Saturday, April 29, 2006

Drawings of Raphael Soyer

Radio advertising drew me again to R.H. Love Gallery again last weekend -- this time to see the drawings of Raphael Soyer.

I'm not such a fan of his paintings -- but his drawings employ such an economy of means to produce such delightful -- maybe even call them sculptural --affects.

That is -- he designs with strong, assertive, unified volumes in space -- while setting the viewer into scenes-with-people that feel real/engaging/poignant.

I love the simple details of this girl's knees -- look at how they differ from each other -- and look at the voluptuous flesh on the knee to the right. (this is one of the delights offered by figure drawing: to look up a girl's skirt -- and not get embarassed for it !)

Quick sketches are such an immediate art form --- zap/you got it -- or zap/you missed ---- and its quite a delight to see a difficult space -- like the one around the shoulder and fore-shortened forearm to the left -- designed-on-the-fly -- and contrasting with the delicious way that opened thigh projects into space.

Maybe we could think of Soyer as a high-end Norman Rockwell --- just as sentimental -- but more sensual, more powerful, and less detailed.

(note: the above drawings come from a library book -- most galleries do not allow photographs -- but ones on display at the gallery were just as successful)


Blogger Gawain said...

Well, we love to disagree with each other, so let me do the disagreeing this time; I find these drawings neither particularly aesthetically moving nor particularly well executed. Alight, so the knee is good. That's not much to recommend the entire oeuvre. Some of the work you guys do at palette and trowel are both technically better than this and more interesting as to their aesthetic impact. This stuff strikes me as just dross. ;-)

Best regards. I am moving so comments-on-comments are on hold for a few days, but i will take up discussion as soon as i can. Love to have finally started picking your brain.

April 29, 2006  

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