Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Hans Hofmann Chimbote Project Philbrook Museum

This show at the Philbrook acknowledges Hans Hofmann's influence on a number of American abstract painters. The press release mentions his essays 'Search for the Real' - 1948 in which he declares his view that the 'Real' is found in the object and the aesthetic. There being no difference between the physical thing and its image in respect that they are both real. The mystical significance of this mercurial combination is integral to painting and is revealed in the push and pull of form/colour on a flat surface. It is this that captivates and provides us a glimpse at reality that cannot be spoken of but has to be seen. So easy to write about so very hard to achieve. For Hofmann the combination of the physical with the conceptual is the pinnacle of art achievement and was achieved in his eyes by very few. With this we can agree but most have lists that extend beyond his of Picasso, Matisse and Braque. (Hans Hofmann  being more akin to Braque in his relation to Pollock.) There is an energetic exploration in Hofmann's work that is beyond a frantic seeking of a signature and style. His creativity is evident in the faltering works that sit on the canvas unapologetically. Splendid creativity, recognising that in continuing to ask questions you are bound to find a few wrong answers. He wasn't the exploiter of his own mining.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Monet, Collings+Biggs and Tietzsch-Tyler

The Museo Thyssen has a show presenting the influence of Monet on abstract expressionism. The website shows works by Pollock, Krasner, Rothko, Frankenthaler, Mitchell, Twombly, De Kooning. 

 Matthew Collings and Emma Biggs are showing the recent collaborative works 'Pattern Industry' at FAS in London. I like the introduction of mosaic but feel I would like them to swap roles now. It would be interesting to see how this would alter the forms, colours and touch of the works. Their change of jobs would highlight the significance of the process they have adopted. Are their different tasks important in their relationship or is it the notion of collaboration and structure in their work that is more meaningful?

And these sombre, grey, 'Thin White Duke' of paintings by Henry Tietzsch - Tyler at Bend in the River.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sucked into concept by Minimalism

Colm Tóibín has written 'Missing the Point' on the London Review blog about his appreciation of paintings by Alexander and Susan Maris. It is a witty insight into the way the paintings work. I haven't seen them eyes to canvas but the experience as Colm explains it, is wonderful, complex and simple at varying times. He came across them at Frieze presented by the Ingleby Gallery from Edinburgh. He writes about how he appreciates the quality of these objects and how the craftsmanship is evident even through minimal visual content. He then discovers there is more to their construction than he had previously considered. I salute you Alexander and Susan for the vicarious experience. I look forward to seeing more of your work if this awareness of style, history, craft, philosophy and acuteness is anything to go by. I also value Colm's straightforward no nonsense recognition of how he was sucked in by an aesthetic and led to reconsider it.

Image courtesy of the Ingleby Gallery
Extracts from the TRUTH IN PAINTING
1990-93 (Revised 2006)
30.5 x 66 x 2 cm overall (2 panels) I have missed out some info in order that you aren't informed prior to reading the article.
As an addendum here is an humorous comparison:

Monday, 1 February 2010

Mark Francis Monograph

This is a very revealing book by Lund Humphries on the works of Mark Francis, the Irish born 'abstract' painter. I use that term loosely as he does refer to elements from nature, whether the human body or fungus and other natural phenomena. But, like the work of Ian McKeever, he straddles both worlds with a slick and compelling oevre, similar to Gerhard Richter, that both excites and reveals the possibilities of paint. A worth while book for any painters studio

Mark Francis
Lund Humphries
July 2008
Hardback, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-0-85331-996-2