Picasso Exhibition

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Sydney Art Gallery) I have to admit that the hanging I most appreciated said “EXIT” in illumined green and white…   Wyndham Lewis had this to say of Picasso (1881-1973) in 1940: “Cézanne is the great influence: that, and the arts of primitive man…Picasso is parasitic…he is at the same time original.  His originality is of a technical order…And were Picasso a musician, he would be able to play a dozen instruments, and be as adept with a kettledrum as with a harp.  But he would not be a Bach or a Beethoven…He is such a great, luxuriant, voracious, plant: and…

Continue Reading →

The Moon and Sixpence

(by W. Somerset Maugham) W struggled to create a genuine primitive but he comes close with Charles Strickland, a nasty and tormented artist, based on Paul Gauguin (born 7 June 1848, died 8 May 1903 in Polynesia).  Strickland’s exchanges with the Maugham-like narrator are great fun.  “Don’t you care whether you paint well or badly?” “I don’t. I want only to paint what I see.”  

Continue Reading →

Michelangelo: His Epic Life

(by Martin Gayford) Straightfoward but intelligent and informed biography of the world’s greatest visual artist, well sourced and well imagined. Even when he ran out of puff, money or interest, he still managed to do great things; e.g. his incomplete (although officially deemed finished after 45 years of tinkering) tomb of Julius II, with its magnificent centrepiece of Moses. Ridiculously prolific even though he could be a right sod in negotiating and delivering his famous services, as multi-talented as his rival Leonardo, as contradictory as all men, Michelangelo is still “the one to beat”. “And who is He that sculptured…

Continue Reading →

The Maybe

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, Ulalume |

(2013) Tilda Swinton sleeps, encased in glass, at MoMA in Manhattan. The bed is cleaner than Tracey Emin’s but Tilda, with her death’s head and pale, slight figure, surely can find better roles than this pallid piece of modern confectionary. At least Marina Abramovic nudes up. In a letter to The Australian, Mr Tony Hennessy of Casino, New South Wales, avers “Two people standing on a box may be difficult but it is not art”. This begs the old answer-less question ‘what is art?’ And the claim made by the pop artists ‘all art is already mediated’ surely confuses outcome…

Continue Reading →

Eichmann in Jerusalem

(by Hannah Arendt) The Varnished Culture finished this work none the wiser but better informed. Valuable as all eye-witness accounts are, it is nonetheless a moot point as to whether the ultimate Nazi bureaucrat is worth study at all. A trickier topic is the Stockholm-style compliance by some Jewish leaders, and touching on that exposes the author to a charge of excessive severity.

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.