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
I went on the Bathspa Gallery London gallery trip on tuesday and was with a small group led by Rachel Withers who lectures in both interpretation of art and who is an art critique. We covered 10 galleries or rather 9 in my case as i opted out of a later one! So I will concentrate on the highlight or those that raised issues. It also fascinating to compare the experience of last year using gallery trip to go to one exhibition Marlene Dumas Image as Burden where I just sat and looked!
Mark Wallinger’s Id paintings was something I wanted very much to look at and there was more time there. Dealing with the conscious unconscious and doubling one side of the image with another. at an arms reach was something I was conjuring with as at an early stage of painting large myself with extended brushes.
Scottie Wilson’s outsider art was obviously something that resonated with Rachel with personal knowledge. A man caught in a particular world cross hatching everywhere easily imaginable with a narrow boat. all sort of different influences boats fish water stylised.
Charlotte Joffe exhibition concerned with the complexity of relationships was a series of family portraits some similarity with others, perhaps intentionally. paintings that would mean a lot to the subjects. very different from other work we saw but in some ways disappointing Perhaps people known in the extended family and some taken form photographs in biographies Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes for instance. There was a similarity in some and a distance in others not surprising in those taken from biographies.
The exhibition that stood out was Michael Joo’s series of paintings /prints of calorific works , calculation. What an exhibition that could hang together in every way. Situated in the creation on baking trays and the impression that results working with calorie counting. Food consumption, wealth and shortage. Result calculated within Buddhist aesthetics. What is the adequate nutrition? Results of research imprinted on the results Combining painting photography and printing. Aesthetically beautiful in the result. This exhibition felt the most satisfactory and beatify held together. images not possible to reproduce.
overall a taxing day, a bit of visual indigrestion, walked miles and blurred images and actually a lot of learning! A lot of artists to refer back to
Then yesterday several people had spoken to me about on the face of it a local exhibition by artist and printmaker Maisie Parker on life drawing one of my major preoccupation at least as a staring point.
Beautiful, comical in some cases, poinient the large angel, different interpretations bold, then covered, full bodied then a comical bum. different thoughtful and the 2 experiences together a lot of food to refer again to Michael Joo and in producing more work myself a resource
Fascinating time with other students and Clare Woods artists, the results behave meant great changes to my work but more anon as I work the results through
2 weeks ago I ‘discovered’ American artist Alice Neel(1900-1984) and continue to be utterly inspired the more I learn about her.
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.