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
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
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