Posts Tagged ‘Kapoor’

Blackpaint 545 – Cheese graters, Fingernails and Tulips

May 14, 2016

Mona Hatoum, “Over my Dead Body” at Tate Modern

Annoyingly, the labels on the wall by each installation tell you not only the title, year made and materials used but also what Hatoum is “saying” in the piece – I’d avoid reading them.  Having said that, I can’t really do anything but list some of the works.  But I can’t resist mentioning the odd perceived similarity to other artists here and there…

  • A black cube made of iron filings, clinging to each other in rope-like coils – I thought of the Kaaba.  My favourite piece;
  • Paper “drawings” with hair, fingernails and other personal bits attached (all those feminist artists who put things in cabinets);
  • Maps, lots of them, in neon, globes or graven into dozens of blocks of soap (Boetti);
  • A cabinet of glass hand grenades and lots of toy soldiers;
  • Batteries of wire rabbit hutches (but no rabbits);
  • Five-tier sets of metal bunks (Beuys);
  • A room with a table and chair, the back of which protrudes through the table top; on the wall, a small cage containing a ball of black hair, a dormitory bed and a musty smell (Magritte);

 

mona hatoum

  • Giant cheese-grater furniture (above);
  • A roomful of domestic torture instruments, egg whisks for example, all wired up with lights and buzzers;
  • A round pit filled with fine sand, combed into ridges and smoothed out incessantly (Kapoor);
  • Wire barbs on metal rods suspended from the ceiling;
  • Hair sculpture and a fence of plaited hair;
  • A film projected on the floor of an internal medical probe- heart, throat, gut maybe.

Baselitz at White Cube, Bermondsey

A huge, white galleryful of Baselitz’ upside-down figures, men and women, singly and in couples, white on black and blue backgrounds, or suffused with a rose wash.  Backgrounds spattery and ringed (cups or paint tins?) and blotched as if by an old pen nib – remember those?  By way of contrast, a number of male figures, heads cropped, NOT upside-down but on their sides, as if whizzing round the walls of the gallery in pursuit of each other, garlanded by chains of white drips round the feet and elsewhere.  For some reason, I was reminded of that light bulb figure dancing to the harmonica at the start of the Old Grey Whistle Test.  The figures, although rough and raggedly drawn, are strangely appealing; my partner especially liked the feet.

Also a couple of rooms containing ink and wash poster-sized pictures of… naked, upside-down men and women, rather similar to the large paintings.  No-one could accuse Baselitz of failing to explore the theme thoroughly.

 

baselitz1

 

baselitz2

 

Eurovision Song Contest

Graham Norton’s coverage relentlessly positive tonight – all songs “catchy” or “lovely” or “really sincere”; only the very mildest, harmless irony here and there.  Rise up, Wogan.  I think someone has had a word with Graham on behalf of the government.

Ran, Kurosawa (1985)

Ran

Breathtaking spectacle, unrelenting bloody slaughter in battle, murder, suicide – completely devoid of emotional engagement, except in regard to the androgynous Clown, who I quite liked.  Oddly, “Ran” popped up in a Luisa Berlin story I read the morning after I watched the film on TV; a character recounted the plot to her sister.  Berlin’s short story collection “A Manual for Cleaning Women” is a brilliant book; she’s been compared to Raymond Carver, I think reasonably.

 

 

wip2

Still Life with Tulips – work in progress; spot the Baselitz influence.

Blackpaint

14.05.16

Blackpaint 338 – Charlotte, the Scatman and the Hunters

April 21, 2012

Melancholia –

Just seen Lars Von Trier’s film and I have to say it was great.  Just like Tree of Life, the influence of Tarkovsky was evident to me, in the subject matter (see Tarkovsky’s “Sacrifice”) and the early appearance of Bruegel’s “Hunters in the Snow” – almost in the credits.  T. used this picture in both “Mirror” and “Solaris”.  The horse falling backwards in ultra slow motion onto its haunches brought to mind the aerial scene in Andrei Rublev.  Enough of the Tarkovsky comparisons – the rest is pure Von Trier, the elaborate, formal wedding and the disaffection bubbling through echoing “Festen”, of course.  Charlotte Gainsbourg should obviously play the younger Patti Smith when the film of Just Kids is made.

The Tobias Woolf story “Hunters in the Snow” should also be checked out, which brings me to-

King of Marvin Gardens

Bob Rafelson’s film on TV the other night – beautiful ensemble playing between Nicholson, Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn; clean washed skies, wooden sidewalks of Atlantic City and Scatman Crothers, great performance overshadowed by his turn in the Shining.   I’d completely forgotten about the shooting scene.

Olympic Art

Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, Emin’s dove plane, Kapoor’s metal tower, like the stuff that Poets Laureate knock out for special occasions, e.g. Ted Hughes’ “Rain Charm for the Duchy”.  Actually, not really – Hughes’ poem is very good.

Have to stop now as I have three holes in my abdomen (planned – surgery) .  Have to say, the abstract art works in the Day Surgery at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting are pretty damn good – afraid I was in no condition to note the names of the artist(s).

Life Drawing 3

Blackpaint

21.04.12

Blackpaint 11

December 10, 2009

My latest effort now is heavily scored and slashed with wide strokes of black acrylic and charcoal and dirtied up in an attempt to make it less insipid and give it more gravitas.  It now looks a bit like a woman’s buttock and upper thigh done in a yellowy peach colour with a big red and white hole in it, surrounded by festoons of black (which as I look, transforms itself into a boy riding a bike – or half a bike – at speed across the canvas, from the olive drab on the right to the pale grey on the left).

If this keeps up, I’m going to pack in painting and go back to the drawing board -literally- until I sell another canvas, or get some inspiration back.  I’ve been reading Robert Hughes on Van Goch’s drawings done in Arles; he points out that they are not tonal, but are made up of separate marks and strokes which “let the light in”.  I’ve had a look at a couple and I think I see what he means – it will be a difficult one for me, as I tend to draw heavily and messily in a sort of impressionistic way, with a load or shading and scribbling.  I’ll have a go tomorrow at life drawing and see if I can get out of my habit.

I’ve got to mention the comment in yesterday’s Guardian about Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at the Roal Academy – I’ve thrown it away now, but it says something like this: that it’s either magical and stunning or pretentious and boring; perhaps both! 

I’ve been looking at Miquel Barcelo, “crane de profil” a fabulous skull done in “mixed media” on canvas – looks like a drawing.

Listening to: Bartok on piano, playing “Mikrokosmos” in 1937 and 1940, and thinking as always of my mate Bob Glass who gave me the CD;

And “Smokestack Lightning” by Howling Wolf ,of course, but who I think got it from Tommy Johnson – I wonder where, or who,  he got it from.

Watching – Wallander, the original.  Combination of cosy Swedish seaside and horrific, graphic murders that no-one seems upset by.  This, and the Updahl paintings yesterday morning gave the day a Scandinavian theme.  I think I’ll try for themed days in future – will that make this blog magical and stunning, or pretentious and boring? Perhaps, if I’m lucky, both. 

Blackpaint

10.12.09