Monday, 17 December 2012

Four Favourite Things

Tal R/ Man from S/ 2012

Four of NOCM's favourite things come together at link below....Painters' Table carries a link to James Kalm reporting on the Tal R show at Cheim and Reid. Then scroll down to right hand column for link to new interview with Susan Connolly at Subjects of the Painter.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Imaginary Places

'Imaginary Places' at the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast has key paintings and prints by Peter Doig, from the early to mid-nineties. With his most recent work also on show at the Michael Werner Gallery in London, there is a unique opportunity to consider Doig's practice from two very different points in his career.

Installation shot/ MAC Belfast

Installation shot/ Ski Jacket, 1994

Installation shot/ Window Pane, 1993 and Concrete Cabin II, 1992

Window Pane, 1993

Detail/ Window Pane, 1993

Young Bean Farmer, 1991

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sculptures in Paintings

A curious set of works within the diversity of Orlando Greenwood's practice (see also one of his graphic designs below) saw him place figurines within landscape settings. Today, they would not look out of place in a survey of contemporary painting...

Orlando Greenwood/ 1934

Orlando Greenwood/ 1928

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Paintings and Sculptures

 The Impossibility of Sleep/ 2012

A conversation with painter Christopher Hanlon today brought up the topic of painters who do sculpture as well. Tal R, Nigel Cooke and Thomas Scheibtz for instance. And Paul Housley.
Links here to his show last year at Poppy Sebire in London, and also a conversation with Nigel Cooke about the work. Housley currently has another show with the gallery running just now.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Patrick Procktor Exhibition

In a previous post NOCM had highlighted the work of Procktor, having chanced upon his 'Long Live the Great Leap Forward' of 1965-67 which featured in an old copy of Studio International (the work is difficult to trace, or perhaps had been destroyed in the catastrophic studio fire Procktor suffered). Procktor's work, always interesting in any time, appears in recent years to have renewed relevance within the revival of certain figurative approaches in contemporary painting. His fairly divergent styles can be seen to connect now to painters such as Alex Katz, Peter Doig and Elizabeth Peyton. In fact, a photograph of Procktor and David Hockney throws up an interesting comparison with the Peyton work below. The Katz comparison can be seen to the right, as another of Procktor's works enters NOCM's Top 10 Paintings.

Elizabeth Peyton/ David Hockney, Powis Terrace Bedroom/ 1998

There is now the chance to look at Procktor's work at first-hand again, with a major exhibition organised and curated by Ian Massey opening at Huddersfield Art Gallery from August 25th to November 10th. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Vertical Painting

An interest in the possibilities of a 'billiards painting', now abandoned, led me to this interview with Malcolm Morley, from 1974 (by seminal early video documentary maker and artist Anton Perich). Morley's 'Day of the Locust' of 1977 was a past occupant of NOCM's TOP 10 PAINTINGS, and this particular interview sees him grappling, sometimes awkwardly, with interviewer Ray Gillian at his SOHO studio in New York

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Gift

NOCM has passed the 20,000 pageviews mark since starting out in January 2010. As a gift to its followers, the above pattern and soundtrack beneath should be experienced links back to the very first post '1972'.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Painting in 1939

NOCM, having taken note of 'Painting Today' by Tony Godfrey (see post 28th December 2010), presents here excerpts from the 1939 equivalent by, interestingly, Anthony Bertram (who lectured in Art History at Queen's University in Belfast.) It was remarked in above post that Sandro Chia was a notable omission from Godfrey's book, and it is striking to see Ferrucio Ferrazzi's presence in Bertram's as the example shown has strong associations with Chia's work. Amongst the many other examples of European modern artists now lost to history are an interesting Roger Chapelain-Midy (French) that bears a passing resemblance to John Currin's work, and a great work by the Soviet artist Nisson Shifrin that is not unlike a Dexter Dalwood.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Now The Shows Are Over

The infectious, addictive +Billion- journal (link at bottom of page in BEST LINKS here) carries a great audio/ visual review of the recent Degree Shows around Dublin. Its 'Shitlist' (with qualifying disclaimer) is worth checking out.

Pictured here is the lift on E floor of the Orpheus Building at York Street, where the Belfast Degree Shows have just ended. Go to for a peak at what was on, along with pics of the opening night....

Friday, 15 June 2012

Bonnard's Table

Go to Bonnard's work in TOP 10 PAINTINGS and click for link to National Gallery in Washington. Below, images of the artist at work.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Painting Corner

With the Belfast art college degree shows just round the corner (opening Friday 8th June) NOCM is carrying a link to the painting shows' online material which can be viewed at: A quick link can also be found in the BEST LINKS list at the bottom.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Surface of Design

In his essay of the above title, Jacques Ranciere draws comparisons between Magritte's 'The Art of Conversation' and the German 'Odol' mouthwash advert in which the brand's letters take form in the ruins of an amphitheatre. This image is not easily obtainable, but led me to Stuart Davis's 'Odol' of 1924- a Pop image made before Pop. Ranciere's essay of 2002 links a wide range of subjects, through new ways of thinking about 'design'- from Peter Behrens, to Lois Fuller, to Stephane Mallarme, to Magritte. One of Magritte's works from the series begun in 1950, and Davis's work, enter TOP 10 PAINTINGS to the right.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Rauschenburg talking

I just came across a short video clip of Robert Rauschenburg describing how he erased a DeKooning and also speaking about his own paintings. He seems to be sitting on top of a ladder for most of the time both literally and mentally but he does come out with some gems regarding his approach to painting. I particularly like his idea of the undefined "hole" between art and life.
Or the line "you begin with the possibilities of the material.... [long pause]... and then you let them do what the can do [smile]. So the artist is really almost a bystander while he's working."

The clip comes from a film made about the New York art scene in 1973, called "Painters Painting"

Then I came across a more recent clip from 1999 of an older mellower Robert Rauschenburg talking again about the erased DeKooning.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Blue Moves

I have been looking for Patrick Procktor's 'Long Live the Great Leap Forward' (1965-67) online, for insert into TOP 10 PAINTINGS, after chancing upon it in an old edition of Studio International.  Below are two other works, the top one a study for a painting that ended up as the cover for Elton John's 'Blue Moves' album 1976.  Nice, if co-incidental, link between the other example and one of  Peter Doig's '100 Years Ago' paintings. Procktor's work, along with Michael Upton's 'room studies', of the mid 1960s (also hard to find examples of online) still stand up very well today.

Patrick Procktor/ Study for The Guardian Readers/ 1976

Patrick Procktor/ Hangchow/ 1980

Peter Doig/ 100 Years Ago/ 2000

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Duchamp's Last Painting

For some painters, Duchamp may still appear to be 'the enemy'. However, within a now well established eclecticism of Fine Art practice, this sort of positioning may be counter-productive to the rich areas of re-evaluation and re-assessing that may be explored in consideration of painting past and present.  To this end, consider a detail of his last painting made in 1918, and current painter Julie Mehretu's approach...Duchamp's decision to decry and abandon painting after 1918 still holds some currency when viewed from his time, and equally Mehretu's reasons for persisting with it today makes a convincing argument in ours.

Julie Mehretu/ Arcade/ 2005

Marcel Duchamp/ Tu m' (detail)/ 1918

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Who's Afraid of...

'Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? no.2'/ 1967

Apocryphal story: one of the reasons behind Barnett Newman's naming of his 'Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?' series begun in 1966 was that he wanted to connect it to Jasper Johns' use of the primary colours and stencilling of the words onto his paintings around the same time (we might assume that it was also partly in homage, but equally to do with the challenge being laid down by the brash new painter-in-town.)

This is further embellished by the idea that the series was to initially have been entitled by Newman: 'Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?', but Johns declined the invitation. All of this aside, Newman mainly talks in interviews about his title's connection to Neo-Plasticism.

There is much more besides I think...a very obvious connection is to the title of Edward Albee's play (1962), and Mike Nichols' film (1966) 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' The play premiered in New York, gaining equal notoriety once on screen, and Newman plays on its title because of this. Albee has said that he had used an actual remark (where he had overheard someone making a gag about Virginia Woolf and 'The Big Bad Wolf' song) and transposed this into the title and plot of his play.

The original song had become something of a popular hit by way of the Disney film 'The Three Little Pigs' in 1933, and was sung during the Great  Depression as a way of lifting spirits. Newman's own father had also nearly lost his thriving sewing-machine and tailoring business at this time (another visual link could be made here to Newman's experience of  'zipped' lines of thread.) Newman himself saved the business and built it back up again- this was the reason he did not get round to taking up painting full-time until quite late in life. Newman must have remembered the song vividly because of this.

Cap it all with this, it's a real flight of fancy but a great game to play when watching 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' on screen: it's called 'Spot Newman's Zips' (one quite startling one, towards the end of the movie, where Elizabeth Taylor's Martha opens the back porch door to reveal a pure Newman painting.)

All of above from 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'/ Mike Nichols/ 1966

(And Click on Post Title for link to 'Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?' at Tony Shafrazi in 2008.)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Subjects of the Painter

Jeffrey Dennis is the first interview of 2012 in Subjects of the Painter. Click on Post Title or the SOTP link above.

 The Artist Successfully Levitating in the Studio/ oil and charcoal on canvas/ 35.5 x 40.5cm/ 2011

Monday, 16 January 2012

Imagination Becomes Reality

The publications that accompanied this series of shows (click on Post Title) are difficult to collect as a set now. However, the online archive provides a great overview of works included in this very interesting look at notions of expanded painting practice, which took place from 2005 to 2007 at ZKM, Karlsruhe.

Foreground: Tal R, 'Tit and Ditte'/ installation shot/ ZKM, Karlsruhe

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Noblesse Oblige

Click on Post Title for link to an article from a month or so ago on  +BILLION-  blog, for an interesting take on the positioning of painting within the curation of group shows. The 'obligation' it refers to (to place paintings within certain exhibitions) has got NOCM thinking about 'the Tuymans effect' that sprung perhaps from Documenta 11 in 2002; also remembering that he was included in that show along with  very few other painters- Cecilia Edefalk, Leon Golub and (at a push) Raymond Pettibon.

Luc Tuymans/ Leopard/ 2000

Also, nice link here to 2004 interview: