Tuesday, 27 August 2019

John Beech / Antoni Tàpies

Antoni Tàpies
White Canvas with Sewn Cardboard
assemblage on canvas
100 x 100 cm (39.375 x 39.375 inches)
private collection, Barcelona
photographed from 'The Complete Works, Volume 2', compiled by Anna Agusti

Antoni Tàpies
Signs over White Ovals
mixed media on wood
196 x 260 cm (77.25 x 102.375 inches)
collection Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
photographed from 'The Complete Works, Volume 2', compiled by Anna Agusti

I first encountered the art of Antoni Tàpies in 1983, while an art student in Berkeley, California.
I felt an inexplicable sense of proximity to the beautiful language that deemed Tàpies's works somehow inevitable.
Since that time, although my own art has a closer tie to industrial materials than the earthen matter of Tàpies, I have often wished for it to share the quality of suspended stillness that his great works exude.

John Beech, Brooklyn NY, July 2019

John Beech
Panel Painting #2
oil enamel, hollow-core acrylic sheet, screws
201,6 x 97 x 1,6 cm (79.375 x 38.875 x 0.625 inches)

John Beech (US)
Repaired Sheet #3
oil enamel, plywood, steel mending plates, screws
225,7 x 210,8 x 2,2 cm (88.875 x 83 x 0.875 inches)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Danielle van Broekhoven / Per Kirkeby

Per Kirkeby
Leiser Wellenschlag Grun (Lapping of waves, green)
oil on linen
200 x 300 cm 

I saw the large paintings of Per Kirkeby for the first time in 2009 at the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek near Copenhagen. This first acquaintance with the museum may have contributed to the feeling I had with the paintings of Kirkeby. I think this is such a fantastic museum in many ways. I read the following description somewhere on the internet (by Bent van Looy, the frontman of Das Pop): "Lousiana is one of my favorite places on earth. Everything is right there. The architecture is inventive and progressive, but at the same time modest and discrete. The building is large and yet on a human scale. It is in no way intended to amaze or impress. Very Danish, actually. Danes are the masters of discretion". I could not put it better!
The large exhibition I saw there at that time in 2009, with gigantic paintings by this Danish painter Per Kirkeby, fascinated me enormously, but also raised many questions for me.
Why do I find this so good, is it intuitive or very thoughtful, why does he paint what he paints? What do I look at and why do I keep looking? It is abstract but not entirely abstract .... I feel nature in his works, but I don't really see it ....
Are these paintings tough and bold? Or seriously? One feeling prevailed, I really felt like painting. And that is usually a good indicator.
His use of color is beautiful! The struggle I felt when I first saw his works, but at the same time the fascination for it and the primal force, are aspects that I also feel when I paint.
Per Kirkeby himself calls his painting old-fashioned. He perceives nature as it presents itself and then brushes it in the way perceptions come to him. Only in this way can the truth be brought to light. That makes his paintings no less enigmatic. They are difficult to read. "I am not a gardener. Just an observer. Nature is what she is."

Danielle van Broekhoven, 2019

Danielle van Broekhoven (NL)
Burst of Nature
oil and acrylic on linen
180 x 120 cm