Posts Tagged ‘Nicoletta Sekulovic’

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