Posts Tagged ‘Henri Matisse’

Blackpaint 497 – Metzger on Metal, AbEx Women

May 31, 2015

Gustav Metzger at Tate Britain

They’ve reorganised some of the rooms at TB and I was surprised and delighted to see a whole roomful of great Metzgers.  I thought the second and third were abstract but apparently they are pictures of a table.  I knew of Metzger as one of those Auto-Destructive artists from the 60s who set fire to things and smashed up pianos and the like – in the recent “Art Under Attack” exhibition at TB, there was a film of Metzger with a big screen up opposite St. Pauls, which he destroyed with acid (the screen, not St.Pauls) so that the cathedral slowly appeared through the growing holes.  Before this, he was one of Bomberg’s disciples and there are a couple of paintings which are instantly recognisable as school of Bomberg.  Is there any other painter who had such an iron grip on his followers as Bomberg did?

metzger1

 

This one is on metal.

metzger3

 

metzger2

 

Yes, easy to see the table now – but I had to be told.  My partner thinks he’d seen Matisse’s “La Table de Marbre Rose” (1916);

matisse table

 Matisse

 

Also new at TB, a darkened room containing Ralph Peacock’s brilliant “Ethel”:

Ethel 1897 Ralph Peacock 1868-1946 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1898 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N01672

Look at that face: “How long am I going to have to sit here?”

Mitchell, Frankenheimer, Hartigan

Last blog was half about the imbalance of “influential” male and female artists in the 80s and 90s, at least as it was reflected in Taschen books.  It didn’t allow me to include any abstract expressionist painters, so here are works by these three women, fighting their corner in the famously macho AbEx “community”.  Joan Mitchell is my favourite painter. Helen Frankenthaler is also a seminal figure, of course – Grace Hartigan much less well-known, but also fantastic (see below).

frank lorelei

 Frankenthaler

joan mitchell gug

Joan Mitchell

Hartigan

Grace Hartigan, Paper Dolls

Beckett – Fail Better

I keep hearing and reading people quoting Beckett’s famous phrase as if it’s some sort of positive guidance.  He’s taking the piss, surely – if you fail, you fail.  Consider this exchange from “Rough for Radio 1”:

“She (astonished): But he is alone!

He: Yes.

She: All alone?

He: When one is alone one is all alone.”

When you fail, you fail.  And on that note –

asger's revenge

 

Asger’s Revenge

Blackpaint

31.05.15 

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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