Archive for frank auerbach

Goodbye Lucian Freud

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by echostains

reflection

One of my favorite artists Lucian Freud died yesterday – aged 88.   Freud, grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and brother to comedian Clement was born in Berlin 1922, moved to Brittain 1933 and became a British subject in 1939 .  His paintings have two distinct styles, the earlier ones have a more smoother surface, created with thin layers of paint, whilst  the later show a more textural impastod rendition of the flesh. 

Freud’s paintings celebrate flesh – in all its lumpiness and glory.  His work is sometimes can discribed as disturbing, but Freud has never sacrificed honesty for flattery.  The Queen’s portrait which he painted in 2002 caused a lot of controversy – some said he should have been sent to the tower for it 🙂  I think it’s absolutely wonderful as it depicts the Queen as human and ageing, and definitely not in the flattering and pandering  spirit in which most court painters throughout history have painted their monarch.  The jewels on her crown look ghostly and somewhat garish a reminder of another age (and empire) and the Queen herself looks a little put out at having her portrait painted at all.

Leigh Bowery

Freud, along with Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach explored the human condition through paint.  His thickly applied use of impasto makes the work very tactile.  Most of the people he painted were family or people he knew-

“I paint people,not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.”

Girl with a white dog

Freud has been called the foremost figurative artist of his generation.  He painted on until the end of his life.  He continued with figurative painting even when Abstract became more popular.   Freud is believed to have used Cremnitz white for his basic flesh pigment (according to critic Robert Hughes.  Apparently it is a very heavy pigment and contains twice as much of the lead oxide than flake white and a lot less oil medium than other whites.

“I don’t want any colour to be noticeable… I don’t want it to operate in the modernist sense as colour, something independent… Full, saturated colours have an emotional significance I want to avoid.”

Woman Smiling

 
Freud died after a short illness.  He lived an interesting life, painted a LOT of art, was married several times and had a lot of children.  His art always remained constant and central and he dedicated his life to it.  This extraordinary artist will always be remembered as one of the greatest figurative painters since the Second World War.  I have written some earlier posts about Freud ‘The Painted Queen’ and ‘Bacon by Lightbulb’
 
 

More info about this here

Freud quote from here and here

Reflection (self portrait)

 

Queen image from here

Leigh Bowery

Woman Smiling and Girl with dog

PLUS

There’s a new post over on my BOOKSTAINS (about time too!)

The Ghosts of 2010

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, BODIES IN PRESERVATION, CRITIQUE CORNER, DESIGN, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE, Lancaster, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, POEM CHALLENGES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by echostains

Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀

Jerry cleans up!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by echostains

Jerry Hall by Francesco Clemente

You may remember that quite a few posts ago I wrote that Texan model Jerry Hall (ex Mrs Jagger) had decided to put some of her art collection up for auction last month (the post is here).  The collection which included paintings by Lucian Freud, Francesco Clemente and Warhol were sold at auction on the 16th October at Sotheby’s auction house London and Jerry cleaned up!

Jerry Hall by Freud

‘Eight Month Gone’, a portrait of Hall painted by Lucien Freud when Hall was 8 months pregnant with her 4th child  sold for £601.250   (the  original estimate being  £300,000-£400,000).

Auerbach-Head-of-Helen-Gillespie-IV

 

A Frank Auerbach painting, ‘Head of Helen Gillespie’ was bought by Hall in 1997, estimated at between £700,000 and £900,000 actually went for £1,071,650 –   $1.76 million) (proved to be a good investment indeed!

Freud-Quinces

Another picture by the artist entitled Quinces took £313,250 against a forecast of £150,000-£200,000.

warhol-dollar

Hall was given an acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas Dollar sign by Warhol in 1982.  It has the inscription ‘To Jerry’ and was estimated to be worth  between 120,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds.  Of the 14 pieces of art offered by Hall for auction – four remained unsold, but I can’t find any information to what they were.

Jerry has famously said that her reason for selling the paintings was to ‘move on’ from that particular episode of her life and put the past behind her.  She calls it ‘movin on’ in the auction’s catalogue,  “At a certain age you just want to get rid of things,” she says.  I suppose by parting with these – she really does mean what she says!

Article here
A detailed article of more works offered for auction including Warhol’s ‘Diamond Dust Shoes’  here  Quinces imaged here  Hall’s collection offered for auction here  Lots and lots of individual info on Hall’s paintings here

Clearing out Freud

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , on September 7, 2010 by echostains

If I was lucky (or rich enough) to own a painting by Lucien Freud I would never be able to part with it.  Not so with Jerry Hall, former wife of Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones).  She is having a clear out: a clean sweep.  She is getting rid of reminders of  Mick Jagger and the life they shared.  Also going to auction (October 15 – 16th) is work by Frank Auerbach (see my post about another favorite artist of mine) and an  Andy Warhol ‘Dollar Sign’ which the artist gave to Hall for helping him with Warhol TV.

Warhol and Hall

Also going under the hammer are works by Damien Hirst (see my post about this artist), R. B Kitaj  and Frank Auerbach (another favorite of mine!)  Posts mentioning Warhol (here and here) and my Freud post are here and here

Jerry-Hall eight month pregnant painted by Freud

Other items that are heading for the auction include a portrait by Freud of Jerry herself whilst pregnant with hers and Jagger’s fourth child.  I’ve always liked and admired Jerry Hall.  Not only is she beautiful to look at , she has brains too.  Coupled with her laid back attitude, her sense of humour, she also has a LOT of dignity.  I have to add that I think she has wonderful taste in art too:)  I shall be watching this auction and reporting back!

Article about this here images from here

PS.  THE  VAN GOGH POETRY CHALLENGE IS STILL GOING STRONG!  TO SEE THE POEMS AND TO PERHAPS ENTER YOUR OWN PLEASE CLICK VINCENT!

Happy 10th Birthday Tate Modern!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, exhibitions, LONDON (JAUNTS) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by echostains

Tate Modern from the riverside

The month of May is nearly over and I cannot let it pass without wishing Tate Modern a Happy 10th Birthday.  I have been to the Tate Modern many times and seen quite a few exhibitions.  The Tate Modern galleries are built  in the space of Bankside Power station which closed in 1981 and the building was converted by Herzog and de Meuron: the contractors were Carillion.  It is a National Museum of International art.

Louise Bourgeois 'Maman'

In 2001 I remember seeing Maman the  gigantic spider of then 89-year-old French-born sculptress Louise Bourgeois.   The turbine hall is a colossal space  (five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floorspace).  the spider 30 ft high and made of blackened stainless steel  carried 26 white marble eggs underneath her belly.  She towered over people who gazed up in awe.  Another exhibition I saw at the Tate was Katherina Fritsch (b. 1956 Germany) whose sculptures reflect fairytales and myths. I wrote a post about this exhibition here.  2001 was the year I saw the Turner Prize at Tate Britain – won by Martin Creed with his famous light  which turned on and off…… 

In 2002 Anish Kapoor’s  (b. India 1954) Marsyas was the star of the Turbine Hall.  150 meters long and 10 storeys high, this sculptural form was inspired by Titian’s 1576 painting ‘The Flaying of Marsyas’.  The Greek myth tells the tale of  Marsyas, a satyr who was flayed alive by the God Apollo because he played the flute better than the God.  This sculpture ran round the Turbine Hall. 

marsyas

 I wondered what would happen if someone blew through this gigantic trumpet!

Marsyas by Anish Kapoor

I was also fortunate to see the Matisse Picasso exhibition that year which I greatly enjoyed.  The way the work was juxtaposed showed the playful rivalry between the pair, each one spurred on by the other to come up with new work, new visions.  I believe Picasso needed this and at the time Matisse was the one who could give him a run for his money.  I still have a souvenir cup of that exhibition and woe betide anyone who breaks it:)

flowing hair matisse and acrobat by picasso

In 2003 I saw an exhibition by sculptor Eva Hesse  (b 1936 – 1970 Germany) exhibition at the Tate Modern.  This artist worked with string, resin and latex in her sculptures. 

Eva Hesse

 I later incorporated  into my paintings.  Apart from this fact and the feeling that the work looked stranded in its environment, I can’t remember too much about it.

Among other exhibitions the Hogarth (2007) one really stands out.  I really like Paula Rego’s transcription of Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode where the artist carries on the story of the ill-fated marriage in contemporary times.  I also chose Rego’s Snow White and her Stepmother to transcribe (see Transcription in my categories).  William Hogarth’s narrative painting fascinates me and I was very well versed in the story of the series Marriage a la Mode.  but I was amazed at just how small these paintings actually are! The details are quite astounding considering the scale of these paintings.

marriage a la mode the marriage settlement

Francis Bacon 2008 was an exhibition very much looked forward to by me.  He is a  favorite artist of mine.  We saw work there we had never seen before: works from private collections leased especially for the retrospective.  As usual the raw power of the paint rippled through the room giving the paintings a brooding presence.

Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X 1953 Bacon

 Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko had an exhibition in 2009.  We didn’t go.  A lot of people really vibrate to Rothko, but I find him very heavy and depressing.   I would have liked to have gone to Chris Offili’s exhibition this year, but we just didn’t have time.  In between Tate modern there are always other exhibitions on at Tate Britain, The Royal Academy, The National Gallery and the Barbican. 

Other important exhibitions I have been to in London include:-

Encounters 2000 National Gallery,

Frank Auerbach retrospective, The Royal Academy 2001,

 Lucien Freud retrospective,Tate Britain 2002, 

Desire unbound surrealism, Tate Modern 2002, 

  Andy Warhol retrospective, Tate Modern 2002, 

  Transition, 2002 Barbican Gallery,

  images from here here and here

Don’t forget my Blogspotlight interview here with artistatexit0

Art I LOVE Brian McGuire ‘Foundation Stones’

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by echostains
brian-maguire-Foundation Stones

brian-maguire-Foundation Stones

This painting moved me in a unerving way.  It is a painting by the Irish artist Brian McGuire, and I saw it at the Dublin Art Gallery a few years ago.

The experience is like looking through a long tunnel or corridor type room.  But it is the use of the green and yellow that conveys the feeling of an echo, fluttering like a moth, rebounding off the surface.  The eye has no easy resting place and darts round the picture, instead of taking the easy way out through the tunnel.  There’s a feeling of ‘waiting’: not exactly resignation.  In a sense you feel that these ‘people’ or presences are not really there – and – incidentally is there really a pathway down the corridor?  Is that a person sat in a chair? or indeed, a chair at all with a sheet draped over it?  There is a sense of past inhabitants, passing on, leaving only their ghosts essences behind.  A sort of limbo ensues.

This painting also has a voice.  It echoes down this corridor: one of many voices: snatches of imperceptible conversations all vying for attention.

bacon_study1953

 

A few years ago, when the Tate Modern had just opened, another life changing experience occurred, this time in the Francis Bacon gallery.  To see his paintings collectively is an almost psychic experience.  There is such a physical force emanating from these canvasses that is beyond paint.  It is alchemical, the sensation I would also liken to static electricity.

What do these painting have in common?

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

Frank Auerbach

tapies-this-is-a-body

tapies-this-is-a-body

Tapies

The answer is not how realistically portrayed the ‘figurative’ or recognisable  the images are – but the immediacy, the direct personal contact and impact these paintings have with me.  But there are differences between these experiences.  Each ‘grabs’ but collectively, Bacon overwhelms.

Favorite Art: Art I LOVE, Frank Auerbach ‘Head of Gerda Boehm’ The Head Says it All

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by echostains

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

head-of-gerda-boehm-auerbach

In 2002, the Frank Auerbach Retrospective at The Royal Academy London had a profound effect on me.  ‘The Head of Gerda Boehm’is a relatively small painting (about 13 in x 13 in), but the effect it had on me was enormous.  Before I had seen this painting, I could never understand why Auerbach painted the same model every day for year: though I could understand the compulsion of why he scraped back, layering brushstrokes with the intervention of the knife; –

” These brushstrokes, forever catching the changing light, the accidental drips, the swirling paint sometimes laid on like butter or mixed up like concrete, or at other times reminiscent of the viciousness of black pitch, are all testaments to a unique way of making and marking down reality in a visual way, which is all that visual art of whatever direction can hope to do.”   (Norman Rosenthal)

The head of Gerda Boehm shouts: she has a voice!  It comes from beneath the layers of paint – it is beyond paint.  Auerbach has gone beyond paint, he has captured her essence!  It is so certain because it affects the viewer through the senses.  I am speaking from my own experience of course.  Rosenthal is in a way right, Auerbach may indeed be marking down reality, but everyone experiences ‘reality’ differently, everyone has their own reality: reality is subjective.

 

What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things…it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.”   (Brancusi)

Taken from my short dissertation ‘Echostains: The Artist as Magician’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nothing beats seeing the real thing, reproductions will only ever be just that – reproductions.