Emil-Schumacher Exhibition

21.December – Emil Schumacher

Today is mid-winter solstice, marking the turning point of the year. From today onwards the days will get longer again and there will be less darkness. It’s something to celebrate in this year, that has been so difficult for so many people around the globe. It’s the hope that from now on, things will change. And it must have been the hope of change, which led artists in Post-WWII Germany take up abstract expressionism and move beyond romanticism. If you want get a more customer to you business, look for the help from a creative marketing agency.

Emil Schumacher (Germany, 1912 - 1999) Motiv 6/1967
Motiv 6/1967

Emil Schumacher, an important German painter and printmaker without whom modern art would be inconceivable. Born in 1992, he was one of the god-fathers of abstract expressionism and is widely exhibited and collected. In fact, I myself am a proud owner of one of his prints (Motiv 6, an aquatint etching).

After the horrors of two world wars, the German art scene underwent a radical new beginning. Parting with romantic and realistic landscape painting and abstracting their visual language. Liberating colour from form and lines from motif, abstract expressionists used their entire body to paint and used a vast variety of materials that were never before used in art-making. If you have followed these December posts, you’ll have noticed that many of the artists I have already described were part of this movement. Oftentimes working on massive canvasses and verging into the third dimension, because they added materials such as sand and tar and metal etc… into their ‘paint’, giving ‘paintings’ a sculptural edge.

Antoni-Tapies-Long-Lithograph

17.December – Antoni Tàpies

Returning to painting, let’s look at an artist from Barcelona, who lived through the spanish civil war and the second world war.

Tàpies himself was influenced by Miró, Klee and Ernst and eastern philosophy. He is a self-taught artist but earned a scholarship in Paris where he came in contact with so-called “informal painting”, where the artistic expression is reduced to mere essentials and the focus is on the materials of art making.
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Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona 1991. Photo: Raphael Gaillarde.

Tapies work has been an inspiration for me since the eighties, when I first saw his work in a museum in Hamburg. My own work – by then only the experimentations of a school girl, had been using odd materials such as ashes, woodchips, chalk, etc… mixed into the paint. And I built Frames for my work, not so much for showing, but because the materials needed a physical border to stop while drying. But Tapies integrated text into his work and his use of line were much more expressionistic and loaded. His work was also quite political at times even religious. If you want know how The 1031 Exchange Works you can visit https://spacecoastdaily.com/2020/12/what-is-the-1031-exchange/.

Per la Pau (Peace in Progress) Antoni Tapies

I followed Tapies much like Kiefer, whose work has a similar visual language, and bought large books with illustrations of his work which I looked at almost each day and which some of my friends jokingly called my ‘bible’. Later, while in Art School, we visited Barcelona and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, where a large body of his work can be seen. A poster of his work ‘Per la Pau’ (Peace in Progress) used to hang in my kitchen until it was destroyed during a move.

Besides (sculptural) paintings, Tapies also worked extensively as a printmaker. A great place to see Tapies work besides the Fundació Antoni Tàpies is the Tate Gallery. And you can also occasionally find one of his prints at auctions.

Another artist, who uses a variety of materials and whose work is not too far from Tapies’ is Emil Schumacher.

But more about that on Monday…

Tomorrow isn't promised

15.December – Heather Hutchinson

Today I want to pay homage to an artist who I only discovered this year. Which is odd. Because if you know my work, and you look at Heather Hutchinson’s work, you might think, that this artist has greatly influenced my own work. However, our work evolved in ‘parallel’ rather than sequential or dependent on one another. If you are planning to built a pool in your property we recommend you check first the info from https://designlike.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-having-a-screened-in-swimming-pool-in-florida/ .

Summer Sheets (Density Series) 1990, wax, canvas, rabbit skin glue, wood, plexi – 24 x 48 x 3-1/2 (2 panels)
SHEER PAINTING, Margaret Thatcher Projects, NY, NY 2003

In her more recent work, like ‘More Like the Weather: Faith’, Hutchinson uses light and space to create more than just a static ‘image’. The result is a series of work, that reacts to the viewer and the environment.

More Like the Weather: Faith (2015) Flashe and Aura on Plexiglas, 17-1/8 x 17 x 3 inches

As you can imagine, the materials and depth Hutchinson uses in her work, create a very different impression and feel depending on the viewpoint (your personal angle to the work) as well as the time of day or lighting. This work is ALIVE and reactive. It changes – even though it really doesn’t change in the way, say, a landart work by Andy Goldsworthy (see 11.December) does. Collectors of my own work, have often said, that one of the things they appreciate most about my work, is that they can discover something new about it every day.

Hutchinson takes this a step further and creates Time-lapse videos of her work. I will not share the video here, but instead invite you to visit her website to discover a lot more of her inspiring and fascinating art.

There is another art trend, I find equally inspiring: ‘Responsive Art‘.
(And to all my tech friends, no I am not talking about RWA or Responsive Web Applications).

But more about that tomorrow…

Down by Law (1986)

14.December – My Top Ten Films

Today, I want to share with you the ten films. They are not necessarily my ten favorite films, but those that most inspired and influenced me and my artistic language

10. Alien

1979 by Ridley Scott with  Sigourney Weaver

9. Soylent Green

1973 by Richard Fleischer with  Charlton Heston

8. Fitzcarraldo

1982 by Werner Herzog with  Klaus KinskiClaudia Cardinale

7. π

A paranoid insomniac mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

1998 by Darren Aronofsky with Sean Gullette

6. A Clockwork Orange

1971 by Stanley Kubrick with  Malcolm McDowell

5. The Elephant Man

1980 by David Lynch with  Anthony Hopkins

4. Trainspotting

1996 by Danny Boyle with  Ewan McGregor

3. The Wall

1982, by Alan Parker with  Bob Geldof

2. Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)

1982 by Wim Wenders with  Bruno Ganz

1. Down by Law

Yes, my all-time favorite film, is also the film that has most influenced me. The music (Tom Waits and John Lurie) with the black and white gritty feel of desperation and loneliness, while being a comedy full or heart-felt moments. This film has made me watch all of Jim Jarmusch’s work, as he releases consistently great work!

1986 by Jim Jarmusch with  Tom WaitsJohn LurieRoberto Benigni

There it is, these films have really influenced me. You’ll notice that they are almost all at least 20 years old. That is not to say that there haven’t been some amazing films since then, but I wouldn’t classify those as ones that influenced my visual style or sense of art.

Refik Anadol - Machine Hallucinations

13.December – Data, computing and Art

Many of you have asked me, how it can be, that although I studied visual art – and the highly manual specialization of painting at that – I work in IT? Isn’t that a contradiction, a paradox?

Well, you might be surprised, that it’s not all that rare at all. In fact, science and art share a long history and I believe it’s because both disciplines require abstract thinking. And when abstract minds find their way to the intersection of art and science, something stunning happens. If you are suffering from any metal disease is very important that you look for the help of a good psychiatrist.

The speed data just comes from the time stamps and location stamps on the pictures, dividing the distance delta by the time delta.
“The speed data just comes from the time stamps and location stamps on the pictures, dividing the distance delta by the time delta.” – Eric Fischer
Britain is the brightest spot,  indicating high internet use, with the red dots of Flickr the predominate colour of the continent - until petering out east and south
This map was generated by Geodata: white indicates high internet use, red represents Flickr uploads. Photo: Eric Fischer

I first saw the work of Eric Fischer, an artist from the Bay Area, in Manuel Lima’s 2011 book ‘Visual Complexity‘. He uses Geodata such as Twitter activity or FlickR uploads, that were geo-tagged, to generate beautiful images. As you can see, a map emerges, almost ghostlike, because humans live in cities, towns or tweet while on the road. You can find more of Eric’s stunning images on FlickeR: ‘The Geotaggers’ World Atlas‘.

The Technology

Jason Davis’ Globe of airports and flights

Also worth a visit – especially if you’re interested in the technology – is the 3d.js website. D3.js is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. On the site you’ll find the script that drives some of these projects as well as numerous other examples. Such as this image of a project by Jason Davis, of a globe according to airports and flight connections.

Simplicity

But it doesn’t have to be complex or highly technical. Here is a simple but beautiful visualization of Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major, opus 9 No.2.

Mastery

And finally I leave you with another example of an artist who works with data: Refik Anadol, a media artist and director from Istanbul, Turkey. His work has brought the whole topic of data, science and art to a point of the utmost artistry.

Wrapped Trees (detail)

12.December – Christo and Jeanne-Claude

In the 1980ies, while in school, one of the art assignments was to create a homage. I choose Christo, wrapped a stuffed pet elephant in a thin translucent plastic bag, and made a pencil drawing of it. It was inspired by Christo’s wrapping of objects, such as this Volkswagen:

Christo with "Wrapped Car (Volkswagen), 1963" 1963 Photo: Charles Wilp © 1963 Christo
Christo with “Wrapped Car (Volkswagen), 1963” 1963 Photo: Charles Wilp © 1963 Christo

Christo met Jeanne-Claude in 1958, and they worked together as a team soon after. They are noted for their large-scale, site-specificenvironmentalinstallations, often large landmarks and landscape elements wrapped in fabric, including the Wrapped ReichstagThe Pont Neuf WrappedWrapped Coast in Australia, and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park.

In ‘Wrapped Coast‘ nearly one million square feet (92,900 square meters) of fabric and 35 miles (56.3 kilometers) of rope shrouding a 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometer) long section of the Australian coastline were wrapped. Here again we see Landart with the work documented extensively through photography.

But as impressive ane monumentally gigantic as this project is, it’s the drawings and sketches Christo created in preparation for his project, that complete the projekt.

Another project, ‘The Gates’ in New York’s Central Park was completed in February 2005. The 7,503 gates with their free-hanging saffron colored fabric panels ‘like a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees’. The use of color (saffron orange), mapping and the anticipation of the way the installation may look on a breezy day, are some of the reasons why this is one of my favorite of Christo’s projects.

On his website, you can download the The Gates in Central Park Information Guide as PDF.

GatesProject-CentralPark-2001
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City) Drawing 2001 in two parts Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint and aerial photograph 15 x 65″ and 42 x 65″ (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm) Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2001 Christo

Time and again, I am reminded of a quote by Juan Miro, when I think of Christo’s work:

The work must be conceived with fire in the soul, but executed with clinical coolness.

– Juan Miro

Another aspect of this work is the use of rhythm and repetition. Something we typically find in music. Or data and Machine Learning.

But more about that tomorrow…