Monday, November 07, 2011

McCarthy-Southard Loft

Subsequent to my review
of Mary McCarthy's exhibit at the Union League Club,
the artist invited me over to her loft
for a glass of wine.

Since that review was positive,
I had no fear of getting beaten up.

So I accepted.

It's quite a place - an old factory
with 15 foot ceilings
that now serves as the home/studio
of Mary and Don Southard

(above, she is graciously presenting one of his paintings,
while one of her grid paintings,
resembling a Go board,
is up on the wall behind)

Coincidences abounded,
as it turned out that I had recently seen
the above freakish portrait of Don
as produced by a Forest Park neighbor of mine,
Tom Van Eynde
who presented him as harlequin,
i.e. a comic character from the Commedia Del'Arte
that originated as "a black-faced emissary of the devil, said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell."

Alas, poor Don!

I don't think he's still chasing bad people down to hell,
but he does often have a rather comic view of the human condition
as seen in the large painting shown above.
(which was my favorite)

That black-and-white image of himself
reminded me of a that famous
German painter who ended up in St. Louis,
and Don reminded me that his name
was Beckmann,
which is another nice thing about Don.

He remembers more art history than I do.

Here's another one of his paintings
that Mary pulled out for me to enjoy.

As you can see above,
Don collects primitive sculpture
which goes quite well
with the painting by Mary
that is hanging above it.

Here's a few more of
his African pieces.

Don modestly admits
that they are not of museum quality,
but as I once asserted
most of the pieces in museums
are not of museum quality either.

And they're definitely
a cut above
what shows up on the streets
of Chicago art fairs.

That's Mary's studio,
behind the partition
of ornamental objects.

And these are the paintings
that got me interested in her
in the first place.

This one is my favorite.

She's such a swinger!

She needs to be doing cover art
for the re-issues of Blue Note jazz albums
from the 1950's.

Now we're inside Don's studio
which seems to have time-warped
from Paris, 1910

Don has this crazy idea,
with which I happen to agree,
that originality is highly over rated,
so he copies things.

But like Picasso,
it's more like an opportunity
for him to make another one
of his own paintings
rather than to present
an accurate facsimile.

That sculpture by him
in the upper left corner
was adapted from another artist's drawing.

Here's his take
on the famous Ingres painting
which he tells me
was originally inside a square
rather than a circle.

And here's Uccello's famous
Battle of San Romano
that Norris Kelly Smith and I
discussed over here

And finally,
here's some more pieces
from their collection.

(the yellow geometric piece is by Mark Holmes)

Stanley Lewis