My closed, desolate and helpless childhood bred in me an interest in art. Nature, poetry, and painting became my intimate friends after my only friend, my cat pass away. I remember a scene of yearning for art in my childhood.
At that time innocent me did not understand why no one could pay the training fee for me to study art. But I took nature as my teacher and it was and always is my teacher.
In the golden and red world of autumn, red leaves in riotous profusion fluttered and whirled down in brisk autumn winds, a girl in a red windbreaker was dancing among the maples. That is me, I had a tacit agreement with autumnal melancholy. I tried to revolve like a large red leaf with red windbreaker flapping in the wind and my long black hair against the sky. The floating leaves were lithe and graceful with slight sadness. I tried to feel and copy that posture. They came trippingly down and lightly liked startled swans. Also, I could imagine the red leaves seem to kiss the ground as they fall, and in that way repay their love to the mother earth and return to the bosom of earth. This scene was not only a sad melody; it was a solemn and stirring song. It inspired me to dance with passion. Dose fall only make people associate with melancholy thoughts? Fall is also a mature and prosperous season, when people harvest love and success.
Currin’s art is in dialogue with other art, but it extends far beyond that. I envy his
precision, his ability to make a singular, specific image. He mentions the films of Fassbinder; the use of slowness and the risk of boredom, one ground and one figure, with “make-up too loud for the dullness of the situation.” He describes photography as being “climax and consummation all at once,” making it the one night stand to painting’s long engagement, or even marriage, and extends the metaphor when he calls my paintings “promiscuous.” I see both lust and love in his pictures, tender vignettes that conjure ghosts of Fragonard, Van Gogh, and the Baby Doll Lounge. (When was the last time that a contemporary painting made you think of Van Gogh?) Currin’s comments on the work of other artists are particularly revealing about his own. Velazquez’s “Rokeby Venus” has a “slow warmth” and is like “touching the flesh of the beloved.” Renoir is “Unbelievable. Shallow and deep. Clichéd and amazing.” The Leonardo’s Portrait of Ginevra de Benci in Washington is “so beautiful you could look at it forever. You can see it all at once but never possess it. But the beauty of it is consolation for the fact that you can’t possess it.” Currin is shallow and deep. Authentic and fake. He’s about looking so hard at something that it becomes inflated by the gaze. He refutes the word “gaze,” but talks of a “consuming, greedy suckling of appearance.” It’s about desire and possession, and the inability to possess, and the force of the desire, and the expression of that greedy suckling of appearance, and love, and romance, and how to make it more real and more fake, and ever more intimate, while knowing that it will never be close enough.
Jenny Saville: With the transvestite I was searching for a body that was between genders. I had explored that idea a little in Matrix. The idea of floating gender that is not fixed. The transvestite I worked with has a natural penis and false silicone breasts. Thirty or forty years ago this body couldn’t have existed and I was looking for a kind of contemporary architecture of the body. I wanted to paint a visual passage through gender – a sort of gender landscape. To scale from the penis, across a stomach to the breasts, and finally the head. I tried to make the lips and eyes be very seductive and use directional mark-making to move your eye around the flesh.
Simon Schama: So you really do manipulate what’s in front of you through the mark-making. It’s very striking – I’m looking at a photograph of your transvestite painting Passage and that passage that moves from the penis and balls to the belly is really about the anatomy of paint as it constructs the body.
Jenny Saville: I have to really work at the tension between getting the paint to have the sensory quality that I want and be constructive in terms of building the form of a stomach, for example, or creating the inner crevice of a thigh. The more I do it, the more the space between abstraction and figuration becomes interesting. I want a painting realism. I try to consider the pace of a painting, of active and quiet areas. Listening to music helps a lot, especially music where there’s a hard sound and then soft breathable passages. In my earlier work my marks were less varied. I think of each mark or area as having the possibility of carrying a sensation. (Extract from ‘Interview with Jenny Saville by Simon Schama)
Jenny Saville’s monumental paintings wallow in the glory of expansiveness. Jenny Saville is a real painter’s painter. She constructs painting with the weighty heft of sculpture. Her exaggerated nudes point up, with an agonizing frankness, the disparity between the way women are perceived and the way that they feel about their bodies. One of the most striking aspects of Jenny Saville’s work is the sheer physicality of it. Jenny Saville paints skin with all the subtlety of a Swedish massage; violent, painful, bruising, bone crunching.
Edward Munch was one of the forefathers of Modern Art. His creation wined the honor_“Spiritual Realistic”. His work shows strong subjective feeling with flavor of grief and depress. He stressed expression of lines and color. Picasso and Matisse even absorb nutrition from his work. His achievement depended on He revealed the enclosed soul of his contemporaries and developed art direction to symbol and conveying emotion. His work “shout”, make viewer shieve and shock. It seems the nature was bleeding and strongly yelling.
Munch’s symbolism emphasized the “private side”. Munch’s pictorial work is a direct expression of his innermost experience. His life was marked by pain, death, suffering, disease, abandonment, loneliness. These are the essential themes of his compositions, and they take life through symbols emerging as anxious and recurrent presences from his past.
Munch based this painting on mid summer celebrations at Aasgardstrand in his native Norway. The woman in white, who looks like the artist’s girlfriend Tulla Larson, symbolizes virginity, the woman in red stands for carnal knowledge and the figure in black, gazing jealously at the dancers, represents old age. The distorted outlines and the symbolic use of color in this work are typical of Munch and are exemplified most famously by his work THE SCREAM.” (20th Century Art)
“My best works are erotic displays of mental confusions (with intrusions of irrelevant information).” Marlene Dumas
Marlene Dumas’s provocative paintings of women, children, celebrities and people of colour are as psychologically disturbing as they are violently beautiful. Championing the under-represented classes, her characters occupy an unholy ground where the viewer’s individual morality, ethics and adherence to ideological convention are questioned.
Marlene Dumas makes paintings with no concept of the taboo. Racism, sexuality, religion, motherhood and childhood are all presented with chilling honesty. Undermining universally held belief systems, Dumas corrupts the very way images are negotiated. Stripped of the niceties of moral consolation, Marlene Dumas’s work provokes unmitigated horror. She offers no comfort to the viewer, only an unnerving complicity and confusion between victims and oppressors.
“It was my first time in a peepshow so when the girl smiled at me I said “Only looking”, and she replied “That’s how I got started here too”.”
Removing the hierarchical value system of perception, Marlene Dumas presents unsettling truths as paintings because there is no other means to communicate their primal essence. Working from her own photos and pictures found in magazine and film archives, her canvases act as sociological studies. Subjects, already at one remove, are further physically and dispassionately distanced by her instinctive and disquieting painting style.
Often described as an ‘intellectual expressionist’, Marlene Dumas blurs the boundaries between painting and drawing. Bold lines and shapes mix seamlessly with ephemeral washes and thick gestural brushwork. By simplifying and distorting her subjects, Marlene Dumas creates intimacy through alienation. Her subjects’ assertive stares suggest that her paintings aren’t actually about them, but the viewer’s own reaction to their perverse circumstance. With deceptive casualness, Marlene Dumas exposes the monstrous capacity belied by ‘civilised’ human nature.
Beneath Marlene Dumas’s hard-hitting social dialogue is a deep-rooted ideological equality. As one of the most profoundly feminist contemporary artists, Marlene Dumas uses painting as a means to personally navigate history. Her holistic approach to creation and subject undermines the discomfort and restriction of traditional rationale. Embracing the totality of human experience, Marlene Dumas finds an eternal beauty not in immediate pleasure, but in the timeless gap between the cherished and unspeakable.
This de-materialization is negatively mirrored in the second exhibition space of the gallery by the sculpture Haus (House). This is a wooden hut that looks like a monumental gingerbread house and that is constructed from pictograms and logos of known companies. The WWF-bear, the recycling sign are mounted to form the roof, the piece-sign, the Nike-swoosh, and the hash-sign form together with the serpent from Alfa Romeo and the Adidas-stripes – to name just a few – the outer walls of the hut. The shadows of these logos cast by a floodlight on the walls refer to earlier installations that Hess has lead from the two-dimensional wall into the three-dimensional space.
In the same room the self-reflective background of the exhibits leads to a colorful frieze that divides the wall rhythmically. It consists of 28 monumental casts of Des Künstlers Nase (The artist’s nose).
Nic Hess (*1968) lives in Cagliari and Zurich. After single exhibitions in the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2002), the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2004), the Venetian Fondazione Bevilacqua (2006), the Museo de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico (2007), and after large wall-installations in the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2009) and Schloß Ringenberg (2009) he was lately seen with a large scale intervention for the Daimler Collection in the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart (2011).
Monika Grzymala is a Polish-born artist who has lived in Germany for many years, primarily in Hamburg and now Berlin. Grzymala makes installations that might be described as a kind of three-dimensional drawing, exploring the basics of line and mark. Her signature material is tape, tape of all colours and kinds: packing, masking, adhesive, etc.
She describes each drawing in space in terms of kilometres of used line which refers to the personal investment of time and energy used to create the drawing. To borrow Paul Klee’s phrase, “line is a point taken for a walk.” Grzymala’s drawings move off the page and into space. She started using tape to draw into the room, walls, floors, ceilings and the space between them became her canvas or page. Grzymala has made tape installations at many different venues in Europe and the US. Each work is site- specific, created in response to the conditions and architecture of a given space. These large scale drawings are constructed and eventually dismantled in the gallerspace. The work exhibited is recorded through photography, and once dismantled no longer exists except as a photographic image.
Thanks that Professor Boas concerned about me where my heart goes. Somehow, I lost my way and I really confuse about who I am. Seem I have many interest and want to try, actually I lack energy and be anxious with where is my exactly direction.
Looking back my painting, try to figure out my direction.
In the process of finding my own voice, first I tried to make my picture more meaningful and complex, which liked movie does. A movie has time to tell a story, but a painting has to tell a complicated story in one image. E.g., Lover 1 based traditional style, borrowing movie’s language, Montage, to create psychography of the woman, main corrector. Engage transparent sketch to portray recollection and delusion, also balance dynamics of image.
I even tried to cambia different style in one painting to break the traditional rule and find more possibility to develop visual language and also become more attuned to the contemporary art. Lover 2 is an example. Also I tried to get my feeling cross in expressive way. In this painting, the red color flow in order to draw the sight of viewer. Red eyeball, red tear, bleeding guitar, lightened hair and red rose suggest something to viewer.
Lover 1 Acrylic and watercolor on canvas
I paint expressionistic figures in an abstract fashion. I was trying to go beyond traditional figure painting by recomposing the images and expressionistic using color, line and brush strokes to create a kind of romantic and charged atmosphere with lyrical quality. Lover Successions were done in that vein.
The most viewers think my works are sexy. Actually my paintings just are games since I try to pursue dramatic effect and dynamic movement. Sexy are not my real purpose. I just try to portray nude figures with strong emotion and activeness in order to load my passion and imagination. In my painting, those figures look like crazy to burn themselves. I create characters by transformative and metaphoric approach. Example, Lover Successions 2, in the middle ground, the laying man transfer to a coal and light the women pouncing on him. Another guy in the front ground are animalized.
I combine different style in one painting to break the traditional rule and find more possible to develop my visual language.
I’m expecting that my voice will become more attuned to the history of contemporary art through this period of study.
Stettheimer’s paintings are deeply personal—her main subject matter was her family and friends and the rather dreamy world of pleasure they inhabited. In her dazzling and eccentric paintings, with their bold color and openly feminine sensibility, Stettheimer created a unique synthesis of things she studied and loved—one catches glimpses of medieval portraiture, Persian miniatures, Brueghel, early Renaissance painting, Velasquez, children’s art, theater design, Matisse, Surrealism, Symbolism, folk art, fashion illustration, decorative art and interior design. She combines high/low elements in vivid constructions that depict scenes in a non-sequential, dream-like way—she played with perspective and her people and objects often float languidly through a complex universe of multiple narratives that have an allegorical quality. Her use of color was extraordinary, very American, and a complete break with the naturalistic earth tones of European painting. She favored deep reds, blacks, vivid pinks, vibrant blues and deep yellows, often in contrast to strong whites or soft pastels. Her portraits of family and friends in sitting rooms, salons, and summer houses; at picnics, luncheons and soirees—emphasized and immortalized their individual talents and interests.