Monday, August 25, 2014

Rose Wylie: How Ageing Frees The Inner Girl

"Working, as I do, on unstretched canvas," says Wylie, "allows for any extension I feel like. I painted the groom first and then had to fit the bride's face to the one I'd given Philip. What I call my Dürer woodcut look. You can see her face was a bother to do – there are many hidden versions under the collage bit."

Rose Wylie is a british artist who works everyday on large unstretched canvas. Wylie's work is best understood in the context of conventional art history, which she studied at the Royal College of Art from 1979 to 1981, because her art is, like most art, about art. She paints as an escapee from the academy, who has returned to untaughtness in an effort to recapture spontaneity, though everything she does is the tribute of a wayward pupil to that academy. When she paints a figure and labels it "in the manner of Signorelli", it may look to the untrained eye nothing like Signorelli, but someone who knows what makes Signorelli different from other members of the Tuscan school will get what she means. Wylie's grasp of composition is complete, which is why she will often alter the shape of the canvas; it is also surreptitious. When I visited her in Kent, I asked her whether she was consciously rebellious. She slightly pulled a face and said: "Not consciously." We both laughed. We talked about ageing, about how ageing frees the inner girl, and how bad that girl can be. There is anger in her work, anger about the kind of art teaching that makes most kids give up making art, or turns their individual ways of seeing into A-levels.

Further read:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Conrad Jon Godly’s Mountain Paintings Drip from the Canvas

When looking at Swiss painter Conrad Jon Godly’s mountainous paintings, it takes a moment to truly appreciate the incredible skill behind what seems to be such an effortless application of paint. Up close the landscapes appear to be a thick, almost random mix of blue, white and black, the result oils mixed with turpentine to create a thick impasto that Godly often leaves dripping from the canvas. Take a few steps back (or just squint your eyes a bit) and miraculously you might as well be looking at a photograph of the Swiss Alps. It’s a visual trick that the artist has perfected in both small and large-scale paintings over the last few years.

Godly studied as a painter at the Basel School of Art from 1982 until 1986, but then worked as a professional photographer for 18 years. He only returned to painting in 2007 and it would seem his photographic work has had a subtle influence on his abstract painting. The artist most recently had exhibitions at Gallery Luciano Fasciati and Tony Wuethrich Gallery in Switzerland, and you can see many more paintings on his website. (viaOENA Wash of Black)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Irresistible Charms of Maira Kalman

Sunny in the Park, 2004

Herring and Philosophy Club, 2006

Susan, 2004

Matisse in Nice, 2004

Young Nabokov, 2006

Self Portrait with Pete, 2004

principles of uncertainty, book

New Yorker, cover

Maira Kalman herself is becoming quite an American icon. She often takes her inspiration from the overlooked and underappreciated and in her own words, says:
“The day is long and interesting.
I will wander about and look at people talking to each other.
Broken chairs on the street.
Dogs and babies.
I will stare at buildings, trees, shoes, hats.
And watch this hustle and bustle until I go home and
write impressions and paint visions.
I really do not need to think. Just look.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rebecca Green Illustration:

Figurative but unrealistic; heartwarming yet melancholic, child-like and grown up: these seemingly contrasting ideas embody the illustrations of Rebecca Green. Woking in both acrylic and oil paint on wood panel, she layers and glazes her paint in the muted tones of a vintage picture book. Her use of type, pattern and muted colors points to children's illustration, yet the subject matter is decidedly grown up. She tackles themes of childhood, death, and the vast universe in which we exist, breaking them into recognizable moments.

More details: