Posts Tagged ‘Masterkova’

Blackpaint 378 – Urinals and Wooden Specs

January 24, 2013

Breaking the Ice: Moscow Art 1960 – 80s

I’ve now visited this show again (Saatchi Gallery until 21st Feb) and will try to do it a little more justice than last time.

Vladimir Nemukhin and Lydia Masterkova, colourful and energetic abstracts with overtones of Kandinsky and anthropop colours.  Yuri Zlotnikov, like dots and lines and dashes escaped from Malevich’s Constructivist abstracts.  Oleg Tselkov’s bulky, masklike faces, remind one of Botero maybe or even Lempicka in the execution.  Oskar Rabin’s black, grey and white Caligari houses and streets and crucified vodka bottle and fish.  Dmitri Plavinsky’s scabrous grey tablets, like Rosetta Stones studded with bits and pieces. Dimitri Krasnopevtsev’s distorted dungeon stairs and arches in grey, black and white.

Ilya Kabakov’s rough, Socialist Realist pastiches that he “attacked” with an axe in a studio Happening, or stick paper rosettes on in neat lines.  Rough, giant wooden Soviet (rose-coloured?) spectacles, and a rickety wooden Tatlin tower model – who did those? – and Lenin meeting Giacometti man (Leonid Sokov).  Alexander Kosolapov’s Suprematist Urinals – really smart or “cherry”, as the LA Cool School artists would say; bet they’d sell in the gift shop.  And Warhol pastiches with Soviet imagery – bit obvious, but funny.  The best painting by Victor Pivovarov, big, pastel colours, looks abstract until you see the figures on the sides.  Colours reminded me of Gary Hume.  Couldn’t find it online.

So: the obvious reaction is admiration that this work was produced at all, given the lack of opportunity to show without state interference.  Great show, especially for free and with the main event downstairs, the contemporary Russian art.

breaking the ice 2

The Garden of the Finzi Contini

Vittorio de Sica’s sunlit but harrowing film from the 70’s with Dominique Sanda as the doomed heroine – the pre-deportation scenes in the schoolhouse are hard to bear.  Unfortunately, I have a tendency (like many others, I suspect) to be assailed by inappropriate thoughts at grave moments; I couldn’t help but notice Sanda’s occasional resemblance to the Lady Penelope puppet in  Thunderbirds.  

The London Art Fair

Discussing this last week, I forgot to mention the fantastic photos of Homer Sykes; British folk customs caught 30 – 40 years ago, including the great Britannia Coconut Dancers at Bacup in Lancashire.  Also, Ian Beesley’s photos, featured last week in the Guardian.  Google them both and see some great images.

Warhol

Some early drawings by Warhol featured (again in the Guardian) and the owner compares them to Schiele, saying they show a brilliant talent.  Well, maybe – but so what?  Surely the least important thing about Warhol is his ability to draw hands “properly”; it’s that Robert Hughes bit again – you can’t be a proper artist unless you can draw properly.

Fernando Pessoa

I’m reading his “Book of Disquiet” – cross between Sartre in “Nausea” mode (lots of things make him sick), Celine and a slight touch of Adrian Mole.  He’s got my number on art though: “The downfall of classical ideals made all men potential artists, and therefore bad artists.  When art depended on solid construction and the careful observance of rules, few could attempt to be artists, and a fair number of these were quite good.  But when art, instead of being understood as creation, became merely an expression of feelings, then anyone could be an artist, because everyone has feelings.”  That’s me then.

A Prophet

Watched this brilliant, long, French prison film again and I have to mention Niels Arestrup, as the ageing Corsican gangster Luciani; poignant scene when the other Corsicans sing as they leave him behind and even more, when el-Djebena is released from the hole and “transfers” to the Muslims.

004

Bloody Window

Blackpaint 

24.01.13

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