CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Max Ernst on the first floor and Richard Serra on the third

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on November 3, 2019

Max Ernst: An Invitation To Look
The Artist’S Career Surveyed In A Private Collection

Un/fortunately only three of the fifteen works because of another event, but came away with the catalogue.

The show features fifteen works from an exceptional private collection, covering Ernst’s entire career from 1925 to 1971, acquired largely in the 1950s and 1960s by a prominent Italian collector and friend of the artist.

Of course the question of ‘how to look’ is vital. All the works in the exhibition involve different methods used by Ernst in addition to drawing and oil on canvas – frottage, collage, grattage, and gesso relief.

Upstairs in a different dealership is a selection of Richard Serra drawings – examples of several different series. These test the edge between drawing and sculpture; the surfaces are as dense as Chestnut tree bark. The one exception, a looping line spiralling across the page is more like a stream and banks of accumulated sediment.

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What art have I seen? Collage

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

Collage exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

What art have I seen? Dorothea Tanning

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 9, 2019

Dorothea Tanning at the Tate Modern. Jake asked if in an exhibition of Max Ernst there would be so much reference to his wife – seems unlikely. Mostly we don’t know about the women in male artists’ lives, unless they are ‘muses’ or lovers. Tanning’s narrative in the interpretation panels is woven with Ernst’s.

Beside this it is also interesting that all the publicity images are from the first phase of her work, which is most obviously part of the Surrealist tradition we are familiar with. There is mention of the fabric sculptures, but no images of the later much more optically complex and freely painted works. These explore the fragmented sense of subconscious experience. Rather than glimpses through doors, we have actually fragmented elements merging in complex patterns and forms. The resolution of this in the room-scale installation of fabric forms is truly Lovecraftian.

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