Friday, April 14, 2006

August Strindberg







‘I am everywhere, in the ocean which is my blood, in the hills which are my bones’

-August Strindberg

Strindberg was a painter and experimental photographer, as well as a writer...I didn't know about all this until I was tipped off by my pal DS. Thanks!

Check out this excellent article by Barry Schwabsky:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1248/is_4_90/ai_84669344

Quotes from the article:

"the very fact that [Strindberg] was self-taught, that he was an amateur, seems to have freed him from all sorts of preconceptions about what a picture should be."

"[There is an] analogy between the materiality of paint and the physical sensation of place..."

"[He wanted to] imitate nature in an approximate way, imitate in particular nature's way of creating." To this end--well before the birth of John Cage or the Surrealists' proclamation of the doctrine of psychic automatism, and three years before Stephane Mallarmes publication of "Un Coup de des" began to edge the theme of chance toward the heart of European esthetics--Strindberg advocated the use of chance methods in artistic creation as a way of realizing a work in which "the whole reveals itself as a wonderful mixture of the conscious and unconscious."

"Strindberg's art was driven by the desire for an unmediated vision, a continuity between thought and matter."

"It can be argued that this is simply the fundamental desire at the heart of all painting: the desire to breathe life into mere colored mud, and for inanimate matter to become transparent to thought."

31 comments:

mountain man said...

I want to get at this experience of the materiality of paint in my work...but not so much a physical sensation of place, more a physical sensation of thought.

Also exciting, but hard to find images of, are Strindberg's celestographs and crystallographs, where he experimented with photographic plates to get traces of nature - the crystalline structure of snow, starts in the sky.

mountain man said...

I am dilly-dallying. Please extrude me through a tube and make me stop.

mountain man said...

Must get to shack. The end times are here. Finish must come. Finish, come. I am not clarified.

krixfort said...

The first three of his pintings which you posted are truly amazing and particularly moving to me. The paint has its own presence but the unrest, moodiness, hints of danger and indifference in the water evoke strong memories of where I grew up.

Thanks for posting this artist. I will be looking for more of Strindberg's work.

krixfort said...

not pintings. Paintings. Silly me.

mountain man said...

Krix, that was beautifully put. Thanks.

Delphine said...

Help. I am thrombo-embolizing. I need a full body pressure suit Size XL, Color Nude.

Delphine said...

I also may need iontophoresis socks to pass electrical charges through the soles of my feet. It is therapeutic for the sweats.

w.w. said...

yes MM! sensation. i love this return to automatism that is in the air. it is spirituality without pretense; without having to join anything. just straight believing and embracing of accidents without trying to reconcile... i want to do this too. i am hoping it can be done with minimal drug use. or at least cheaply.

mountain man said...

Minimal drug use...good luck with that one WW. Pass the ambien.

fairy butler said...

hi mmm, i just woke up! ugh.

really nice post. I was not aware of his paintings - but he was friends with all sorts of visual artists i believe, right?

Finding a way to enter into a dialogue through material, without preconception, such a difficult thing to do. It's often the way i try and approach my work, trying to not know too much, and I think many artists relate to this. It seems that Strindberg is so uh, naive, or sweet in these paintings, that there is such an earnest need to communicate the quality of the landscape - the poeticism of it without the words. It makes me jealous. i find it sooo impossible to be so earnest, there is so much lurking history and self-consciousness. in some ways that is part of my subject maybe. but these seem so simple and direct. how to believe like that? sigh.

i have not had enough coffee, so please excuse rambling.

fairy butler said...

oh and I called you triple m's. ha.

krixfort said...

fb, you make it sound a lot like writing without constantly self-editing.

krixfort said...

get some coffee sleepy.

w.w. said...

earnest goes to camp.

sloth said...

http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/strindberg/timeline.shtm

sloth said...

He was pals with Munch; they hung out at a bar called the Black Pig.

I think we need a bar...

Ds said...

Hi there MM,
I am so glad you liked these. I found the Schwabsky article in Art In America while developing a cable access show with opera set designer, Doug Fitch called "Old Men Read Old Mags." Lots of caffeine and extemporaneous babble about the whatnot in past issues of art rags.
Strindberg. 112 years ago. Unbelievable. Especially the second one, it's so PoMo. Too bad you could not find the celestographs.
How about this for a consolation prize:
http://www.strindbergandhelium.com/

sloth said...

ds, I could only get the "In the Park" episode to play... but it was BRILLIANT, thank you. Don't have a clue what the "helium" blob is supposed to represent, but it is the perfect foil for grumpy ol' August.

The Capt'n said...

Mountain Man!

YESSSS!!!!!!!
You have done it again!
Thank you for this. Who knew? Now I want to know more.

How to belive like that, indeed, Fairy Butler.
How can we blow ourselves back to some kind of innocence at this point? I guess it takes a conscious effort. But it's what i want most, the belief, and the love.
MM, it's a funny cowinkydink, because you were asking what should you do about the bubble bitches, and I was gonna suggest doing something to disrupt the conscious marks or spaces you may or may not have going on up in there. Something unconscious or accidental, a surprise. But you already knew this.

The Capt'n said...

The first one reminds me of a certain triptych by Nicole Eisenman that I spied recently. The handling of the paint. She made an excellent big rolling sand dune on a beach where a surf team was spending quality time.
(Talk about believing again! If you wanna believe again, check her out again.)

deli-slicer said...

Once again, inpirational stuffs to see and read. A feast for my artictic leanings.

deli-slicer said...

There was a show and a concert at the Jewish Museum a couple of years ago that I loved.

ds said...

I really love the scale of these paintings as well. The largest dimension of any of these is only like 40", but their magnificence blows right through me. Also, no brushes, very physical. I understand he was a bit of a madman.

w.w. said...

i think surprises can happen, but they always lead to some kind of mannered description of themselves the minute you recognize them. it's like throwing paint at the canvas--it's an interruption to the standard hand/eye thing, but you're aiming, and you basically know what you want the paint to do. then you decide if it did what you want or not. then you change it if it didn't. so what's the point? the idea of unmediated vision has been baffling artists forever--everyone knows it's impossible but it's like the holy grail or something. as soon as you lose hope you might as well start rendering or some shit like that. i am in a crappy mood because everyone seems to be in the shack while i'm stuck at work. please entertain me with transcendentalist remarks and subtle wit.

renderer said...

hey! renderers are people too, y'know.

w.w. said...

prove it.

ds said...

Hey renderer,
who wants to be a person anyway?

ds said...

Hi mom, I pay taxes, how's the weather?

The Capt'n said...

In my book a surprise is a surprise, but what do I know?

Anyway, ds-
wanna play a favorite game of ours called "Boring Secrets?"

OK I'll start.
(Looking side to side sneakily, then leaning in to whisper...)

"I'm lactose intolerant."

MM said...

I am part cookie.

Hi guys. I have no good thoughts on me at the moment. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and celebrates or not according to your desires.