Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Thank you David Manley for bringing my attention to a Jack Bush exhibition catalogue that I had on my bookshelf and had forgotten all about it. You posted a great photo of that show at Ikon Gallery from back in the 70s and then in response to my post earlier today you mentioned that there had been some tiny watercolour sketches, and you wished to find the catalogue. That’s when I realised that I had known about the watercolours only because I had seen pictures once in my copy of that same catalogue.
In 1976, Angela Kelly was my photography tutor at Nelson & Colne College when I was an art & design foundation student. It was an excellent two-year course and there were some great lecturers/tutors, especially her. I can still hear her voice speaking passionately and intelligently about photography of all kinds, and particularly fine art photography and conceptualism. She was equally intelligent about politics, history and painting. I also recall that she arranged trips to galleries in London and other cities and to art schools. (It may have been that the faculty arranged them and she was present, but it is her that I remember.) She introduced us to the big London galleries as well as the commercial galleries then on Cork Street and Bond Street, and the Photographers Gallery, when it was at Great Newport Street. It was with her that I first visited the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and the Anolfini in Bristol. I also remember that she encouraged my reading and writing as well as my studio work, suggesting to me to read above my comprehension, a strategy I consciously adopted and that has continually proved to be fruitful.
So when I saw that she has a chapter in the new book Photography and the Artists Book, edited by Theresa Wilkie, Jonathan Carson and Rosie Miller, and published by Museums Etc later this month, I ordered my preview copy straight away.
I am already glad that I did, because with a preview copy you get access to the book’s content online as it develops, which I am finding really exciting. There’s already lots of good stuff to think about, and when I have thunk some more I will write a review for a future blog post.
There is an impression that results from a particular juxtaposition of colours, lights and shades: what one might call the music of painting
… is quoted in the frontispiece of Peter Vergo’s book The Music of Painting, first published in 2010 and just out in paperback.
according to Charles Darwent, Art Quarterly, it’s “a must-have for anyone interested in why modernism looks (and sounds) as it does”
good job I have it then! It was a birthday present, and I have just started reading it.
The front cover shows a reproduction of Theo van Doesburg’s Rhythm of a Russian Dance,1918. Music and dance have an obvious connection with each other and a less obvious one with painting. I have blogged about it before in relation to Mondrian, whose work also features in the book, in a chapter entitled Art, Jazz and Silence. I am also reminded of another book Music and Modern Art, edited by James Leggio, and containing a chapter by Harry Cooper called Popular Models: Fox-Trot and Jazz Band in Mondrian’s Abstraction.
In a recent Rough Cuts video, James Kalm reviews the Stanley Whitney exhibition Left to Right, at Team Gallery (some great pics here ) saying of Whitney “His approach to color and rhythm are akin to the spontaneous riffs of great jazz solos”.
In Blogland, Scott Van Holzen’s blog art in music is dedicated to paintings based on musical themes and Ruth Gray, tells of how listening to some old records, she feels inspired to paint the colours she hears. I guess that making a connection between visual, auditory and kinaesthetic arts is almost bound to get somewhat synaesthetic.
The exhibitions Working Against the System and Fade Away that were held at Transition Gallery and Gallery North were the occasion for a small publication (158 pages with nice photos) about contemporary painting called About Painting.
The book has essays by Barry Schwarbsky and the curators of the respective shows – Helen Baker and Alli Sharma, information and images from all the artists who participated in the two shows, in-depth texts by the Working Against the System artists, transcripts from the Working Against the System symposium and studio interviews with Fade Away artists Phillip Allen, Paul Housley, Jo Wilmot, Claire Undy and Phoebe Unwin.
I got my copy this week and I am enjoying it lots. The images are small but study-able, and seeing them here I want to see them for real.
I like the short essay by Barry Shwarbsky about the reconfiguring of the distinction between abstraction and representation (or, as he prefers it, between abstraction and images) and find a lot of resonance with it. In Alli Sharma’s interview with Phoebe Unwin she asks about abstraction and image, working methods and materials as well as about the painting Sponge Pallette that was shown in the Fade Away exhibition. And there is a fascinating piece by Paul Goodfellow about systems thinking and painting, suggesting that painting is the perfect laboratory for thinking about the issue of what happens in the border area between a well-defined system and its transgression. He argues that it is the responsibility of the artist to embrace systems thinking in order to highlight its own limitations. The description of Sly Lost Games (and the system outputs exhibited) gives just enough information to imagine what was there, and whet my appetite for more. Again, wanting to see it ‘for real’
The book is a joy for having no list of contents and being rather haphazardly arranged. Finding my way round it is a bit like negotiating a path through an exhibition, or rather two exhibitions, both that I would have liked to have seen.
I met Leif Alsheimer a few times in 2005 or 2006
and I saw the above article on the same day that I also read a blog post at triarchypress.blogspot where author Peter Villiers writes about Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, suggesting that there is an important role for literature in leadership learning (as did Leif Alsheimer), and I commented:
… A few years ago in a large organisation … a director with insight (in my view) started down a similar road and invited Leif Alsheimer, (now associate professor at Jönköping International Business School) to run sessions with managers where they would read literature and then come together to reflect on the lessons. I thought it was a novel, even a radical approach to management and leadership learning. Unfortunately it was a step too far for some of the learners. Then the national press ran a story about it more or less ridiculing it and it died the death, never to be mentioned again.
I love this post, and this whole blog about a student’s journey reading Soren Kierkegaard (though I note that it looks like he read more about him than he actually read him)
I am currently repeating my own reading of Repetition by the great Dane, and enjoying it. Though not knowing where to turn with all the questions I have.
Slavoj Zizek’s book “Living in the End Times” reminds me of a film, where the plot is pre-figured metaphorically in the opening titles. Everything in the book is prefigured in the introduction. Then, on second and third reading I notice that the book is a system, each part connected to others in a non-linear way. And it is wonderful, and difficult to put down (in many senses of the term) even though it certainly isn’t an easy reader, not in my book anyway.
It’s main thesis is that Global Capitalism is coming to an end and the responses to this “news of difference” can be categorised according to Kubler-Ross’s grief curve: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These five stages become Zizek’s structure for the book.
I love his reading of Ephesians 6:12 translating “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against leaders, against authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavens” into today’s language as “Our struggle is not against actual corrupt individuals, but against those in power in general, against their authority, against the global order and the ideological mystification which sustains it”
(Another recent post about Zizek’s book can be found here)
My Interpretation of (an extract from) The Fetishism of Commodities by Karl Marx (via rhetorical pens)
I thought this was entertaining as well as enlightening. It’s a great example of of what you can achieve by combining text and pictures.
via rhetorical pens
It reminds me of those ‘Introducing…’ and ‘…for Beginners’ books from Readers and Writers and Icon Books
Could Rhetoricalpens ‘book’ be even better than those? (Rhetorical question, though if you want to answer it in comments please feel free.)