Posts Tagged ‘arts

14
Nov
12

Day 319: Male Nude in Psychoscape, by James Gleeson

Male Nude in Psychoscape (Variation on the Titan Theme VII), by James Gleeson

Day 319: Male Nude in Psychoscape (Variation on the Titan Theme VII), by James Gleeson

James Gleeson’s series of miniature paintings, mostly not exceeding 6 inches, are believed to have been created during the 1960s and 1970s, when Gleeson worked full-time as an advisor for the future collection of the National Gallery of Australia and as an art critic for a number of leading Australian periodicals. The weekends were the only time Gleeson had left for painting, and his goal was to create artworks that would take him no longer than a single weekend to complete.

Works produced during this time include paintings, works on paper, and mixed media collages. They all feature a prominent male nude or two, at the height of their physical perfection. The paintings are frequently referred to as ‘Frankies’, based on the belief that the male nudes represent Gleeson’s life-long partner, Frank O’Keefe. We shall not dispute these claims, but the comparison between the paintings and collages of the period show that Gleeson also richly drew upon the inspiration provided by fitness magazines of the era that featured the ubiquitous ‘American beefcake.’

The nudes are invariably placed against imagined, phantasmagorical backgrounds, usually referred to as psychoscapes. Their surrealism provides an important link between Gleeson’s early works of the 1940s and 1950s, and his much later grandiloquent large-scale visions of the 1980s and 1990s.

The subject matter of these works featuring prominent male nudes appears confronting to some. This is a pity, as it stops so many from admiring Gleeson’s meticulous painting technique and attention to detail, as well dexterity in managing complex pigments and colour schemes that make surfaces of these miniature paintings sparkle like precious, multi-coloured, richly enamelled jewels.

Variation on the Titan Theme VII James Gleeson (1915-2008) features in Deutscher and Hackett’s forthcoming auction of Important Australian and International Art (lot 61, est AUD $4,000-6,000), taking place in Melbourne on November 28.

http://www.deutscherandhackett.com/

http://www.deutscherandhackett.com/auctions/catalogues/123456905

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

13
Nov
12

Day 318: Untitled, from Beneath the Roses, by Gregory Crewdson

gregory-crewdson-untitled-kent-street-beneath-the-roses-2007

Day 318: Untitled, from Beneath the Roses, by Gregory Crewdson

This is my second post on Gregory Crewdson’s photography, whose exhibition at the CCP has left such an indelible impression on me. His Beneath the Roses series has a second strain that, unlike the previous interior mise-en-scènes, concentrates on the exterior of the middle-class suburbia.

Once again we are presented with an alternate, dystopian vision. We are witnessing an aftermath of an apocalyptic nightmare that left a lot of people destitute and wandering around the deserted streets with their meagre belongings in a nonchalant, almost zombie-like state.

But not everyone seems to have been affected equally by whatever ills may have befallen the community. The same street that has houses reduced to rubble, or that are windowless, boarded up, with huge gaping gashes in the walls and roofs, at times with fiery infernos raging on the inside, has other dwellings that are perfectly preserved, with green manicured lawns and elegant flower beds.

As usual, no clues are given by Crewdson as to what may have been the cause of this catastrophe that had so selectively affected these small communities. We are left to join the dots with the power of our own imagination…

One cannot go past Crewdson’s photographs without commenting upon the sheer excellence of his management of the photographic medium. These works are of truly vast size, but despite the physical dimensions and the amount of visual information they contain, each detail appears in an incredibly sharp focus.

There is no doubt that careful choreography, lengthy stage setting processes, costly equipment, large lenses, and perhaps a certain amount of digital enhancement and manipulation would have gone into the creation of each image, but the narrative power and the psychological depth of each of the resulting works serves to justify again and again the relevance of photography as an art form, for within these images, the artist creates the proverbial “paintings with light”.

http://www.ccp.org.au/

http://www.gagosian.com/artists/gregory-crewdson

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

11
Nov
12

Day 316: Portrait of Cate Blanchett, by David Rosetzky

David Rosetzky Cate Blanchett 1

 

David Rosetzky Cate Blanchett 2

 

David Rosetzky Cate Blanchett 3

Day 316: Portrait of Cate Blanchett, by David Rosetzky

David Rosetzky challenges the notion of portraiture and extends the possibilities of the genre in the new digital age.

His HD video Portrait of Cate Blanchett moves beyond being a static, two-dimensional image that we usually associate with the genre, and instead captures the actress’s movements, gestures, and voice.

The portrait appears as an inner monologue where Blanchett, in a voiceover, considers her approach to acting and choosing roles. She moves around the stage as if predominantly unaware of our gaze, at times pausing in silent contemplation, or breaking into a seemingly impromptu dance routine. The eye contact with her audience is rare. As the result we become the voyeur, the spectator, and the confessor.

David Rosetzky’s Portrait of Cate Blanchett is on view in the exhibition Ourselves, at the ACCA, until November 25.

http://davidrosetzky.com/http://davidrosetzky.com/work/portrait-of-cate/

http://www.accaonline.org.au/

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

04
Nov
12

Day 309: Adventure, by Norman Lindsay

Norman Lindsay Adventure

Day 309: Adventure, by Norman Lindsay

Adventure (1944) by Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) is remarkable inasmuch as it is one of the very few works to feature a male nude. Leaning over from a rearing horse towards a naked female with golden tresses, he is a phallic vortex around which the movement within the picture is created. Lindsay balanced our hero’s nudity against the prominent female nudes, for which the artist is better known. They display his aesthetic preference for ‘well-endowed’ and thick-thigh maidens that are at odds with the prevalent waif-like ideal of his era. When a model complained about her appearance in one of his sketches that was clearly at odds with her own bodily proportions, the artist is believed to have quipped: “You’ll grow into them, my dear.”

Lindsay first and foremost was a graphic and watercolour artist, and perhaps among the best practitioners of the medium to come out of Australia. Painting in oils only came to him much later in life, and by his own admission he did not believe he was as proficient in oils as he was in his preferred mediums on watercolour or ink. He expressed his own insecurities by releasing only a small portion of his oil paintings onto the market, bequeathing the remainder to family and friends, and leaving a number of large-scale canvasses to the University of Melbourne.

However, to us his handling of pigments and management of the complex yet balanced colour palette appear superb; and the total irreverence with which he mixes styles and fashions of various eras is rather admirable. In this painting alone, the classical nudity of the chivalrous hero and the maidens in the foreground sits at ease with Baroque, Victorian, and Edwardian dresses worn by the surrounding fully-clothed ladies.

Norman Lindsay’s Adventure features at Bonham’s forthcoming 53-lot auction of Important Australian Art, which takes place in Sydney on 19 November 2012, and also includes works by Donald Friend, John Perceval, Frederick McCubbin, Rupert Bunny, John Peter Russell, and numerous others.

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20407/

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]

01
Nov
12

Day 306: Eternal Return, by Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson 2012

Day 306: Eternal Return, by Tim Johnson (with Yiwon Park)

Tim Johnson continues working in his inimitable visual idiom and collaborating with artists from Indigenous and Asian cultures. In the Eternal Return, which featured in his current exhibition, Optic Nerve, at Tolarno Galleries, the pivotal central place, which is usually reserved within Johnson’s paintings for an Asian deity, is occupied by the iconic Uluru, perhaps in the acknowledgement of the sacred place held by the monumental rock in Aboriginal cultures. It becomes the focal point from which all other compositional elements within the painting reverberate. Planets of the Solar system swirl around it, making it literally the centre of the Universe. Aboriginal children play and indigenous artists are engaged in creation of artworks in its shadow.

Diverse imagery borrowed from various Asian iconographic sources, such as devotional paintings and sculptures, traditional scroll motives, popular cartoons and computer games complete this complex tableau. The ease with which visual elements from the indigenous and Asian cultures co-exist with each other within Johnson’s paintings brings to mind the fact that the two cultures had interacted long before the European colonisation.

The whole composition swathes and undulated against the delicate background of shifting palettes of yellows, pinks, blues, and purples, covered by the shimmer of Aboriginal-style dot painting.

Tim Johnson’s Optic Nerve exhibition is at the Tolarno Galleries until November 17.

http://www.tolarnogalleries.com

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012; where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]




Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

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