Posts Tagged ‘Django Reinhardt’

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

07/02/19

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Blackpaint 130

May 9, 2010

Private View (cont.)

Eavesdropping on the visitors, one realises what should have been obvious; this is more about interior decorating than it is about art.  There you are, having agonised about your work, wrestling with the tempestuous emotions stirred up, screaming (almost ) with frustration, perhaps just managing to check your shaking hand as it lifts the razor to your ear – and what do you hear? 

 “What about that for the lounge?” 

“No, I don’t think so really – we need something a bit more… green”.

Fair enough.  It’s a compliment, really because they are paying cash to live with your work – or not, in most cases.

Bomberg

What I said about admiring him because he died in poverty; reason is that, to me, it implies he had some integrity about his art, something I haven’t got; I’m a whore, I’ll knock out a green painting for the lounge any time, I suspect; haven’t been asked, so far.  Of course, it could just be he was a miserable, cantankerous bastard who was his own worst enemy, but I prefer to think not.

Matisse

Watched the Alastair Sooke programme on the above.  I was amused to hear Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club doing “Swing 42” yet again.  Someone at the BBC sound archive is a Reinhardt fan and Django keeps popping up on anything to do with France or art or the occupation of Paris in WW2;  A bit like the Ry Cooder bottleneck soundtrack to “Paris Texas”, every time there’s a desert or US road shot.

There were three staggering generalisations made by Sooke.  First was about “The Piano Lesson”; there was a lot of grey, for Matisse, in this picture, a spike of it poking into the boy’s head.  “It’s about the First World War,” said Sooke, “Matisse was thinking about all those young men sent to the front…”.

Second, there was that beautiful, rich red interior with all the items floating about in the room as if in liquid.  “Matisse has left the hands off the clock,” said Sooke, “He has suspended time…”

Third and last, and maybe fair enough, the book “Jazz”, which Matisse made in bed in the last couple of years of his life; Sooke said in this book, with its brilliant colours, “Matisse was defying death”.

I’d really like to know what evidence he has for any of these assertions; all three were made totally baldly, no “One might think Matisse was..” or anything like that.  Still, if art critics are prepared to take this on, it removes the responsibility from artists so not necessarily a bad thing.

Roger Hilton

This thing about Matisse doing the simplified cut outs when he was ill and bedridden reminded me of Hilton and the childlike images he produced with poster paints after his illness incapacitated him.  Please note I say childlike, not childish; I’m not being disparaging.

Interregnum by Blackpaint

Listening to Cold, Cold Feeling by TBone Walker.

“I got a cold, cold feeling, it’s just like ice around my heart, (*2)

I know I’m gonna quit somebody, every time that feeling starts”.

Blackpaint

09.05.10