Side project – FauxKusama

“Bring on Picasso, bring on Matisse, bring on anybody! I would stand up to them all with a single polka dot!” — Yayoi Kusama She wasn’t kidding. Kusama’s oeuvre comprises intensely detailed but repetitive patterns or aggregations of single style brush strokes, although she has also exhibited furniture and household objects covered in individually stitched phalluses, and latterly some rather stunning 3D installations. In these painting, the marks didn’t have to be identical, in fact some were impasto within a sea of lower profile strokes, and she used these to make nets, sometimes adding colour to the spaces in between. I … Continue reading Side project – FauxKusama

Side project: not-a-matisse

This picture has struck me for longer than I’d realised. I didn’t give it much thought and I had no idea who painted it but it looked bright and rebellious. It turns out that was not far from the truth; it was Matisse’s painting of his wife Amelie in the wild colours of his style, Amelie herself later being arrested (in 1944) for being part of the French resistance. I’ve taken to challenging myself recently between exercises and assignments to copy a painting (or complete one of the in-the-style-of exercises set by the MoMA Coursera course on post war abstract … Continue reading Side project: not-a-matisse

Side project – paint a Rothko

Again this is prompted by the Coursera course on abstract art. I baulked at Pollock and de Kooning, both of them a little too unconstrained for my circumstances, but thought this would be a doddle. It wasn’t and I had a day of muddy failures on an 8″ x 10″ canvas board. In addition to lack of actual skill, the key issues seemed likely to be the medium and the support – his oils (with linseed and turpentine) on canvas, mine acrylics on a small canvas board with pva glue and some medium that slows drying. So after a day … Continue reading Side project – paint a Rothko

Part 5, research point 2, AbEx – the missing women and people of colour

I had just posted my piece on abstract expressionism, noting the missing women, when I found this article on Artsy net. Alongside a very accessible article about what you need to appreciate abstract art – it turns out you need to know something of the context, the historical background, provenance, and the cultural realities artists were working in. Also their significance as innovators – was a short paragraph concerning the missing women. “The truth is I did not set out to do a women’s show; I really set out to see who’d been left out of the canon of Abstract … Continue reading Part 5, research point 2, AbEx – the missing women and people of colour