This is the kind of painting that appeals to me. Monochrome, well not completely MONOCHROME, since there is a fine kind of structure in the upper layer. It is a bit like the miniimal paintings of Tomas Rajlich , who uses the surface of the paint to form a pattern on the canvas, making the painting not flat but finely structured. Combining his Monochrome canvasses in a way that makes them a composition on their own and there you have it , beautiful paintings by this young Hungarian artist.
Max Imdahl said about Gal.
„The painting finds its way behind every order, whether innate or trained, defined conceptually, mathematically, geometrically or by a (formal) aesthetic: it finds the ground of (absolute emotion )as a kind of elementary capacity.” (Max Imdahl)
For me Alan Charlton stands for British Minimalism. Characterized by the color Grey, he makes constructivist shaped monochrome paintings. This is in short how you can describe the works by Alan Charlton. There were not many occasions that i have seen his works in Museums, but i remember at least to have seen three times his works. First at the van Abbemuseum, secondly at the Stedelijk Museum and thirdly at the Tate Modern. On all three occasions i thought these works were magnificent. I saw these works quite some time apart from each other, over a period of over 15 years they were viewed, but I always was impressed with the monochrome grey’s, each slightly different from each other making these a true color scale of grey’s.
They blend into their space and because of their monotony and regular shapes they become a part of the room they are exhibited in. It takes some time to appreciate them , but once you do , there are few more exciting paintings and therefore better artists than Alan Charlton, who makes these wonders in grey.
People who follow this blog know of my admiration for Minimal Art and for me Minimal Art includes the work by Robert Ryman. I hesitated to start with this sentence because many believe Robert Ryman is not a Minimal painter but more of a painter who makes monochrome works of art. Still ,when searching on Google for Ryman he is by many categorized as “Minimal”.
Often allied with Minimalist, Conceptual Art, and Monochrome Painting, Robert Ryman has painted works in which theme and medium are one. A majority of his paintings feature only white or off-white paint on square canvases, varying in scale and texture and draw the eye toward the nature of the brush strokes and the depth of paint. To further heighten the effect of subtle variations in technique, Ryman manipulates how each work is hung on the wall, playing with the frames themselves as well as with each painting’s distance from the wall. For example, the eleven-panel Vector (1975/1997) comprises 11 wood units of the same size painted in white and hung equidistant from one another, the empty spaces on the walls between the panels echoing the nuanced texture and forms of the panels themselves. A great painter and one of the last from his generation of Minimal artists. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Ryman available.
Yesterday i learned from a dutch TV program (DWDD / De Wereld Draait Door) that there is a large Yves Klein retrospective in the BOZAR museum Brussels.
Yves Klein , touched many currents in Modern Art, even was one of the participants in ZERO, but eventually developed a style of his own using in many of his works the iconic BLUE color he developed. Was it zero, action painting or performance art? Today art lovers around the world can not answer these questions , but one can see for one self what fits most, because there is a great retrospective on his art in BOZAR/ Bruxelles until the 20th of August. His monochrome blue paintings are on show together with his action paintings of blue prints of female bodies. A great show and possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see many important Yves Klein works together.
Nowadays Klein paintings fetch record prices at auctions all over the world, but in one of his first shows In Krefeld in 1961 nothing was sold. This was followed by an unsuccessful opening at Leo Castelli’s Gallery, New York, in which Klein failed to sell a single painting. He stayed with Rotraut Uecker at the Chelsea Hotel for the duration of the exhibition; and, while there, he wrote the “Chelsea Hotel Manifesto”, a proclamation of the “multiplicity of new possibilities.” In part, the manifesto declared:
At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. Only very recently I have become a sort of gravedigger of art (oddly enough, I am using the very terms of my enemies). Some of my latest works have been coffins and tombs. During the same time I succeeded in painting with fire, using particularly powerful and searing gas flames, some of them measuring three to four meters high. I use these to bathe the surface of the painting in such a way that it registered the spontaneous trace of fire.
To prepare your self for the exhibition, know that over the decades excellent books on Klein were published. There are some available at www.ftn-books.com
For me , he is one of the greatest from Last century. Lucio Fontana has had a long career in art and joined several groups, before he became part of the ZERO mouvement.
After ZERO he stayed true to his new found form of art in which monochrome paintings were slashed with a sharp Stanley knife or manipulated with his fingers,thus altering the surface with other materials and objects. Glass was one of his favorites to use. Fontana did not become very old, but in his art career of over 40 years he was one of the front runners in Modern Art. Willem Sandberg admired him very much and because of the importance of Zero and this admiration for Fontana, Fontana received his first Amsterdam monographic exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1967. Catalogue design by Wim Crouwel makes this the perfect combination for a great publication. Sandberg/Crouwel and Fontana combined in one publication is hard to beat. Since 1967 , Fontana featured in many group exhibitions on Zero and had solo exhibitions all over the world. Art collectors must pay huge sums of money to acquire a Fontana ( if ever there is one for sale/ there was one at Dorotheum and Sothebys last year, they made specials on youtube on these paintings)
and Museums that have one in their collection are lucky, because his paintings are nowadays “hors catagorie”. What can be had at reasonable prices? Of course some great publication at www.ftn-books.com and whenever you find a MUSEUMJOURNAAL with the special Fontana cover, do not hesitate and ….BUY IT!!!.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20