Posts Tagged ‘Sven Hassel’

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 367 – Goya, the Devil and Fear Eats the Soul

November 15, 2012

Songs of Sandy Denny BBC4

What songs they were.  But really only PP Arnold got there on I’m a Dreamer – Maddy Prior hammed it up too much with her Elizabethan dancing and Lavinia Blackwood was too high and Gartside was terrible.  I was surprised by Thea Gilmore’s music using Sandy’s words; result was great, although more Joni Mitchell than Sandy Denny.

Sven Hassel

From the sublime to…  Read his obit in the Guardian the other day and it brought back a strong charge of my adolescence at Battersea Grammar School, where I championed Hassel and Willi Heinrich against my mates’ preference for James Bond.  I was wrong, of course; Flemings are now Penguin Modern Classics.  Still, “Wheels of Terror” had a real hold on me – The Little Legionnaire, who shouted “Allah Akbar!” as he attacked the Ivans with his knife, Tiny, the giant from Bremen, and above all, Joseph Porta, who went in with his flamethrower, wearing a top hat and monocle.  The tank battle at Cherkassy with the boys from the Penal Regiment.. happy innocent days of childhood.

How the Devil got his Horns (Sky Arts)

Alistair Sooke vehicle in which he seeks to show the development of Satan in art and theology from an envoy of God (as he is, for example, in Job) to the Antichrist, governor of hell and chewer of lost souls.  Sooke visited Padua to examine the Giotto Last Judgement – those endearing squat, square little people and the brilliant, singing colours – and then Orvieto, where the Signorelli version, much lighter, pinker, resembled the Michelangelo Sistine masterpiece in the fleshiness and muscularity of the writhing bodies – although Signorelli’s are much more cartoon – like, in the modern sense.

Giotto

Signorelli

Heroes Square, Budapest 

Cartoons having come up, I was reminded of the horsebacked figures, Arpad and the others, riding around the base of the column in the square, like characters from Lord of the Rings in their winged helmets, waving their swords and bows.

Spain, Renaissance to Goya, Print Room, British Museum

Bullfights, war disasters, witches,  penitents. those “Proverbs” that aren’t proverbs at all.  The slight squatness, stiffness of gesture, solidness of Goya’s figures remind me a little of Giotto somehow.  Lots of boring and elaborate etchings in the rest of exhibition, which suddenly comes alive with Murillo, Ribera and Tiepolo.  St. Anthony of Padua and the Irascible Youth turns up twice as a theme; after insulting his mother the youth cuts off his own leg in a fit of remorse.  Luckily, St. Anthony is passing and rejoins the leg by miraculous means.  Another theme – skinning of St. Bartholomew.  Two versions of that as well.  More skinnings alive in the siege of Lachish reliefs from Assyria on the ground floor.

John Bellany

Beautiful paintings on the Culture Show last night – resemblances to Jock MacFadyean and Peter Howson, I thought, in the distorted figures and faces; and blazing colour.  Apparently, they’ve got more colourful since his liver transplant 20-odd years ago.  He reckons he’s done more paintings than Turner.

Ali – Fear Eats the Soul

Finally caught up with this great Fassbinder film and was impressed and moved.  Lots of those doorway shots that Bela Tarr likes.  The story, fiftyish German cleaning woman begins affair with Moroccan “guest-worker”, suffers racism and family rejection, never slips over into sentimentality.  I loved it.

Chain Bridge

Blackpaint

15.11.12