Posts Tagged ‘Mary Martin’

Blackpaint 654 – St.Catherine, Cleopatra and the 27th (Penal) Panzer Regiment

September 29, 2019

Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

Continuing with galleries in Lisbon, here are some paintings from the modern(ish) section of the Gulbenkian, fantastic museum in beautiful landscaped gardens.  Again, surprising number of British artists represented.

Love this, but unfortunately, didn’t get name of artist.  Think it’s Portuguese but looks Mexican, doesn’t it?

 

Howard Hodgkin – an early one, obviously.

 

Joe Tilson – painting, sculpture, collage – or all three?

 

OK, we’re in the same museum, but a different section.

 

Museo de Art Antiga, Lisbon

Another staggering collection – or rather set of collections – to rival the V&A.  Well, resembles it, anyway.  Below, triptych, showing the martyrdom and apotheosis of St.Catherine.

God has caused the torture wheel to shatter –

 

…but unfortunately, God’s intervention was not enough to save her.  Perhaps His attention strayed…

 

But never mind; bring her up to heaven (and don’t forget the head).

 

Bronzino, the Holy Family (not sure if this is correct title).  Notice the infant Jesus’ hand, near BVM’s breast – echoes the titty tweaking in Bronzino’s better known painting below:

 

Demon’s head

 

St. Jerome by ?  Charming little picture.

 

Studio of Ribera (obviously)

We didn’t have time to go round the lot, unfortunately, but it’s a huge museum.  Particularly striking were Japanese screens, showing the arrival of the first Portuguese to arrive on Japanese shores in the 16th(?) century.  For some reason, they’d brought elephants with them, apparently.

Tate Britain – Hoyland and Ayres

There is a great pairing of two major abstract artists, very different but, like Bellany and Davie at the Newport Street Gallery recently, they complement each other wonderfully.  I think it’s the colour and the size.

Gillian Ayres – Something Blues (forget the name).  It’s about the size of the other two below.

 

 

Ayres, Phaeton – I presume the arc is the route of Phaeton’s chariot across the heavens

 

Ayres, Cleopatra – fabulous tangle of colours, each of them absolutely right, it seems to me.

 

John Hoyland – this is best viewed from across the gallery; near to, the scrapings in the dark red look a little muddy.  Same order of size as the Ayres.

 

Hoyland again – sorry, took no note of titles.

Tate Britain rehang (sort of)

They haven’t done a full rehang by any means, but I noticed a batch of new paintings in the 50s/60s sections, a few of which I’ve put in below:

This is by Mary Martin, and it grabs your attention from the neighbouring room when you see it through the arch (whoever places the pictures really knows which ones should be seen through the arches – perhaps best example is the big blue Ayres above).

The Martin is actually a long sheet – or maybe four long sheets –  of metal (aluminium?), crumpled into triangular shapes; the faces of the triangles reflect the colours of the paintings around it.

 

Keith Vaughan – great figure study, with his characteristic blue background.

Gillian Ayres again – something of Whistler’s Nocturne here, maybe (is it Nocturne?  The one that Ruskin described as a pot of paint thrown in the face, or somesuch…)  Fantastic, I call it…

 

Sven Hassel

A bit of a mood change now…

My latest reading; I see Joseph Porta as a thin Falstaff, going into battle with his flamethrower and top hat (prototype of many Satanic majesties in rock music and Gothic horror), with Tiny, Pluto, the Little Legionnaire, the Old ‘Un and Hassel himself, the anti-Nazi soldiers of the 27th Tank (Penal) Tank Regiment.  OK, it’s not great literature but it hits that late night Discovery Channel spot, beloved of British men of a certain age…

Latest Lifeys

No new paintings this time, so a couple of my life drawings to end with:

 

 

Blackpaint

29/09/19

 

 

 

 

 

Blackpaint 187

September 5, 2010

Tate St.Ives, “Grid”

The last part of this exhibition (see Blackpaint 185/6) is the minimalist bit; an area of stillness after the surfacy excitement of “Gesture” (going for Pseud’s Corner here; never know your luck).

De Stael

“Marathon”.  A surprise to find him here; I think his pictures usually fit more with the stuff next door.  Anyway, not a good one, boring for such a giant.  Blacks and greys and beige, a sort of spray of linear marks from the centre – looked like a collage on black felt.

Carl Andre

The zinc and steel plain squares, like a deficient chess board – 36, I think – which you step on accidentally and jump back, then realise you are allowed.

Naum Gabo 

A typical Gabo structure, maybe 2 ft by 2ft, delicate white thread shrouds around a central rectangle.

Mary Martin

A wall plaque with shiny metal pointed shapes studding it or stuck on.  Usually to be seen at Tate Modern.

Donald Judd

One of his signature “ladders” of flat, square, metallic platforms going up the wall.

Ryman

A completely white rectangle; this one had narrow white tape around its perimeter, securing it to the aluminium frame. 

Ben Nicolson

A small, interlocking collection of blocks, all white.

Eva Hesse

A piece of graph paper, with a central rectangle made by Hesse drawing a circle within each square and filling in the outside edges.  Since this could not be done “perfectly” – there would always be a touch of human inexactitude – this created a wobbly effect, setting up a tension with the perfection of the grid squares; or so the label said.

I was unaware of this minimalist aspect of Hesse’s work, knowing only the Riopolle-like pictures reproduced in the “Gestural Painting” book and the haunting suspended blocks clothed in linen.  Not keen on this.

Moholy – Nagy

A beautiful white and grey painting with black and red squares and lines, very Nicolsonish, that was in the Van Doesburg exhibition, I think.  No wrong, just checked  the catalogue.  Must have been in the fantastic MN/Albers exhibition at TM a couple of years ago.

Mondrian

Now, I’m sure this was in the Van Doesburg; the squares painting with grey instead of the more characteristic white.  From 1920, if I’m right.

Morellet

Never before heard of this artist.  Interlocking shapes like crosses and T shapes on the side with a line at both ends, on white.  Creates a wobbly effect, a bit like Oiticica.

There was also an Albers and a Sol LeWitt, but took no notes on them – sorry, chaps. And a “Black painting” by …….

Safe to say, I preferred the gesturals next door; but who knows, maybe I’ll suddenly get it and be converted.

Barbara Hepworth’s House

I wrote about this in last blog.  I hadn’t remembered that she died in a fire in her studio.  Some of her stuff is so like Moore’s – who copied whom, I wonder – and Gabo, the holes and strings.  I was reminded too of the great story in John Bird’s book about the St. Ives lot, where Terry Frost or maybe Dennis Mitchell, doing some menial labouring for Hepworth, were locked in a conservatory by her while she showed  round some bigwigs.  Frost, or Mitchell, was taken short and had to piss in a pot which leaked out under the door and between the feet of Hepworth and her party; They all pretended not to notice.

Listening to White Lightning, Waylon Jennings.

“A city slicker came and he said “I’m tough;

“Guess I’d like to try some of that mountain stuff”,

He took him a sip and then he drunk it right down,

And I heard him say before he hit the ground,

“Mighty, mighty pleasin’, your Daddy’s corn squeezin’s”,

Ooooorgh – White Lightnin’!” 

An old one.

Blackpaint

05.09.10

Blackpaint 124

April 30, 2010

National Gallery

As well as visiting the Kobke (see last blog), also had a general look around the gallery.  I was with one of those friends who take a perverse pleasure in acting like Philistines; “What’s good about this one, then?  Why is that a great picture?” and so on.  I went on , not very convincingly, about structure and composition and movement and surface and was very soon boring myself and feeling a bit sick.  As always, when this sort of interrogation happens, I found myself agreeing with him; yes, it’s not a very good Rubens, yes the head is too big and looks stuck on (Titian, the Flight into Egypt) – and so on.  The Vendramin family portrait looks as if apprentices did the children;  King Charles’ horse in the Van Dyck is definitely wrong (neck too thick, head too small).  As for the Van Gogh sunflowers… no, stop – a bridge too far.  Although, actually, I was never a big fan of the sunflowers; one of those blind spots, I suppose.

Tate Modern

Nice, quiet little anteroom to the Pollock/Kline/Jorn gallery with sculptures by Victor Pasmore, Mary Martin and somebody Biedermayer.  They were highly coloured little shelves and geometric protrusions in wood, plastic or metal, mounted on a flat board.  Similar stuff in Tate Britain by Pasmore and Ben Nicolson.  In the same, or next room, work by Helio Oiticica – the work that Serota said he would have to save in the event of a fire, because it’s so rare.  It consists of squares and oblongs drawn or painted on brown cardboard sheets; the blurb compares them to Mondrians – except that each of these are the same colour and they are set at very small angles, as if jostling each other across the board.

There was some other Brazilian and Venezuelan work with it, surprisingly minimal and colourless – I suppose I expected stuff that was more lush, colourful, vivid; Franz Ackermann, say.

The Kiefer palm tree has gone and in its place, huge, hanging, red and orange sisal sculptures, like a great, soft Marsyas.  Done in the 60s by Magdalena Abakanowicz, a Polish sculptor (sorry, one of the world’s leading woman artists), she  calls them  “Abakans”.  I thought that these soft sculptures might disprove my Polish thesis (see Blackpaint 20 and 21 ), that critics tend to analyse all works by Polish artists in terms of references to Auschwitz, WW2 and/or the post-war Communist period – but I was wrong.  From various sites, I found that her work is “emotive”, “disturbing”, about “lasting anxiety”, about “the missing”, the “crowd” and the individual’s struggle – it “reflects the emotional heritage of her political environment”.  Not Auschwitz then, but not far off.

Parrot, by Blackpaint.

Listening to If IGet Lucky by Arthur Big Boy Crudup.

“If I get lucky mama. with my trainfare home (*2)

I’m goin’ back to Mississippi now, mama, where I belong”.