Lee Krasner would often cut up her drawings and paintings to create collages – revising and discarding. Her exacting standards and critical eye constantly editing and reassessing. Her catalog of surviving artworks (published in 1995) lists only 599 known pieces. She was rigorously self-critical, and her critical eye is believed to have been important to Pollock’s work.
Within a creative partnership (containing two creative souls) there is always a hierarchal tipping point.
The individual who creates the most waves within the public domain automatically become the dominant figure. The perception of achievement and value automatically encircles the ‘socially successful’ individual. Within these partnerships the minor player is in many cases the glue that binds the success together. History always plays down this importance.
Krasner had a crisis of identity – being both a woman and the wife of Pollock, the public and artistic perception of her role as wife and artist lead her to sign her works with the genderless initials “L.K.” instead of her more recognizable (public) full name. The daily give-and-take of the partnership between Pollock and Krasner stimulated both artists. They both fought a battle for legitimacy and individual expression and opposed old-fashioned, conformism and its repressive culture…
The derelict painting studios in Exeter College of Art looked smaller than I remember – these were the spaces where I learnt my painting skills and the place where I was told to forget my painting skills. Those were the days when art was promoted as an intuitive process and not a prescriptive target driven qualification.
On the floor below the studio, directly underneath was the library, now devoid of shelves and books. All that information, inspiration and knowledge gone.
The lecture theatre still had its seating but its projection screen was missing. This was the place where I booed lecturers who spewed bullshit and I think I met Sir Terry Frost (?) – the place where I rediscovered Pollock and was seduced by Rothko, learned about Fox Talbot and watched some ridiculous interview reenactments based on articles published in magazines…
Sarah Bennett used this empty vessel to install ‘Institutional Traits (Series 2)’ which comprised of two large printed photographs of the empty lecture theatre. The lighting in the space was (and always was) simple – controlled by two light switches, one that puts the lights on at the back and one that put them on in the front. The two images mounted on the sides of the theatre reflected the lighting options, one was of the lights on in the front and one was with the lights on at the back.
This corridor brought back memories:
In 1977 I was asked to ‘crew’ for a video (in those days the equipment was huge, I had to carry a box the size of a suitcase). The video was of the processes involved in producing meat in a slaughterhouse, I did this for a painter who was creating images based on dead things.
I witnessed the slaughtering of pigs, lambs and beef cattle. The video shoot was over three days and although horrific it was surprising how quickly I adapted to the mass slaughter – the analogies between what I witnessed and the images of Jewish concentration camps during the Second World War were obvious – what I was surprised with was the speed in which such volumes of livestock could be processed.
These two paintings above were exhibited in the exhibition at Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, North Devon, UK (3rd September 2007 – 7th October 2007) both images were sold and are in private collections.
Since the 1960s, Gerhard Richter has immersed himself in a rich and varied exploration of painting. I’m looking forward to going to this exhibition. His career has been defined by versatility and innovation, his work covers virtually every painterly discipline … Continue reading →
Download/View the Video of the Exhibition 4th Sept. 2007 Windows Media File (low res. 2.51mb) QuickTime (high res. 28.08mb) Depending on your connection speed this may take some time.
ARTIST + S T A T E M E N T …
The fashion for gardening, for an asthmatic, is a cruel joke. We have been ‘doing’ the garden at our home and I made the mistake of planting several climbing plants – I now know I have another contact allergy! Yet again concrete is the only true solution to my problems. The larger paintings in this exhibition are based on the colours these climbing plants go when you spray them with weedkiller.
Image from 2010
Action Painting – Pollock. Print dribbled paint.
Soft pink landscapes (1980) Richard Hamilton A landscape of soft focus and toilet paper – a turgid landscape. Collotype and Screenprint – text and image. A remembered exhibition.
Rediscovering the printing process after nearly 40 years has been an interesting process – disappointingly modern inks are not as rich in colour (earthy colors are very plastic like) and modern water based inks don’t become part of the surface, they sit on it, which is incredibly frustrating – the reason I took up printing in the first place was because of the absorbed flatness of the pigments.