Comments on: Brancaster Chronicle No. 7: Fred Pollock Paintings http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Jeltje http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-447388 Thu, 03 Apr 2014 16:02:22 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-447388 The reproductions look much better now. Big thank you to Sam and Sean!

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-338922 Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:38:30 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-338922 No—I’ve already said too much. Since I haven’t seen the pictures in the flesh, and am not taking part in the Chronicles for reasons that you know, it will have to wait for another occasion.

]]>
By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-338277 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:21:29 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-338277 I have absolutely no tendencies toward the particular “vice-versa” you mention, but I do rather think that abstract painting is due the sort of re-invention that sculpture has undergone in recent years – and, yes, I know that you disagree. To be blunt, even as I concur that “Sunspots” is a very fine painting (as I have written), and even as I concede that your own recent work is of a very high order (as I have written), I feel reservations about, not least, the influences you take pains on behalf of Fred to deny. If I have sometimes suggested the idea that abstract painting might take on a more “three-dimensional” sense of space, it is because I feel in general that it labours excessively in the realm of two-dimensional design and composition (or format) which derives from a lineage of flat American (and/or St. Ives) abstract painting, which allows many of its practitioners to settle for a rather easy option in terms of what the space in the painting really means and really does. I’m surely not such an expert in these matters as you, but it does seem to me much abstract paintings rather shelters in this state of tenuous ambiguity.

I would like to know what you think about this “circling” device in “Sunspots” and some of the other work I mention. Do you not see it? Do you not think this is Fred’s subtle way of dealing with or trying to mask the format? Or, maybe it is the very opposite – of trying to re-establish or subtly impose a two-dimensional structure back onto his tumbling spaces (as he says, “locking” it in). This is surely one of the main characteristics of Hofmann’s rectangles – to lock the space back into two-dimensions with an iteration of the stretcher. I think that painting that sheds such devices as these is – or will be – at an advantage, once the difficulties of such a thing are overcome. And whilst this is of course speculative, I do not think that to hold such an opinion is in any way to put down the work of you, Fred or Hofmann, which I honour.

Fred, by the way, sees a very strong personal link between how he constructs a painting and how some of the new sculpture is made – he has expressed to me a particular affinity with the work of Tony Smart. But I think you have read too much into my conjectures at the end of my original comments about abstract painting competing in real space with sculpture. The point was made, actually, to highlight the fundamental difference between the two.

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-337920 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 11:21:55 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-337920 Sorry- the Magnum Opus is illustrated in David Evison’s article in Notes, October.

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-337890 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:37:49 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-337890 Of course this “trampoline effect”, the blocks bouncing back to the viewer, is just the quality Heron disliked in Hofmann,[when it is present]. He felt the sharp edges and corners of the blocks jutted out like sore thumbs, throwing the rest back as “ground”. He advocated the equal presence of all areas of the picture surface. He under accounted the extent to which the grainy “grounds” tend to swing out and swamp the blocks, [ see Magnum Opus, illustrated in Sam's recent essay, or the great Goliath,], the reciprocal see-sawing of colour-space.
Notice that Fred’s pictures don’t essay these extremes. In his Sunspots, there is a continuous modulation from the innermost to the most salient furry-edged flurries so that there is no sense of a ground, or awkward cutting edges. And they give little succour to Robin’s desire for greater projection into depth, which accounts I presume for his very odd take on the pictures.
There is a rather worrying tendency to wish paintings to take on more of the preoccupations of the sculptors,[ as some commentators have noticed] , and vice-versa. “-a kind of abstract wholeness one might aspire to” — seems to me just what Sunspots does deliver, but not necessarily one that has implications for sculpture. And all this cloud -cuckoo talk of “potential” and “new” is an intensely annoying put-down of what has been and is being achieved right here and now.

]]>
By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-337860 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 09:56:13 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-337860 If I’ve misunderstood your comments about red, I apologize, though my recollection of that conversation differs from yours, and I recall no mention of the technicalities. It remains of interest to me that the reds often do recede and the blues come forward in abstract painting, and Fred’s “Sunspots” is a good example.

As for Perehudoff’s influence, Fred himself did not pick me up on that, despite a long conversation about my comment. There is a painting on the Poussin website – “Red, Blue, Green on Brown”, from 1985, well after the Garage show, which seems to me to owe a lot to Perehudoff and is typical of Fred’s work at that date. Maybe you are right in so far as Bush is a strong influence on them both.

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-337734 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:27:27 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-337734 And just for the record, the thought that pictures should advance rather than recede does not originate with me. It goes back at least as far as Mondrian, and try reading Darby Bannard on Hofmann in Hofmann’s Rectangles, Art Forum Summer 1969.

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-337700 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 06:48:43 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-337700 And to cite Perehudoff as an influence on Fred is also totally wrong. That goes back to Fred’s show at the Garage in 1974 , when Caro suggested Fred should go and learn from Perehudoff’s show at Waddington’s, typical of his attitude that we had to learn from the Americans and Canadians. Patronising and wrong in equal measure. This is not the first time Robin has picked up a mistaken impression.

]]>
By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-336791 Sun, 15 Dec 2013 12:41:12 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-336791 A bit late I know, but I NEVER SAID that that all reds recede. That would be ridiculous. What I said was that red pigments tend to sink in and need careful preparation with underpainting to work at full brightness, say with magenta or yellow underneath ,especially with oil paint. And I suggested Robin looked at Fred’s pictures as an example of how this was done successfully. Fred,s reds are some of the jewels in his crown.
.

]]>
By: Rowena Comrie http://abstractcritical.com/article/brancaster-chronicle-no-7-fred-pollock-paintings/#comment-290199 Tue, 05 Nov 2013 21:56:05 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7609#comment-290199 Great, thanks it makes such a difference to know the scale.

]]>