19 May 2017

Christopher Le Brun in conversation

Paul Coldwell was asking the questions and making the conversation flow at this event at Chelsea College of Art. I'm a big fan of Paul Coldwell - the crit he gave the book arts group at Camberwell was packed with "things to pay attention to" and his work is fabulous too. Christopher Le Brun I knew less about, but recognised his name as a former President of the Royal Academy.
Le Brun's paintings are not small (via)
... and he's made some big prints - each sheet of Untitled (1986) is 760x1120mm (via)
... but prints in his Fifty Etchings series measure 178x131mm (via)

Horses appear often in his work - "Union" is outside the Museum of London (via)
LeBrun works in different media and someone has written about that ... different disciplines require different concentration and speed. (That made sense at the time, which is why I wrote it down...)

I was also struck by talk of "not-knowing" as a way of looking at the world. In my own experience, sometimes you draw something without knowing what it really is, eg a diseased bone without knowing what a healthy bone looks like, and all you can do is draw what you see. Also I'm thinking of how the early astronomers drew what they saw through their telescopes [some wonderful drawings of Mars in the 19th century] and how that influenced not only what they then "knew", but also what other observers subsequently saw.

Of painting Le Brun said - "Touch - colour - that's what we do."

He advocated putting in "a little kitsch" - for "recognition", natural connectedness.

Touch again when, after working in etching studios and with printing technicians, he started handprinting his woodcuts with a spoon.
from Seria Luda, 2015 - each is 76cm x 56cm (via)

His small etchings need being close to them to show "a world of detail" - it's "akin to reading".

Asked how he inspires himself, he had two suggestions - "hold on to your innocence", what's driving you, what did you first love? and "read and read and listen and think and read and read" and then go and "put colour down".

Le Brun's website has (hidden among the Works) some interesting quotes from interviews, eg:

'I’m highly aware of painting’s layered-ness, what is in front and what is behind; and when you make a sculpture, you can walk around it, so you see the consequences and get in amongst the layers. It has really striking consequences. Like the dark side of the moon – an image that previously only ever had one aspect is then shown to have unexpected potential. '
(Christopher Le Brun, in ‘Interview with CV 16 May 2010’, Interviews: Artists, Patterns of Experience Recordings 1988 -2011, 2011)

1 comment:

irene macwilliam said...

you have given lots of things for me to think about.