Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Underwater Visions



This was one of my favorite paintings in the show at MOMA which is up until January 23. In the passage from seahorse on the left to unidentifiable but clearly meaning-laden forms through to the right, I can see the merging of his interests: the decorative, the biological, the glyph, the fantastical, the anatomical. There was an early drawing in the show called Dream Polyp, which says it all - that occurences of body are connected to imagination and dreams. His use of color or thick black atmosphere creates the mind-stage from where apparitional moments emerge only subtly. Little faces, trees, chimerical creatures, ghostly figures, butterflies, are all seemingly a part of the almost toxic ether he creates with either color in the paintings, or dense blacks in the drawings and prints. The radiant glow he manages to achieve in his paintings seem like synthetic light sources or alien emanations, they are so unnatural and extreme. He borders on cheese but it's so loopy and ahead of its time, and I have a tendency to embrace the cheese, so....I said YES!!! I loved this show. Go to the MOMA site www.moma.org to see more images. They made it impossible for me to link to the images, unfortunately.

Quite a departure, I know, this post is, from the dead baby shenanigans and bad show titles of the last few days. I think we all needed to get something off our chests, if you will.

I am thinking the Bad Show Titles should be a regular occurrence that we keep adding to. There are so many more out there, I am sure. Any other game suggestions will be much appreciated.

One more thing....missing angels, our little stillborns, we are not done with you. I don't know how or when, but you will be back, I can feel it in my sick thick gullet......

21 comments:

mountain man said...

One of the things I have been thinking about lately is this idea of "the decorative" which sometimes gets a bad rap - meaning people often assume it means devoid of content. I think this is not so, that decoration can be part of the content, can enhance it...it is not inherently empty of thought or just fanciful and pleasing to the eye. I used to think decorative was an insult, but clearly, as in the case of Redon, it is part of the continuum of imagery - on its own, it is wallpaper - but hey who hasn't seen a room of wallpaper in their lifetimes that they haven't gotten lost in thought contemplating???? If you haven't I highly recommend the experience. Find some wallpaper somewhere and just stare. It's fun.

postmoderndebunker said...

Here, here, MM! I saw this show when it first opened and really felt the magix. And the word decoration did not enter the brain (not that there's anything wrong with that) because I was so immersed in his world.

postmoderndebunker said...

I am having my 457th cup of tea in the last 5 days....thinking I will venture into beige to earn some sheckles. I still feel like the end may be near.

Dead Baby Whitehead said...

Good luck with the sheckle earning and feel better, PD. I love you.

hammy said...

loved that show so much! I love that he used the lowly paper. Very magical, dare I say... transcendent? I felt that way... Fanciful and melancholic.

Corny said...

I've got to sober my ass up and go see this show. Have to admit, I have been one of those people with predjuces about the "decorative" in art, though I love redon, and other artists who use pattern, LOVE vuillard, love the viennese Secessionists their use of material is loose and fluid.

Corny said...

MM your description of this show is amazing!

sloth said...

MM: gorgeous description! Can't formulate complete sentence. Must have 2nd cup of coffee.... this is all I have to say right now.

fairy butler said...

nicely done review, mm, very lovely. and i hear you on 'the decorative.' people need to calm down on using this term pejoratively. they also need to calm down on 'finding the content' in literal terms. often this 'content' is the truly decorative...you know what i am saying?

I saw a Redon show at the art institue of chicage many years ago (10?) and i still remember it. Great drawings and prints of fantastical stuff. I need to get my ass uptown to see this Redon before it goes away. thanks for the reminder!

fairy butler said...

going to procure 2nd cup now too sloth. must wake up brain.

hammy said...

It is such a sweet and thoughtful description. yes!

sloth said...

I think Redon succeeds in creating a "world" in most of his paintings, thusly they go beyond decorative. It's fun to torture oneself in the studio by looking at a painting & saying "...but has it achieved WORLD yet?"

fairy butler said...

agreed sloth, agreed.

Mountain Man said...

Hi nicers. I am being somewhat productive today and severely limited my blog time. I was getting out of hand.

sloth said...

EXCELLENT, mm. Productivity... sigh. Memories.

Mountain Man said...

Productivity will return, I foresee it, Sloth. Today I painted and now am working on Sophomore Drawing Studies syllabus. I am trying to think of some cool assignments.

Mountain Man said...

When I was in the studio on Monday I thought I was going to puke. It was the worst-seeming place on earth. Now it seems more organized, focused, hopeful, THANK BEJESUS.

Somehow the drawing session last night helped. Helped in the ongoing battle against self-hate and ADD.

Sophomore said...

I want to be taught how to shoot up in your class.

Corny said...

MM are you drawing from life? Is it a class? I'm impressed and more then a little jealous. You're cool.

Corny said...

also can you email me your email, seemed to have lost it.

Anonymous said...

I like what you wrote about Redon too.