Another passing…

Carroll

I only just learnt of the death of Lawrence Carroll, some two weeks after the event.  Following on from Thomas Nozkowski, whose fame in the world of art was greater I suppose, its very sad.  Carroll I first came across back in 1992 on a visit to Documenta 9.  In a single room I saw my first ‘ribbon’ Marden‘s in the flesh, ditto my first Jonathan Lasker‘s and my first sighting at all of Olav Christopher Jenssen.  It was for any painter quite a sight and I was there for a long while.

Jenssen O_0009
Admiring the Carroll’s with Jenssen’s Lack Of Memory series as backdrop

Documenta 9 was quite heavily criticised at the time.  Belgian curator Jan Hoet was a bit of an outsider, very pugnacious and quite opinionated it seems.  I imagine he didn’t take prisoners.  Besides which he used the opportunity to promote fellow countrymen (and most of those he selected from wherever were men) including now well-known Luc Tuymans, Thierry De Cordier, Raoul De Keyser and Jan Fabre as well as others less so, Michel Francois, for example.  As an aside I’ve no problem with this – Hoet had an opportunity to showcase talent from Belgium on the wider stage and grasped it, putting someone like De Keyser into an arena one suspects he’d otherwise never have been recognised in.

Carroll Lawrence
Lawrence Carroll

He also had a ‘thing’ for the obdurate, insistent, gestalt object.  Besides Carroll’s lumbering wall objects several other painters and sculptors could be grouped together.  Michael Biberstein‘s canvas, Helmut Dorner‘s groupings of paintings and Anish Kapoor‘s Descent Into Limbo were just some of the pieces that made up a strong showing for ‘blank’ perhaps best exemplified by the inclusion of the grey paintings of Gerhard Richter.

Richter G6
My friend, the sculptor Paul Mason, admiring a Richter…

But the Carroll’s have lived with me for many years now and although I have moved far from the idea of the ‘gestalt’ in my work I recall them fondly.  His obituary by David Carrier tells of his life in Italy and also of his continuing career, mostly across Europe, rather than here or in the States. Sad to see him gone.

Kapoor10
me explaining Kapoor to bemused German’s!

 

 

 

The Analogue/Digital debate…

IMG_4206

 

is not being conducted by my two grandsons!  But their presence in the household over these past few days has seen us out and about a fair bit (in the case of the above on the pasture at the rear of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire). So I’ve been using what time has been available to carry on with my pastel details of the virus images.  And this morning (the family having a day out with friends) working up the images to the sounds of Neil Young and his corking early album, After The Gold Rush.

IMG_000413

 

The making of pictures by hand is often thought of as anachronistic, not least by many in the art world. I take a position alongside artists such as Sean Scully and Jonathan Lasker in thinking that making something by hand is an expression of what it means to be alive…and this quote comes from one of them (I don’t recall which but they both have spoken eloquently on the subject of why paint now?) and expresses my thinking better or at least more succinctly than I can…

” We are all, at present, more divided, less empowered and certainly far less connected to the effects of our world than we should be. It is for this reason that I am deeply involved with the textures of a medium capable of universalising so much lost intimacy”.

And in making these pictures I am listening to the music on a gramophone – ok so at a remove from the actual making of the sounds but a faithful, analogue reproduction.  And this I believe creates an intimacy and a warmth to the sounds that no amount of ones and zeros lined up will ever satisfactorily replace.