DAILY ART FIX: 7 Films About Art to Cozy Up With This Fall

Art world links which caught my eye…

Watch Philip Guston: A Life Lived | Prime Video

Documentaries, horror, and romances, there are all sorts of art based movies to enjoy this autumn-including one featuring a favorite artist of mine.

The documentary Philip Guston: A Life Lived (1980) began filming in 1971 at Guston’s Woodstock, NY studio and continued through his last retrospective in 1980 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The artist died that same year. In 2020 a handful of museums including the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Fine Art, Boston came under fire for postponing a long-planned Guston exhibition due to the controversial nature of his Ku Klux Klan imagery. This film triumphs over censorship and offers the chance to catch up on a recent scandal.

See the full list here: ART & OBJECT – 7 Films About Art to Cozy Up With This Fall

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: On the Resilience of Painter Philip Guston

Art world links which caught my eye…

GUSTON PHILIP_Crop_Web

‘THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO—IT IS ALL BEGINNING!’

Philip Guston Explains Himself

My favorite painter Philip Guston caused great controversy when he broke with art world dogma to be true to his own vision. In this touching article written by his daughter, she describes how he handled the fallout.

Key quote from the article:”Recalling the Marlborough opening in a 1980 interview, my father said:‘But there were some who understood. When Bill de Kooning saw the show, he said he liked it very much. You know, everybody thought those paintings were about the hooded figures, and the bad conditions in America, and so on, and that was part of it—every artist hopes to give his own interpretation of the world—but they were about something else, too. When de Kooning saw the show, after embracing me, and congratulating me, he said: ‘You know, Philip, what your real subject is? It’s freedom!’’’

READ THE ARTICLE HERE: Resilience: Philip Guston in 1971, By Musa Mayer

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

COMMENTARY: 1962 – The Changing of the Avant-Garde

 

Andy Warhol, 1962

“As disturbing as it was, we continued with the Pop generation, which in the meantime has made its own reputation.”

-Sidney Janis, American gallerist, 1896-1989

*Update: Richard Bledsoe will be offline for an extended period due to an unexpected medical situation. I am Richard’s wife, Michele Bledsoe – and for the interim I will act as his hands and eyes. 

The following is a section from a major work-in-progress about art and culture Richard is writing. 

1962 was the end of the Modern Art era. Much like the Salon des Refusés ushered in the Modern Era in 1863, it was another art show that gave evidence of a definitive shift in the culture.

The influences had been gathering for years, before coming together in a definitive event. In this case the tipping point was an art show located in a temporarily rented store front – a pop-up gallery, we would say these days.

The International Exhibition of the New Realists opened on October 31, organized by New York City gallerist Sidney Janis. With this show, the Postmodern era had arrived.

International Exhibition of the New Realists, 1962

We’ve come to call it Pop art, the opening gambit of the generational shift in art and culture the Janis show encapsulated. It featured future superstars Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claus Oldenburg, Yves Kline, Christo, and many others.

The reigning dominant critic Clement Greenberg’s grip has slipped. His preference for abstraction had dominated the 1950s art world. After the exile of representational art, it was back with a vengeance, but also with a twist.

Pop art was easy to like. On the surface it was bright and playful; instant gratification art. It aspired not to inspire, but to be ironic. The recognizable imagery depicted was coming not directly from life, but was reproduced from the filtered and stylized presentations of industrial mass media: advertising, Hollywood, newspapers, comic books and television. From its inception, The Postmodern era was informed by the illusions, distortions, and manipulations these mediums employed.  Postmodernism is very useful for those who have something to hide.

But back in 1962, it was a scary Halloween for Janis’s existing stable of abstract expressionist studs. Some of the biggest names in Modern painting quit his gallery after the audacious show. Departing artists Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, and Adolph Gottlieb had struggled for decades in obscurity before the agendas inflicted on the art world turned in their favor. For a brief time, they were the pinnacle. But in the early 1960s a new set of ideas was rising.

The art on display in The New Realists show was not just another variation on Modernist priorities, another facet of Modernism’s typical fragmentation. The new way was basically a repudiation of everything the aging Modernists thought they stood for.

I select this Janis show as the Postmodern starting point because of its consequences. The changing of the guard was plain for all to see in the tempest in a teapot scale of the art world. The Action painters were driven to take action, but it was already too late.

Displaced: Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko

ART QUOTES: What is an Artist?

Bearden Dream of Exile

Romare Bearden “Dream of Exile”

If you’re any kind of artist, you make a miraculous journey, and you come back and make some statements in shapes and colors of where you were.

-Romare Bearden

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William S. Burroughs with his shotgun art

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.

-William S. Burroughs

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Guston Sun

Philip Guston

We are image-makers and image-ridden… We work until we vanish.

-Philip Guston

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4x5 transparency

George Bellows “Cliff Dwellers”

The artist is the person who makes life more interesting or beautiful, more understandable or mysterious, or probably, in the best sense, more wonderful.

-George Bellows

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Steinberg

Saul Steinberg

The artist is an educator of artists of the future…

-Saul Steinberg

ART QUOTES: Visionary Experience

perseus

Max Beckmann “Perseus”

“All important things in art have always originated from the deepest feeling about the mystery of Being.”

-Max Beckmann

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Jung

Carl Jung “Solar Barge”

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

–Carl Jung

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Thomson

From “Crazy Over You” Charles Thomson
“The artist to a certain extent is a seer or a visionary.”
-Charles Thomson
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chateaunoir1904bypaulcezanne
Paul Cezanne “Chateau Noir”
“What I am trying to translate to you is more mysterious; it is entwined in the very roots of being, in the implacable source of sensations.”
-Paul Cezanne
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guston7Philip Guston “Painters Forms”

“There comes a point when the paint doesn’t feel like paint. I don’t know why. Some mysterious thing happens.”
-Philip Guston
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William Blake “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun”
“The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel’d to heaven is no artist.”
-William Blake  

 

ARTICLE: Philip Guston’s Line

East Side 1980 by Philip Guston 1913-1980
Philip Guston “East Side”
A thoughtful take on painter Philip Guston as a draftsman in paint. Key quote from the article: “It was during this period that Guston also got rid of everything but the line in his drawings. Rendering, modeling, shading and all the other methods that we associate with traditional drawing — things that Guston could do well — were no longer called upon.”
Late period Philip Guston works are probably my favorite paintings of all. He won a hard victory, the return to personal vision after decades of conforming to the dogma of his age. To do so he returned to his first love and artistic activity, drawing. Guston described how as a boy he hid away for hours in a closet making pictures. When he reached a midlife crisis, when his abstract paintings had turned to ugly mud, he reached back to what captivated him in the first place, but found a way to use it with mature power and perspective.
Philip Guston is the proto-Remodernist. After a life spent as part of the establishment, he rejected the narrow minded, insular ideology of the art world and brought narrative, history, confession and excitement back into painting. He used everything which came before with abandon and created an integrated art uniquely his own.