Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

Jean-Pierre Melville was the master of the drame azur; those strange, dark films, usually French, that contrasted such dramatic darkness with often very light visuals of a bluish hue. The light was still murky, creating bluish white-outs with cloud, fog, sea and other natural elements playing into the blurring of the image. But the drama … Continue reading Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) and Le Corbusier’s Transitional Pigments

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Responses: Keith Arnatt’s Gardeners (1978-79)

In the late 1970s, Keith Arnatt embarked on an unusual series of photographs collected under the title of Gardeners (1978-79). In the years before, he had produced a similar series of works looking at dog walkers, such was the draw of the ordinary for the artist. Essentially, however, it is what Arnatt found in this … Continue reading Responses: Keith Arnatt’s Gardeners (1978-79)

Still life in Margaret Tait’s My Room (1951)

I was walking through the National Gallery recently when I came across Jan Trek’s Still Life (1648) painting with its atmospheric rendering of ephemera. Within it sits a skull, some books, manuscripts, the helmet of a suit of armour and other such seemingly random objects. I had been thinking about similar paintings for some time, … Continue reading Still life in Margaret Tait’s My Room (1951)

Responses: Poems On Landscape And Melancholy (Volume 2)

Throughout 2017, I have continued with the responses form of article to works of art and other miscellanea.  Like last year, I found that a more interesting way to assess a piece of work was to not simply write an essay but to pair it with a poem; condensing the essence of the reading down … Continue reading Responses: Poems On Landscape And Melancholy (Volume 2)

Responses: Eileen Agar’s Butterfly Bride (1938)

"Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly.  I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi." Looking at Eileen Agar's Butterfly Bride (1938) is to look into the dreams of insects.  Or perhaps these … Continue reading Responses: Eileen Agar’s Butterfly Bride (1938)

Responses: Virginia Woolf (1912) – Vanessa Bell

A few months back, I visited the retrospective of Vanessa Bell’s paintings at Dulwich Picture Gallery.  The exhibition is still ongoing and an essential visit for anyone with a passion for those strange groups of English rebels that seemed to flourish in the arts around the Fin de siècle.  It confirmed for me Bell’s position … Continue reading Responses: Virginia Woolf (1912) – Vanessa Bell