Venice biennale -thinking through 

art, Art of independence, bathspa university, Body, Exhibition, politics, Uncategorized, Venice biennale

W,hat an experience, so much seen it’s overwhelming and now to reflect and think through.

From pylidda Barlow in the British pavilion, outstretched into every corner and space with colour and structure, fragile yet strong 

 Never been to Venice before so working out directions or more often following others. The shear volume of pavilions and indeed artworks at the main sites of Gardini and Arsenale, both with all the different countries pavilion. Highlights are many, so I can only give an impression, a snapsho, gosh this whole business of camera phones means that I collect all these images , the battery runs out and there is a blank space, what is the art! 

Whether it is Ireland’s Jesse jones ‘tremble tremble ‘ an archaic witch figure requesting a transformation of history, or Russia with grey and white visions of totalitarian states, always a duality in both context and agenda.

Then the individual selected artists in the Arsenal, wonderful to find favourites like Kiki Smith with her light effemeral line, of female form questioning asking,new discoveries too, the work of Zilia Sanchez, a Cuban artist working away all her life it sounds like Phyllida Barlow suddenly rising to prominence in her late 80s. Or Damian Hirst answering his own questions about the art market with a huge monstrous structures of a fictitious treasure trove, that never was, and the finds that never could have been blazed, occasionally beautiful but undoubtedly questioning art.

And then the find of ‘Intuition’ at the museso fortunay http://fortuny.visitmuve.it/en/mostre-en/mostre-in-corso-en/intuition-exhibition/2017/04/17284/intuition-fortuny/ masterpieces hidden away against Fotunay stage sets. Cy Twombly, Picasso, Joseph beuys, the suggestions of Japanese art, names I don’t know 

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Alice Neel

art, Body, feminism, life drawing, memorial, politics, Uncategorized

2 weeks ago I ‘discovered’ American artist Alice Neel(1900-1984) and continue to be utterly inspired the more I learn about her.
http://www.aliceneel.com/home/
Her portraits are what immediately caught by attention this includes a self portrait that she painted in her 80s. Looking straight into what must have been the mirror. She painted key figures in feminism in the 1960s Linda Nochlin, totally politically aware painting key figures in left wing grass roots politics.
As I look at her biography and look at some many images I see a woman whom tragedy touched on numerous occasions.
She painted Andy Warhol shortly after he was shot, looking fragile with scars.
She painted her figures clothed and unclothed, as herself real and true to life no airbrusing here! Often painting her fellow artists naked, very much real flesh . It seems one of these of Ethel Ashton is on loan to the Tate, so I have just got to see it. Will write more.
Cannot manage to save the images so words will have to do.