Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Joseph Beuys - Manresa - 1966

In 1966, Beuys and his friend Per Kirkeby made an 'imaginary' journey with their wives to the village of Manresa in the Pyrenees. Kirkeby subsequently wrote about the journey and Beuys performed the 'action' 'Manresa' later that year. The village is significant for its connection with Ignatius Loyola who spent several months there in meditation, prior to writing his volume of prayers 'Spiritual Exercises'. The book is based around the idea that 'Intuition is a higher form of reason' – a belief the artist shared. The village is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics and is generally associated with spiritual enlightenment. Beuys used this circular object in his 'Manresa' 'action'. To prepare for the campaign, Beuys himself traveled to the Spanish city of Manresa and visited the cave where Ignatius lived in a retreat. The insight that it is up to every concrete individual to get up from the grave with injuries, suffering and traumas, to discover and developpe the capacity for creative power.

Performance by Beuys under title ‘Manresa’ in Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf, 15 december 1966

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Mark Rothko 'Red on Maroon' - colour field painting 1959

‘Rothko’s art takes place on the unlocatable – yet somehowe concretized – threshold between being and presence.’ - Arts of Impoverishment by Bersani & Dutoit, ‘Rothko: blocked vision’

‘Rothko’s kunst speelt zich af op de niet-lokaliseerbare - maar op de een of andere manier geconcretiseerde - drempel tussen zijn en aanwezigheid.’ - Arts of Impoverishment door Bersani & Dutoit, ‘Rothko: geblokkeerde visie’

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Man Ray - 'Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed)' 1923/1964

"I say that one must be a seer, one must make oneself a seer," wrote Arthur Rimbaud in 1871, and then he described how to become one: "The poet becomes a seer through a long, wonderful and reasoned disruption of all senses ... He examines himself, he removes all poisons, while only retaining their quintessence (a refined essence). "- The World of Marcel Duchamp by Calvin Tomkins, US 1966

Man Ray - ‘Objet indestructible, ou Objet à détruire’ > metronome with cutout photograph of eye on pendulum - (1964, replica of 1923 original)

Man Ray’s "Object to Destroy’ remained intact for nearly thirty-five years - although Ray intended to destroy it - until a group of anti-Dada students from an Art academy in Germany broke the item when they demonstrated at a DADA exhibition. Shortly thereafter, Ray made a second version and called it "Indigestible Object"

Assemblage  (8 7/8 x 4 3/8 x 4 5/8) - Collection NY, The Museum of Modern Art
photo credit :  - artist © : Fair Use (Section 107, Copyright Act, 1976)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Georges Braque - 'Composition with ace of clubs' - 1913

Georges Braque’s principle: ‘the senses deform, but the mind forms.’
- ‘The School of Paris’ by Bernard Dorival, 1962

‘Composition with ace of clubs’- oil, gouache and charcoal on canvas – 81x60cm
Collection: Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Joseph Beuys - 'Homogenous infiltration for grand piano' - 1966

“The other face of art (with a deviant function – not comform with the traditional idea of beauty) at the end of this century will have a symbolism that is endlessly exacting in its deep idealism.” – Pierre Restany, ‘L’autre face de l’art’-1979

Joseph Beuys - ‘Homogenous infiltration for grand piano‘, 1966

Materialen: felt cover, a cross of red cloth, tissue - size: 100 x 152 x 240 cm
Collectie: Centre Pompidou, Paris - Musée national d'art moderne / Centre de création industrielle

This work is part of the act of ‘Infiltration Homogen für Konzertflügel action, the größte Komponist der Gegenwart ist das Contergankind’ (Homogeneous infiltration for grand piano concert, the greatest contemporary composer is the Contergan child).
This performance by Beuys took place during the Fluxus festival of 1966 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf. With this action Beuys wants to draw attention to the pharmaceutical scandal around ‘thalidomide’. This drug caused severe abnormalities for children of mothers who took the drug during pregnancy. The felt cover silences the grand piano. Beuys wants to show the dangers of silence. (source MHKA)

Friday, 1 February 2019

Jean Dubuffet 'Four Trees' - 1972 NY

“My position”, Dubuffet stated, “is that of celebration.”

Jean Dubuffet - VMAN
Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet, commissioned by David Rockefeller in 1969
and placed in front of the Chase Manhattan Building NY

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Antoni Tàpies - 'Matter in form of a food' 1965

"They are like metaphysical walls arising, from dust, ashes, earth, destruction, cataclysm, cosmic contemplation and inner meditation." - Art of our century by J.L. Ferrier, 1988 Longman, Essex UK 

‘Matèria en forma de peu’ – size: 132 cm x 162 cm, collection: Fundacioantonitàpies, Barcelona

Tàpies is sometimes associated with an artistic movement known as ‘Informalism’ which was opposed to all intellectual categories (form) and the dualism of western culture (heaven/hell, body/soul). Informe’s views on unnecessary waste inspired Tàpies to paint a calloused foot and other objects normally rejected by capitalist society. He called these works ‘Martéria en forma d’aixela’ (Matter in the shape of an armpit), because all organic life is constantly reshaping itself. His own materials did so as well, evolving naturally into the eponymous ‘wall paintings’ (tapia = wall/Tàpies), with associations of separations, enclosure, and the clandestine graffiti of a persecuted people.

- Helen Oppenheimer (Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture, E. Rodgers)