Modern Art’s Big Whammies

Modern Art’s Big Whammies These are 6 of the ‘Big Whammies’ of Modern Art. Stretching from 1863 through to … today … there are quite a few huge developments in the history of avant-garde Modern Art. These will all feature amongst many other movements, artists and individual paintings in my talk at Brockenhurst Village Hall on Tuesdays – 6th and 13th June 2023 1.00 to 2.30 pm. Most people enjoy looking at Manet, Renoir, Monet and the other Impressionists and of course their works are largely easy to digest and understand. But where were they coming from with their works? What was the background? What were the influences and who indeed did they influence? Where did it all lead to? One of the ‘fathers’ of Modern Art is Paul Cezanne. Why? Moving on from the likes of Van Gogh, Gauguin … Continue reading Modern Art’s Big Whammies

Gainsborough Constable Turner Ravilious

Gainsborough Constable Turner Ravilious … 4 artists representing English landscape painting. Add to these, Philip James de Lougherborgh, Paul Nash and Laura Knight with a mixture of County Durham miner artists and you have the mix of the talk I gave in Brockenhurst on Tuesday 28 March. Attendance was brilliant. A good audience of most enthusiastic and knowledgeable art lovers. Listening carefully and asking very pertinent questions. The talk was only for 1.5 hours with a coffee break in the middle – between 18/19 Century and 20 Century works. So it could have been much longer given the huge subject matter and range of illustrations that were and could have been used. To add an additional dimension to the talk, I complied some videos to add appropriate music to some of the works, for instance ‘A Lark Ascending’ to some … Continue reading Gainsborough Constable Turner Ravilious

Stroll with Constable and Turner

A stroll through the English Countryside: Stroll with Constable and Turner I’ve given several talks at Brockenhurst Village Hall on a number of art interests. We’ve looked at ‘perspective’, ‘what is the point of art’, ‘women in art’ and now by popular demand we’ll be looking at the English landscape in paintings. We’ll be strolling in the company of Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, Laura Knight and Paul Nash. Included will also be some of the works of Heywood Sumner who resided in the New Forest at the beginning of the 20th century and produced some of the most enigmatic paintings of this unique part of England. I’ll be looking at the artists and their background and influences, their pictures – composition, colours and Fibonacci formulas (there’s a challenge). We’ll be setting many of the pictures against … Continue reading Stroll with Constable and Turner

Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary

Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary Margate Turner Contemporary You have to let the power of this work inculcate into your senses. It’s an ‘immersive installation’ – allow yourself to be immersed! At first it just seems to be random videos of female singers alongside wallpapering of faces and patterns, but talk to the curators, read the guidelines, think and work at what you’ve now learned and let the works, work on you and the exhibition speaks volumes. What performed best for me was the gold boxes supporting the CD cases: iron pyrites, fools’ gold contrasting with the real gold of the black female artists’ genuine works. But what do we see first? What are we in danger of mistakenly holding up as more valuable? With contemporary art, you have work at it. The interpretation is not done for you, the image … Continue reading Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary

Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry

We find here an influence of the Fauves, Impressionists, Post Impressionists particularly Vincent, a little Alfred Wallis and naivety, moving onto self confidence and assurance to develop a unique personal style. A potent mix of styles. Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry – and I’d like to ignore influences and look at Fred’s work as ‘standalones’. They deserve that and not some spin off from other artists. This is Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry Never heard of him? That would not be unusual and it’s only thanks to the brilliant Penlee House Gallery in Penzance Cornwall that we stumbled, albeit deliberately, on this most unusual and inspiring artist. A brief bio… Fred Yates was born in 1922 (hence the exhibition at Penlee) He had a twin brother Arthur, both raised in an apparently cold, undemonstrative household. We are told that Fred … Continue reading Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry

Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

This is a stunning piece of art installation presented at Southampton’s Hansard Gallery in September 2022. Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler It is in the form of a steam cloud against a darkened background upon which a scrolling image is projected. The image is an historic letter written by India’s Mahatma Ghani just before WWII in a gesture of peace and friendship. The installation is by India’s contemporary artist Jitish Kallat (b 1974). Who refers to Gandhi’s letter as essentially a plea for peace and refers to Hitler as ‘My Friend’. Plenty of space here for contemplation is there not? Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people … Continue reading Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

Gormley and Caro Roche Court

The New Art Centre Roche Court near Salisbury Wiltshire is a breath-taking open air sculpture park set within the dramatic hills of southeast Wiltshire. Gormley and Caro Roche Court It is a pure joy to wander through the gardens against the backdrop of the stunning landscape and enjoy the spaces occupied by the modern and contemporary works of art. In 2019 on BBC Radio 4, Antony Gormley spoke of sculpture changing the real world, being no longer a mere reference to it and no longer dependent upon it. Sculpture doesn’t need a wall, a room or even a label to exist. Its presence occupies its own space and thus it can alter people’s behaviour. Gormley and Caro Roche Court Cast your mind to some of the world’s most dramatic and successful architecture and sculpture. Consider the landscape, the room even: … Continue reading Gormley and Caro Roche Court

William Morris Sölvi Helgason

Did Jane Morris’s and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s affair have an influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts … William Morris Sölvi Helgason Was William Morris influenced by the Icelander Sölvi Helgason to enhance his designs? … Affair of Ice and Arts Did Morris’s trips to Iceland uniquely enhance his designs and influence the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts First of all the Players – a whistle-stop … Sölvi Helgason (1820-1895) A drifter, a folk artist, a philosopher, that was Sölvi Helgason. He was born on a farm called Fjall in Sléttuhliíð in the eastern part of Skagafjörður Iceland on August 16, 1820 (and lived to the age of 75 which wasn’t bad for those days in that locality). He is known to have travelled extensively across the island but apparently without … Continue reading William Morris Sölvi Helgason

Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Davíðshúis – Home of Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet Davíð Stefánsson 1895 – 1964, was Iceland’s leading poet and novelist publishing many volumes of his poetry. He lived many years in this house in Akureyri northern Iceland and on his death the property was bequeathed to the municipality. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. The interior has been left a though he had just popped into town for a recital or milk and bread. 1000’s of books adorn the walls. His records are still in place. His bathroom and bedroom are preserved as original as is his kitchen, study and living room. In fact, the only major change is the bed. A single bed replacing his large double bed where upon he ‘entertained’ the many women folk whose company he enjoyed and allegedly the feeling was mutual. Adoring a … Continue reading Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland

Ásgrímur Jónsson (March 4, 1876 – April 5, 1958) was an Icelandic painter, and one of the first in the country to make art a professional living. Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland He studied at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen between 1900 and 1903 and travelled widely after graduation. The subjects of his pictures are mostly the landscapes of his home country, particularly mountains. His painting style is similar to the French impressionists like Corot. Some of his pictures also illustrate Icelandic sagas and folk tales. (Source Wikipedia) Visiting his house in Reykjavik introduced me to this interesting and quite unique artist. Despite being trained in Copenhagen, he retained independent from the contemporary European art scene. He concentrated on recognising the haunting landscape of his native country. A local businessman and entrepreneur and art collector Ragnar Jonsson, said of Ásgrímur: “he did not paint subjects from life, he painted primal energy, the climate and governing sources – … Continue reading Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland