A retrospective exhibition at Aix-en-Provence’s Granet Museum of Fabienne Verdier’s monumental paintings and creative explorations left me intrigued and impressed. Her fertile questing mind, allied to inventive technical creativity, is an example of what can be achieved when an artist dedicates him or herself to new ways of expressing often abstract and intellectual concepts - whilst at the same time, creating expansive, harmonious beauty.Read More
A book that is really fascinating and well worth reading. Passion, friendship, envy, ambition, betrayal, angst and genius: eight artists about whom we all know something but will learn a great deal more in this book.Read More
From his early exposure to Cubism and Fauvism, Hans Hoffman evolved through a lifetime of experimenting in painting to an extraordinarily inventive approach to creating art that is often as relevant today as it was when it was created in the 1960s. Seeing his evolution in the large exhibition, ”Hans Hoffman - The Nature of Abstraction” at BAMPFA, Berkeley, reinforces my own belief in each artist’s need, and capacity, to remain open and flexible to growth and change.Read More
Audacity - it is a wonderful word that makes me instantly imagine someone acting with verve, bravery and decision! What made me think of it was finding a quotation by Winston Churchill: "Beginning with audacity is a very great part of the art of painting."
Just recently, I have been doing a fair amount of reading as I try to recuperate. Two of the most interesting books I have read are Charles Glass' Americans in Paris; Life and Death under the Nazi Occupation and Jimmy Burns' Papa Spy: Love, Faith and Betrayal in Wartime Spain. Of course, a central figure in both books is Winston Churchill, then the Prime Minister in Great Britain during those critical World War II years. His courageous sagacity and pragmatism were remarkable in dealing with the daunting aspects of the conduct of war, the relationships with General de Gaulle and the Vichy regime in France, General Franco in Spain who had just consolidated his power after the Spanish Civil War and the battle, both on and off the actual battlefields, with the Nazis.
His remark about needing audacity to paint is very much in the same spirit as he showed in the multiple other aspects of his remarkable and chequered career. He knew from his own painting sessions that launching oneself into a painting requires a leap of faith, a boldness and a belief that somehow one will succeed in producing a decent work of art. He was pragmatic enough to know that this is not always the case - but like every other artist, he kept trying. In fact, it is remarkable that he managed to produce a large number of very successful paintings, given how little early exposure he had had to art. His audacity paid off. He also remarked of art: "I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely occupies the mind." When boldness, decisiveness and concentration are united, art-making usually rewards one with a decent result. Churchill certainly gave us all inspiration - in art-making as well as in many other spheres.