If there is a love in your life but it is not essential cut it out if there is music and if it flows through you as a recurring fugue flows but it is not essential cut it out if there is dance but the steps grow weary and the legs long to rest then it is not essential so cut it out
the universe has stars that gleam in the blackness diamond stars fated for all time and under those stars there is a lesson to be learnt that art is enduring and capable of outlasting a burning star that is doomed to extinction that music will endure forever beyond the silence of the most distant stars : if above all things there is a love in your life but it’s not essential and it’s not what counts in your day to day however much it pains you cut it out and find another
To read Muriel Rukeyser’s poem dedicated to Kollwitz, click here.
It’s burlesque a light show everything you want to see before your very eyes but hidden behind the flourish of coloured fans painting is about nudity revelation the laying bare of physical perception its beauty lies in its truth how the light unravels as the knots of the spectrum are untied and the gown of discretion slips to the floor
painters pore over their canvases drooling fingertips delighting in the rough textures and smooth lines— it turns them on : beneath the pigments the breasts buttocks thighs and a desire to penetrate to have knowledge of the flesh and blood Tancredi’s composition is an enticing tease that no retina can resist
Geometry of chaos oil and tempera on canvas also universe / dated 1955 as was Tancredi’s eye when he captured the rich spectrum of spectral cosmic light Loud yellows and blues and blacks fiery reds and soothing titanium white : all shapes are here all moods and texts and textures nothing dead nothing silent nothing inert
a composition to evolve through and beyond time here is love rhythm dance music so that the eye never rests as it feeds on this feast of reckless colour admires the abandon behind every gushing stroke
Look and ye shall find all things deep below the surface the building blocks of drifting dreams of flesh and blood unfettered town and country imagination and necessary quantum explosion of boundless units of energy : here lies my life love alive and kicking her lips eyes hair breasts her resplendent joie de vivre so entrancingly rendered
Do you see what I see notes for a landscape a shore and a beach and a river and a sky a path to enlightenment a horizon viewed from a cliff top waves perceptible in the brushstrokes mimicking the tensions in the earth’s crust and in all our relationships abstract cartography of the soul
it took a human body to paint this to select the colours and to control the brush it took human energy to express this to execute this rather than accept the docility of a pacified environment in which nature sits tamely on a canvas
I came here scriptless Willem and I searched high and low for love I am an accident of birth whatever is concealed in this composition will be revealed in due course at its heart is the illumination of sunlight and a brightness that never fades the joy we associate with the loving application of human vitality everywhere apparent the long sinews of genitive muscle
it could be a walk on a Sunday afternoon or a three-penny opera in which we all appear and notice a perfectly positioned pinmark in each of the corners no abstract could ever be so inexhaustibly calculated which is why I am not a painter
Chagall’s blue sea of aching origin transmigration of genes across Europe across continents flight of all things in constant flux
Swirl of blue vortex earthwomb from which all life emerges fiery cadmium placenta a canvas dripping with minerals Mother and child in the hills above Nice a brush with destiny instrumental colour the hands from which melody flows Pegasus dashing across the seasky repeated layers of love tenderly applied the groomed bride floating within her sex circles of satisfaction zones of curved comfort joy inviolate against the terror of time’s crude cross
An artist sees and listens and listening sees the unseen and vision becomes speech and speech becomes lines and strokes and swathes of chalk and charcoal delicately smudged with the tip of the finger turning the darkness into light and listening all the time to what is seen and seeing all the time what is heard applying the alphabets of sound and shape dividing the darkness with fragments of light seizing the energies of expression and posture driven by the instinctive desire to uncover the truthness the emotional hardcore truth that lies behind the mask of careless inattention or superficial appraisal : more than in dialogue with the subject the artist teases identity out into the open with gentle interrogations striving constantly to achieve an ultimate rendering not an essence not a resumé not a replica neither a duplicate simply a completeness of visual presence that stands and speaks for itself
The Frank Auerbach Exhibition at Tate Britain in Pimlico, runs until 13 March 2016. Unmissable.
So on Sunday, before the rain and wind sets in, Jonah heads up to the King’s Road, to the Saatchi Gallery, located in part of the barracks where the Grand Old Duke of York kept his ten thousand men. The sound of marching has long faded, and all is quiet but for the gentle footfall of Londoners and tourists on gravel as they make their way in to see Champagne Life, the latest exhibition, which runs until 9 March. And believe me, this presentation of artwork by female artists from around the world is well worth seeing. There are a couple of inspired exhibits by Alice Anderson whom we visited at the end of last year in the Wellcome Foundation up in Euston. Equally, the refreshingly intriguing canvases by Florida-born Suzanne McClelland, are not to be missed.
Then there is the Serbian artist, Jelena Bulajic. Born in Vrbas, Serbia, in 1990, Bulajic lives between London and Serbia. The selection of her portraits in mixed media on canvas are truly mesmerising. According to the gallery blurb:
The human face, with all its softness, contortions, wrinkles and sags, is the subject matter of Jelena Bulajics’ minutely accurate paintings. Each canvas is filled with the faces of people she spots in the street, or encounters in daily life, whose character, look, or empathy catch her interest.
What is staggering about Bujalic’s work is its gigantic scale. The portrait illustrated, for example, measures 2.7 x 2 metres, and yet the detail is absolutely minute and meticulous. Saatchi’s policy of not roping off exhibits or placing them under glass allows visitors to get really close to paintings and appreciate the beauty of the artists’ techniques, which in the case of Bulajic, is of a standard of execution that Titian might have envied. Sensational.