Exposition Art Blog

Ingemar Härdelin

 

 New works by a Swedish artist

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Paul Guiragossian

 

 Paul Guiragossian (1926 –1993) was an Armenian Lebanese painter.
"Art is greater than me, greater than any artist. I will remain an apprentice until the end. Art is our oxygen, it keeps us conscious, and without it we are insignificant. It's the crossroad of all disciplines, of all sciences. Like a sun it illuminates the past, the present and the future. It preserves our humanity, it is so much more important that man is hardly a rough draft. Our problem is that we don't live up to our humanity'. (Paul Guiragossian). A trajectory of Paul Guiragossian's oeuvre conveys an evolution of an abstract practice that originated in figurative portraiture. He is of Armenian origin, born in Jerusalem and lived in Lebanon. Undoubtedly his background has highly influenced a body of work that not only responds and is limited to the region's historical context but one that engages with the postmodern occupation with notions of identity, and 'the other'. In Madonna and Child (lot 13) dated circa early 1960s, Guiragossian draws from a palette of warm hues of red often associated with religious iconography. The main figure appears to be flat against the surface whilst tablets of religious narratives frame Mary. We begin to witness the emergence of thick brushstrokes- a style that defines Guiragossian's later works. Additionally, the context in which this work was executed is significant in gaining insight to Guiragossian's earlier practice. The Middle East was in upheaval, the Arabs were defeated in the 1956 war with Israel, and the Armenian community was vulnerable to constant persecution. Guiragossian was granted a scholarship and travelled to Florence and Paris to pursue his studies in painting. He was abandoned by his mother from an early age, thus possibly explaining the ubiquity of the female figure in his works. It may be suggested that this work reveals the artist's personal struggle and marks a shift from a more traditional style towards the later abstract work that is manifested in vibrant and luminous colours. Nevertheless, it certifies and reasserts Guiragossian's mastering of figurative technique and his proficiency as an artist. In lot 14 dated circa 1968-1972, Guiragossian employed thick brushstrokes in a muted brown palette to depict a laborer who appears to be kneeling on the ground with his head resting on his arms. The figure's posture suggests melancholy, fatigue and hardship. By observing and painting the everyday life, he sought to express the human condition in its most difficult and most wonderful state. He called himself "the artist of the people", always acknowledging himself as one of them, therefore accepting that this was also his own condition. Guiragossian creates a certain intimacy and understanding between himself and his character in lot 14. This painting further resonates traditional drawings of the labour workers executed by European painters in the 19th century. Guiragossian arrives at his later works of elongated abstract vertical slim figures in the late 1970s. Vertical figures are manifested through the use of thick brushstrokes. The artist often used multiple layers of paint to create a thick opaque texture on the surface offering multiple depths throughout. Additionally in this period, his palette expanded to vibrant and luminious colours intrinsic to a Mediterranean landscape of sea, mountain and sun. 'The colors of the sun and the rainbow', he said, 'belonged to us in the Orient, it's from here where the sun rises and it's from here where it all begins'. However, the 1970s had witnessed the cusp of a Lebanese Civil War, raging throughout the 1980s, yet the brightness of his colours were also a symbol of giving hope to his people in the Middle East during these decades of war. Guiragossian's abstract figures resonate with Jackson Pollock splurges of expressionist dismay or even recalls Barnet Newman's vertical zips conveyed in Adam and Eve. In Guiragossian's work there is nonetheless an undertone of positivity, a deliberate upward movement that is drenched in a vibrancy that is both static and in motion, possibly also evoking Alberto Giacometti's existentialist bronze sculptures that effect a perspective of distance. The elongated figures in Nocturne  stand with their heads slightly bowed, possibly suggesting a sense of mourning or resignation."(christies.com)

 









Alice Rahon - Surrealism

 

Alice Rahon ( 1904 –1987) was a French/Mexican poet and artist whose work contributed to the beginning of abstract expression in Mexico. She began as a surrealist poet in Europe but began painting in Mexico."Alice Rahon was an integral member of the Surrealist group that lived and worked in Mexico City in the late 1930s. Displaced by World War II, Rahon and her husband, painter Wolfgang Paalen, fled France in 1939, joining André Breton, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo as well as local Mexican artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Rahon and her peers found community in exile, and their artwork was informed by the landscape, Indigenous history, and artistic legacies of Mexico. Rahon took a Surrealist approach to all of her work, marrying poetry and myth in an array of media. In Thunderbird (1946), she invokes the aesthetics of prehistoric cave painting, with gestural brushstrokes and contour lines that connect a web of symbolic figures on floating backgrounds. In 1946, a year after the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, she created a ballet inspired by the ancient Mayans’ expertise in astronomy. In the ballet, five characters – first imagined through gouache paintings, and then configured as three-dimensional marionettes made of wire – including The Juggler (a magician) and Androgyne (a non-binary gender being), ponder the beginning of life following the destruction of the planet. Rahon was able to channel the spiritual energy of ancestral cultures and did so through a plethora of artistic expressions."(Isabella Achenbach) 

 












 

Michael Forster - Abstract Artwork

 

 Michael Forster (1907–2002) was an Anglo-Canadian abstract artist. Born in Kolkata, India, Forster spent most of his childhood in Meerut. He studied first at Lancing College in Sussex and then later at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central St. Martins – University of the Arts), as well as the Académie Colarossi in Paris. In 1927–1928, he moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in hopes of avoiding The Great Depression.
"Creatively, Forster explored the changing visual face of the universe long before astronauts began their travels. For most of his career, he took inspiration from the glowing patterns and chromatic depths of space. He composed infinitely varied and rich abstract compositions from the flux and fusion of the galaxies. In this, Michael Forster is virtually unique among painters. Forster possessed a passion for colour that gained recognition from the eminent German art-historian, Paul Westheim: “Colour is the medium of his expression, he has reduced all that is visible, all that is imaginable to colour, a strange and fantastic world of visionary colour. By means of colour, he knows how to give form to a whole range of emotions and feelings.” Forster’s concern for the material of paint itself led him to create brilliant surface textures that are uniquely personal. He worked the varied luminous passages across his canvas from corner to corner, leading the eye through subtle and constant changes. These rich variations remain regardless of the dimensions of his work. His smaller compositions on paper are compelling in their lustrous presence.
In 1960, Forster was honoured with a solo-exhibition of eighty works by Mexico’s Mueso Nacional de Arte Moderno. He has also been the subject of major retrospectives in Luxembourg and Canada. Forster’s paintings have been exhibited in leading museums of the world, including the National Gallery, Washington, Musee d’art Moderne, Paris, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the British Museum, and Sao Paulo Museum, Brazil. Loch Gallery is pleased to reintroduce this great artist to the Canadian public."(lochgallery.com)

 










Jerzy Wladyslaw Puciata - Light is Life

 

 Jerzy Wladyslaw Puciata (1933 - 2014) - Polish painter
“Light is life. Light is God. (…) Light tears up darkness and gives hope. (...) light is the pursuit of deeper knowledge, perfection. It is an expression of my hope that I want to share. It is also the joy of life - the light of colors. These are memories of the moments I experienced, colors, words, all nature. The atmosphere of specific places.
My imagination allows me to go beyond the box. The image must radiate something special, unique, provoking reflection and contemplation. "