This is the orange…
I have a little bit of Roelof Louw’s Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) right with me in the flesh. Today it will be consumed. I have never before eaten an artwork but I have tasted plenty of oranges.
Is this sculpture a grand comment on the place of art in the everyday? It certainly squeezes our perceptions around permanence, and as Tate says “raises questions about ephemerality, time and decay.” Not too many other sculptures that spoil so quickly, not too many others that invite you to participate in that destruction.
Roelof Louw created this piece in 1967 and was influenced, he admits, by the hippy vibe of the time and the market at Covent Garden. He stacked 6000 oranges into a pyramid and invited the viewer to interact with the artwork by consuming a part of it. If there is an element of willful subversion involved then it is Jenga that springs to my mind!
Today I Am Top To Toe Rose-Scented With A Touch Of Peppermint And Frankincense
So it goes without saying that Georgia O’ Keeffe at Tate Modern was busy. It was also extremely good.
The stand out painting for me was Sky With Flat White Cloud from 1962. It was large, it was breathtaking and it induced a deep stillness. I hadn’t encountered it before. I now can’t get it out of my head. Above is my attempt to recapture how it made me feel, I hope it smells good!
“A painter will know that Naples yellow will make things turgid, chromium oxide green is overbearing, flake white has a dry indifference, phthalocyanine blue seems filmy but always ends up domineering, king’s blue appears classy at first, but is really kind of vulgar.”
Amy Sillman On Color
Close Again At Dusk by Judith Ann Brown
This week I was lucky enough to see Double Monument by Scottish abstract painter Alan Davie at Robinson College. The painting and the reaction of the person I was viewing it with intrigued me so much that later that day I did some research into this amazing artist and found a kindred spirit.
“Painting is a continuous process which has no beginning or end. There never really is a point in time when painting is NOT.”
This is a man who oozed creativity and was incapable of not being creative whether through painting and drawing, music, writing, textiles or jewellery making. When he discussed the creative act he talked about the mystical and unconscious element to art where images surprised him with their appearance in magical moments when he was ‘ enraptured beyond knowing.’
He also acknowledged the restriction inherent in total artistic freedom. He found that absolute spontaneity only took his art so far. The sketchbooks he had with pages and pages of ideas show an artist poised between deliberate design and a deeper, more poetic unfolding. His profound interest in Zen Buddhism led him to compare his instinctual painting practice to that of the Zen artists who after preparing paints and materials sat in meditative silence until moved to paint.
I love his musings on titles, which he stated should not be taken literally. He saw the naming of a painting as an expression of what the finished piece looked like. ” I chose it just as a form of identification, almost like naming a child or giving a title to a piece of music.” I must say though, that if I deliberated as much over the titles of my paintings as over the naming of my son I would not get half as much painting done!
More please… I will not be satisfied until I have seen much more of this incredibly prolific artist.
Curl and Float
Today joy is enough
It is pure and true
It is not love from you
But it is enough
Enough of you…
Ars Longa Vita Brevis Est