Comments on: “All this tomfoolery about scenery” http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/ 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: marcelle hanselaar http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-510894 Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:35:33 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-510894 What a lovely thought, i really like the notion that imagination is like a playful vacuum cleaner full of odd shaped dust-bunnies, or like a squirrel who cannot find most of the nuts he squirreled away and which will then become seedlings instead,thanks for this Nick

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-399301 Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:43:35 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-399301 “…until the reappraisal of Matisse/Picasso which began in the 1980′s (…), rendering the whole American intervention almost irrelevant.”

Alan Gouk 29th April 2011, Poussin Gallery catalogue essay.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-398598 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:20:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-398598 Quite so, and not a telly to be seen amongst them. But then, it wasn’t about you. When did you say the train to Scotland was?

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By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-398491 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:54:55 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-398491 Furthermore, and finally I hope, Ebrillade of Pegasus and The Bawd of Boddin [mine], are I would say, definitive statements which cannot be “gone beyond” except by repetition, variation or complication, which is just what I want to avoid. And I’d say that Mare Fecunditatis and some of my most recent pictures, not yet exhibited, are definitive statements too, but of a very different order, and all the better for it. The last thing I want is to repeat myself. Their resemblance to any painting of the past falls away when you really begin to look at them without bringing a baggage of false expectations to them. And this resemblance is invariably after the fact, and read into them by those who cannot see beyond the presumed derivations to what is really presented.

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By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-398400 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:03:49 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-398400 Really must bring this to a halt, but you certainly made great play with “cooker-hobs” in What Paint Does last year. I know you prefer the paintings I did 20 years ago to the ones I’m doing now, but I’ve moved on to new and different challenges , and ones which do not chime with your obsessions.
If the 19th century had been disallowed to Matisse, he would not have been able to absorb the influences of Manet, Cezanne, Rodin and Gauguin, on which his art is founded more solidly than by any other painter, nor to buy paintings by Courbet, Cezanne and Renoir so that he could learn from them and surreptitiously imitate them. Your model of artistic development has curious gaps in it. We can learn from Constable and Turner and the above mentioned 19th century greats, but we should ignore all future developments,[Matisse apart] ?

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-397737 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:03:40 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-397737 Still here, Alan? Speaking, as we are at the moment, about comparisons between abstract and figurative painting, there was (still is?) a room at Tate Modern (!) with a Turner seascape, a Nolde seascape, and a few early abstract expressionist paintings (Rothko, Newman I think). Can’t recall what the curators were up to, but I was, I confess, embarrased for abstract painting (and it wasn’t even a particularly great Turner).

Gottlieb? He’s awful, isn’t he? Not a good advert for your TV blobbies. Most of Rothko too, I’m afraid. His show at Tate of “late” paintings was really dire.

Still here? You might want to (also) revoke the attribution to me of the notion that shapes in Heron’s paintings are influenced by cooker-hobs. I didn’t say that.

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-397658 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:20:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-397658 For many abstract painters who choose to work on a conventional rectangular ground (and that covers the majority of painters who currently and historically have featured on this website) the rectangle and its’ variants seem, quite understandably, to be almost irresistible default shapes to work with and through. A quick glance around our homes, places of work, the managed landscape, leisure/sports venues etc. will confirm that we basically like to organize and be organized in a rectilinear way. In short the rectangle is both practical and comforting. Against that background it seems to me wholly reasonable that Robin Greenwood should promote the view that abstract painting, unfettered neither by the need for practicality or the satisfying of the comfort-seeking, allows for the imagination to seek ways of arriving at shapes, forms and relational entities that, although maybe housed within a rectangle, need not necessarily be ‘of’ the rectangle.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-397566 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:56:10 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-397566 You are nearly as good as Sam at attributing to me all manner of things that I haven’t written. What time is the train?

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By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-397515 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:33:57 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-397515 And if you were to put up in sequence Frankenthaler’s Hotel Cro-magnon, Ayres’ Muster, which you like so much, and my Deep Vinaigrish-bottle green, or Bronze-winged Jacana, you might begin to see that there is a certain advantage in a firmly declared planarity in achieving an “architecture”. [I am speaking only of painting, by the way.

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By: Alan Gouk http://abstractcritical.com/note/all-this-tomfoolery-about-scenery/#comment-397478 Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:52:38 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7824#comment-397478 Robin—-

I can’t find the comment you made about the frontiers of sculptural space having analogy with the frontiers of science. Perhaps you can?
But you have just called a whole tranche of the best painters of the 20th century “stupid” because they used a shape that you don’t like— to begin somewhere, Rothko, Gottlieb, Hofmann, De Stael, Scott, Heron, Hilton; though I’ve pointed out that their usages all have different spatial implications, and different representational associations, since I thought everyone now accepted that there is no such thing as non-referential colour, no such thing as abstract volume, or abstract space, and I suspect, no such thing as “abstract content”. I suspect that “abstract content” is as much a hypostatising of abstract nouns as Fried’s “presentness”‘ and just as elusive.
What is “stupid” is attributing the shapes in Heron’s paintings to the influence of cooker-hobs, or whatever. Those particular pictures came from an admiration for Ben Nicholson, perhaps forgivably, since Heron had taken over Nicholson’s studio in St Ives.
To return to Beethoven’s “fate motif”— what he did was to isolate, foreground, and dramatically stress a motif which others had “invented”. Some might see an analogy with the way Gottlieb stresses his four orbs in The Frozen Sounds ,1952, [Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo,] or in Eclipse, 1952, but I couldn’t possibly comment. O.K.– this is all 20th century, “old-hat”, but Constable and Poussin are even more irrelevant, right?.
I can’t wait to get back to Scotland, so I won’t have to read this stuff.

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