Senin, 30 Mei 2011

Philip Guston - abstract expressionist

This is the first of a two-part post on the works of Philip Guston. This first post deals with his earlier, more ‘conventional’ abstract expressionist style if you will. The second post focuses on the radical change of style his work underwent in the late 1960s, and for which he is arguably better known.
Philip Guston (1913 – 1980) was a notable painter and printmaker in the New York School, which included many of the Abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning. In the late 1960s Guston helped to lead a transition from Abstract expressionism to Neo-expressionism in painting, abandoning the so-called "pure abstraction" of abstract expressionism in favour of more cartoonish renderings of various personal symbols and objects.
Guston, was born in 1913 in Montreal. In 1919 his family moved to Los Angeles, and with an interest in art, he was encouraged by his mother to take a correspondence course in cartooning. He attended the Manual Arts High School, where he became a friend of Jackson Pollock, a fellow student. After being expelled from that school, Guston independently pursued his interest in art, including comics, as well as delving into various philosophical theories. In 1930 he received a scholarship to the Otis Art Institute. He left after three months.
In 1935–1936 he moved to New York, where he worked on murals for the Works Progress Administration on their Federal Art Project. His works from this period tend toward realist social commentary but also suggest his exploration of more abstract approaches. From 1941 to 1945, he taught at the State University of Iowa in Iowa City.
1945 marked Guston’s first solo exhibition at The Midtown Galleries and a first prize award at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh. In 1947, when he had a summer home in Woodstock, New York, Guston came to know abstract painter Bradley Walker Tomlin and became more attentive to the abstract art that was a hallmark of New York’s art scene.

Bradley Walker Tomlin No.13 1952
In 1948-1949, the Prix de Rome took him to Europe, after which he moved to New York, becoming part of a circle of artists, composers, and writers including Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and John Cage.
During the 1950s Guston entered a new phase of abstract expression. Thick strokes in lush hues are woven into complex surfaces, with the brighter colours massed at the centre of the canvas; these works became hallmarks of the artist’s style. They were well received, with The Museum of Modern Art purchasing of one of his paintings in 1956. After traveling to Europe in 1960, Guston had a major retrospective at the Guggenheim in 1962.
In 1967, he moved to Woodstock permanently, and began painting in a symbolic style that revived the cartoon like forms and figures that he drew as a young man.
In this body of work he created a lexicon of images such as Klansmen, lightbulbs, shoes, cigarettes, and clocks. In late 2009, the McKee gallery in NYC, Guston's historic dealer, mounted a show revealing that lexicon in 49 small oils on panel painted between 1969 and 1972 that had never been publicly displayed as a whole. Guston is best known for these late existential and lugubrious paintings, which at the time of his death had reached a wide audience, and found great popular acceptance. Guston died in 1980 at his home in Woodstock.

1947-48 The Tormentors [oil on canvas]

1950 Leaving [quill and ink on paper]

1951 White Painting II [oil on canvas]

1952 Painting No. 9 [oil on canvas]

1952 To B.T.W. [oil on canvas]

1952 Untitled [oil on canvas]

1953-54 Zone [oil on canvas]

1954 Untitled

1954-55 Beggar's Joy [oil on canvas]

1955 For M [oil on canvas]

1956/57 The Clock [oil on canvas]

1957 Abstraction [oil on paper]

1957 Native's Return [oil on canvas]

1957 Oasis oil [on canvas]

1957 The Mirror [oil on canvas]

1958 Spring II [oil on canvas]

1960 Painter III [oil on canvas]

1963 Untitled [synthetic polymer on paper]

1966 Untitled (#11) [lithograph]

1969 Edge of Town [oil on canvas]

1969 Edge of Town [detail]

Sabtu, 28 Mei 2011

Rineke Dijkstra - photographer

Self Portrait, Marnixbad, June 19 1991
The Dutch photographer and video-artist Rineke Dijkstra was born in Sittard in 1959. After studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam, Dijkstra first began working as a free-lance photographer for journals like Elle, Avenue and Elegance.
Since the beginning of the 1990s Dijkstra worked with a large format camera and concentrated on portrait-series in colour. The photographer's first independent series - her famous beach portraits 'Beaches' - came into existence between 1992 and 1996. The numerous work consists of body-photos of children and adolescents, who were photographed by Rineke Dijkstra in their bathing attire at the beaches in Europe and the eastern coast of the USA in front of the ocean as a simple but highly symbolical background.

1992 De Panne, Belgium. August 7 1992

1992 Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26 1992
In 1994 a series of large format portraits of bullfighters and a series of three women, who were being photographed by Dijkstra soon after giving birth with their babies on their arms, followed.

1994 Saskia Harderwijk, Netherlands, March 16 1994

Bull Fighters from Vila Franca de Xira and Montemor o Novo in Portugal
Dijkstra : “The matadors came out covered in blood and exhausted – very similar to the mothers…I did not intend to do the men like that, all macho and the women as mothers – it just evolved from the experience…women make this extreme physical effort…while the men search for it as a kind of adventure. But still, both are exhausting and life-threatening actions. Recently the artist has turned her attention to video and sound installations that incorporate images of teenagers responding to popular dance music.”
Her strictly conceptual approach follows a tradition which goes from August Sander and Diane Arbus until today. Her works go beyond documentational photography and records moments in which the subjects are exposed to changing processes caused by developmental or extreme physical or psychological experiences. Since the mid-1990s Dijkstra has also used a camcorder and focused her artistic aims towards this new media. Young disco-club goers are featured in the videos 'The Buzzclub, Liverpool', 'UK/Mysteryworld', 'Zaandam, NL' (1996/97) and 'Annemiek' (1999). Rineke Dijkstra received international approval with her invitation to the Biennale in Venice in 1997. Her works can be seen at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Folkwang Museum in Essen and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

1. Almerisa, Asylun Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands 14 March 1994
 Almerisa, a Bosnian Muslim from Tuzla, at an asylum centre in the Netherlands in 1994.
Dijkstra first photographed Almerisa—a Bosnian girl whose family had relocated to Amsterdam—as part of a project documenting children of refugees. She continued photographing her and made eight photographs over eleven years. The images maintain a consistent compositional format, showing an isolated figure seated in distinct interior settings, looking incrementally more modern as time passes. The pictures not only document Almerisa's development from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood but also record her progression through cultural and geographic displacement.
Dijkstra: “In 1994, I was commissioned to photograph the children of asylum seekers as part of an art project, and I went to a refugee centre in Leiden, in the Netherlands. I spent about three days there before starting work.
All the kids were wearing tracksuits and T-shirts. I suppose they were comfortable, but I thought they looked as if they were wearing pyjamas. I felt that, if their portraits were to be exhibited, they should be able to wear nice clothes. I asked one of them if she had a dress and she said sure, and I started photographing her.
Another girl started to cry. I asked her what was wrong, and she said: "I want to have my picture taken, too!" Her name was Almerisa – she's the girl in this photo. She was six at the time. Her family were from Tuzla; they are Bosnian Muslims, but non-practising. Their room at the refugee centre was shared with five or six families, in a space that was 8m by 8m. The beds were stacked on top of each other, and they tried to create some privacy by hanging up blankets.
First, I took a picture of Almerisa on the bed, with all the blankets behind her, but then I changed my mind: I didn't want to draw attention to her situation. I improvised a little studio in the corner of the room, and the result was much better. If you don't explain everything in a photo, the little details become important: the clothing, the chair, the corner of the cupboard. The family were living out of suitcases and so the dress was wrinkled, the shoes didn't fit any more, and she was wearing strange socks that don't go with the outfit.
A couple of years after I took this, I started to wonder what had happened to Almerisa, so I tracked her down. Now, I take pictures of her every few months. The pictures get more interesting all the time: she started to change, slowly adopting a western European culture. I find the whole context fascinating: a child moving from east to west, from a warzone to peace.

2. Almerisa, Wormer, The Neherlands 23 June 1996

3. Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlands, 21 February 1998

4. Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlanads 19 March 2000

5. Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlands 9 December 2000

6. Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlands 13 April 2002

7. Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlands 25 June 2003

8 Almerisa, Leidschendam, The Netherlands 29 March 2005

9. Almerisa, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands 24 March 2007

10. Almerisa, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands 4 January 2008

11. Almerisa, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands 19 June 2008
Other photographs by Rineke Dijkstra:

1995 The Buzz Club, Liverpool, England, 11 March 1995

1995 The Buzz Club, Liverpool, England, 11 March 1995

1998 Tiergarten, Berlin, Gemany June 7,D 1998

1999 James, Tate Modern, London 10 December 1999

2001 Olivier Silva, The Foreign Legion, Camp Rafalli, Corsica 18 June 2001

Kamis, 26 Mei 2011

Eduardo Paolozzi

One of my early heroes today – Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 – 2005). Paolozzi, the son of Italian parents, was born in Edinburgh in 1924. In 1943 he studied at the College of Art in Edinburgh in 1944 at the St Martin's School of Art and finally at the Slade School of Art in Oxford from 1945 to 1947, after which he worked in Paris. While in Paris from 1947–1949, Paolozzi became acquainted with Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. This period became an important influence for his later work.
After Paris, he moved back to London eventually establishing his studio in Chelsea. The studio was a workshop filled with hundreds of found objects, models, sculptures, materials, tools, toys and stacks of books. Paolozzi was interested in everything and would use a variety of objects and materials in his work, particularly his collages. Largely a surrealist, Paolozzi came to public attention in the 1950s by producing a range of striking screenprints and ‘Art Brut’ sculpture.

1949 Forms on a Bow
Paolozzi was co-founder of the Independent Group in London in 1952/53, which discussed thoughts of including trivial culture and that way gave decisive impulses for the development of English Pop-Art.
Paolozzi's I was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947) is considered the first standard bearer of Pop Art and first to display the word ‘pop’. Paolozzi showed the collage in 1952 as part of his groundbreaking Bunk! series presentation at the initial Independent Group meeting in London.

1947 I was a Rich Man's Plaything
He taught sculpture and ceramics at a number of institutions, including University of California, Berkeley in 1968, and at the Royal College of Art. Paolozzi has a long association with Germany, having worked in Berlin from 1974 as part of the Artists Exchange Scheme. He was a professor at the Fachhochschule in Cologne from 1977 to 1981, and later taught sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Paolozzi was fond of Munich and many of his works and concept plans were developed in a studio he kept there, including the mosaics of the Tottenham Court Road Station in London.

Tottenham Court Road Underground station
He took a stab at industrial design in the 1970s with a 500-piece run of the upscale Suomi tableware by Timo Sarpaneva that Paolozzi decorated for the German Rosenthal porcelain maker's Studio Linie.

Suomi tableware
 Paolozzi’s graphic work of the Sixties was highly innovative. In a series of works he explored and extended the possibilities and limits of the silkscreen medium. The resulting prints, characterised by Pop culture references and technological imagery, look fresh and relevant in the 21st Century. In 1994 Paolozzi gave the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art a large body of his works, and much of the content of his artist's studio. In 1999 the National Galleries of Scotland opened the Dean Gallery to display this collection, and the gallery displays a recreation of Paolozzi's studio, with its contents evoking the original London and Munich locations.
In 2001 Paolozzi suffered a near-fatal stroke. The illness confined him to a wheelchair, and he died in a hospital in London in April 2005.

1947 Lessons of Last Time

1948 Dr Pepper

1948 Sack-o-sauce

1949 Real Gold

1950 [Bunk] Real Gold

1952 Was this Metal Monster Master - or Slave?

1953 Collage

1960-62 A Folio of 9 Designs

1963-4 Conjectures to Identity

1965 Wittgenstein in New York

1969-70 Multi Chanel Prototype

1970 Mr Peanut

1971 B.A.S.H. pink


1971Bunk 2

1971 Philadelphia Print

1975 Perpetum Mobile

1975-6 Calcium Light Night, Four German Songs

2000 Turing 4 (Turing Suite)