Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly website

The following is edited from article by on Tate website

Life

Born and bred in Lexington, Virginia, Twombly was deeply influenced by Modern European art, particularly twentieth century European painting, and moved to Italy in 1957. Since that date he has worked in Rome and various locations in Italy and the United States as well as travelling widely around the Mediterranean.

Approach

Throughout his career, Twombly’s paintings have been based on two components – line and paint.

In such early works as Panorama 1955 (Daros Collection, Switzerland), a monotone grey canvas is covered in irregular chalk scribbles which hover on the verge of becoming recognisable as letters or ciphers.

In the 1960s, daubs, smears and drips of colourful paint applied with a brush, the brush handle and the tips of the artist’s fingers begin to supersede the crayon and graphite marks of his earlier paintings. In some paintings, such as August Notes from Rome 1961 (Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC), line is almost completely replaced by colourful patches of paint; in others, such as Leda and the Swan 1961 (collection the artist), it is a source of violent energy.

Since the mid 1970s, the linear marks frequently take the form of text, introducing a third component: written language. Clumsy capitals or scrawled cursive letters are mixed with doodled shapes and indecipherable scribbles usually in compositional balance with painted elements. The tension between the graphic qualities of linear inscription and the sensual materiality of paint is central to the impact of the work. This runs parallel to a tension between intellectual cultural history and intuitive emotional expression enacted in Twombly’s paintings. Classical mythology, literature and historical works of art are appropriated and translated into a visual response which is tactile, visceral and aesthetic. His particular reference to Greek and Roman myths evokes an archaic symbolism, a subject he shares with the American Abstract Expressionists. A generation younger, he is further connected to this movement by his expressive, ‘gestural’ use of paint.

Four Seasons

spring

Primavera, or spring, represents the first season of the year. A column of red curved and slashed forms dominates the image. These relate to traditional Egyptian rowing boats which, it has been suggested, symbolise the journey through the underworld in the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ (Bastian, p.37, note 15). Twombly lived for several months in Egypt in the mid 1980s and began to use the symbol of the boat in 1992. In Primavera, the red boat forms are smeared with patches of yellow, as though touched by the sun. In part II, Estate (Tate T07888), echoes of the boat forms in black, over-painted with white, are entirely covered with yellow, perhaps concealed by the blinding summer sun. The yellow patches in Primavera are applied in a central row, drawing the eye upwards to the top of the painting, where they culminate in a bouquet-like form containing touches of purple and pink. Strokes of white paint cover parts of the bouquet and the red boats, obliterate long dribbles of red paint and other smears and form a background for areas of text. The title Primavera, with the artist’s initials and the date ‘June 94’ written in red crayon, is followed by a fragment of poetic text in pencil referring to happiness and emotion ‘that almost overwhelms’. Twombly’s impression of spring is vibrant and celebratory.

summer

autumn

Autunno, or autumn, represents the third season of the year. The idea for the cycle began with this season, inspired by the wine harvest in Bassano in Teverina. Appropriately for the season, the colours in this painting are the richest in the group. The title is painted in irregular, dripping brown capitals near the top of the painting. Patches of deep greens, reds and browns blend with smears of dark blue, violet and yellow. On the left, stalks tipped with berries drawn with dark crayon emerge from clusters of muddy brown paint smeared with the artist’s finger tips. Placed in a vertical line above a thickly painted green area, the clusters of brown paint and their long drips form a dark margin on the side of the painting. Other finger smears and prints in red and green appear near a central formation of mixed, smeared colours. Near this, round patches of red extend towards the right with long, horizontal projections, echoing the direction of the stalks and suggesting movement. This appearance of sideways movement across the canvas dramatically counterbalances the sense of verticality created by the long drips. White paint, used to cover marks and text, has been applied more sparingly than in other paintings in the cycle. The words ‘your blood’ may be distinguished, half concealed by streaks and dribbles. Other text is too fragmented to be legible.

winter

Inverno, or winter, represents the fourth season of the year. In this painting, the jagged forms made up of horizontal and vertical strokes which produced curved ‘boats’ in parts I and II of the cycle, Primavera (Tate T07887) and Estate (Tate T07888), are depicted in an altered state in black. Heavily painted over and blended with one another, they are virtually indistinguishable as discrete forms. On the right side of the painting, black boat shapes beginning at the centre expand upwards into a large black patch. This is balanced by a smaller black patch at the bottom left of the painting. Swathes of white and daubs of yellow have been mixed over the areas of black, breaking it up so that it evokes pine branches buffeted by rain. Marks made by the movement of the artist’s fingers and brush across the canvas in horizontal streaks has created a sense of sideways motion, echoing that made by horizontal strokes of red in Autunno (Tate T07889). Fragments of text and other marks on the cream canvas are covered by white paint. Several layers of this have been smeared over a large proportion of the canvas in a thin wash resulting in dribbles over much of the central area. Minimal blobs of light green in the centre and a patch of pale yellow on the right soften the harsh atmosphere of the image, which conveys a strong sense of winter’s harsh winds and bleak cold

Quattro Stagioni is a cycle of four paintings representing the four seasons. Tate’s version is the second of two cycles; the first is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Both cycles were begun in 1993 at Twombly’s studio in Bassano in Teverina (north of Rome) and completed in 1994 at another house owned by the artist in Gaeta on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Twombly’s representations of the four seasons are typical to his production of the late 1980s and 1990s in which light has become a principal theme. His prominent use of white echoes that of French Impressionists such as Claude Monet (1840-1926) for whom it was an important ingredient in the depiction of light. A series of nine paintings, Untitled 1988 (Cy Twombly Gallery, Houston), portraying the green reflective surfaces of a watery pool, recalls Monet’s celebrated paintings of his water garden at Giverny, France created between 1899 and 1926. Plant life and the sea also recur in Twombly’s imagery of this period. A single work is frequently made up of several parts, as in Quattro Stagioni which is subtitled A Painting in Four Parts.

The four seasons as symbols of the natural cycles of birth and death are a classical theme in poetry, music and painting. In Twombly’s Quattro Stagioni strong colours evoking the brilliance of the Mediterranean light are combined with scrawled poetic fragments from several sources. After pre-priming the canvases with cream-coloured gesso, the artist pinned them to the wall and applied individual colours, allowing the paint to dribble down in long, vertical lines.

Estate, or summer, represents the second season of the year. Predominantly white and yellow, the painting is dominated by the blinding light of mid-summer in a hot country. The canvas is covered with many layers of paint and text in pencil and red crayon. Echoes of the red boat-shapes, which form a central column in part I, Primavera (Tate T07887), cross the centre of this painting in a diagonal line. Originally painted in black, they have been covered by patches of bright yellow, onto which the artist has made vertical and horizontal pencil lines repeating the basic form of the boat. This relates to traditional Egyptian rowing boats which, it has been suggested, symbolise the journey through the underworld in the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ (Bastian, p.37, note 15). Twombly lived for several months in Egypt in the mid 1980s and began to use the symbol of the boat in 1992. On the right side of Estate, passages of a poem by the Greek poet George Seferis (1900-71) are partially legible. Referring to the transience of youth and the passage of time, it evokes the vanitas tradition, in which symbols of mutability and mortality undercut symbols of beauty and fertility. At the top of the painting, the name Baia de Gaeta is superimposed over the words ‘Say goodbye Catullus to the shores of Asia Minor’. Twombly subsequently used these words as the subtitle for a painting in three parts begun in 1972 and finally completed in 1994. This work, Untitled Painting 1994 (Cy Twombly Gallery, Houston) shares much of the imagery of Quattro Stagioni, including the journeying boats and the focus on white light. The Roman lyric poet Catullus (84-54 BC) died soon after returning to Rome from the neighbouring province of Bithynia, Asia Minor, reputedly of a broken heart.
Further reading:
Heiner Bastian: Cy Twombly: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, volume IV 1972-1995, Munich 1995, pp.34-5 and 178, reproduced p.180 in colour
Demosthenes Davvetas, Roberta Smith and Harald Szeemann, Cy Twombly: Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf 1987
Kirk Varnedoe, Cy Twombly: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1994, pp.162-5
Elizabeth Manchester
May 2003
Read this summary in full

Per Kirkeby

Danish painter, sculptor and writer. In 1962 he entered the Eksperimenterende Kunst-skole (Experimental Art School) in Copenhagen.His first important one-man exhibition abroad was at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, in 1977. He later exhibited widely at public and commercial galleries throughout Europe and the USA.
A prolific artist, Kirkeby used a range of different media. He was a member of the Fluxus group and was influenced by Pop art in the 1960s. Later he was influenced by Tachism and Abstract Expressionism. The vigorous brushwork and chromatic beauty of his, mostly untitled, paintings and the sensuous modelling of his rough black bronzes have earned him the title ‘lyric expressionist’. The paintings, which tend towards the abstract, bear veiled iconographic reference, largely to the Danish landscape and the female figure.
In contrast to the poetic and dramatic character of his paintings and black bronzes Kirkeby’s brick sculptures display an unusual clarity. They make strong reference to traditional Danish housing and are inspired by Mayan architecture, as in the house-like, symmetrical form (1973) at Ikast, Denmark. In 1981 Kirkeby completed a group of such sculptures for the County Council building in Ålborg. His concern with experiment and conceptual art led him to execute a series of works in chalk on blackboard, and he regularly published poetry, essays and travel books, as well as making television and full-length documentary films. He also produced many artist’s books, such as the ‘picture novel’ Landskaberne (‘Landscapes’; Copenhagen, 1969).
Bibliography
Per Kirkeby: Übermalungen, 1964–84 (exh. cat., Munich, Kstraum, 1984)
Per Kirkeby: Skulpturen und Bilder (exh. cat., Zurich, Gal. Knoedler, 1985)
Per Kirkeby: Retrospektive (exh. cat., Cologne, Mus. Ludwig, 1987)
Per Kirkeby: Pinturas, esculturas, grabados y escritos (exh. cat., Valencia, IVAM Cent. Julio Gonzalez, 1989–90)
‘Per Kirkeby’, Louisiana Revue, xxx/3 (1990) [whole issue]
JENS PETER MUNK

Richard Bosman

Richard Bosman (B 1944) is an Australian artist and printmaker who has produced woodcuts and linocuts since 1980s.

Google images for Richard Bosman linocut

 

Many of his paintings and prints are concerned with tragedies in dark urban settings, on rough seas, and in eerily quiet woods.  They have been influenced by expressionist printmakers like Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde. Also Japanese printmakers like Hokusai.

Some of his work is very experimental. He printed Smokers (1982) with his wife in an edition of two rolls of paper towels.

Born in India, raised in Australia, and the son of a merchant sea captain, Bosman has repeatedly returned to the setting of the sea. In an exhibition “Death and the Sea” at Owen James Gallery he depicts different aspects of the South Pacific sea: volcanoes, moonlit voyages and farewells, small rowboats fighting gigantic waves – “mankind is fickle, life is fleeting, and that the ocean remains unconcerned with our plight”.
“There is a cinematic beauty to these works by Bosman.  We sometimes feel as though we are looking at a film strip stopped in time, somewhere between cause and horrible effect.  Works such as Volcano and Fog Bank are subtle in their ability to show the progress of time, but there are visual gaps in it, and it is in these gaps that much of the intrigue lies.  In Night Sky the effect is almost imperceptible.  Here, only the stars move, and in this movement we find we are disoriented. Both South Seas Kiss and Mutiny share the short-lived joy of shore-leave, as a captain is first enraptured by an island girl only to meet his demise once he turns his back.”
 

 

 

Gary Ratushniak

Gary Ratushniak on the Art of Linocut

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Gary Ratushniak’s Printmaking Influences

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A Canadian printmaker who produces linocuts inspired by Native American art and Sybil Andrews of the UK Grosvenor school.

He introduces tone in his linocuts by selectively wiping off the ink.

Brenda Hartill

Website: http://www.brendahartill.com

Brenda Hartill collagraph course

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Inking a collagraph plate

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Carborundum

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Google images for Brenda Hartill collagraph

Brenda Hartill R E is a British painter, collage artist and printmaker. Her work explores the texture, pattern and light of the landscape, and ranges from finely drawn figurative works to bold, heavily embossed abstract images. Far the past 10 years she has been most interested in drawing abstract imagery from the landscape, rugged mountain erosion, structure of the land and the the dynamics of plant growth. She loves the strong light and shadow of Southern Europe, and remote New Zealand, where she was brought up, as well as the gentler greyness of the light in London and Sussex. Many of her early more figurative works are still available, and are well represented in the portfolio collections here. She is based in her studio near Rye in East Sussex.

Previously her main medium has been print, both etching and collagraph, and she has written a book (available on Amazon) “Collagraph and mixed media printmaking” for A and C Black, which is now in its 5th printing. She also recently produced a DVD, available direct from the studio.(see DVD section for details)

She is becoming increasingly interested in painting, creating a series of embossed watercolour paintings (see new works), as well as her mixed-media collage paintings using oil paint and encaustic wax . Her recent work includes a series of unique monoprints, in muted colours, and black and white, and there is a strong element of embossing in the latest prints. In addition the three dimensional have always interested her. The more sculptural embossed etchings and collagraphs have led to a breaking away from print on a single piece of paper to mixed media compilations – for example the “floating landscapes”.

John Piper

John Piper was born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1903, the son of solicitor Charles Piper. He was educated at Epsom College and trained at the Richmond School of Art, followed by the Royal College of Art in London.[1] He turned from abstraction early in his career, concentrating on a more naturalistic but distinctive approach.

As a child, Piper lived in Epsom, at that time in the countryside. He went exploring on his bike, and drew and painted pictures of old churches and monuments on the way. He started making guide books complete with pictures and information at a young age. He studied at Epsom College. He did not like the college but found refuge in the art school. When he left Epsom College, Piper wanted to go to art school, to study to become an artist. However, his father disagreed and wanted him to be a solicitor. They agreed that John Piper would work for his father in London for three years, and then could pursue whatever career he chose. He failed the law exams and his father died soon after, leaving him free to become an artist. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches.

Piper was appointed an official war artist in World War II from 1940–1942.[1] The morning after the air raid that destroyed Coventry Cathedral, Piper produced his first painting of bomb damage, Interior of Coventry Cathedral now exhibited at the Herbert Art Gallery. Jeffery Daniels in The Times described the painting of the ruins as “all the more poignant for the exclusion of a human element”. It has been described as “Britain’s Guernica”.[2]

Piper collaborated with many others, including the poets John Betjeman and Geoffrey Grigson (on the Shell Guides[3][4]), and with potter Geoffrey Eastop and artist Ben Nicholson. In later years he produced many limited-edition prints.

Sir Osbert Sitwell invited Piper to Renishaw Hall to paint the house and illustrate an autobiography he was writing and Piper made his first of many visits to the estate in 1942. The family retain 70 of his pictures and there is a display at the hall.[5]

From 1950 Piper worked in stained glass in partnership with Patrick Reyntiens, whom he had met through John Betjeman.[6] They designed the stained-glass windows for the new Coventry Cathedral, and later for the Chapel of Robinson College, Cambridge. Washington National Cathedral prominently features his large window, “The Land Is Bright”. He designed windows for many smaller churches and created tapestries for Chichester Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral. He was a set designer for the theatre, including the Kenton Theatre in Henley and Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. He designed many of the premiere productions of Benjamin Britten’s operas at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Royal Opera House, La Fenice and the Aldeburgh Festival, as well as for some of the operas of Alun Hoddinott. In 2012 a major exhibition ‘John Piper and the Church’ examined his relationship with the Church and his contribution to the development of modern art within churches.[7] Piper wrote extensively on modern art in books and articles.[8][9][10][11] With his wife, Myfanwy Piper, he founded the contemporary art journal, Axis.

On 28 June 1992 John Piper died at his home at Fawley Bottom, Buckinghamshire, where he had lived for most of his life. His children are painters Edward Piper (deceased) and Sebastian Piper, and his grandchildren include painter Luke Piper and sculptor Henry Piper.

His auction record, £325,250, was set at Sotheby’s on 15 July 2008 for “Forms on Dark Blue”, a 3′ by 4′ oil painting made in 1936.[12]

Japanese woodblock prints

Source: Wikipedia and You Tube videos

Woodblock printing in Japan (Japanese: 木版画, moku hanga) is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre; however, it was also used very widely for printing books in the same period. Woodblock printing had been used in China for centuries to print books, long before the advent of movable type, but was only widely adopted in Japan surprisingly late, during the Edo period (1603-1867). Although similar to woodcut in western printmaking in some regards, the moku hanga technique differs in that it uses water-based inks—as opposed to western woodcut, which often uses oil-based inks. The Japanese water-based inks provide a wide range of vivid colors, glazes, and transparency.

Ukiyo-e

In-depth video on history and development of techniques of Japanese woodcut from monochrome through painted monochrome prints to multiblock printing. It looks at its influence on Western artists like Van Gogh and Monet following the exhibition of Japanese art for the first time at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. It also looks at the modern day revival of ukiyo-e prints as paintings on shops in Tokyo regeneration.

Japanese woodblock prints with Paul Binnie

Lecture on background and underlying ideas in Japanese printing techniques.

Japanese woodblock printing History Ukiyo-e Jose Ortega

History of Japanese printing and way it spread and related to earlier Chinese and Buddhist prints.

History

Woodblock-printed books from Chinese Buddhist temples were seen in Japan as early as the eighth century. In 764 the Empress Kōken commissioned one million small wooden pagodas, each containing a small woodblock scroll printed with a Buddhist text (Hyakumanto Darani). These were distributed to temples around the country as thanksgiving for the suppression of the Emi Rebellion of 764. These are the earliest examples of woodblock printing known, or documented, from Japan.

By the eleventh century, Buddhist temples in Japan produced printed books of sutras, mandalas, and other Buddhist texts and images. For centuries, printing was mainly restricted to the Buddhist sphere, as it was too expensive for mass production, and did not have a receptive, literate public as a market. However, an important set of fans of the late Heian period (12th century), containing painted images and Buddhist sutras, reveal from loss of paint that the underdrawing for the paintings was printed from blocks.

Not until 1590 was the first secular book printed in Japan. This was the Setsuyō-shū, a two-volume Chinese-Japanese dictionary. Though the Jesuits operated a movable typeprinting press in Nagasaki from 1590, printing equipment brought back by Toyotomi Hideyoshi‘s army from Korea in 1593 had far greater influence on the development of the medium. Four years later, Tokugawa Ieyasu, even before becoming shogun, effected the creation of the first native moveable type, using wooden type-pieces rather than metal. He oversaw the creation of 100,000 type-pieces, which were used to print a number of political and historical texts. As shogun, Ieyasu promoted literacy and learning, contributing to the emergence of an educated urban public.

Printing was not dominated by the shogunate at this point, however. Private printers appeared in Kyoto at the beginning of the 17th century, and Toyotomi Hideyori, Ieyasu’s primary political opponent, aided in the development and spread of the medium as well. An edition of the Confucian Analects was printed in 1598, using a Korean moveable type printing press, at the order of Emperor Go-Yōzei. This document is the oldest work of Japanese moveable type printing extant today. Despite the appeal of moveable type, however, craftsmen soon decided that the running script style of Japanese writings was better reproduced using woodblocks. By 1640 woodblocks were once again used for nearly all purposes.

The medium quickly gained popularity among artists, and was used to produce small, cheap, art prints as well as books. The great pioneers in applying this method to the creation of art books, and in preceding mass production for general consumption, were Honami Kōetsu and Suminokura Soan. At their studio in Saga, the pair created a number of woodblocks of the Japanese classics, both text and images, essentially converting handscrolls to printed books, and reproducing them for wider consumption. These books, now known as Kōetsu Books, Suminokura Books, or Saga Books, are considered the first and finest printed reproductions of many of these classic tales; the Saga Book of the Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari), printed in 1608, is especially renowned.

Woodblock printing, though more tedious and expensive than later methods, was far less so than the traditional method of writing out each copy of a book by hand; thus, Japan began to see something of literary mass production. While the Saga Books were printed on expensive fancy paper, and used various embellishments, being printed specifically for a small circle of literary connoisseurs, other printers in Kyoto quickly adapted the technique to producing cheaper books in large numbers, for more general consumption. The content of these books varied widely, including travel guides, advice manuals, kibyōshi (satirical novels), sharebon (books on urban culture), art books, and play scripts for the jōruri (puppet) theatre. Often, within a certain genre, such as the jōruri theatre scripts, a particular style of writing became standard for that genre. For example, one person’s personal calligraphic style was adopted as the standard style for printing plays.

Many publishing houses arose and grew, publishing both books and individual prints. One of the most famous and successful was called Tsuta-ya. A publisher’s ownership of the physical woodblocks used to print a given text or image constituted the closest equivalent to a concept of “copyright” that existed at this time. Publishers or individuals could buy woodblocks from one another, and thus take over the production of certain texts, but beyond the protective ownership of a given set of blocks (and thus a very particular representation of a given subject), there was no legal conception of the ownership of ideas. Plays were adopted by competing theatres, and either reproduced wholesale, or individual plot elements or characters might be adapted; this activity was considered legitimate and routine, at the time.

Woodblock printing continued after the decline of ukiyo-e, and introduction of movable type and other technologies, as a method and medium for printing texts as well as for producing art, both within traditional modes such as ukiyo-e and in a variety of more radical or Western forms that might be construed as modern art. Institutes such as the “Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints” and “Takezasado” continue to produce Ukiyo-e prints with the same materials and methods as used in the past.[4] [5]

Schools and movements

Japanese printmaking, as many other features of Japanese art, tended to organise itself into schools and movements. The most notable schools and, later, movements of moku hanga were:

Other artists, such as Utamaro, Sharaku, and Hiroshige did not belong to a specific school, and drew from a wider tradition
Technique

The technique for printing texts and images was generally similar. The obvious differences were the volume produced when working with texts (many pages for a single work), and the complexity of multiple colors in some images. Images in books were almost always in monochrome (black ink only), and for a time art prints were likewise monochrome or done in only two or three colors.

The text or image was first drawn onto washi (Japanese paper), then glued face-down onto a plank of wood, usually cherry. Wood was then cut away, based on the drawing outlines. A small wooden hard object called a barenwas used to press or burnish the paper against the inked woodblock to apply the ink to the paper. Although this may have been done purely by hand at first, complex wooden mechanisms were soon invented and adopted to help hold the woodblock perfectly still and apply proper pressure in the printing process. This was especially helpful with the introduction of multiple colors that had to be applied with precision over previous ink layers.

While, again, text was nearly always monochrome, as were images in books, the growth of the popularity of ukiyo-e brought with it demand for ever increasing numbers of colors and complexity of techniques. The stages of this development follow:

  • Sumizuri-e (墨摺り絵?, “ink printed pictures”)—monochrome printing using only black ink
  • Benizuri-e (紅摺り絵?, “crimson printed pictures”)—red ink details or highlights added by hand after the printing process;green was sometimes used as well
  • Tan-e (丹絵?)—orange highlights using a red pigment called tan
  • Aizuri-e (藍摺り絵?, “indigo printed pictures”), Murasaki-e (紫絵?, “purple pictures”), and other styles in which a single color was used in addition to, or instead of, black ink
  • Urushi-e (漆絵?)—a method that thickened the ink with glue, emboldening the image. Printers often used gold, mica, and other substances to enhance the image further. Urushi-e can also refer to paintings using lacquerinstead of paint. Lacquer was rarely, if ever, used on prints.
  • Nishiki-e (錦絵?, “brocade pictures”)—a method of using multiple blocks for separate portions of the image, using a number of colors to achieve complex and detailed images. A separate block was carved to apply only the part of the image designated for a single color. Registration marks called kentō (見当) were used to ensure correspondence between the application of each block.

Contemporary Japanese woodblock

Katsutoshi Yuasa

Keizaburo Matsuzaki

Kurt Jackson

Kurt Jackson (1961-present)

A British painter whose large canvases reflect a concern with natural history, ecology and environmental issues.

The majority of Jackson’s work reflects his commitment to the environment and the natural world within Cornwall, although he also works elsewhere in Britain and mainland Europe; recent projects include bodies of work on theThames, the Avon, the Forth, Ardnamurchan and the Glastonbury Festival series. His paintings frequently carry small commentaries on the scene depicted and show a fascination particularly with the detail of plants and animals within an overall ecology and evoke a calm, spiritual and warm relationship with the landscape, even of apparently bleak scenes.

website

Google images

Kurt Jackson – Royal Academy Thames Revisited Film (2013) You Tube video

Friends of the Earth meets Kurt Jackson You Tube video

 Biography

Born in Blandford, Dorset, he developed an early interest in natural history and landscape. He studied zoology atSt Peter’s College, Oxford, but spent most of his time attending classes at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art or painting in the countryside around Oxford. In 1984 he and his wife Caroline Jackson moved to Cornwall; currently he lives and works near St Just,Penwith.

He has been Artist in Residence on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, at the Eden Project and at Glastonbury Festival since 1999. He has an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) from Exeter University and is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. He is an ambassador for Survival International and frequently works with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WaterAid, Oxfam, Surfers Against Sewage andCornwall Wildlife Trust. He is an academician of the Royal West of England Academy.

Technique

He paints in mixed media.

Lyubov Popova

Lyubov Popova (1889 – 1924) was a Russian avant-garde artist (Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist), painter and designer. Much of her art explores the way shapes advance and recede depending on colours and precise details of design. Linked to revolutionary ideas about architecture and modern living.

Google images for Popova linocut

Linocuts from portfolio of six prints in article on Tate exhibition of Russian women artists

Full set of linocuts sold at Christies

TateShots: Rodchenko and Popova

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Slideshow of paintings

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Life

Lyubov Popova was born into a wealthy family.  She grew up with a strong interest in art, especially Italian Renaissance painting. At eleven years old she began formal art lessons at home. Popova travelled extensively and her work has contributed to, and influenced by, many of the major art movements of the early 20th Century.

1907-1908 Impressionism: She studied first with Stanislav Zhukovsky and Konstantin Yuon whose interest in luminous tonalities reminiscent can be seen in early works by Popova such as Still-life with Basket of Fruit (1907–8)

1909 she was very impressed by the religious works of Mikhail Vrubel’.

1910: Renaissance she travelled to Italy and admired Renaissance art, especially the paintings of Giotto.

1910- 1911: Russian art she toured many parts of Russia, including Suzdal’, Novgorod, Yaroslavl’ and Pskov. Inspired by Russian architecture, frescoes and icons, she developed a less naturalistic approach.

1912-1914: Cubism and futurism she went to Paris and Italy. She studied at the Académie de la Palette, under the direction of Henri Le Fauconnier and Jean Metzinger. In numerous sketchbooks she applied Cubist analysis to the human figure. She was also influenced by Léger and the Italian Futurist Umberto Boccioni  (see e.g. Two Figures, 1913–14; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.; Seated Figure (1914; Cologne, Mus. Ludwig). By 1913, in Composition with Figures, she was experimenting with the particularly Russian development of Cubo-Futurism: a fusion of two equal influences from France and Italy. Popova shows a new confidence and fluency, and a more sophisticated integration of form and space into the transparent structures of curved and rectilinear planes. A complex and dynamic fragmentation appears in canvases such as Travelling Woman (1915; Los Angeles, CA, Norton Simon A. Found.; see Rudenstine, pl. 808).

1912-onwards: Constructivism and suprematism

From 1914–1915 Popova’s Moscow home became the meeting-place for artists and writers.

Popova was influenced by Vladimir Tatlin and worked at some time between 1912 and 1915 in his studio in Moscow, the Tower. Inspired by his constructions, Popova experimented with collage and in 1915 began to produce painted reliefs in which projecting curved elements made of cardboard are juxtaposed and enlivened with strongly coloured, impasto paintwork (e.g. Jug on a Table, 1915; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.).

In 1916 she joined the Supremus group with Kazimir Malevich, the founder of Suprematism, Aleksandra Ekster, Ivan Kliun, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Olga Rozanova, Ivan Puni, Nina Genke,Ksenia Boguslavskaya and others who at this time worked in Verbovka Village Folk Centre. The term ‘supreme’ refers to a ‘non-objective’ or abstract world beyond that of everyday reality. The aim was creation of a new kind of painting as part of the revolutionary urge of the Russian avant-garde to remake the world. However there was a tension between those who, like Malevich saw art as a spiritual quest, and others who responded to the need for the artist to create a new physical world. In 1916 she began to paint completely abstract Suprematist compositions, but the title ‘Painterly Architectonics’ (which she gave to many of her paintings) suggests that, even as a Suprematist, Popova was more interested in painting as a projection of material reality than as the personal expression of a metaphysical reality. Popova’s superimposed planes and strong colour have the objective presence of actual space and materials. In 1916 she produced her first non-objective canvases, six of which she exhibited as Painterly Architectonics (two repr. in Rudenstine, pls 826–7) at the November Jack of Diamonds exhibition. Earlier that autumn Popova had joined Malevich’s Suprematist circle, producing several designs for the magazine Supremus (which was never published). Although she adopted the rectilinear geometry and white grounds of the Suprematists, Popova’s abstract canvases were distinctive. She produced very powerful and dynamic paintings in which large geometric planes, boldly coloured but with elements of modelling, abut and interpenetrate to create taut and thrusting diagonal compositions (e.g. Architectonic Painting, 1917; New York, MOMA). Color is used as the iconic focus; the strong primary color at the center drawing the outer shapes together.

During the Civil War Popova worked in the Fine Art Department (IZO) of Narkompros (the People’s Commissariat for Enlightenment), producing agitational posters, and also taught workers at Proletkul’t (Proletarian Cultural Organization). In 1918 she joined the staff of the State Free Art Studios (later known as Svomas), and when these became the Vkhutemas (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) she and Aleksandr Vesnin taught colour construction on the Basic Course.

A member of Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic Culture) from 1920, Popova was active in discussions concerning the new art and was commissioned to write a paper on the teaching of art, ‘K voprosu o novykh metodakh v nashey khudozhestvennoy shkole’ (‘Towards the question of the new methods in our art school’; unpublished; Moscow, priv. col.). She also participated in the crucial theoretical debates that led to the formation in March 1921 of the First Working Group of Constructivists. Although not a member, Popova collaborated with two of its founders, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, in the 5×5 = 25 exhibition (1921), showing five works she described as ‘experiments with painterly force structures’. By this time her paintings were more complex in their geometric and spatial construction, making greater use of linear elements (e.g. Spatial Force Construction, 1921; four in Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.; three in Athens, George Costakis Col.; one in New York, priv. col.; see Rudenstine, pl. 874).

Popova seems to have stopped painting in 1921 and, by her own declaration to Inkhuk in December, she espoused more fully the Constructivist emphasis on the utilitarian role of the artist working in poster, book design, fabric and theatre design, as well as teaching.

Her principal contribution to Constructivism was her subsequent work in theatre and textile design. In 1920 she had collaborated with Aleksandr Vesnin on a project for a mass outdoor festival in honour of the Third International, to be directed by Vsevolod Meyerhold. The following year she was invited to teach a course on the ‘Analysis of the elements of material design’, at the Higher Theatrical Workshops. These were organized by Meyerhold, who in 1922 invited her to design the sets and costumes for his production of Crommelynck’s farce The Magnanimous Cuckold at the Actors’ Theatre in Moscow. Popova created a Constructivist environment by transforming the water-mill of the setting into a multi-levelled, skeletal apparatus, with enormous wheels that rotated at crucial moments in the action. She dressed the actors in overalls, which she conceived as prototypes for workers’ clothing in that they were functional, suitable for mass-production and expressed the new proletarian ideology. In 1923 her set for Meyerhold’s production of Sergey Tret’yakov’s Zemlya dybom (‘The earth in turmoil’) consisted of a gantry crane, and the stage properties were selected from mass-produced objects such as projectors and motorcycles. By this means, together with the use of political slogans and newsreel film, Popova created an industrial montage.

Late in 1923 or early in 1924 Popova, together with Stepanova, started to design textiles for mass manufacture at the First State Textile Factory in Moscow. In accordance with Constructivist principles, both artists considered it imperative, in order to rationalize cloth production, to replace traditional floral patterns with designs consisting of rigorous combinations of one or two geometric forms in an economic colour range. Popova also designed working clothes, dresses made from her own textiles, and garments that utilized available materials such as flannel to combat current shortages. Popova’s theatrical experiments and textile designs were published in Lef (‘Left front of the arts’), a magazine set up in 1923 to promote Constructivist ideas in all the arts. She contracted scarlet fever from her son and died prematurely.

 Popova died of scarlet fever in 1924 in Moscow. A large exhibition of her work opened in Moscow on December 21, 1924.

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