07 April 2018

On the desk and off the desk

Top of my to-do list today is/was to dust the desk.
To the left of the computer is a heap of good intentions - bits of paper representing things I want to blog about. But at the moment I cannot sit for any length of time - notice the piles of magazines that support laptop and big screen! Standing doesn't really work for long either ... hence the growing heap of good intentions.

Four of the leaflets in the heap are of recent exhibitions: David Milne, Giorgio Griffa, Paddy Hartley, and Francis Davison.

David Milne at Dulwich Picture Gallery till 7 May - a Canadian artist working in the first half of the 20th century. Mostly landscape. I have somewhere on the shelves a nice book about his life and work, and have been looking at a catalogue from 1980 of a show of his prints, with French text. The leaflets hidden in that book include one from the National Gallery in Ottawa of a show of his work in 1992 - possibly my first contact -
and an exhibition of his watercolours at the British Museum in 2005, accompanied by five gallery talks, four Canadian feature films, and two programmes of animated films. Ah, those were the days ... before resources started to dry up...

Davison (1919-1984) met Patrick Heron at boarding school in 1932; they were lifelong friends. With his partner and later wife, Margaret Mellis, he moved to the ramshackle family chateau in Cap d'Antibes in 1947, and here he began painting the surrounding landscape. Back in England, they devoted themselves to farming (eggs) in Suffolk. He turned to collage in 1952, "initially using a stark palette of browns and greys, dictated by the materials that he had to hand. These also reflected the organic-looking Suffolk houses that were his inspiration. He used Essex board, overlaying paper to create dense colour and reduced shapes. Never cutting, only tearing, he was constrained by the rectangular board that he used until 1963. Once he abandoned the Essex boards, more freedom was afforded to his collages". He refused to name the works, believing they should speak for themselves. In the late 70s and early 80s he finally moved out of relative obscurity, with a solo show at the Hayward Gallery in 1983 and four solo shows at the Redfern since his death.

See works by Francis Davison here and here.

Griffa and Hartley will have separate posts - they are scheduled for early May.

Also on the heap of good intentions are several magazines that are trying to leave the building. I find it hard to let go... and therefore have A Strategy: find one article, take a photo. Maybe write a bit about it.

Like this:
Read it online here

Cordon by Sophie Horton, 2004, as shown in Surface Design Journal

Some of the Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in 2009

Mary Adshead (1904-1995) A London Evening, 1933

Saul Steinberg had a delightful show at Dulwich
Picture Gallery in 2008
Hmm, not much "writing about it" - maybe later, gotta rush... the dusting will have to wait, too!


Bea said...

I like the Davison collages...b

Sandy said...

Jane Glennie, Merete Hawkins and I made work in response to the finding of the Staffordshire Hoard. One of the few pieces of mine I have hanging up!
We mixed a brown paint with sand and stones to cover each of our gallery wrapped canvas. This became the background for our work.
I tried to show the earth up close with the bits of jewellery breaking the surface, lots of big grass stitches through the canvas.