Posts Tagged ‘Zao Wu-Ki’

Blackpaint 120

April 25, 2010

Raphael etc. at the British Museum

I see from the Review Show (Fri, BBC2) that one of the star drawings on show at the above is a drawing for the Raphael St.George and the Dragon that was cited in Blackpaint 118.  If I didn’t  despise cliche, I would be tempted to mention fingers on pulses or worse, surfing the zeitgeist – but I do despise cliche, so I will draw a veil over both of these expressions.

I have to say that I’m irritated by the sort of awed, reverential terms critics use in discussing Renaissance works; recent examples being the critics’  response to the Michelangelo presentation drawings at  the Courtauld and Simon Armitage on the Review Show, talking about them as if they were some kind of holy relic from an age long before abstraction and conceptual art, when artists really were artists and cared about getting things right (and were capable of it – not like today’s shower, who can’t draw properly, etc, etc).  Presumably, something of the sort applies to poetry too and music and the novel?  Quite a lot of modern poetry doesn’t rhyme or scan properly, for example.

Cai Guo-Kiang and Zao Wou-Ki

The first of these two artists exhibited I think last year at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and at the Tate Modern more recently(?).  He “paints” with gunpowder, setting off little explosions on paper, as well as doing firework displays and some spectacular installations (an arcing shower of stuffed wolves, for instance and cars spinning back to earth after being thrown up by an explosion of neon tubing).  The wolves bring Beuys to mind and his colours recall Kiefer, a bit – but the interesting thing for me was seeing two oil paintings by Zao done in 1970 that in their coppery, grey, black, gold and white coloration really resemble Cai’s gunpowder efforts – so much so that I had it in mind they were by the same artist.  Until today, when I looked them both up and realised my error.

Sort of California feel -Blackpaint

I’ve been watching that great documentary on the Ferus Gallery, Walter Hopps, Irving Blum and their California stable of artists – or whores, as one of the artists admitted.  More tomorrow.

Listening to “Black and White” by the Highwaymen;

“Welcome home, said the hot moonlight,

We were born and raised in black and white;

One chose the dark, one chased the light,

We were born and raised in black and white..”

Blackpaint

Sunday night