Posts Tagged ‘De Stijl’

Blackpaint 51

January 28, 2010

Van Doesberg and Mondrian

The latter apparently fell out with Van Doesberg when he started tilting his squares onto the diagonal.  This meant that the squares (now squat diamonds) were not complete on the canvas but disappeared over the edge “into space”.  This was enough to make Mondrian leave De Stijl, and demonstrates a fanaticism that can only be admired.  “Please rejoin the movement, Mondrian; we need you.”  “I’m sorry-  you know that I can’t, unless you start painting your squares with their base on the horizontal again, so that the WHOLE square appears, and you stop fostering the absurd illusion that the rest of the square overlaps the edge of the canvas and exists somewhere beyond it.”  A principled stand.

Listened to The Old Triangle by Dominic Behan:

“In the women’s prison, there are 50 women,

And I wish it were there that I did dwell;

While the Old Triangle, she goes jingle – jangle,

All along the banks of the Royal Canal”.



Blackpaint 47

January 23, 2010


Mentioned him yesterday in relation to drawing ability and Robert Hughes, and behold, he’s on the TV last night, on Sky Arts, I think; putting up massive pictures in a gallery in Italy (or at least, a number of Italians were putting them up, under his orders).  Several commentators and I think Schnabel himself, spoke about his huge self-confidence as his great asset.

Van Doesburg

The preview by Simon Mawer in the Guardian today, of the above artist’s coming exhibition at the Tate Modern, points out his apparently contradictory allegiance to both De Stijl and Dada.  Mawer describes a Dada event in Holland in 1923: “On stage, wearing a monocle and with his face whited up, Van Doesburg would recite from his recent pamphlet Wat is Dada???, while Schwitters, incognito at the back of the auditorium, would interrupt the lecture by barking like a dog.”

Apparently, this sort of thing sometimes led to riots and violence.  I remember at my school in 1960, prefects performing a similar routine with piano and assorted farmyard noises; they were imitating the Goon Show.  No riot ensued.

Abstract Expressionism

Last night, painting, I found I had produced  a tame looking, pseudo-surrealist painting, utterly lifeless, with a sort of dusky reddy, yellowy brown background – I was overcome with nausea. 

A darkness descended on me and I can only surmise that I worked through out the night in an unconscious frenzy to destroy the monstrosity I had created.  As the sky lightened and the birds began to sing, I calmed down and surveyed the result – a genuine abstract expressionist painting, representing accurately my intense emotions at the time.