Tag Archives: red

still, looking

Sunday 30 November 2014

i was looking at some pictures at the metropolitan museum of art’s website one morning and found this image of a japanese screen. i was much intrigued by the implication of a conceptual element [whether or not it was intended – it was probably an ‘exercise’ or presentation of skill and craftsmanship], pictures and scenes within a larger pictured scene.


screens within screens, edo period, japan 1615-1868 [metropolitan museum of art]

and on another virtual museum visit, this painting:


georgia o’keeffe, white canadian barn II, 1932, oil-on-canvas [metropolitan museum of art]

o’keeffe painted this after ‘escaping’ to canada.

both of the images above appear refreshingly ‘contemporary’ [and visually similar, much serendipity], finding connections in different contexts, about facades and barriers, what is visible and what is [un]known.

more barns: walker evans took a lot of pictures of barns… this polaroid photograph exudes the aesthetic much admired on instagram.


walker-evans, shrub in front of barn facade, 1973-74, instant colour print [polaroid]

this photograph reminds me of the desire to appreciate the ‘poetry’ in the everyday. it was ‘interesting to look at’ for a moment…


it’s a boarded-up window of a shop which may also have been a shop sign. oh, how those tiny fragments of paint cling so precariously to the surface! they will not see this winter out.


howard hodgkin, old books, 2006, oil on wood, 55.6 x 71.8 cm

i have been thinking about a particular painting, ‘old books’ by howard hodgkin, which i had first seen in an exhibition at the fitzwilliam museum a few years back – i have a postcard of it – then perusing the beautifully designed book of howard hodgkin’s paintings that i had bought at the same exhibition. looking at the postcard led me to find this painting online on a dark november afternoon:


howard hodgkin, hello again, 2006-08, oil on wood, 20 x 23.8 cm

a precious instance of painterly purity. is it hodgkin saying ‘hello again’ to painting after an hiatus, or suggestive of the memory of a private conversation or encounter? maybe it doesn’t matter, it seems both playful and coy, of thoughts and feelings that need to be ambiguous or subtly expressed. it’s also quite revealing that unlike most of his paintings, the wooden frame is left unpainted – exposed – which is what first drew me to it.


gary hume, red barn door, 2008, oil on two aluminium panels [tate collection]

this large painting by gary hume is not on display at tate modern. i like this painting. it feels ‘sublime’ in the sense that it is unfathomable and overpowering, enigmatic [maybe even hypnotic], seductive and beautiful, cool perfection in the painted strokes, the symmetry, the flatness, the intense redness. shallow deep stuff…


maki haku, work 73-50-a (nothing) 1973, woodblock print and blind embossing [british museum]

this is one of a pair of prints, exploring the universal balance of yin and yang, and referring to a state of nothingness, or emptiness, the often misunderstood ‘void’, which i understand to be about the existence of things as in-between, independent or fluid. in a nutshell [maybe?], letting go of the idea that things are always ‘fixed’.

what does this all mean? maybe it is just another distraction? [i am now looking at the untidy pile of books i’m currently reading]. the fire has been lit for the second day in a row, it is now glowing, it gently crackles, it is almost too warm and cosy… i think the old neighbour was right; when you split the logs yourself you get twice the heat.

here are some recent random quotes harvested from twitterland – idly observing the interesting flotsam and jetsam of others’ thinking as they float by; it’s very zen…

Living away from great art centers is a handicap for those who want to cultivate their taste. Clement Greenberg

Nothing beautiful asks for attention Drunk Poetry Experiment

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication Leonardo da Vinci

The more you see human nature in its unvarnished state, the more politeness becomes interesting. Alain de Botton

Now, let’s get crazy. In your world you decide where the waterfall lives. Shooom! Bob Ross

doing the salsa [painting with red]

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Meet salsa, the next in a sequence of not-so-randomly-titled intaglio abstracts on paper on canvas, according to my colour rules

[SALSA, 2010 – mixed media intagio collagraph print on paper on canvas]

Salsa, being both a food (Spanish for sauce) and a latin dance or music, from Spain to Cuba (linking nicely to its companion piece, the painting Havana)…but it’s all about loving rust really… and my craving of anything with a little chilli… chocolate, soup, marmalade, bread…

I just typed in ‘salsa rust painting’ into google and curiously what was returned was an American poet, Jonathan Penton, who has two published anthologies, Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust – which I’ve yet to read (but I will)… within those few chosen words perhaps lies the bones of my next artist statement…

on seeing red

Thursday 21 January 2010

Another little pluglet for my inclusion in the upcoming Elements: Man and the Environment exhibition at The Forum, Norwich… and all because of this…

I delivered my work today and was somewhat astounded to see my work super-sized on this billboard poster…

ELEMENTS - art exhibition, the forum, Norwich

Here is a little blurb on this new art exhibition, courtesy of the Forum

Elements is a new exhibition of contemporary art which explores the theme Man and the Environment. With contributions by sixty artists from across the East of England. From the use of found objects and natural materials, to work addressing environmental degradation and the fragility of our natural habitat, the exhibition is a fascinating insight into what the relationship between man and the environment means to these artists.

With over 850 unique works of art to choose from, the judges had a difficult task in selecting the final exhibition. Artists were allowed to submit work in any medium, provided it could be displayed in The Forum and as long as it tied in with the exhibition’s theme. The final decision was made by a prestigious panel composed of the celebrated local artist Colin Self, a pioneer of the 1960s Pop Art Movement; former V&A Director Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll and former Principal of Norwich School of Art and Design Professor Bruce W. Black, along with a representative of The Forum Trust.

The exhibition will feature a wide variety of artwork including sculptures, paintings and video media, all exploring the theme ‘Man and the Environment’. Each artist was given free reign to address the complex relationship between man and the natural world in any way they wished.

Elements: Man and the environment is at The Forum, Norwich Tuesday 26th January – Monday 15th February 2010.

Rost had his very first public engagement in London in late 2008, precisely at the time of the financial banking crash in the city of London… very much, perhaps too much in the red

[solo exhibition, Centrepoint Tower, London, November 2008}

and then a little show in July 2009…

[Harleston Gallery – Art Trail taster exhibition)

So, me (or is that myself?) and Rost spent some quiet time together today, before the big trip out to the city… well, you never know…

and here are a couple of pics of ‘edgescape : rost’, as previously seen in this journal entry.

rost painting - detail
[rost, mixed media on canvas, detail]

roat painting - detail
[rost, mixed media on canvas, detail]

Sometimes, it’s better to be red than dead (Rothkoicism)… Feeling the chill?? try my ‘Rothko Red‘ soup