair arriving at same point at same time (moving apart later, but similarities startling in early 60’s);  abstract land- or city scapes with knots of multi coloured blocks like warehouses, tied together with faux rail lines, coiling around humps and ditches.  See “The Big Red Sun’s Voyage” 63 or “On the Outskirts of the Big City” 60, both by Corneille and Eva Hesse’s two “No titles” (annoying!), done in 1963 and in “Action Painting – Jackson Pollock”, Hatje Cantz, 2008.

Alice Neel

At the Whitechapel Gallery.  Saw it today, lots to say, so will review tomorrow.  However, I was most impressed by an installation of Maria Abramovic elsewhere  in the gallery.  Five TV screens piled on top of each other,  in each one part of the process of washing and scrubbing a skeleton clean.  At the top the jaws and teeth, at  the bottom the toe bones.  Greyish, soapy water sluicing down, a woman’s hands scooping and scrubbing inside the ribcage, beteen the finger and toe bones, the coccyx (or was it the end of the sternum?)…  I could feel the fingers on my own bones and had to be called away by my partner.  Rather worrying, really.

First Oil, Blackpaint

listening to Death Valley Blues by Big Joe Williams

“I went down in Death Valley, Weren’t nothing but tombstones and dry bones…

Blackpaint

20.07.10