See more artworks by David Hominal here.
There is a crisis with regard to Representation. They are looking for Meaning as if it was a thing. As if it was a girl, required to take her panties off as if she would want to do so, as soon as the true interpreter comes along. As if there was something to take off.
Marlene Dumas, The Artwork as Misunderstanding, 1991.
“I want [the paintings] to have an old, modernist feel, but also looking at abstraction, not from a Greenbergian perspective… but from a nostalgic perspective… it’s adding a more personal perspective… the way we see an image is a little different than a generation before us… because of what media we grew up with.” – Russell Tyler
See more works by Russell Tyler here.
I like real art. It’s difficult to define REAL but it is the best word for describing what I like to get out of art and what the best art has. It has the ability to convince you that it’s present – that it’s there. You could say it’s authentic… but real is actually a better word, broad as it may be. – Frank Stella
Learn more about Frank Stella here.
Sometimes when you dream, you know that you are almost awake and dawn is on its way and yet you get stuck in a nightmare that keeps on repeating itself. Images of different times spinning around your head in a frenzy, forcing you to go round in endless labyrinths of the past, sometimes dressed-up as the future. Or is it the other way around? Gothic versions of stories you’ve once read somewhere, pictures you saw or tales you’ve been told in the dark. – Marlene Dumas
Mostly, though, paint functions as a medium of resistance for Ligon; it occludes visibility and threatens form. Nowhere is such deletion more explicit than in Untitled (Cancelation Prints) (1992 and 2003), where a flesh-coloured ‘X’ overtakes the entire white image field, demarcating the distance between the construct of whiteness and the pinkness of most European skin. This obliterating impulse equally manifests in Self-Portrait, the inky, black surface of which is visibly scratched and gouged. Such signs of refusal emphasize how Ligon’s numerous self-portraits are invariably exercises in effacement and retraction. – Leora Maltz-Leca
See more works by Glenn Ligon here.
Paintings may be pictures, but they are always objects. The blatant materiality of Sergej Jensen’s canvases made them seem part of the interior architecture of Neu’s gallery. Jensen has consistently had an ambivalent relation to the spaces in which he shows his work. Previously at Neu, he arranged mats on the floor that resembled his patchwork paintings, converting the gallery into a pseudo-living room, the paintings into decor that satirized the convention of a “high-art painting” show. – Mark Prince
See more artworks by Sergej Jensen here.
Lucy Skaer created these drawings consisting of rhythmic black sharpie spirals in grids, pictorial shapes, and patterns additionally filled in with graphite like a tapestry. She wove together different earlier drawings as a patchwork and utilized a few assistants to carry out the tedious, repetitive labor. Here, we see a play with drawing on paper at an architectural scale. A tension exists between the intricate, repetitive detail in graphite (which we may see as lushly decorative) and the bodily scale shift to a larger, wholesome framework. – Drawing Art Center
In 1959, Bob Law lay in a Cornish field and wondered how to describe the space he was in. His solution was a series of drawings in which figurative elements – such as trees or houses – are arranged along a doddery pencil line at the perimeter of the paper. A year later, Law had distilled this approach to his signature device: the rectangular perimeter alone, bounding empty space, sometimes accompanied by a date, a title or his name, always in block capitals. – Jonathan Griffin
See more artworks by Bob Law here.
Alex Hubbard’s latest New York solo show, “Somebody had to do it,” combined the cerebrally slapstick and the delightfully inscrutable… Hubbard reaches or steps into the image, moving slowly and with great seriousness as he balances everyday objects, one atop another, to form a rickety tower, until the lot collapses with a bang. – Brian Boucher
See more artworks by Alex Hubbard here.
“Elizabeth Taylor in a landscape, painting nature’s beauty and the caress of the smirking sun over the mountains” est le titre d’une de ces icônes, un petit format à l’huile sur bois qui donne son nom à l’exposition. La star y figure en peintre du dimanche dans un décor idyllique des grands espaces américains. Appliquée, elle pose son pinceau sur sa toile. On est dans le vif du sujet : l’acte de peindre et l’industrie des images. “Comment est-ce qu’une image peinte peut parler d’autre chose que d’elle même ?” interrogeaient récemment Ida Tursic et Wilfried Mille au Collège de France. Leurs peintures, visibles à la galerie Almine Rech, donnent l’esquisse d’une réponse. – Mathilde Urfalino
See more artworks by Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille here.
In his recent work Manor Grunewald has made a dual turn, pushing his paintings in two seemingly opposing, but in fact intimately related directions. Towards a washed out, nearly empty field, on the one hand, and towards a full, image-laden one on the other. – Alex Bacon
See more artworks by Manor Grunewald here.
Stefan Brüggemann is keen on thinking up titles. So far he has compiled a list of 1,271 of them (‘Show Titles vol. #1’, 2000–6), creating for himself an index of imaginary exhibitions. One might begin, then, with the title of the present show: ‘Soap Box (A Decorative Form of Nihilism)’. A ‘soap box’ would suggest political declarations, the arts of rhetoric and public address, perhaps even the pathos of outmoded ideals. ‘A decorative form of nihilism’? Well, what else can one do with non-belief but inhabit it, display it as a mark of distinction, covering the walls with parerga abutting onto nothing in particular? We might describe Brüggemann first as a rhetorician of emptiness. But, working in the tradition of the dandy, he has also succeeded in dramatizing boredom, which opens ‘soap box’ to a rather different, more private set of connotations. – Tim Stott
See more artworks by Stefan Bruggemann here.
Jeremy Demester: D’origine gitane, que le jeune artiste (né en 1988) revendique à travers son art et ses voyages, il travaille sur le rapport de l’homme avec le monde, la nature et les mythes fondateurs. En collaboration avec ses amis philosophes, scientifiques, artisans, qu’il appelle La Demestria, il est à la recherche d’une expression du sacré, questionnant une présence spirituelle de la nature. En 2015, il avait participé à une résidence d’artiste au Bénin, où, avec l’aide des enfants du quartier, il avait développé une série de toiles exposées actuellement à la galerie Max Hetzler. Les invitant à « peindre avec le mouvement de nos corps », les enfants étaient appelés, au rythme des musiques locales, à danser autour des toiles, y jeter de la peinture, les porter, les soulever, afin d’y projeter une énergie insouciante. Refusant l’emploi de la logique et de la raison, Jérémy Demester laissait ensuite les toiles exposées à la tourmente des éléments naturels, énergisant les pigments. Il retendait ensuite les toiles une fois incarnés de cette puissance. – Maximilien Renard
See more works by Jeremy Demester here.
See more artworks by Kenji Shibata here.
Stéfane Perraud is doing some geometric laser art defacing. See more artworks by Stéfane Perraud here.
See more works from Paul Czerlitzki here.
Brice Marden made these paintings using a mixture of oil and beeswax. The works make you want to claw and scoop into them, not so much to destroy as to ingest them. – Mark Godfrey
See more works by Panos Tsagaris here.
Comme beaucoup d’enfants j’aimais et j’aime encore après avoir regardé le soleil en face fermer les yeux très fort et laisser s’imprimer sur les paupières les couleurs qui subsistent suite à cet éblouissement. Faire remonter à la surface du tableau les sensations colorées de ces choses vues ou tout juste aperçues à travers le pare-brise de la voiture, ou en levant la tête au cours d’une marche. Restituer ces brefs émerveillements du quotidien, c’est mon désir de peintre.
En quelque sorte une « mémoire d’aveugle » comme le dit Jacques Derrida.- Gérard Traquandi
See more artworks by Gérard Traquandi here.
It’s not worth it, says Allen. And it might not be worth for Lebrija either, whose dark Mexican humour and metaphysical bent continues a great tradition of artists and writers. Bittersweet and lucid nihilists, who, despite the impending shadow of failure, never cease in their quest to find the answers to those questions. – Lorena Muñoz-Alonso
See more artworks by Gonzalo Lebrija here.
The Book of Taliesin VIII.
From The Four Ancient Books of Wales
I have been in a multitude of shapes,
Before I assumed a consistent form.1
I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I will believe when it is apparent.
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.
I have been the light of lanterns,
A year and a half.
I have been a continuing bridge,
Over three score Abers.2
I have been a course, I have been an eagle.
I have been a coracle in the seas:
I have been compliant in the banquet.
I have been a drop in a shower;
I have been a sword in the grasp of the hand
I have been a shield in battle.
I have been a string in a harp,
Disguised for nine years.
in water, in foam.
I have been sponge in the fire,
I have been wood in the covert.
I am not he who will not sing of
A combat though small,
The conflict in the battle of Godeu of sprigs.
Against the Guledig of Prydain,3
There passed central horses,
Fleets full of riches.
There passed an animal with wide jaws,
On it there were a hundred heads.
And a battle was contested
Under the root of his tongue;
And another battle there is
In his occiput.4
A black sprawling toad,
With a hundred claws on it.
A snake speckled, crested.
A hundred souls through sin
Shall be tormented in its flesh
I have been in Caer Vevenir5
Thither hastened grass and trees
Minstrels were singing
Warrior-bands were wondering
At the exaltation of the Brython,
That Gwydyon6 affected.
There was a calling on the Creator,
Upon Christ for causes,
Until when the Eternal
Should deliver those whom he had made.
The Lord answered them,
Through language and elements:
Take the forms of time prinncipal trees,
Arranging yourselves in battle array,
And restraining the public.
Inexperienced in battle hand to hand.
When the trees were enchanted,
In the expectation of not being trees,
The trees uttered their voices
From strings of harmony,
The disputes ceased.
Let us cut short heavy days,
A female restrained the din.
She came forth altogether lovely.
The head of the line, the head was a female.
The advantage of a sleepless cow
Would not make us give way.
The blood of men up to our thighs,
The greatest of importunate mental exertions
Sported in the world.
And one has ended
From considering the deluge,
And Christ crucified
And the day of judgement near at hand
The alder trees, the head of the line,
Formed the van.
The willows and quicken trees
Came late to the army.
Plum-trees, that are scarce,
Unlonged for of men
The elaborate medlar-trees
Tue objects of contention.
The prickly rose-bushes,
Against a host, of giants,
The raspberry brake did
What is better failed
For the security of life.
Privet and woodbine
And ivy on its front,
Like furze to the combat
The cherry-tree was provoked.
The birch, notwithstanding his high mind,
Was late before he was arrayed.
Not because of his cowardice,
But on account of his greatness.
The laburnuin held in mind,
That your wild nature was foreign.
Pine-trees in the porch,
The chair of disputation,
By me greatly exalted,
In the presence of kings
The elm with his retinue,
Did not go aside a foot
He would fight with the centre,
And the flanks, and the rear.
Hazel-trees, it was judged,
That ample was thy mental exertion
The privet, happy his lot,
The bull of battle, the lord of the world
Morawg and Morydd7
Were made prosperous in pines.
Holly, it was tinted with green,
He was the hero.
The hawthorn, surrounded by prickles,
With pain at his hand.
The aspen-wood has been topped,
It was topped in battle.
The fern that was plundered
The broom, in the van of the army, in the trenches he was hurt.
The gorse did not do well,
Notwithstanding let it overspread.
The heath was victorious, keeping off on all sides.
The common people were charmed,
During time proceeding of the men.
The oak, quickly moving,
Before him, tremble heaven and earth.
A valiant door-keeper against an enenly,
his name is considered.
The blue-bells combined,
And caused a consternation.
In rejecting, were rejected,
Others, that were perforated.
Pear-trees, the best intruders
In time conflict of the plain.
A very wrathful wood,
The chestnut is bashful,
The opponent of happiness,
The jet has become black,
The mountain has become crooked,
The woods have become a kiln,
Existing formerly in the great seas
Since was heard the shout:–
The tops of the birch covered us with leaves,
And transformed us, and changed our faded state.
The branches of the oak have ensnared us
From the Gwarchan of Maelderw.8
Laughing on the side of the rock,
The lord is not of an ardent nature.
Not of mother and father,
When I was made,
Did my Creator create me.9
Of nine-formed faculties,
Of the fruit of fruits,
Of the fruit of the primordial God,
Of primroses and blossoms of time hill,
Of the flowers of trees and shrubs.
Of earth, of an earthly course,
When I was formed.
Of the flower of nettles,
Of the water of the ninth wave.
I was enchanted by Math,10
Before I became immortal,
I was enchanted by Gwydyon
The great purifier of the Brython,
Of Eurwys, of Euron,
Of Euron, of Modron.11
Of five battalions of scientific ones.
Teachers, children of Math.
When the removal occurred,
I was enchanted by the Guledig.
When he was half-burnt,
I was enchanted by the sage
Of sages, in the primitive world.
When I had a being;
When the host of the world was in dignity,
The bard was accustomed to benefits.
To the song of praise I am inclined, which the tongue recites.
I played in the twilight,
I slept in purple;
I was truly in the enchantment
With Dylan, the son of the wave.12
In the circumference, in the middle,
Between the knees of kings,
Scattering spears not keen,
From heaven when came,
To the great deep, floods,
In the battle there will be
Four score hundreds,
That will divide according to their will.
They are neither older nor younger,
Than myself in their divisions.
A wonder, Canhwr are born, every one of nine hundred.
He was with me also,
With my sword spotted with blood.
honour was allotted to me
By the Lord, and protection (was) where he was.
If I come to where the boar was killed,
He will compose, he will decompose,
He will form languages.
The strong-handed gleamer, his name,
With a gleam he rules his numbers.
They would spread out. in a flame,
When I shall go on high.
I have been a speckled snake on the hill,
I have been a viper in the Llyn.
I have been a bill-hook crooked that cuts,
I have been a ferocious spear
With my chasuble and bowl
I will prophesy not badly,
Four score smokes
On every one what will bring.
Five battalions of arms
Will be caught by my knife.
Six steeds of yellow hue
A hundred times better is
My cream-coloured steed,
Swift as the sea-mew
Which will not pass
Between the sea and the shore.
Am I not pre-eminent in the field of blood?
Over it are a hundred chieftains.
Crimson (is) the gem of my belt,
Gold my shield border.
There has not been born, in the gap,
That has been visiting me,
From the dales of Edrywy.
Long white my fingers,
It is long since I have been a herdsman.
I travelled in the earth,
Before I was a proficient in learning.
I travelled, I made a circuit,
I slept in a hundred islands
A hundred Caers I have dwelt in.
Ye intelligent Druids,
Declare to Arthur,14
What is there more early
Than I that they sing of.
And one is come
From considering the deluge,
And Christ crucified,
And the day of future doom.
A golden gem in a golden jewel.
I am splendid
And shall be wanton
From the oppression of the metal-workers.15
First, it is worth noting that them of a battle of the trees can be seen reflected in the Irish story of The Second Battle of Magh Turedh:
“And ye, O Be-cuile and O Dianann,” said Lugh to his two witches,” what power can ye wield in the battle?”
“Not hard to tell,” said they. “We will enchant the trees and the stones and the sods of the earth, so that they shall become a host under arms against them, and shall rout them in flight with horror and trembling.”
And so the battle between the gods (Tuatha De Danann) and titans (Fomoraig) is waged in part by animating the trees and stones. Here, we have another battle; but who is it between? In a later short text, also called “The Battle of the Trees,” the battle is between Arawn and Bran on the side of the underworld, and Amaethon and Gwydion on this side. The battle here is over a white deer and a dog, both animals which appear in the beginning of the Mabinogi as the animals of Arawn, wrongly pursued by Pwyll. In “The Battle of the Trees,” Amaethon steals the animals from “Hell,” which is ruled by Arawn. Amaethon is able to prevail when his brother Gwydion guesses the name of one of the fighters, Bran, by the fact that he has alder sprigs on his shield. Now, Bran’s nephew (son of his sister Branwen) was named Gwern, meaning “alder,” and it is the sister’s son who is often the heir or chief defender of the kingdom.
So what exactly is the Battle of the Trees? When one examines part of the outcome of the second battle of Magh Turedh–namely that Lugh forces Bres to reveal the secrets of agriculture–and compares that them to the meaning of Amaethon’s name–“Divine Farmer”–we may be getting bits of a story varient of the gods vs. titans (or Aesir vs. Vanir, etc.) myth.
1. I have been in a multitude of shapes:
2. bridge/Over three score Abers: an aber is the mouth of a river. As for someone being a bridge, this could possibly refer to Bran the Blessed, who stretched himself as a bridge over the Liffy in the story of “Branwen uerch Llyr”. Or, it could just be one of the transformations.
3. Guledig of Prydain: a warlord, here over all Britain. Who does this refer to? Arthur is mentioned later in the poem; could it be him?
4. occiput: eye socket.
5. Caer Vevenir: this location is obscure.
6. Gwydyon: the great magician of “Math vab Mathonwy”. Father of Lleu, he is a bard and magician, and his name means “wood knowledge”.
7. Morawg and Morydd: these figures are obscure.
8. Gwarchan of Maelderw: this is actually a poem in the Book of Aneirin, attributed to Taliesin.
9. Not of mother or father…: This section seems to refer to the creation of Blodeuwedd, the woman of flowers who was given to Lleu as a wife. She later betrays him.
10. Math: the king of Gwynedd and master magician who created Blodeuwedd for his nephew Lleu.
11. Eurwys, of Euron,
Of Euron, of Modron: Eurwys and Euron are obscure; Modron is the mother of Mabon, but also the wife of Urien and mother of Owein. She is identifiable with the Gaulish goddess Matrona as well as with Rhiannon.
12. Dylan, son of the wave
13. Goronwy: the lover of Blodeuwedd and the murderer of Lleu; when Lleu is
15. metalworkers: the word given is fferyll; some see this as the word Fferyllt, who is the classical poet Vergil, whose book Cerridwen reads from when making her potion for awen.