Comments on: Turner and Frankenthaler http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/ 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: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-409162 Sat, 08 Mar 2014 19:51:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-409162 I think both these artists set out with an attempt to use the medium of paint to describe something as opposed to painting that aims to describe/be itself. In contrast to this art, is abstract illusionism; which is a form of the worst of both worlds. I’ve attempted to put a link here: http://youtu.be/duzkZ2W-Gtg to a video critique (spontaneous)of abstract illusionism, that might be of interest as another context of this show. It’s less than 2 mins long.

]]>
By: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-408027 Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:21:38 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-408027 Well done Peter for going to see the show,which makes so much more sense of the debate.There is nothing like standing in front of a painting making up your own mind about how it feels to you.So much better without a pre-conceived plan of the universe,or set of art hysterical theories.I just saw the Paul Klee ,which is in its last days at he Tate and was blown away.Best Patrick

]]>
By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-407781 Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:27:18 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-407781 Having just seen the show, I can see the connection, both start off with the same essential flux of primordial matter, which Turner augments and Frankenthaler doesn’t, the viewer is left to bring their own resolutions of form to the perception of the Frankenthaler paintings whereas with Turner he tries to do that for the viewer, though obviously not so simple and straightforward as that. Looking forward to another visit soon. Also, it’s interesting to actually see a show debated on Abstract Critical.

]]>
By: Zino Pece http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-394646 Thu, 20 Feb 2014 05:13:38 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-394646 Not seen this exhibition yet, but Look forward to doing so. A great and rare opportunity to see Frankenthsler on this scale here in Britain. Surprised though that she alone was chosen alongside Turner. If only going for one abstract painter, I think Morris Louis or Olitski would have been a better choice. I think that Frankenthaler is worth seeing though; very influential and a vital link between Ab. Ex. And Colour Field. Also most definately an influences on several British abstract painters. As great as Turner was, I think Constable was just as good, is sadly underrated and hangs in the shadow of Turner.

]]>
By: Tania http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-394291 Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:39:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-394291 Agreed….a bit more bon-vivant feel good factor please!….(just finished Provisional Painting: Three Hypotheses….makes for a bit of a grim, though no doubt salutary, read….)

]]>
By: Emyr Williams http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-393000 Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:22:09 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-393000 Here’s a pertinent quote from Greenberg:..”Not that the work of the modern artist must by any means resemble the past; but that he must show some sense of it, a realisation of its presence and attraction. Otherwise he dissipates himself in sheer quality and fails to impose that order and shaping which are the indispensable concomitants of high art, and without which the truly cultivated spectator is left thirsty. High art resumes everything that precedes it, otherwise it is less than high.”

]]>
By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-392990 Mon, 17 Feb 2014 14:55:59 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-392990 Ben,
I bow to your superior knowledge, though I did say that Manet being figurative makes a difference – all the difference, in fact. And yet I’m inclined to say about “Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe”, a painting I know quite well, that Manet certainly didn’t copy or even transcribe proportions or compositional devices, so much as ripped the subject-matter/idea, then did his own thing, as he usually did. But our debate was really about the usefulness of an abstract painter taking lines, shapes, compositional divisions etc. from a figurative source. That still seems to me to be essentially a dubious move. Maybe it’s worth trying once, but I can’t think of any good results from it, and I certainly didn’t like the Frankenthaler/Manet.

I think my point about figurative indeterminacy and abstract ambiguity is a good one. It results from previous discussions about whether ambiguity is ever good in abstract art, because if you allow it to be a positive attribute, you open the does to any and every inanity, as we can see in a great deal of poor abstract painting. Why is it poor? And what is the meaningful difference? Well, like anything else it is subject to a case-by-case appraisal of values, and can’t be defined in a cast-iron way. Is Manet ambiguous? Of course, often. He’s often not very good either. Maybe those two things are linked, even in Manet. “Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe” is not, for me, a successful painting. “Bar at the Follies Bergere” is by contrast a great painting, with very weird spaces and conjunctions, but as a painting, very specific. I wouldn’t agree that the excitement of this painting is down to ambiguity. It has problems in its definition of space, but they seem to be overcome by a strength of vision which is, in this instance, very sure of itself.

But I don’t really want to argue about Manet, especially not with an art historian. It will be interesting to hear what you think when you see the show. Look out for a small almost-monochrome watercolour by Turner of a wave rolling in to shore (with a boat, a horizon, and not much else) where the wave is represented by a zigzag mark right across the paper on a slight diagonal. It is an action of great immediacy – and specificness. It is pointed and pertinent as an act of figurative painting, but I would insist that the experience is fundamentally of a different order from looking at a zigzag line in an abstract painting. The Turner does not give abstract painting the legitimacy to do zigzag lines, willy-nilly.

]]>
By: Ben Wiedel-Kaufmann http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-392565 Sun, 16 Feb 2014 21:59:27 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-392565 I am enjoying much of what is coming out in this discussion – though must also point out I am yet to see the show. The impossibility of sketches is another topic emerging I am uncertain of.

But back to Manet – yes of course he relies on compositional devices lifted off others. The most famous being Raphael and Titian in Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe, but others include Rubens and Caracci in La Pêche, Chardin in The Luncheon, etc etc. Michael Fried’s study on Manet is loaded with these – perhaps at times too loaded – but I think his general point, that Manet lifted a great deal, is a strong, near incontestable one. It seems particularly interesting to me when seen in the context of the increasing accessibility of reproductions and museum collections in the 19th century.

Re ambiguity in Manet – going from two postcards pinned in front of me – 1. Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe – the patch of grass around the reclining man’s arm seems highly spatially ambiguous – though perhaps you would argue indeterminate? (where do you draw the line here? in being able to say ‘grass’??). But what then of the stretch behind the midground bather, where exactly does water meet land, at what distance? and where does the brown change from midground to extreme rear?
(All this ambiguous spatial recession seems to emerge first in La Peche (c. 1862-3) but that is not, I don’t think, Manet at his best).

2. National Gallery Corner Concert – what, or where exactly, is that blue that the dancer is floating in (I’ll leave aside the black smudges on the woman’s face as a different type of ambiguity).

And then there is Bar at the Folies Bergere, which seems awash with ambiguity – though again not all spatial..

I can imagine that the reply might come in the form that this is all indeterminate and not ambiguous? But what is the meaningful difference here?

]]>
By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-392546 Sun, 16 Feb 2014 20:53:48 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-392546 Not sure I follow – abstraction has different aims, but it’s not to do with intent? I don’t think I know what the aims are, nor do I know what the intent of either artist is. Do you? Maybe it is a bit easy to browbeat recent stuff with the best ever, but I didn’t pick the show, I just compared the work, as I found it. And would you rather we just complacently said, in our present circumstances, everythings great? Or should we be inspired to better things?

I’m happy to have my sculpture compared with Canova, or anything, with as little contextual stuff as possible in the mix, especially if there was to be some advantage to be gained.

]]>
By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/turner-and-frankenthaler/#comment-392538 Sun, 16 Feb 2014 20:29:40 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7866#comment-392538 I just think it can be a bit easy to pick the great art of the past and use it to belittle current or recent work, without recognizing that they cannot be completely understood under the same terms, particularly ignoring the fact that abstraction has different aims. (I think the positive side of this, as shown in this exhibition, where Turner is uncritically used to validate Frankenthaler is also problematic).

This is not to do with intent, but reception – of course I’m giving you a chance to trot out the connoisseur line, but there you go…

I mean could we fairly and sensibly compare your sculpture to, say, Canova, without taking into account historical prejudices or personal taste?

]]>