Posts Tagged ‘Dora Maurer’

Blackpaint 677 – Tate Mod; The Man

August 21, 2020

Tate Modern Regular Collection

Our second post-shielding gallery visit to Tate Modern for the regular collection.  No trouble getting a booking even on a weekend; queue (spaced and short wait); relaxed about times (we were let in a bit early); more people than at Tate Britain, but still mostly easy to avoid crowds; most, but not all, masked.  Some selections below:

Christian Schad

Strange, strange picture:  I’ve seen it many times but I’ve never even noticed the woman at the bottom of the picture in the apparently subservient position.  I’d plead the chest deformity and the supercilious expression as attention grabbers.  I don’t think it’s unconscious racial prejudice – it’s more that I’m extraordinarily unobservant.

 

And these sculptures – Wifredo Lam?  Germaine Richier?  Couldn’t find the wall plaque – they’re often in odd positions…

 

Aubrey Williams

I like the splurged nature of this; as if it’s dribbled and smeared somehow.

 

Beuyss

Lovely collection of little leaden turds in front of the huge one dangling from the girder.

 

Beuyss

Granite corpses or coffins flung up by some earthquake…

 

Edward Paolozzi

Beautifully sculpted (cast?) set of totally useless…. boxes and mechanisms.  I’m not sure if it’s all one piece or not.

 

Sigmar Polke

Big dotty print(?) with a statue and an angel or devil and spurts of some cream/yellow fluid – what could be easier to interpret?

 

I think the one at the front with the wheel is a Paolozzi – didn’t get the name of the other sculptor – sorry, appalling commentary.

 

Obviously this has to be called “Babel”.  I though Nam June Paik-but no, it’s Cildo Meireiles.

 

Max Beckmann

Beckmann’s strange collection of glum clowns and/or musicians – I notice it faintly resembles his famous “Night” in it’s structure (the way the masked figure curves round the right hand corner).

 

William Sasnel 

One of a series of the dead Gadafi.

 

In common with Tate Britain, the arches give great views.  Paintings by Dora Maurer.

Apocalypse Now, Coppola (dir) 1979

Recently watched the “uncut” version of this on TV; I presume the scenes with the French ex-colonials hanging on in Cambodia were restored – I don’t remember them at all from the film I saw back in 79 or 80.  Another thing that struck me was the night scene at the last bridge, where no-one is in command – I could have sworn there was Hendrix playing, “Voodoo Child” maybe; there WAS some music but nowhere near as prominent as I remember…

Hopper’s over the top hippie photographer gave me, along with “Eddie Coyle” below, the title for this blog; his crazed eulogy of Kurtz, “The Man” is this, “The Man” is that, “The Man is – the Man, you know”….

 

Everybody is deranged (except the Vietnamese and maybe some Cambodians) in this film.  Here’s Martin Sheen’s intense assassin’s stare, years after his Charles Starkweather turn in “Badlands” (1973) with the wonderful Sissie Spacek – and a good while before he became liberal President Bartlett in the West Wing.

American Dharma, Errol Morris (dir) 2018

This was in the Sky Documentary Channel a couple of weeks ago. A fascinating portrait, but hardly a fair and unbiased one, of Steve Bannon, ex-Trump adviser, self proclaimed “street fighter” (I think he means attitude rather than actuality). right-wing hate figure of the liberal-left “Establishment”.  Bannon was sweaty, scruffy, unshaven and unflappable, with a hard stare and a challenging grin.  He speaks with relish of media stunts in which he undermined Clinton (Bill, not Hillary).  His favourite animal is the honey badger, because it is obsessive and relentless in its pursuits.  He seems to look to old films to underpin his principles and has picked some pretty good ones: Gregory Peck in “12 o’Clock High”. John Wayne in “The Searchers”, Kirk Douglas in “Paths of Glory” and Orson Welles as Falstaff in “Chimes at Midnight”.  This last pertains to his breach with Trump – unlike Falstaff, he claims to feel no resentment at being cast adrift by his protege – it had to be, the time had come.

The director makes no real attempt to refute anything Bannon says, but periodically flings headlines from the US press onto the screen which may or may not relate to him or undermine him; you can’t tell. There’s no engagement, just another restatement of Democrat/liberal-left distaste and fear.  In an extraordinary sequence at the end, Bannon is portrayed walking through a blazing building – an aircraft hangar? – as if he were Stephen King’s cowboy Satan in “The Stand”.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Peter Yates (dir) 1973

To end this week, a film which must be seen by any fan of US crime thrillers, with a brilliant cast headed by Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle, based on a novel by George V. Higgins.  The first, I believe, of several films in which bank robbers use moulded rubber masks (cf. Bigelow’s “Point Break”).  There is a “Man” conversation between Boyle an a mob go-between – “The Man wants it done tonight.”

“Tell The Man I can’t do it tonight; too short notice.”

“The Man says it has to be tonight”….and so on, for several minutes.  The Man gets his way, of course.

A bank robbery.

Boyle and Mitchum at the ice hockey game, before the murder.

 

A couple of old ones of mine, gone to good homes, one in England, one in Finland, I believe.

 

Blackpaint

22/08/20

 

Blackpaint 652 – Maurer, Takis, Scherjfbeck, Truffaut and co.

August 28, 2019

Dora Maurer, Tate Modern 

Hungarian artist, specialising in geometric, sometimes highly colourful designs, layering, lattices, lots of theory in the wall notes (that I didn’t read, having learnt that I forget it all pretty quick).  Have a look at the examples below:

 

These look great through the arch as you come in to the gallery – early Albert Irvin with straighter lines?

 

Touch of Hoyland in the colours here…

 

Can’t think of any comparisons, which although not compulsory, makes me faintly uneasy; like it though.

 

Takis, Tate Modern 

Greek artist, but based in London and Paris, real name Panayiotis Vassilakis, heyday in the 60s, died just a couple of weeks ago.  Leaflet describes him as a “sculptor of magnetism, light and sound”.  Exhibition kicks off with the figurines below, which are appealing and a little Giacometti -like here and there, but soon the machines clock in.  Most of them were not working when we went, but an attendant did set one going (a pendulum pointer which strikes at the centre of a resonating metal shield); don’t know if it was for our benefit or if he does it regularly – like the man who fired the Anish Kapoor wax cannon in Guggenheim Bilbao a few years back.

 

 

The contraption on the left looks like a miniature electric chair, I thought,,,

 

Lots of quite beautiful suspended metal spheres, often turning on pendulums due to magnetic forces; also machines that pluck at metal metal cords or strips to produce, unsurprisingly, metallic “music”.

 

Visual hints of Calder at times, and also of Jean Tinguely, although these devices lack the anarchic, self – destructive tendencies of some of Tinguely’s machines.  A bit lightweight, maybe, in terms of emotional freight and social relevance – which can only be good, can’t it?

 

Helene Scherjfbeck again – RA 

I did this Finnish artist in my last blog, as readers will remember, but I’ve been again since and feel that I may have failed to do the exhibition justice last time – so here are some more pictures.  These, with the exception of the first one below, are highly graphic in a sort of magazine style, and I think they are pretty good and worth a close look.

 

I love this portrait – she looks like a Russian intellectual to me, writing a leaflet for a Narodnik party, People’s Will maybe, before going off to blow up the Czar.

 

So by way of contrast, there’s her, about to attend a society wedding, maybe-

 

..or her (no ready-made scenarios spring to mind – but I like the straight forehead-nose profile)…

 

Or her – the young Mrs. Thatcher, perhaps.  Love the shadow on the neck and face.

 

Modernists and Mavericks, Martin Gayford

My favourite art book since the brilliant Walter Hopps interviews a couple of years ago.  It’s based on London painters, notably Bacon, Freud, Hockney, Auerbach, Gillian Ayres, Bridget Riley, etc,  There is absolutely no jargon (except that invented by some of the artists themselves), the doctrinal disputes are covered lucidly, it’s a compulsive read.  You will know most of the stories if you are interested in these artists, but you may not know the connections between them.  It contains some revelations for me, chiefly the almost Stalinist attitudes of one Robin Darwin, the principal of the Royal College of Art in the 60s, who seems at one point to be drawing up lists of students to expel.  Why was Frank Bowling expelled for marrying Paddy Kitchen, a college officer?

On Bowling, it explains the contents of his big picture “Mirror” as a sort of compendium of styles extant at the time; I’m off to the Tate to check it out now – well, tomorrow maybe.  I was interested to read of Bowling’s conversation with Bacon about flat plane and perspective that Bowling thinks may have led to Bacon “blanking” him subsequently.  It’s good on Gillian Ayres too.  One mystifying omission – Albert Irvin.  No mention of him – maybe he’s too abstract for Gayford?  No, can’t be – what about Riley and Ayres?

Truffaut, Antoine Doinel films

Just watched the whole set, from 400 Blows to Love on the Run.  Truffaut’s alter ego gradually loses his charm as the series progresses, but this is not true of the captivating women with whom he becomes, or fails to become involved, marries, leaves; Claude Jade, Delphine Seyrig, Marie France Pisier, Dorothee. “Mademoiselle” Hiroku.  In Love on the Run, there are flashbacks to the 400 Blows, which remind you of the remarkable magnetism of Jean-Pierre Leaud as a young boy.  Brilliant set of films.

Couple of mine to finish:

Father Time

Blue Cyclone

Blackpaint

28.08.19