Saturday, May 12, 2007

Strolling through Artopolis 2007: Part Four

David Hockney - portrait of Carla Powell, 2003

Here's another Hockney portrait -- and, no,
I don't like this woman --but I like her portrait
(as a Mousketeer)
- if that makes any sense-

Several more such portraits are here (if this link is still working)

If it's not working -- here's a breezy sales pitch from the gallery:

There is a familiarity in these new portraits and yet there is a subtle transformation. The intimacy is maintained, but there is a new candor that has been introduced into the work. Understanding how we see has been an area of intense interest for Hockney throughout his career and his experimentation with the Camera Lucida in 1999-2000, which had culminated in his provocative book "Secret Knowledge," has contributed to his awareness. Hockney describes these works as coming from a conscious rejection of seeing from a photographically influenced perspective. "I'm quite convinced painting can't disappear because there's nothing to replace it. The photograph isn't good enough. It's not real enough."

(and maybe that "conscious rejection" is necessary in a world
where everyone grows up
looking at way too many photographs)

Jeremy Long (b. 1971) "1920 N. Dayton" , 2007

This is, by the way, a HUGE painting (72" X 96")
You really feel like you're
in the same room with the artist, his son, and his model.

So if you like to visit an artist working --
this is the painting for you.
(also -- if you like to visit that booming Chicago neighborhood near the corner of
Dayton and Armitage -- not far from where I lived back when that
area was still an (affordable) urban blight)

Here's the artist himself and here's more of his work --
all of them large paintings that present his
heroic life as an artist and husband/father.

The world certainly needs more heroes - so why not ?
He's pursuing a much more financially
precarious career than all his yuppie neighbors--

And he certainly seems to have those core blue collar
Chicago values of family, strength, hard work, cleanliness etc.

He's also a member of a group of painters who work within the
"Post-Abstract Figuration experience"

Which primarily means, I think, that they don't want to be confused
with the lost souls of the "Pre-Abstract Figuration experience"
-- i.e. the living Impressionists and the neo-academics --
who are exiled from Artopia as well as from the rest of the contemporary art world.

But it also means that they've been looking at paintings done c. 1950 instead of c. 1900 -- so they favor a kind of energy that's too wacky and aggressive to settle into the solid volumes of anatomy and the luscious surfaces of fabric pattern.
(as in the recently shown paintings of Evan Wilson)

Bo Bartlett (1955-)

Every year, I find Bo Bartlett at Art Chicago,
every year I like what I find,
and this year was no exception.

I like spooky,New England paintings,
and reading his website ,
I've discovered that Andrew Wyeth may have been
the Bo's source for this quality.

(His website also serves as a kind of seasonal blog,
with four entries every year -- and it makes for very
good reading)


That's it for the Art Chicago portion of
this year's Artopolis -- which, overall,
interested me less than the past few years
-- back when they were losing their top galleries
so they had to let the less prestigious (i.e. middle brow)
galleries have space on their floor.

Now ... under the professional ownership and guidance
of the Chicago Merchandise Mart,
they're back to chasing that ever elusive
cutting-edge of contemporary art fashion.

Now -- our stroll is entering the Antiques Fair
portion of the exhibit

And -- as ever -- my favorite items
are usually the Tang terra cottas

On reflection,
this one might not be
quite as pleasing as the
Tang Horseman at the Art Institute,
but it comes close.

Here's a real nice view!

Is there any coincidence
between the period being such
a golden age in the arts ---
and its interest in foreigners (like this one) ?

Francesco Beda - 1840-1900 "The painting lesson" 81X58 cm

Isn't this Gawain ?

As he travels through Europe,
meeting lovely, sensitive young women
in the drawing rooms
of great palazzi ?

Franz Hagenauer Austria c. 1920 1906-1986

Apparently, there was an entire family of
Hanenauers who made decorative bronze
objects in the early 20th C.

This one feels so perfectly balanced,
with the proportions, the surrounding spaces.

My ideal of urban elegance
(and I like the idea of young women
removing their clothes to walk the dogs)


Anonymous Amanda J. Sisk said...

Good grief. I certainly hope that isn't Signor Gawain, because the lady and myself bear a similarity. Oh, yes. She looks innocent enough. But if a gentleman attempted to offer criticism whilst I was armed with the tools of my career...hmmm...can paintbrushes impale? Well, a jolly good thing she hasn't got a chisel.

I'm learning not to become incensed at your concluding sentences...but rather to enjoy them as a Miller trademark. I take comfort in the fact that many men walk dogs, too. This would be a good method for locating my models, no?

May 14, 2007  
Anonymous marly said...


While away, I put a Tang horse and rider in a story. Entirely your doing.


One hardly needs a chisel when equipped with a bronze foot and fist!

May 14, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Amanda: I love to see naked young dudes with horses - and young women with large sleek dogs.

Can any psychoanalists out there offer an explanation ?

Marly: It's so good to have you back ! -- and I hope you tell us all what you did on your Spring vacation (besides just writing more novels, that is -- though I would like to read the story that mentions the Tang horse)

May 14, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

And yes, Amanda, I was thinking about both you and Sir G. in that painting.

Notice how solid and confident the lady appears -- like a rock in the fullness of her creativity -- while is it too cruel to remark that her high-born interlocutor is a little off-balance -- and something of a foppish dandy ?

No need to stab him with the paint brush -- just yank off his wig !

May 14, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

I gave him the behind of a peach and the general swoop and style of a peony... It'll be out, as the story was a commissioned anthology piece. I'll let you know!


"a conscious rejection of seeing from a photographically influenced perspective"

It's the same thing with stories--a conscious rejection of dreaming the tale from a movie-influenced perspective.


I'm soon off again but only for four days. When I get back, I'll write something about the whole experience, maybe.

Chris, the sculpture studio there is only used once in a blue moon. Carolina Escobar is using it now, and evidently that's unusual.

May 14, 2007  
Anonymous the Big Silly said...

Oh, Amanda meant the young lady in the painting. What a dummy I am!

I was stuck on your final comment and her response...

May 14, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Why is this post getting so many hits now - eight years after it was written?

If Google just took you to this post, might you kindly tell me for whom you were searching? David Hockney? Jeremy Long? Bo Bartlett?

March 10, 2015  

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