Posts Tagged ‘Paolozzi’

Blackpaint 677 – Tate Mod; The Man

August 21, 2020

Tate Modern Regular Collection

Our second post-shielding gallery visit to Tate Modern for the regular collection.  No trouble getting a booking even on a weekend; queue (spaced and short wait); relaxed about times (we were let in a bit early); more people than at Tate Britain, but still mostly easy to avoid crowds; most, but not all, masked.  Some selections below:

Christian Schad

Strange, strange picture:  I’ve seen it many times but I’ve never even noticed the woman at the bottom of the picture in the apparently subservient position.  I’d plead the chest deformity and the supercilious expression as attention grabbers.  I don’t think it’s unconscious racial prejudice – it’s more that I’m extraordinarily unobservant.

 

And these sculptures – Wifredo Lam?  Germaine Richier?  Couldn’t find the wall plaque – they’re often in odd positions…

 

Aubrey Williams

I like the splurged nature of this; as if it’s dribbled and smeared somehow.

 

Beuyss

Lovely collection of little leaden turds in front of the huge one dangling from the girder.

 

Beuyss

Granite corpses or coffins flung up by some earthquake…

 

Edward Paolozzi

Beautifully sculpted (cast?) set of totally useless…. boxes and mechanisms.  I’m not sure if it’s all one piece or not.

 

Sigmar Polke

Big dotty print(?) with a statue and an angel or devil and spurts of some cream/yellow fluid – what could be easier to interpret?

 

I think the one at the front with the wheel is a Paolozzi – didn’t get the name of the other sculptor – sorry, appalling commentary.

 

Obviously this has to be called “Babel”.  I though Nam June Paik-but no, it’s Cildo Meireiles.

 

Max Beckmann

Beckmann’s strange collection of glum clowns and/or musicians – I notice it faintly resembles his famous “Night” in it’s structure (the way the masked figure curves round the right hand corner).

 

William Sasnel 

One of a series of the dead Gadafi.

 

In common with Tate Britain, the arches give great views.  Paintings by Dora Maurer.

Apocalypse Now, Coppola (dir) 1979

Recently watched the “uncut” version of this on TV; I presume the scenes with the French ex-colonials hanging on in Cambodia were restored – I don’t remember them at all from the film I saw back in 79 or 80.  Another thing that struck me was the night scene at the last bridge, where no-one is in command – I could have sworn there was Hendrix playing, “Voodoo Child” maybe; there WAS some music but nowhere near as prominent as I remember…

Hopper’s over the top hippie photographer gave me, along with “Eddie Coyle” below, the title for this blog; his crazed eulogy of Kurtz, “The Man” is this, “The Man” is that, “The Man is – the Man, you know”….

 

Everybody is deranged (except the Vietnamese and maybe some Cambodians) in this film.  Here’s Martin Sheen’s intense assassin’s stare, years after his Charles Starkweather turn in “Badlands” (1973) with the wonderful Sissie Spacek – and a good while before he became liberal President Bartlett in the West Wing.

American Dharma, Errol Morris (dir) 2018

This was in the Sky Documentary Channel a couple of weeks ago. A fascinating portrait, but hardly a fair and unbiased one, of Steve Bannon, ex-Trump adviser, self proclaimed “street fighter” (I think he means attitude rather than actuality). right-wing hate figure of the liberal-left “Establishment”.  Bannon was sweaty, scruffy, unshaven and unflappable, with a hard stare and a challenging grin.  He speaks with relish of media stunts in which he undermined Clinton (Bill, not Hillary).  His favourite animal is the honey badger, because it is obsessive and relentless in its pursuits.  He seems to look to old films to underpin his principles and has picked some pretty good ones: Gregory Peck in “12 o’Clock High”. John Wayne in “The Searchers”, Kirk Douglas in “Paths of Glory” and Orson Welles as Falstaff in “Chimes at Midnight”.  This last pertains to his breach with Trump – unlike Falstaff, he claims to feel no resentment at being cast adrift by his protege – it had to be, the time had come.

The director makes no real attempt to refute anything Bannon says, but periodically flings headlines from the US press onto the screen which may or may not relate to him or undermine him; you can’t tell. There’s no engagement, just another restatement of Democrat/liberal-left distaste and fear.  In an extraordinary sequence at the end, Bannon is portrayed walking through a blazing building – an aircraft hangar? – as if he were Stephen King’s cowboy Satan in “The Stand”.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Peter Yates (dir) 1973

To end this week, a film which must be seen by any fan of US crime thrillers, with a brilliant cast headed by Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle, based on a novel by George V. Higgins.  The first, I believe, of several films in which bank robbers use moulded rubber masks (cf. Bigelow’s “Point Break”).  There is a “Man” conversation between Boyle an a mob go-between – “The Man wants it done tonight.”

“Tell The Man I can’t do it tonight; too short notice.”

“The Man says it has to be tonight”….and so on, for several minutes.  The Man gets his way, of course.

A bank robbery.

Boyle and Mitchum at the ice hockey game, before the murder.

 

A couple of old ones of mine, gone to good homes, one in England, one in Finland, I believe.

 

Blackpaint

22/08/20

 

Blackpaint 587 – What would you do if I sang out of tune? Estorick, V and A, Whitechapel…

February 20, 2017

War in the Sunshine, The British in Italy 1917 – 1918, Estorick Collection

Several nice exhibitions in the Estorick at the moment:  photographs of British soldiers in the Italian theatre are accompanied by the paintings and drawings of Sydney Carline, a pilot and painter who did the aerial combat shown below.  He survived the war, only to die of illness during his first exhibition in 1929.

carline1

There is a permanent collection, mostly of Italian Futurists and Surrealists, Boccione (below), Severini, Carra, de Chirico and others: look out for three great charcoal portraits by Boccione, which remind one somewhat of Auerbach’s early charcoals, writ light perhaps.

Boccioni, Umberto; Modern Idol; Estorick Collection, London; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/modern-idol-132962

Finally, there is a roomful of drawings by Giorgio Morandi.  No prize for guessing the subject matter.  But there are bottles too and a couple of trees, I think.

 

Edward Paolozzi, Whitechapel Gallery

Paolozzi was definitely hyperactive; my mental picture is of him leaping from one mode of expression to another, bit of sculpture, poster, design a dress, print, collage, make a film…  Big, strong, scattering fag ash – did he smoke?  Must have, they all did then – producing furiously.  Then again, everything is finished so beautifully and is often so detailed that this impression is probably wrong; there’s nothing slapdash about his work.  And although you can see glimpses of other artists, it’s quite original.  A few examples below:

 

pao3

Touch of David Smith about these, maybe?

pao4

I’m pretty sure this collage was 1950, pre-dating the obvious Richard Hamilton piece by ……

 

pao5

Here’s three of his pre – psychedelia prints.

 

pao6

A later poster.  It occurs to me that he resembles Rauschenberg and Hamilton as an ideas man, as well as maybe Fernand Leger in his visual style and workmanlike demeanour.  Maybe also Sonia Delaunay – the dresses and plates.  I’ve omitted his well-known, boxy, thin metal sculptures with crusts of embedded cogwheels and other bits and pieces; the Frinck-like heads; collages of comics and magazines; surrealistic, Monty Python-ish films…

This is a timely resurrection of an artist who seemed, to me at least, to be somewhat overlooked.  An explosive, exhausting artist.

You Say You Want a Revolution, the Victoria and Albert Museum

janis

It’s a pure nostalgia wallow, for the throng of  white haired ex-hippies – can this lot REALLY have worn loons and long hair and smoked dope and dropped acid and capered like idiots in the mud at Bath and the Isle of White?  No, of course not – it was just me.  the only cry to be heard, over and over again, unnaturally loud over the soundtrack playing into their earphones, was: “Look!  I used to have that one – and I’ve still got all three of those!”  Vinyl albums in the racks…  Biba, Granny Takes a Trip, Blow-Up, Stones, Pepper, Jethro Tull, CSNand Y, Joni, Janice, Jimi, Leary, Stokely, Huey, Eldridge, Angela – there’s Charlie! –  Vietnam, Kent State, Grosvenor Square –  some other stuff about space and Expo and then back to the real thing – a series of outtakes from Woodstock, mashed together to give 15 or 20 minutes.  Great Grace Slick and Airplane; oh no, Joan Baez – but thank God, saved by Joe Cocker; not enough Janice; Jimi’s “Star Spangled Banner”; Country Joe, “What does that spell?”; The Who, sounding rather lethargic to me – Live at the IOW is much better; the bloke who cleans the toilets and has one son in the crowd and another in Vietnam;  Arlo, completely out of his head..  I didn’t enjoy it at all.  Who’s that old git think he’s looking at?  Shit, it’s me, in the mirror glass…

The Cast Room, Victoria and Albert

After, walking through the cast room, we came upon this fabulous Michelangelo, which I’m sure I’ve never seen before:

michelangelo-front-1

 

michelangelo-back-1

Another great back to add to my collection, with Kitaj, Ginger etc.

 

agostino-duccio

And this, in one of the Medieval rooms: Agostino di Duccio, I think.  It’s got a sort of Bosch feel to it, somehow.

Soutine

soutine1

I love Soutine.  Everything’s a bit (or a lot) bent in his pictures, especially out on the fields, where people sometimes walk on their sides like in Sokurov’s “Mother and Son”.

A Bigger Splash, (Luca Guadagnino, 2015) DVD

Starring Swinton, Fiennes, Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson, this is the most ludicrous film I have ever seen.   We turned it off in the Fiennes/Swinton kareoke scene, but having bought the DVD, I watched the rest after my partner went to bed.  It improved, because Schoenaerts finally drowned Fiennes in the swimming pool, which he should have done much sooner.  I was astonished to see it described somewhere as a comedy-drama and more so at the quote from Monocle, on the case: “A dazzling, sun-soaked masterpiece”.

Two life drawings to finish:  one ballerina,  doing three poses in each drawing.

ballerina1

3-ballerinas

Yes, I know it looks like she’s kicking her mate…

Next time, Hockney and Tillmans at the Tates, and Picasso at Barsa, which I didn’t get round to, this time.

Blackpaint

20/02/17

Blackpaint 490 – Geometrics in Fulham, History at the Hayward, Missile on the Verandah

April 12, 2015

Remembering Poetry

I’ve been reading the Four Quartets for the first time (why did Eliot call them that?  They’re each in five parts.  Is it that there are four of them and they go together to make a whole?  But then they would be one quartet, surely…).

Anyway, after reading them through a couple of times with the assistance of the notes of Hermann Servotte and then reading them again right through, I set out to write down what I remembered.  It went something like this:

The briar and the rose….brown edges of swimming pool….wounded surgeon….ruined millionaire…..dove…..Pentecostal fire…….frost and fire……”Yet being someone Other”……..broken king…….”Zero summer”…..blah, blah, blah….brown baked face…..jaws of sea……tin leaves……winter lightning….. You get the point; what you remember in the first instance is concrete images, plus a few memorable phrases (which might stick, like “zero summer”, because you’ve no idea what they mean).

I should say I loved the poems and thoroughly recommend them – I’m sure this TS Eliot will go far.

“From Centre”; Loud and Western building, 65 Broughton Road, London SW6, until 26th April

A pop-up exhibition of clean-cut, texture-free geometric abstract painting and sculpture.  The great venue, an old works of some sort, being converted into flats, I should think; very white, wooden staircases, lovely balcony and some great abstracts.

 

from centre 1

No.317, Fold, 2012 – Rana Begum 

Paint on powder-coated mild steel.

 

from centre 2

 Polymorph, 2013 – Natalie Dower

For some reason, I thought these were young artists; then I checked the biogs.  Natalie Dower is 84; others include Tess Jaray (b.1937), Trevor Sutton (b.1948), Peter Lowe (b.1938)… Begum (b.1977) is a mere child.  Some fantastic work from major artists, and free.  We paid a voluntary fiver for the excellent booklet.

“History is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain (Hayward Gallery)

Actually, six different takes, since the Wilson sisters go together.  It’s really more like journalism or history with a lot of art objects, than an art exhibition.  There’s a Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air missile on the verandah, for instance; where would you see something like that in an art exhibition?  Well, there were Fiona Banner’s planes in the Tate a couple of years ago…

The artists are Simon Fujiwara – a group of objects of significance to the artist, including a huge slice of coal, Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher costume from a film, a Hockney Ipad enlargement;

The Wilsons – political conflicts, including Greenham Women, Northern Ireland, social and political movements – look out for Penelope Slinger’s surrealist feminist photos, Stuart Brisley’s cage of gloves (looks like it should be about Auschwitz – actually, each glove represents 66,000- odd unemployed) and the Pasmores;

stuart brisley

Stuart Brisley

Roger Hioorn – BSE/CJD and Scrapie; horrifying subject, mostly film and newspaper reports, with some rather tangential stuff, for example, a Lygia Clark sculpture that just happens to resemble a prion;

John Akomfrah – film, including Gilbert and George, Francis Bacon and Barbara Hepworth;

Hannah Starkey – photographs, notably Chris Killip, Bill Brandt, Martin Parr.

Richard Wentworth – great wartime, Festival of Britain, 50s and 60s stuff – Paul Nash, Paolozzi, Ben Nicholson, Tony Cragg, Eagle Annuals, early Penguins and Pelicans.

tony cragg

 Tony Cragg

Britain from the North

 

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)

OK, I understand she (Scarlett Johansson) is an alien lifeform, acquiring skins from unwary Scottish blokes; but who is the motorcyclist and how did the Tesco man escape, if only temporarily? and why did she have to kill the Czech man in the wetsuit?  Horrible attempted rape scene.

 

Painting

Getting nowhere except the Slough of Despond with my current effort – maybe I’ll chuck some bright paint on the canvas and ride my bike over it, and call it Aphrodite at the Waterhole…except Tony Hancock’s already used that (see “The Rebel” – essential viewing for artists).

work in prog 1

Work in progress???

Blackpaint

12.4.15