Maria Lassnig exhibition

art, Body, Maria Lassnig, Uncategorized

Maria Lassnig

 After a number of months wishing to get to this exhibition I made it last week! On Maria Lassnig a Painting Survey, 1950 – 2007. This has been touring internationally for a number years.

It demonstaed how her work progressed, She started working abstractly in geometric form, and there were examples of abstract monotone work in the 1950s. Thereafter moving to colour and then the transformation into paintings focused on how she focused her own body experience . Her work has been compared to that of the surrealists. Her education was interrupted by the war and I am unclear quite what happened to her artistic and other education with the annexation of Austria. I would assume neither her abstract or figuration would fit with acceptability of the Nazi era

 

A description of her work from Hauser and Wirth in the gallery in which ‘she captured physical sensation as felt from within. Lassnig devoted much of her career to recording her physiological states through a direct and unflinching style, believing that truth resides in the emotions produced within the physical shell.’

 

A quotation from the artist displayed in the exhibition perhaps are art work itself ‘I stand as it were, nude in front of the canvas, without intention, without plans, without a model, without photography, and let things take shape. But I have a starting point which arose from the realisation that the only truly real things   are my own sensations, which transpire within the house of my body; they’re psychological, the sensations of pressure when sitting and reclining, of tensions and spatial extension- such things are rather difficult to depict.

Frequently used animals perhaps a frog where one might see a human limb emerge.

 

Fascinating to introduce another who has no knowledge of her visceral work

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Imperfection

art, Body, life drawing, mistakes, Uncategorized

I struggle with mistakes.

Not mistakes in the art but mistakes in getting the canvas corners right like I would with wrapping presents at Christmas1

With print which has almost resulted in the technicians giving up with getting me   independent

Forgetting processes almost more than the art itself which I’m feeling quite positive about

So maybe my practical mistakes which always get worse and I get more worried about them sould become part of the art itself.

I have created these 6 boards out of a body drawing featuring different angles and different body views and of course I could not get the hanging straight! There are lots of holes in the pristine white wall, chipped away the plaster too in one place. O viv!

I have been looking at the wonderful drawing and sculpture of artist Kiki Smith, fascinated that she starts with medically correct perspective, viscerally she elongates and distorts the body on occasions, in Other Worlds  Baltic exhibition she was placed alongside Nancy Spero’s prints which their social and political comment alongside the 60s onwards with text and figurative art based on trace rather than actual body form.

I am beginning to think my work on aging bodies is more about the internal experience of being in the body rather than external.

So perhaps distortions, mistakes, not getting it right fit well together!

Update When i returned to my studios space yesterday some kind soul had straightened the lower picture and put in level screws rectified my mistake!

An interesting quote from John Ruskin

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/07/01/john-ruskin-imperfection-creativity-labor/

Louise Bourgeois H & W exhibition

art, Exhibition, feminism, Louise Bourgeois, memorial, somerset, study

I have found this exhibition of Louise’s work really encouraging,and evocative, prints botanical and humanity, textiles and sculpture addressing the psychological, made in the later part of her life ie 80s and 90s! and working through her life and experiences as she always did. The wording alongside the printed image above’ I’m losing my mind, my feeling, the keys’ ( yes I know that experience). I went to a seminar there yesterday which looked at Louise in her context of becoming famous in her 70s when she was known and worked with well known others decades before.The position of women artists historically, and the reality of it being an issue still. An argument for the end to a chronological approach. Reflecting   quite a lot of attention on current  printmaking and artists books with subversive message and meaning. Often Women artists publishing them now. Hope? or as there was discussion still an appropriate theme? A young student responded yes we still need these issues raising as we know they are still current

 

Weeds, Herbs or Bodies?

art, Garden, herb, Uncategorized, wildlife

Whilst returning to work on body drawings I have also been following up on medicinal  botanical herbs that I became interested in, by the discovery of what I thought was a voracious weed at the bottom of the garden! Described by the Guardian as one of those that have come from overseas in Public Enemy No 1 This continues to lead  to  further drawing and some print making, so far I have identified my plant  as Petascites Fragrans or Winter Helitrope and have been sent to the site of Giant  Petasites Hybridus (Butterbur) by a local botanist, the Giant is a native, so less problematic . I hope to return to do further drawings for print making  on Saturday.

New place and making a studio?

art, Body, feminism, Uncategorized

The last few weeks have been all about unpacking  & settling into my new home in Frome Somerset and now with assistance making a studio in my new home.

Can I believe that? Yes an artist, me.

So now the carpet is removed in the attic room, thank goodness I asked for help, removing transporting a carpet down 2 floors and dragging it out of the pedestrian area to the garage.

Apart from some life drawing I’ve not been doing new work, but did experiment with a pastel sketch yesterday morning, should have thought more about paper but I wanted to work on red again.

Some discovery of artists Eleanor Adair, really evocative for me

and reading discovered Dolan and Tincknell  ‘Ageing femininities Troubling representations’ O yes!

 

 

A new home and a fun. Interlude

art, bathspa university, Garden, somerset, Uncategorized

imageMuch of my time devoted to the unpacking chore and making a new homehard work that is every now and again exciting. A back garden with a blank sheet, but a strawberry bed at the side.

university virtually finished for the year, one optional tutorial tomorrow.

the decision that the top floor is a studio in the making, which is what attracted me to this house and the potential of Frome for artist in the making;this has all happened later on for me.

This drawing of a differnt subject than usual bodies, came about on a lovely day spent with Irene at Timsbury on pastel workshop with Caroline Kibble. Lots of advice re paper which I shall find particularly useful. We all created very different images.

 

 

Pondering on drawing and sculpture

art, bathspa university, Geography, henry moore, Learningstone psqt, portland Dorset, sculpture, Uncategorized

5 days chipping,  working into stone the lines of my drawing, not quite 3D more an extension of 2d, complete but incomplete emerging from rock, very glad I used am image I had made of Mel model for Bathspa uni’s life drawing class. Quite a character and  fits with this emerging image well making it authentic.

it has been so inspiring Hannah Sofear working with us, working also alongside Dan who is planning his life change from a business on Liverpool’s container port  to stone carving via City and Guilds course.

On Friday I went into Tout quarry LeArningstone to write up my thoughts, how I could further use my drawings, possibility of projecting my drawings onto stone.

I could not have imagined that I would create something like my sculpted drawing, I have had such a confidence issue sometimes with my drawings. I need to keep on with drawings of the body fundamental to my work. But could particular lines I chipped away more  be deeply fundamental too? Again someone has seen my work as different. This image I used when chipped way had element of the ancient about it.

This also relates back to a talk I heard by Lavinia Byrne about Palmyra in the 1st term, and a image that I created that really did not work at that time.

I have been so engaged with the process that I’ve often not had my notebook with me when Hannah has mentioned connections with contemporary artists but surfice it to say that I have looked at Chris Le Brun and Michael Kenny with his combination of the figurative and abstract. A beginning. I also need to consider Joseph Beys work and have the connection with Victoria Walters in Bath to start to do this.

Hannah Soefar the sculpter who worked with us, introduced  ‘opening up stone to the light for the first time’, a concept especially within Tout  quarry with all its ancientness, where  I kept seeing so many  different images that had been carved into the stone. This work had initially including Gormley and John Roberts stone carver, taken place 20 years ago when a numbers of contemporary sculptors inscribed  images to fit with the ancient stones and boulders. I have the impression of profound interest and engagement with so many issues here; geological, social, ecological and political. Its very interesting to me as my sister has lived in nearby Weymouth for many years  and as many I have only begun to get to know Portland recently, post 2012 Olympics.

I am considering the suggested possibility of a further week or placement need to think about that too, maybe,  is this a one off experience or more?  Need to reflect more.

 

 

Portrayals of Age and Beauty

art, Body, feminism, life drawing, oil painting, study, Uncategorized

I went to this talk at the Royal Academy on Friday, so glad as it dealt with so much that is relevant to me and what I am looking about. Focused on a painting of La Vecchia seen   at an exhibition of Renaissance art by Giogione. I find this picture of the painting from the Guardian engaging as a young woman looking and pondering on the image. The discussion by  panel; Lynne Segal professor of gender studies, Borgia author Sarah Dunant,   Aileen Ribeiro prof from the Courtald institute  and  Dr Hannah Zeilig expert on cultural representation of aging. Wow a real discussion on something that is so relevant to what I am trying to do. Sarah Dunant and Aileen put in context discussed how unusual La Vecchia was, in an age of witch trials,  and how sympathetically displayed more a representation with a message  than a person . Shown a variety of images of older women, not a great many to choose from. Today when there are more people over 60 than under 16? Age is  decline, are age and beauty diametrically opposed? The reality that time does destroy the vestiges of beauty. Men in power appear ‘beautiful’ and strong at all ages. Old age itself is feminized. Erotic images of women are never portrayed sympathetically.

This felt the beginning of a discussion, at the encouragement of the person I was sitting next to I got involved in a discussion with Lynne Segal about this, lots of agreement there but encouraging to get involved in a dialogue about my reaction and also talked to Kube a black woman  whose concern about the lack of inclusion of a black women  resonated