Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Jones’

Blackpaint 662 – The London Art Fair and Son of Saul

January 23, 2020

London Art Fair – until this Sunday, 26th Jan.

Up at the Angel tube, turn right, over the road and carry on for 5 mins to the Horticultural Halls (sorry – the Business Design Centre).  This year, the featured gallery on the ground floor is the Southampton.  The first two paintings below are in the Southampton collection – I love them both, especially the Roger Hilton, with that great, charcoal, sweeping line (see also Brett Whiteley’s drawings).

 

Matthew Smith

Touch of Phoebe from “Friends” here, maybe…

 

Roger Hilton

Photo doesn’t really do justice to the blue background, which is more… better in the “flesh”.

 

Brian Fielding

Big and in your face, on a partition at the end of a row.  Floaters in red and ochre-ish yellow on that turquoise – ish ground, lovely.

 

Martin Brewster

I like these, especially the one on the right; my partner scorns them, however, as “typical art fair fodder”.  Her taste is more reliable – but it’s my blog,

Keith Vaughan

Very untypical Keith Vaughan, I think; Vaughan is everywhere at the Fair (along with Adrian Heath and Alan Davie, I’m pleased to say) and commands huge prices – £25.000 for a small drawing, for instance.

 

Katherine Jones

Beautiful prints – she’s our niece, but that hasn’t influenced my choice in the slightest degree.  Sorry, not prints: watercolours.

 

Nikoleta Sekulovic

This is big – life-size.  Great painting (drawing?), poor photo.  Love the line – like Hockney.

 

George (?) Peter Lanyon

I think this is the famous Lanyon, not his father or uncle or something.  Never heard or seen him called George before.  I don’t think it’s great, but included it because it’s by the great man and is nothing like his usual output.

Rachael Read

This single painting is on two grounds; thick, wrinkled brown paper.  Don’t know exactly why, but this adds a degree of attraction to the painting, for me anyway.  looks a little like those little works on paper that Roger Hilton did, from his sickbed, in his last years.  But blown up 10 or 15 times, of course.

Son of Saul, dir. Laszlo Nemes (2015)

This was on TV the other night and I was unable to avoid watching it, as I’ve done several opportunities in the past.  It sounded far too harrowing to sit through if there was an alternative.  It’s set in Auschwitz, towards the end of 1944,  when the big transports from Hungary arrived and the massacres and burnings depicted in the film took place on the edge of the woods; also when there were breakouts involving members of the Sonderkommando, one of which is depicted in the film.  The focus throughout is closely fixed on the main character; the horrific events he sees and takes part in, are blurred and obscured to a degree – but you hear them clearly.  He becomes fixated on achieving some sort of proper burial for a boy victim of the gas chamber; he wants a rabbi to conduct the ceremony as properly as possible.

When I was at university in the early 70s, we studied Peter Weiss’s play, “The Investigation”; this was actually taken from the transcripts of the Auschwitz trials of the 1960s.  Weiss simply selected and split the testimonies into “cantos”.  At the time, Adorno’s dictum, or suggestion, was that the Holocaust had somehow killed art – silence was the only appropriate response from artists.

A fascinating article in the Guardian today (NOT something you will often hear from me) by Howard Jacobson points out that there have been a number of novels and films on the subject since then, some great, some not so much. He identifies the emergence of a disturbing subgenre, the Auschwitz novel:  “Auschwitz Lullaby, The Child of Auschwitz, The Librarian of Auschwitz, The Druggist of Auschwitz, The Tattooist of Auschwitz…”  These books, which claim to be based on truth, i.e. “Faction”, use the mass extermination programme carried out by the Nazis in Auschwitz as a backdrop to the story.  Jacobson articulates the issue lucidly and should be read.

Actually, thinking about it, Nemes may have done a similar thing in “Saul” – although it feels as if he has done a right thing; it’s ABOUT the Holocaust, rather than using it as a backdrop; but then again, I don’t know.

 

I got a print set for Christmas; these are the first attempts:

 

Blackpaint’s First Prints

23.01.20

Blackpaint 291

August 30, 2011

Tarkovsky and Bruegel

Watching “Solaris” the other day, came to the bit where the camera closes up on – goes into, almost – the reproduction of Hunters in the Snow;  I recall a scene in “Mirror” that suggested this painting and I’m sure that Tarkovsky quotes this scene in “Solaris” too.

I have to say I was astonished at the clarity with which Bruegel depicted the distant details – landscape, birds, the villagers capering on the ice; never noticed this particularly before, I suppose it takes a film close-up to bring it home.  Also, it reminded me of Bela Tarr’s Hungarian villagers – especially when they dance drunkenly with chairs or bread rolls on the head.

Dead Areas

In last blog, I suggested that most great films have patches in them that are pretentious, or awkward, even laughable (unintentionally).  This is surely more true of art house cinema, since the director is trying to make art, as well as, or maybe rather than, money.  Same goes for all art – music, theatre – and for painting.  Trouble is, when you find a dead area and change it, everything else changes too and you end up painting a different picture.  I’m thinking of abstract painting, where the choice – and therefore the pressure – is maybe greater; but it’s probably there with figurative painting as well.  Adrian Searle, I think, was writing about Lucian Freud, and making a lot of the fact that he painted everything in a picture (walls, window sills, floorboards) with the same attention to detail as the “subject”.

Katherine Jones

Several delicate, hanging “books” in the shape of birds. feathers of thin paper with one-line poems in the edges; prints of her signature mysterious glass-houses on the edge of a dark wood or a black mountain – in the Festival Hall Poetry library, on the 5th floor, and unfortunately now finished.  But have a look on her website anyway; the fact that she is my niece hasn’t influenced my recommendation in any way.

Guggenheim – last word

Robert Gober -A sculpted torso, half male, half female;  an odd, triangular cot; a rolled-up “unfolding door”.

Nate Lowman – stunning colour photographs of oil rigs with sun, moon, fire; what were they doing in the “Transgression” section, along with Paul McCarthy’s ” Tomato Head” and “Sasidge Cut”, and photos of naked men with beer cans, meat and onions for penises?  Interestingly, we had to queue for 30 minutes to get into this bit; overeager attendants letting in only as many as were leaving, despite there being only 20-odd in there at a time.

Thomas Hirschhorn – “Cavemanman”; an extended cavern made from brown tape, composition rocks and tinfoil, containing figures and torsos, pop band posters, overflowing with Coke cans, pages of instructions about voting systems posted up, giant books on Chomsky, multiculturalism, semiotics etc, etc, and film loops of prehistoric cave paintings.  Presumably, the cave is our civilisation as future excavators might see it – but what was meant by the dynamite sticks taped to the wall?

Blackpaint

30.08.11