Archive for July 2011
I have written before about the role of the curator in facilitating the aesthetic encounter (I borrowed the term from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Rick E. Robinson, The Art of Seeing) and sometimes gone on a bit about how some people seem to be able to see optical effects (for want of a better term) more easily than others.
I noticed something similar on holiday recently, in relation to a ‘natural’ occurrence. When this wave breaks you see a miniature rainbow in the spray. Some people could see it easily as it occurred, some could see it when it was pointed out to them, others just couldn’t see it even after it was pointed out and with repeated viewing. But then, they could see it when re-presented on this short video.
I wonder if it would it be correct to say that the curatorial skill required to facilitate the experience is that of pointing/describing,with some interpreting and little, if any, of judging.
I keep coming across blogs and photos of the paintings of Mel Prest. I am impressed by her work
This blog was the one that sparked my interest.
There’s also this You Tube video that is a good introduction, referring to a show in 2008
and I found this blog interesting, about the paintings and about Mel Prest as teacher, from a student’s point of view.
Here’s hoping for a show of her work in the UK sometime soon.
I am enjoying the book Monochromes, from malevich to the present, by barbara rose
created and edited by Valeria Varas and Raul Rispa, first published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid 2004.
I tend to feel dubious about a book that starts out with the words “this book takes an innovative organizational approach”. If it’s that innovative surely they don’t need to tell me. Although they make the mistake of bringing my attention to it, it is innovative; it is organised so that it interconnects, like a system.
One organising principle is the use of colours as theme, black, red, blue, gold and white. I like that the cover is reminiscent of Yves Klein’s famous International Klein Blue.
Barbara Rose credits Klein with the discovery of the power of the monochrome to displace attention from the art object to the exhibition space, emphasising the interdependence of artwork and context. This is one of the ways in which the monochrome could be thought of as systemic. Also, artists who make or have made them often employ a systems approach to producing the work.
Many years ago, for possibly a whole year (and painting every day) I painted little else but monochromes. I was young, and some people would criticise me for ‘painting like an old man’ (“this is the kind of painting I would expect someone to do at the end of their artistic career “).
Way back then, I thought I was making ‘content free’ paintings. What became interesting in the long series of monochromes were the subtle differences between each one. The paintings were best seen together (as a system) and those subtle differences started to look less and less subtle after all. The patterns that connected them were as much to do with the differences as they were the similarities. I got into the habit of always showing them in pairs, I can’t believe now that I had overlooked the autobiographical content: being an identical twin myself, I experienced first hand that what becomes more interesting than the similarities between twins are the differences, much more easily noticed when they are together than when they are apart.
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.)
Interesting article at Rheomode: David Harvey on the Communist Hypothesis today suggesting that contemporary attempts to revive the communist hypothesis favour horizontally networked as opposed to hierarchically commanded systems, and that this represents a convergence of Marxist and anarchist traditions harking back to the collaborative situation between them in the 1860s.
Slavoj Zizek concludes his book First as Tragedy,then as Farce with a chapter entitled The Communist Hypothesis, in which he argues that the revolutionary process is about repeating the beginning again and again, and that, rejecting any sense of continuity with what the Left meant over the last two centuries, everything should be re-thought, beginning from the beginning that Badiou calls “the communist hypothesis”.
I have been interested in the paintings of Mali Morris since she was a visiting lecturer and tutor at Trent Polytechnic when I was studying Fine Art there a long time ago.
It was through her that I got my introduction to abstract painting. She was a wonderful teacher. What I remember most about her was her openness to everything as far as inspiration was concerned. She encouraged me to look at work that I would never have thought to look at, and to see patterns that connect very disparate genres.
I learned from her (whether she actually said it or not I don’t know – I have a very good constructive memory) that a shape drawn and ‘coloured in’ is very different to shape that is allowed to ‘find itself’. Even if she never said it I can hear her saying it when I paint even today.
I just telephoned the National Museum, Cardiff to find out whether her Angel and People, 1979, is currently on display, and although it is not, they have kindly agreed to take me into the store to have a look at it when I visit in August!