Friday, 30 July 2010

Joan Mitchell at Inverleith House

Inverleith House is presenting the first museum exhibition in the UK devoted to the artist Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) - one of the most important and singular American painters of the post war period, whose work is gaining increasing recognition today.
Mitchell studied at The Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York in the late 1940s where she became the youngest member of the Abstract Expressionist movement, enjoying the support of artists such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. In 1959 she left the United States and moved to France, where she lived and worked for the rest of her life. There, she developed a highly personal painterly style - synthesizing an Abstract Expressionist tendency with the traditions of high European painting. In the colour, brushwork, and structure of her paintings one finds affinities with Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse.
The exhibition comprises seven paintings on canvas and five works on paper, (from public and private collections in Europe and America) made throughout the artist's career and it considers Mitchell's work in light of her love of nature and poetry. A poet's painter, Mitchell was a lifelong reader of William Wordsworth, John Clare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wallace Stevens, and Rainer Maria Rilke. During her time in New York she befriended key figures of the then-emerging New York School of poetry (James Schuyler, Frank O'Hara, and John Ashbery), while in France she came to know Samuel Beckett and Jacques Dupin. Like these writers, Mitchell expresses through her painting a complex interplay of emotion, memory, and sense of place.

It has been selected by New York-based writer and curator Philip Larratt-Smith and is presented in association with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York.and the help of Cheim & Read Gallery, New York and Hauser & Wirth, Zürich.

Joan Mitchell Untitled 1958 Oil on canvas
Estate of Joan Mitchell. Courtesy Joan Mitchell Foundation and Cheim & Read Gallery, New York.
Photograph: Ruth Clark, © RBGE 2010.
There is an illustrated publication will be produced from the exhibition, containing an essay by Philip Larratt-Smith and interviews with the American poet John Ashbery, writer Paul Auster, and sculptor Lynda Benglis but I couldn't find it on their website.
Paul Nesbitt, the curator has put together an elegant programme that includes  John McCracken, Richard Hamilton, William Eggleston, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Cy Twombly, Franz West, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Agnes Martin and Carl Andre. Inverleith House was formerly the founding home of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (1960 to 1984).

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Howard Hodgkin at MOMA Oxford

A new major exhibition of paintings by Howard Hodgkin explores the acclaimed British artist’s use of abstraction as an expression of subjective experience. Spanning ten years of the artist’s career, the exhibition will include paintings not previously seen by a broader public, including a powerful body of new work developing out of his Home, Home on the Range series of 2008.

Home, Home on the Range, 2001 - 2007 © Howard Hodgkin, Gagosian Gallery.

Together, they will highlight the physical as well as emotional charge of Hodgkin’s art through his use of scale, sensitivity to light and his ability to create painterly equivalents of depth and atmosphere using colour and brushstroke.

Howard Hodgkin Time and Place is organised by Modern Art Oxford in partnership with the De Pont Foundation, Tilburg, and the San Diego Museum of Art, to where it will travel in September 2010 and February 2011 respectively. from MOMA's website

Here is The Guardian's review by Jonathan Jones which gets the point but curiously references Rauschenberg as a connection. Rauschenberg was a major innovator which I suppose is a link to Cezanne but in touch and flavour very different. In my eyes Rauschenberg was certainly not a romantic in the manner of Hodgkin but you takes your flowers and chocolates were you find them Jonathan.

Monday, 19 July 2010

'Object: Gesture: Grid-St Ives and the International Avant-garde' at Tate St.Ives, Cornwall, England

Tate St.Ives, Cornwall has an exhihition entitled 'Object: Gesture: Grid-St Ives and the International Avant-garde' that attempts to re-evaluate the works of a number of British artists and place artists such as William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Sandra Blow and others, in context with a wider international movements in modern art in the Post WWII years, such as CoBrA in Europe and Abstract Expressionism in the USA, with other works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Karel Appel. This show is on until 26th September 2010.

Margaret Mellis (1914–2009)
Number Thirty Five 
painted wood
54 x 75.5 x 6 cm

© The estate of Margaret Mellis

Margaret Mellis was a major influence on Damien Hirst in his early career and also shows the influence of Kurt Schwitters (see earlier blogs) on British art.

I shall be going to see this show in a few weeks and shall write a more indepth review. Until then this is from the Tate St.Ives Press Release:

'Post-Second World War art in St Ives is the starting point for this new display, exploring some of the common characteristics of Modern Art and the shared visual language of artists working in Europe and America from the 1930s to the late 1970s. Drawing on key British and international works in the Tate Collection, this will be the largest and most extensive Collection display at Tate St Ives for over ten years. Highlights include important works by British and international artists such as Mark Rothko, Carl Andre, Willem de Kooning, Barbara Hepworth, Sol LeWitt, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Sandra Blow, Jackson Pollock and Peter Lanyon.
Considering the making and shaping of Modernism in St Ives, and marking the breakthroughs, revivals and continuities of artistic ideas which emerged throughout the twentieth century, the exhibition focuses on some of the international meeting points which feed into the story of St Ives and British Art.
Object: In the 1930s, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth were regularly visiting Paris and encountering artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi. How did Nicholson find a way to craft the ‘objectness’ of his painted boards? How did Hepworth express the subconscious in her direct carvings of the 1930s? From the fragmented still-life paintings of Georges Braque in the early 1900s, to the 1980s driftwood assemblages of Margaret Mellis, Object reveals how Cubism and Surrealism influenced forms in the mid to late twentieth century.
Gesture: The materiality of paint and its connection to subconscious expression is considered in this room. Recalling significant European influences such as Tachism, Art Informel and Cobra, as well as the development of Abstract Expressionism in America with which a number of St Ives artists had a connection, it considers their influence on artists such as William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Sandra Blow. It includes works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Karel Appel.
Grid: Works by icons of the twentieth century such as Joseph Albers, Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd help explore the way the grid has drawn painting, sculpture and architecture together, making the viewer both psychologically and physically part of artistic experience. The selection also includes work by Ben Nicholson, Victor Pasmore, Bob Law, Mary Martin and Eva Hesse.

An illustrated broadsheet accompanies this exhibition. Published by Tate St Ives.'

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

All About Yves: Exhibition and Talks on Yves Klein at England&Co, London

Leap into the Void, 1960
Yves Klein (French, 1928–1962); Harry Shrunk (American?, 1924–2006); John Kender, Gelatin silver print; 10 3/16 x 7 7/8 in. (25.9 x 20 cm) Purchased, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1992 (1992.5112)

An exhibition and talks on the painter and 'mystic' Yves Klein entitled: 'Talking of Yves, Friendships and connections in Paris, New York and London' with Yvonne Hagen, Tina Keane, Susan Hiller, Iris Clert, N.H. Stubbing, Ralph Rumney and Yves Klein, takes place at England&Co, Notting Hill, London from 23rd June until 21st July.

Though perhaps not that politically correct anymore, see the film of the making of his 'infamous' 'Anthropometries' paintings in the 1950's, here:

'Anthropometries of the Blue Period and Fire Paintings: Two Performances' (1960) (C)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

James Nares at Michael Kohn

Englishman James Nares went to Chelsea in the 1970's now lives and works in the US. He has made a sling/ harness that supports himself over the canvas in order that his actions with the brush remains consistent across the movement of the canvas.

James Nares, I Can Tell, 2010
Iridescent pigment and wax on linen
94 x 67 1/4 inches.

James Nares is also a well-known underground filmmaker, whose film work is comprised of a treasure trove of artistic films and videos from the late ‘70s to the present. In May 2008, the Anthology Film Archives organized a retrospective of the artist’s films, presenting 34 of his short films and videos, including Rome ’78 (featuring punk luminary Lydia Lynch in her late ‘70s prime). Michael Kohn Gallery is showing his recent work and a previously unseen early video production.