Is it me, the Emperor’s New Clothes or am I missing something? Dora Maar Tate Modern
On a wet afternoon with nothing better to do, I spent quite some time at this exhibition trying very hard to recognise why this person rose to such fame and I just couldn’t grasp it.
Excellent photographs, but most of which I’d describe as purely snaps. Snazzy and sexy photos for fashion magazines but where was the uniqueness, the quality, the cleverness that photographers such as Cindy Sherman demonstrated in later years?
Much emphasis was, and still is made of Maar’s Surrealistic contribution but all I could see were simple, not particularly clever manipulations of images. Whilst Surrealism was partly based upon surprising juxtapositions of icons, nevertheless I certainly could not identify any depth of the accompanying psychological thought of such as Dali, Ernst, Picasso, Magritte or Kahlo.
The only work that was outstanding for me was Maar’s imagery of the progression of Picasso painting his ‘Guernica’. A testament to the genius of the painter and the craft of the photographer.
In a fairly disappointed frame of mind as I was really looking forward to this event, I made my excuses and left.
Amazing art tale: The artist Man-Ray was also known as a Dadaist and Surrealist. On an occasion he created a photographic portrait of Dora Maar using his signature technique of ‘solarisation’.
Apparently this technique that helped Man-Ray stand out from the Surrealist crowd, was simply the result of an accident in the dark room by his assistant Lee Miller (whose life history and career are worth reading for example during the Second World War, she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau) and it’s to her that such a unique technique should be attributed and not Man-Ray.
Dora Maar Tate Modern
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 who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little.
Al regularly visits the major galleries in the UK and whenever possible, mainland Europe and the USA. He keeps up to date by subscribing to many periodicals, viewing documentaries and the news in general.
Al paints and sculpts himself and frequently sketches in-situ. He has written a book ‘The Primacy of Your Eye’ designed to give people some insights to enhance their experiences in galleries. Fully illustrated with 400 sketches and drawings of major art works and their artists, the book takes the reader on a journey through topics to perhaps consider enriching the viewing experience.
To many, the art world is daunting, to others it holds little interest. A gentle submersion at a depth to suit the individual can produce rich and rewarding results.
That’s the purpose of Art-Tales.