Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
|Two vests, etching on paper, 1972|
Next month, the Canadian gallery Heffel will host an on-line auction of the work of Montreal artist Betty Goodwin. Goodwin (1923-2008) is best known for her etchings of garments that create an effect of transparency, suggestive of the fragility of life, and appreciated especially by textile artists.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
|Quadrangular Spot Composition, gouache on paper, 1920|
Here's an item lifted directly from The New Yorker, August 3 & 10 edition:
Recent reconfigurations of modern art history are finally bringing the essential contributions of women artists into the light. Although certain figures – such as the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint – did work outside of established avant-garde circles, other pathbreakers, such as Taeuber-Arp, have been hidden in plain sight. The Swiss polymath's marriage to her fellow Dadaist Hans Arp may have secured her initial entry to that fervid scene, but her collaborative spirit – she worked with Arp, among other male artists – likely denied her top billing until now. An online viewing room, on Hauser & Wirth's Web site, celebrates the gallery's representation of Taeuber-Arp's estate with images of her dynamic Constructivist tapestries and paintings, geometric costumes and marionettes designed for performances at Zurich's legendary Cabaret Voltaire night club, sinuous carved sculptures, and more. A brief documentary overview of her career offers memorable glimpses of the artist's interior-design work, including the painted walls of Strasbourg's Café de l'Aubette and a Bauhaus-inspired studio-residence outside Paris, where she gathered with friends (Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Joan Miró, and Marcel Duchamp among them). Next year's Taeuber-Arp retrospective, co-organized by MOMA, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Tate Modern, can't arrive soon enough.
Go to https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/27538-sophie-taeuber-arp to learn more.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
|Sketch of honeysuckle tree branch, 1901, Rachael Robinson Elmer|
Next, I turned to paint:
|more carnage ensued: hmmmm...|
The next activity required me to make several "scribble paintings" on cheap paper, with no thought to composition but with a wide range of value, varied lines and varied patterns. The idea was that the scribble painting would then be cut up into squares of equal size (or rectangles of various sizes) and then rearranged into a closed or open grid.
|Scribble painting #1|
|Scribble painting #1,|
cut up and reassembled, but not glued
|Scribble painting #2|
|Scribble painting #2, |
cut up and reassembled, but not glued
Not thrilled with the results, but I thought some of the individual squares had some potential. Pattern, texture and transparency helped make the squares interesting:
|random square #1|
|random square #2|
|random square #3|
|random square #4|
|random square #5|
|Scribble painting #3|
|Scribble painting #3, cut up into squares and rectangles |
of various sizes and assembled into an open grid.
Perhaps I should have used fewer pieces, instead of
trying to fit them all on the page.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
We were asked to add one piece of collage to each of these little studies, and then to add "something else", which could be a mark with a drawing tool, another piece of collage, some paint or some pattern. We were to note the relationship between the original marks and the collage piece, and then use the next addition to strengthen the relationship between them.
|red, textured collage pieces added, then opaque black paint|
|deli paper scribble collage added, then quin gold wash and |
white marker scribble.
I found the quin gold wash acted to unify the parts.
|I found myself using positive/negative, black/white contrast for some of these.|
|my initial design:|
I like the small, somewhat rectangular shapes contrasted with
enormous rounded shapes, so big they exceed the margins of the frame.
|paint and collage, with white marker defining the lines|
|paint and collage, using a narrow range of hue and value,|
uniform black marker
|contrast of highly textural areas with flat and patterned areas,|
|more variety in small shapes, less definition between large shapes,|
|variety in small shapes, some texture in large shapes,|
hard edges define large shapes
|lots of texture in background areas, red collage defines large shape|
I am struck by how the distortions evident in these blind contour drawings express the tenor of our times.
Monday, July 20, 2020
We began by making large gestural paintings, on cheap 18" x 24" paper, using only black and white materials: paint, ink, crayon, marker, pencil, charcoal, etc. I spattered paint with a toothbrush, improvised paintbrushes from combs and sticks, dripped and drizzled. The idea was to ignore composition. Later, we would be selecting "interesting areas" to cut out and develop.
Somehow, when I am told to do this kind of thing, I begin to work very fast. The result was six large, indistinguishable messes: minestrone soup.
I am so glad that I tossed these six and began again, slowing down and becoming more deliberate, more thoughtful, just as the instructor was in her demo video, creating "areas of interest."
|The 8 successful candidates|
|The 8 runners-up|
Here are some of the results. I don't see any of these as finished pieces, but rather exercises in composition, creating variety and interesting shapes and lines.
|more lively, more interesting|