Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Painting Today

Almost impossible to get hold of following its publication in 2009, the 2010 second edition of Tony Godfrey's Painting Today may sell out just as quickly. It's certainly hard to resist, and with over 280 painters featured and almost 500 illustrations it may just satisfy those who have exhausted the pages of Phaidon's other seminal 'new painting' book Vitamin P. It's pretty impressive really, and a single author's take on things will always have a more idiosynchratic feel to it than, say, the collective 'multiple author' approach that Vitamin P took. There is one glaring omission from Painting Today- not featuring Richard Hamilton is a shocking oversight, particularly as David Hockney and Bridget Riley are mentioned. Interestingly also, the chapter on 'Neo Expressionism' (which was really Godfrey's forte back in the 80s) has completely air-brushed Sandro Chia out of the picture, which is also a mistake I think. The author obviously has a few personal favourites as well, the most surprising perhaps being Stuart Pearson Wright who actually opens the first main chapter and re-appears twice more throughout the book, which seems to overstate his importance more than a little I'd say. There are some really weird bits, like telling us that the seductive nature of Sarah Morris's work is heightened by the fact that she sometimes also paints high heeled shoes (?!!!) and also the inclusion of Chuck Close in the 'Post Feminism' chapter seems downright bizarre.

Surprising omissions are perhaps Dexter Dalwood and Andrew Grassie. But there are some great resurrections as well- Maria Lassnig looks in her proper place, as does Alice Neel. Ireland (Northern) is represented by the predictable Mark Francis (unfortunately the bio at the back has him hailing from 'Newtowark' ?) but a fantastic image of Elizabeth Magill's is a great inclusion. At a push you could also say that Ireland gets another shout through the inclusion of Alexis Harding.
Two other things- there's one whole chapter devoted to 'Dresden and Leipzig' which really just shows off again Godfrey's penchant for Neo Expressionist type painting, and there's far too much 'pseudo Pop' Chinese contemporary painting. But over-all, as I said, it's a hard-to-resist book.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


'Turn' 2010

 Extended until January 8th 2011 at the Kerlin in Dublin CLICK ON RED HEADER TITLE ABOVE FOR LINK. Fantastic smaller works that seem to mark a real transition from recent 'wooded landscapes', with extended narratives coming to the fore much more strongly. Magill will be the first painter interviewed on Subjects of the Painter, coming in January 2011.

Monday, 13 December 2010

third space gallery 'end of 2010'

Alistair Wilson

Dougal McKenzie
left: Alas, Snow White   right: Medulienka

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mr. Storr and Mr. Nozkowski

Click on Title above for excerpts of chat between Messrs. Storr and Nozkowski.....

Here is a Painting by Mark, Choosing the wrong path, 2006, it reminded me of the image Dougal posted of Tuymans.

Also I have attached an image of Richters 'Doubt and Belief in Painting' by Robert Storr. If you are interested in Richter it is a great read, Tuymans whatever....

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tuymans' Palette

'Belgian artist Luc Tuymans is widely seen as having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s.' So says the David Zwirner press release relating to the gallery's current show of Tuymans' work (click on Title for link.) The consistently insipid pallor of his palette has certainly always been suggestive of a medium struggling out of its sick bed. But therein lie the limitations of his frame of reference. As a 'history' painter Tuymans' has a lot to say; but is it just me who finds all those earthy colours a real drag. As for the countless imitations of his pale, washed-out palette, don't get me started.....