Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Progress Review

I've put Progress Report on the 'best links' at the bottom of blog, I think I came across it through TCOP- anyway, it's a nice idea as it presents painters' work in progress through studio visits, with a bit of commentary and other info. I like this idea as it captures moments of the works that might not normally be seen in the final outcomes. On the other hand, not everyone is comfortable with letting people see the sometimes difficult journey towards the resolution of a painting. Here are some of my works in progress for show at third space gallery around April, including a 'difficult' painting which is bizzarely trying to be '1970s'. What a daft idea, but hey, I'll expose it anyway....maybe in time a sister blog called Progress Review can conduct Q and A's about what's on the go in painters' studios.

1972 Painting

Hot and Cool


Stan, the Pantsman

Friday, 19 November 2010

Jack Levine 1915-2010

I discovered Jack levine's work about 15, 16 years ago, came across a great publication of his work in waterstones of all places. Never seen it again though. Was extremely disappointed not to see any when we where living in NY, his work is in the Brooklyn Museum, Jewish museum, Moma, Met and Whitney and couldn't find one. I know he was coming back into vogue in the last few years as some curators were putting his paintings into political themed exhibition in the U.S.

Georg Baselitz, The Big Night Down the Drain

Oil on canvas, 250 x 180 cm.Georg Baselitz, The Big Night Down the Drain

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Been looking a lot at Vuillard recently..amongst others.Particularly like this piece. Really interesting use of colour, space and figuration.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Missing Kitaj

I look at R.B.Kitaj's 'Second Diasporist Manifesto' quite alot. He got it published just before his suicide in 2007. His early works are well known; the later works are very idiosynchratic and not as well received so far. I am fascinated by the late works, and wish he had stuck around a bit longer to do a third manifesto, and to do a bit more Jewish art painting, as he would have put it.

Yellow Bikini, 2006

G. Scholem, 2007

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Burnt Wig Blues

Cian Donnelly currently showing at the third space gallery in Belfast. Intensely layered, glowing colour and balancing between the sacred and the profane. Fantastic.

Friday, 5 November 2010

I'll Bring You To A Better World

Study for ongoing body of work. Listening to Blondie 'Eat to the Beat' c.1979 in the studio, I liked the above line. Might use it as title for work, or might stick with 'Orientalism'...either way, two Japanese guys in white stetsons have wandered into this picture.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Robert Rauschenberg. Factum II. 1957

Factum II looks almost identical to Factum I, hanging next to it, but what this pair of works shows is actually the uniqueness of any given work of art. Just as the days evoked by the calendar pages glued to the canvas may follow each other but are never the same, two brushmarks may look alike but are always different. During a period when spontaneous invention was a valued principle in painting, Rauschenberg worked on Factum I and Factum II simultaneously, shuttling back and forth, detail by detail, between the two works, playing the pictorial game of making them match. The irony, as he surely well knew, was that ultimately each work would retain its stubborn uniqueness. As Rauschenberg has said, "The things all paintings have in common are paint, and color, and some means of application. With that standard you can make any two pictures appear either alike or different. I don't think whether they are alike or different is really very interesting."

Peter Burns

Peter Burns joined our studios (Talbot Gallery & Studios) and stayed for around a year. He has recently updated his website and it is looking really good. It's refreshing to see a painter embrace humour, art historical references and undercurresnts of darker themes with such aplomb and such a sharp wit. I will be showing with Peter and Mary Noonan in Roscommon Arts Centre in 2011 and having looked through Peter's site I think it has given me the kick I needed this week to keep pushing my own work.