Posts Tagged ‘George Blacklock’

Blackpaint 649 – RA, Valloton, Urban Art and Two Killings

July 9, 2019

RA Summer Exhibition until 12th August

Second visit to the summer show – yes, astonishing to relate, I was rejected yet again this year – but I think I have managed not to let annoyance cloud my judgement.  Several of my favourites below:  apologies to the artist who produced the collection of bizarre figures behind the tiny fence; didn’t get the name.

 

George Blacklock

 

Blacklock again – same size, I think, as the first one, despite the different sizes of the photographs.

 

Frank Bowling, one of his “crusted” pictures

 

???  Tried to think of a comparison for this one – could only come up with two possibilities, both painters:  James Ensor and John Bellany.  Well, maybe, at a stretch…

 

 

Christopher le Brun – paintings, that is; apologies to the sculptor. another one whose name I didn’t get.  The Le Bruns are better “in the flesh” than in the photo.

 

 

RA Students Exhibition – finished now, I’m afraid, but I thought these two were striking…

 

Rachel Jones

It’s all about the colour, to state the obvious.  I should point out that it’s very large, as is the picture below.

 

Lucas Dillon

Christopher Wool meets Day of the Triffids.

 

RA,  Felix Valloton, until 29th September

Swiss artist of multiple talents, member of the Nabi group; some of his paintings resemble those interiors of Vuillard, with less “surface”.  They are composed of flat areas of colour, often lit from within, sometimes verging on illustration or even cartoon; there are several paintings containing nude women – not the painting below – in which the flesh is uniformly grey/white, almost a dead quality.  In my opinion, he’s like Augustus John – that is, hugely talented, but with variable artistic taste.

 

My personal favourite; only a small work, but impressive.

 

Vuillard colours, but flat surfaces…

 

Strangely like Norman Rockwell….

 

Internal lighting – great design. like a print.

 

Still Life, which resembles William Nicholson.  It’s hard (for me, anyway) to think of a painter with more variety of styles.

A Short Film About Killing –  Kieslowski 1987

 

An hour long version of this film comprises The 5th episode of Kieslowski’s “Dekalog“, based loosely on the Ten Commandments; it’s the one. not surprisingly.  dealing with murder – both by the individual criminal and the state.  It seems clear to me that the director considers the hanging of the young killer to be somehow equivalent to the murder.  He is shown to be feckless, randomly violent, relentless, stupid; but he gets on well with children, grieves for his dead little sister and the taxi driver he murders is a sleazy character, possibly a sexual predator; the execution scene is shocking and prominence is given to the lawyer’s horror-stricken reaction and anti- hanging statements.  Nevertheless….

Interesting to compare it to the much longer “Badlands” (Malick); in the latter, the director took no moral stance towards the killer, “allowing” the events and the commentary of Sissy Spacek’s character to speak.  Of course, in neither case do we know how much truth there is in the portrayal.  Both “A Short Film” and the two volumes of “Dekalog” are available on DVD on the Artificial Eye label.

 

Urban Art, Josephine Avenue, Brixton

Sold at the weekend at Urban Art in Brixton. the three Blackpaint paintings below:

 

Storm Front

 

Colunga

 

White Line Fever 2

Another great weekend under the big trees in Brixton – well done again, Tim Sutton (organiser) and all volunteers.  This was the 18th year of Urban Art, I understand…

Blackpaint, 

8/07/19

 

 

 

 

Blackpaint 531- Loker, Blacklock and Taking No Prisoners

February 8, 2016

John Loker, Flowers Gallery, W1

Sorry to say I missed the boat on this one; the exhibition ended on Saturday.  Nevertheless, I thought the paintings were spectacular and deserved an airing on these pages.  They are acrylic and it looks to me as if he has used some sort of multi-pronged marker or scraper to interlayer thin lines of different colours across the surface of some; in one painting, the colour mix, seen from the side, appears to be floating above the canvas.  they are big, by the way; 200*215 cm, that sort of size.

loker1

Space is a Dangerous Country – RE-entry, 2014

 

loker2

Space is a Dangerous Country – Columbia/Disaster, 2015

No doubt about the nature of the content, then – which brings me to the next artist:

 

George Blacklock, “Colour and Abstraction” (Crowood Press, 2015)

blacklock

Ancestral Voices V

I went to his book launch last week at Chelsea College of Art, where he is the current dean, I think.  He was an engaging speaker – it was one of those set-ups where he was “in conversation” with another lecturer, followed by questions from the floor.  One piece of very sound advice to artists; don’t be modest with other artists (or prospective buyers), spending time telling them what you don’t like about your own pictures – you’ll put them off.  Tell them what’s good, instead.  Sounds obvious and probably only necessary to say to British artists; I know I’ve done it and so has my partner.

Anyway, from both the book and the talk, it’s clear that Blacklock isn’t really an abstract artist at all, though he looks like one at first glance.  His images are abstracted from real world images – Michelangelo’s Pietas, a banjo player, the US flag – and in that sense, are representational.  He is a big fan of de Kooning, using DK’s famous “slipping glimpser” phrase as the title of a joint exhibition with Gary Oldman in Mexico.  Many of de Kooning’s works are representational -though “abstracted” – the Women of course, but also the light on the water ones, Villa Borghese and so on.

Although he said he didn’t want the book to be a “How to”, that’s pretty much how it’s turned out, with sections on perspective, Fibonacci series, Golden Section, materials etc. and exercises for the aspiring abstract painter. Well worth the twelve quid, though, for Blacklock’s own terrific works.

The Return, Zvyagintsev (2003)

After an unexplained 12 year absence, a father (Konstantin Lavronenko) turns up again in the lives of his wife and two children, receives the ministrations of the unquestioning woman and administers family life with terse instructions.  He takes the two boys off on a “fishing trip” to a deserted island, suppressing any dissent with instant, sweeping, casually delivered executive action.  Where has he been, what is he seeking on the island?  That’s for him to know – the boys must simply obey and learn.

As in “The Banishment” (2007), which also features Lavronenko, Zvyagintsev seems concerned with Russian masculinity, especially how men behave with their wives and children.  Russia comes across as the most ingrained patriarchal society, even as, with “The Banishment”, the story is borrowed from the USA.  So, Zvyagintsev does tortured and torturing fathers and husbands, Tarkovsky does crazed or slightly touched seers (Stalker and The Sacrifice) and Sokurov does – something else.  I’ll come back to him.

Sicario (2015) dir. Denis Villeneuve

Unrelentingly grim and violent; US v the Mexican drug cartels; hanging, beheaded bodies, casual shooting throughout, Del Toro “doing what has to be done”, Emily Blunt being ridiculously obstructive with her prissy legal scruples – towards the end, I thought I was watching “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”.  Not seen it?  Far superior – Warren Oates and Sam Peckinpah, a difficult to beat combination.

Exterminating Angels

angel1

Angel I

 

angel2

Angel 2

 

angel3

Angel 3 (WIP)

Blackpaint

8/02/16