Exposition Art Blog: October 2018

Ralph Rumney - Abstract Expressionism

Ralph Rumney (5 June 1934 – 6 March 2002) was an English artist, born in Newcastle Upon Tyne.In 1957 lifelong conscientious objector Rumney - he evaded National Service by going on the run in continental Europe - was one of the co-founders of the London Psychogeographical Association. This organization was, along with COBRA and the Lettrist International, involved in the formation of the Situationist International. Amongst those present at the founding in the Italian village of Cosio d'Arroscia were Walter Olmo, Michèle Bernstein (later his second wife) Asger Jorn, and Guy Debord. However, within seven months Rumney had been 'amiably' expelled from the SI by Debord for allegedly "failing to hand in a psychogeography report about Venice on time."Rumney spent much of his life living as a wanderer, and was variously described as both a 'recluse' and a 'media whore', seeing his existence as a 'permanent adventure and endless experiment.' Rumney married Pegeen Guggenheim, the daughter of Peggy Guggenheim. He moved, as his friend Guy Atkins said, "between penury and almost absurd affluence. One visited him in a squalid room in London's Neal Street, in a house shared with near down-and-outs. Next, one would find him in Harry's Bar in Venice, or at a Max Ernst opening in Paris. He seemed to take poverty with more equanimity than riches." Wikipedia


Gillian Ayres - British Abstract Art

Gillian Ayres  (3 February 1930 – 11 April 2018) was an English painter. She is best known for abstract painting and printmaking using vibrant colours, which earned her a Turner Prize nomination. Gillian Ayres' early works are typically made with thin vinyl paint in a limited number of colours arranged in relatively simple forms, but later works in oil paint are more exuberant and very colourful, with a thick impasto being used.One of Ayres' early projects was a 1957 commission by architect Michael Greenwood to decorate the South Hampstead high school dining hall in north London. The murals, described as "the only true British contribution to American abstract expressionism", were quickly covered over with wallpaper before being rediscovered in 1983 in nearly perfect condition.
“The paintings are not a direct response to any particular moment or subject,” the artist has noted. “I don’t expect people to all have the same feeling when looking at them. Like looking at art, what inspires one is very personal, and sometimes one doesn’t know or doesn’t want to reveal where it comes from.” (G.Ayres)

Joseph Cornell - Pioneer of Assemblage Art

Joseph Cornell (December 24, 1903 – December 29, 1972) was an American artist and film maker, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage. Influenced by the Surrealists, he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker. He was largely self-taught in his artistic efforts, and improvised his own original style incorporating cast-off and discarded artifacts. He lived most of his life in relative physical isolation, caring for his mother and his disabled brother at home, but remained aware of and in contact with other contemporary artists.
Cornell's most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple shadow boxes, usually fronted with a glass pane, in which he arranged eclectic fragments of photographs or Victorian bric-a-brac, in a way that combines the formal austerity of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.Like Kurt Schwitters, Cornell could create poetry from the commonplace. Unlike Schwitters, however, he was fascinated not by refuse, garbage, and the discarded, but by fragments of once beautiful and precious objects he found on his frequent trips to the bookshops and thrift stores of New York. His boxes relied on the Surrealist use of irrational juxtaposition, and on the evocation of nostalgia, for their appeal.Cornell often made series of boxed assemblages that reflected his various interests: the Soap Bubble Sets, the Medici Slot Machine series, the Pink Palace series, the Hotel series, the Observatory series, and the Space Object Boxes, among others. Also captivated with birds, Cornell created an Aviary series of boxes, in which colorful images of various birds were mounted on wood, cut out, and set against harsh white backgrounds.Wikipedia

Ismail Gulgee - Calligraphic Abstraction

"Ismail Gulgee was a contemporary Pakistani painter and sculptor known for both his representational portraits and calligraphic abstractions. The artist’s portraits of horses and people have a photographic quality, often relying on tone and repetitive brushstrokes, while his abstract works are colorful improvisations based in Abstract Expressionism and Islamic calligraphy. Born on October 25, 1926 in Karimpura, Pakistan, Gulgee studied civil engineering at Aligarh University in India before continuing his engineering studies at Columbia University and Harvard University. While in the United States, he began painting and developed his hybridized style. Today, Gulgee’s work is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as well as the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Sadly, he and his wife were murdered on December 16, 2007 in Karachi, Pakistan."(artnet.com)
His paintings were bright and full of color, but the paint was put on with great sensitivity, and paintings vibrate with intense feeling. Areas sing with luminous, thin color; thick blobs of paint pulsate with fiberglass tears, the brush swirls strong and free. The total effect used to be very free, yet considered and well thought out. They work enormously well, because it was all orchestrated with great care and concentration.

Alfons Schilling - Action Painting - European abstract painting

Alfons Schilling (20 May 1934 – 19 June 2013) was a Swiss painter.
One of the first artists to become interested in spin art. Action painting also had a large influence on his work and added to its originality. Alfons Schilling is apparently a learned follower of viennese actionism. He died in June 2013.Schilling's work is a discourse on the anatomy of vision, a return to the physical experiance of perception. This work locates the visual experience in the brain by completing its visual text there. The art of Schilling opens up a critical dialogue between the arts.