Tag Archives: cubism

Lee Krasner

As I said in an earlier post, Lee Krasner gave Pollock’s Easter and the Totem to the MoMA, and I think that was a measure of her regard for that work, which otherwise is not much celebrated. The conventional wisdom … Continue reading

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Olga Rozanova

Been looking at great collages by Rozanova. They have that beautiful freshness of beginnings. For her, abstraction was an open future, so she had no idea how to value work like this. It was all an experiment. We can decide … Continue reading

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Getting Closer

My new, bigger collage has been through a few changes, and it’s getting better (compare with first state). Funny how until that happens it always seems like it never will. Anyway, tried painting on the grey frame but that threw … Continue reading

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Still in the Hold

I’d like to thank Lutz Eitel, who forwarded a sketch for David Bomberg’s In the Hold. It clarifies a lot about the figures and their actions. The open-armed gesture, stretching across the middle of the image in a kind of … Continue reading

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In the Hold

This famous piece by David Bomberg really is good. First of all, the subject, namely a ship, is pretty interesting, and more so when we remember how Klee would have done it—with sails on the horizon, a real cliché. Bomberg’s … Continue reading

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Putting Pieces Together

This is the kind of collage I like to see from Motherwell, though there aren’t many like it. Parts of it resemble Arp’s torn paper collages, discussed earlier on this blog. It doesn’t escape from the pattern of blocky figures … Continue reading

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Less Figure, Less Grid

Still worrying about Robert Motherwell. Why? For the same reason as any artist might come to mind—because of how bad he is, and how good, and because those qualities are more or less undecidable right now. He’s bothersome, and his … Continue reading

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Other Figures

I’ve been looking at (and reading) a catalogue of Motherwell’s early collages. It has to be said that Motherwell is one of the important reference points for abstraction today. This is hardly a common view, but as a practitioner I … Continue reading

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Figure

This collage by Robert Motherwell is exceptional, in my opinion. It has a kind of cleanness and freshness that puts it over the top professionally, though those are not necessary qualities in any modern art, certainly not in collage, which … Continue reading

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Katherine Gili

This 1974 work by Katherine Gili seems to meet many of the demands of the new English metal sculpture school, as laid out by Robin Greenwoood in his critique of Caro. It is planar, but has more than one flat … Continue reading

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Lifeline

In tough times go back to the work that helps you know yourself. The supportive aspect of authority, even though that authority is not indwelling, but granted by you..

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Thomas Ruff

I saw the recent photograms of Thomas Ruff in Düsseldorf, but since they are entirely digital you could call them imitation photograms. But that would only apply to the ones that have the typical photogram look, with some straight lines … Continue reading

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Other Reliefs

Blog reader Kizi Spielmann Rose kindly sent me some shots of Stella’s recent work. He seems himself to respond to energy in art, and has taken up the relief painting method accordingly, with gusto, as evidenced in this image. Some … Continue reading

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John Bunker

Some collages by the British artist John Bunker are very good. I can’t help but think of Stella, as usual, but this piece is pretty compelling, and stands any comparison.

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Why Abstract?

In what lies the abstraction?

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All-overness

Greenberg had this to say about what he regarded as Pollock’s major achievement: “It wasn’t the space. I think the shallow illusion of depth had Cubist antecedents, and of course there was Miró’s indeterminate space. When Bryan Robertson writes about … Continue reading

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Planar Spaces

From Susskind’s book comes another important formulation, also mentioned in my articles of a few years ago, now revisited: “The maximum amount of information that can be stuffed into a region of space is equal to the area of the … Continue reading

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Tucker’s Stance

William Tucker’s favorite sculptors, according to his book, are Brancusi, Matisse and Degas. If one looks at his own work with this in mind, it’s clear that he is not rooted in construction, but in ideas of organic form, and … Continue reading

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Object Matter

From William Tucker’s book The Language of Sculpture, comes these further words on cubist construction: “Apart from their richness and power as individual pieces, all these wooden constructions demonstrate the object-nature of modern sculpture. They take objects, still-life, as their … Continue reading

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Planar Construction

William Tucker’s book contains the following very apposite remarks on cubist construction:“Painting gives way to physical making, and survives only to key or differentiate existing parts. The picture surface has been replaced by the frontal planes of real volumes, although … Continue reading

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Light and Abstract Form

My normal and somewhat unreflective view of this early Leger has always been that there is an unresolved conflict between the imagery – the obvious chair, side table, cup, folded   fingers – and the large abstract white and black … Continue reading

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Wood Nymphs

Leger’s work is very odd. This piece, a kind of a breakthrough for him, is really bizarre. While contemplating the craziness of this work, I find in the MOMA Invention of Abstraction catalog two large cubist Picabias I had never heard … Continue reading

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Leger and Stella

The resemblance of Stella’s Cones and Pillars series and the work of Leger  is pretty clear, although to contemplate it is still interesting. Stella has a true modernist genius for picking up on the least promising sources. This Leger could … Continue reading

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Circuit Lines

The complexity of Stella’s Circuit series is diabolical. Interesting is that there are relationships that no one could be expected to see, or that, because of the crowdedness of the work, are close to impossible to see, and that the … Continue reading

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A Heaving Space

The following words from Ehrenzweig approximate very closely Andreas Neufert‘s thesis that Pollock’s gestures mimic the eye movements stimulated by cubism: “Cubism went out of its way to deny the eye stable focusing points round which the rest of the … Continue reading

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Yet Another Precursor

My interest in Stella causes me to see many things differently, but there is also a long history of painted reliefs that I was not aware of. All I knew of John Chamberlain was free-standing sculpture, but in the early … Continue reading

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Complex Process

It takes an effort of imagination for an ordinary viewer to recapture the enormous difficulty of Stella’s methods in the reliefs—time consuming, and requiring the coordination of many different activities and people. First he has to plan the work with … Continue reading

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Animation

Looking once again at Stella’s Moby Dick works, I’m struck by how intensely animate they are. Animals, figures, whatever you want to see—and it’s evident again how the obvious is so hard to notice, and always the most important thing, … Continue reading

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Another Precursor

Lately I have a tendency to compare everything to Stella—I guess that’s a measure of how highly I regard his contribution. But comparison is valid when the artist is working in a similar way, or with comparable goals. Turns out … Continue reading

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Generational Change

The burden of these sad times we must obey Say what we mean, not what we ought to say The oldest have suffered most, we who are young May never see so much, nor live so long I’ve always loved … Continue reading

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