145 cm X 200 cm
Oil on canvas
Catalogue Raisonné: 45
Been reading Gerhard Richter, A life in Painting by a biography written by Dietmar Eleger. This painting was first exhibited at a show named Neue Realisten. included Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, Gerd Richter at Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal, Germany, November 20 1964 – January 01 1965 according to the artist’s information.
Rudolf Jahrling (Gallery Parnass owner / architect ) – according to the biography – was impressed by seeing the work set up outside on the front garden of the house and gave the visiting artists the opportunity to have a group show – which turned out to be some of the earliest key and important “emerging” opportunities for exhibition for Richter. There’s a snapshot of “tote” or Dead, (one of my favorite pictures of Richter’s “photo paintings” propted up against a chainlink fence next to some garbage cans upon which set more paintings… Imagine… it puts it all into another perspective – that of the humble beginings…. Early paintings were a bargained for $400 DM with as little as 1/3 going to artist and some paintings donated to the gallery to cover costs of exhibitions and catalogues…
Hard to imagine given the situation today, Sotheby’s reports that Neger (Nuba) 1964 just sold for a little over $5.6 million – (yeah million) as an key example of early “photo paintings” by Richter. I wonder what someone like Richter thinks about that…? I hope the work ends up in a public venue. See the catalogue here.
The thing about these photo paintings and Richter at a grand scale is not to think of appropriation, but to think about perhaps that it may just be that it takes a painting to be able to really see a documentary , or so called “objective” photograph …. The original photograph not incidentally by photographer Leni Riefenstahl… AKA “Hitler’s favorite filmmaker“…..
Today, a glimpse out the office window alternates between rainfall and sunshine, a black hearse drives slowly by and somewhere the ocean changes color…
Untitled (Bolsena), 1969
House paint, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas
78 x 98-1/2 inches (198.1 x 250.2 cm)
Some notes on coordinate systems as a way towards a description:
“We might say that there are two sections through the substance of the world: the longitudinal section of painting and the cross-section of certain pieces of graphic art. The longitudinal section seems representational; it somehow contains the objects. The cross-section seems symbolic; it contains signs. Or is it only when we read that we place the page horizontally before us? And is there such a thing as an original vertical position for writing – say, for engraving in stone? ” Walter Benjamin (c. 1920) p. 8 – notes from Marus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings (eds.) Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Vol. 1, 1913-1926, Harvard, MA, 1996.
I’ve been looking closely at some of Cy Twombly’s works in the book “Cycles and Seasons”. The passage quoted above resonated with me as I was looking at the reproductions of the Bolsena Paintings by Cy Twombly and reading the accompanying essay by Nicholas Cullinan. One of a series painted in 1969, the Bolsena series it is said records the events of 1969 that may have been on Twombly’s mind – the event of the decade perhaps as NASA’s Apollo 11 space mission unfolded before a collective world audience. It’s an interesting consideration and connection of current events of that time influencing perhaps and recorded in Twombly’s own cryptic cypher of graphic marks and painterly splots. What a hopeful time and sense of exploration!
NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible satellite image of the Gulf oil spill on May 17 at 16:40 UTC (12:40 p.m. EDT) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Instrument on-board. The oil slick appears as a dull gray on the water’s surface and stretches south from the Mississippi Delta with what looks like a tail. Text Credit: NASA Goddard / Rob Gutro
I’ve been thinking about this in the context of our own current events unfolding, as reports and images trickle in on the growing disaster of the oil spill in the gulf. NASA Satellite images show the extent of the slick as is disperses – but it is too soon to know the toll and we somehow still are unsure of how to stop the bleeding. How far we have come in the last 40+ years.
I’ve been drawn to looking at Hopper’s work. I’m not exactly sure but I am primarily looking at his work for the quietness, but also for the intense isolation tinged with lonesomeness. So it’s interesting to me to begin to notice these “scenes” out in the real world so to speak. So I’m asking myself – how to compose a photograph to be possibly nearly as emotive as the constructed images of Hopper’s paintings… yet clearly be “of the world out there”.
Early Sunday Morning 1930 – Edward Hopper
Oil on canvas 35 x 60 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
East St. Louis, Illinois, 2003
From the series “Approaching Nowhere” by Jeff Brouws.
I walk by this building above quite often – maybe finding it in the right light with the right activity level – might just get closer to what I’m searching for – an update so to speak on the “Sunday Morning” feelings in the Hopper painting… it’s just not there yet.
Drug Store,1927 – Edward Hopper
Gils Maricopa – CA HIGHWAY by Jeff Brouws
I haven’t seen Brouws’ work in person – so I wonder what the prints might look like. But the images seem promising at least in the web versions.
For me, it’s not in the painterly treatment of a photograph -but perhaps more in the spare, pared down detail, the coloring and the perspective yet flatness that a photograph can produce that lend it more of that emotive quality I’m after.