WHAT I FORGOT

Or wrote, and then covered up with other words until the ideas were lost.

The first ever collages appeared in 1912.  “Collage” means pasting or gluing, and in this context, what was really new that Picasso and Georges Braque first did was to regard a piece of paper (newspaper, printed fabric, sheet music)  as a shape, one that stood on its own in a composition.

chair caning

In the above collage from 1912, the chair caning is printed on vinyl-like fabric, and this fabric is used as part of the composition.  Other drawings are incorporated, shapes in themselves, and done in the cubist method, with which Picasso and Braque were also experimenting.  Picasso drew cast shadows on the fabric, further tying it into the picture plane.  Look at the big word “JOU” from the collage above.  Here it is drawn.  Below,  Le Jour (the Day) word from the masthead of the newspaper is used in collage.  Both of these works date from 1912.  A cubist view (remember  cubism attempts to merge all views of the object into one view) of a wine glass accompanies the guitar, mounted on wall paper.

Picasso_Guitar_Sheet_Music_and_Wine_Glass_1912

Collage is so familiar to us now, that it is hard to imagine that someone had to “invent” it.  So, in galleries, in Paris, were the first collages displayed, in 1912.   Remember, information did not travel very fast in those days.

dellschau2.jpg.CROP.article920-largeCharles Dellschau  died in 1923.  He created these collaged drawings about air travel and a supposed “club” to which he belonged during the gold rush of the the 1890s, in scrapbook form.

dates for dellThe center bottom of this piece says “Houston, Texas (where he lived), August 6, 1919.

A butcher in Houston, Texas was making collages in 1919 where until sometime in 1912 the idea was unknown?  Leave it to the  uninitiated, those following a personal light, creating private worlds where they could be happy, to do something remarkably early.

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History is created by the victors.  Or those who tweet the loudest.

dellschau-1969

This is dated August, 1909.  So was Dellschau making art?  Scrapbooking, only?  Whatever, he wasn’t tweeting about it.  Picasso never lost an opportunity to tweet, to be sure.  Man, history or art history just cannot be trusted.

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WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW

Especially if you are a novice writer.

Few read this blog.  Very few who don’t already know me, and those readers are especially treasured.

Wandering into the side of my brain that is rarely used, WordPress statistics tell me when a breakthrough occurs.  Simple numbers.

These viewership numbers are the highest when the post discusses something about which I know a lot.  As if a genius is inhabiting my fingers.  Like when writing about leaving my adjunct teaching position, and why.  Or when writing about art.  Blood pulses fast.  Same as when a visual composition is going well.

demoiselles d'avignon

Picasso had a great thought.   About a hundred years ago, he was working like hell to reinvent painting.  He realized some warmed over Renaissance style did not describe the 20th century.  The world was getting smaller.  Different cultures were seen everywhere with travel.  Some say that he spent nights in a museum dedicated to African art in Paris, in his effort to experience and integrate the strange sculptures and masks being imported from a far away place.

masks

Demoiselles d’Avignon” is one of Picasso’s masterpieces (MOMA).  Details from the painting above show the importance of African art in his new painting.

HE reinvented painting by posing that new question, and then answering it himself.  Brilliant.  He worked harder than anyone else with those answers.  Georges Braque followed along for a while; he may have seen the genius of the conversation that Picasso created.  In this visual conversation,  Picasso was painting about what he knew better than anyone else, answering a question that he himself posed.  No wonder he dominated the painting of that century.

1-judy epstein

Above is a photograph of my late friend Judy Epstein and Picasso.  This was in 1947 in the south of France.  The long low building behind them is the studio where Picasso did his ceramic work while there.  Judy was married to her first husband, a painter, then.

Below is also Judy.  This painting is by Ivan Albright, of (can you believe it) Warrenville, Il.  Chicago suburbs.

Ivan le Lorraine Albright  13

Look at the legs.  Judy was in the right place at the right time, several times.

WASTE PICKERS

These “invisible” people are defined as those who “reclaim reusable and recyclable materials from what others have cast aside as waste”(wiego.com).  They provide informal non-paid services to communities all over the globe.  They often work on speculation.  If they are lucky, they might solely rule an area to pick and even have a buyer lined up for the end product of their work.

They are like artists.  They make a commodity out of nothing.  They sort.  They find “like” things.  They create alliances with objects or shapes which state something new.  And waste never ends.

the-hoarders-and-wasters.jpg!Blog

Anything looks significant when presented in great numbers.

Stuff3

A “style” can refer to what waste one chooses to elevate.  Elevating all waste would be wandering into the category of hoarding, and hoarding is not stylish.  A site of hoarding is like a visit to the inside of a mind.  Like a Susan Sontag work of literature.

Death Kit“.

the three musicians

Went to an exhibit of Picasso print work yesterday.  If you know his painting, ” Three Musicians” (MOMA),  I can tell you that there are numbers of smaller prints made in that vein by him, for a gallery who hired a professional printer to print these largely three and four color works.  Picasso did what he did best, create and design, and the print makers did what they did best, register the different layers and deal with printed surfaces.

The following are four from yesterday.

picasso 1

picasso 2

picasso 3

picasso 4

Looked that these, thought about the process of layering, and realized this is exactly what I need to be addressing in my newest sculpture.  Looking at art often solves problems:  a good lesson for wherever you are stuck.

1-IMG_0690

Above is my informal non-paid service to communities all over the globe, created in speculation of a market!

MAKING DO WITH LESS

But in an orderly fashion.  I did not know if this would work when first addressing this problem.  The idea calls upon good design principles, but what idea does not?

In an effort to cram more stuff into the studio, moving the custom made (for someone else) shelving unit to behind the bed seemed a good idea.

1-new bed

Then Tex Beneke‘s old refrigerator and some old kitchen cabinets could be moved into the kitchen from the barn.  Want to make an old kitchen to complement the current one in the studio to further a design idea and get stuff out of the barn.

So what did we find behind the shelving unit when we moved it?  A whole lot of unpainted wall.  That original color paint is long gone.  Looking at the  big naked square shape left from the unit, and then to the unit in its new place, almost the same size,  can I work with this repetition, use another color to to fill in the square, and make the idea seem intentional?  Would the two shapes work together, even if one is a shelving unit and one is just painted?

(Something on my Facebook news feed from this morning was just brought to mind.  A delightful southern lady muses: “another day is gone where I had no need to use algebra”.  Amen.  NOT SO DESIGN PRINCIPLES!)

Below is what we found after moving the unit, and after I installed a faded-to-blue poster of one of Picasso’s “Weeping Women”.

1-kitchen

After taking down the old poster, the edges of the rough square had to be trued up.  Found paint from another project in a very light yellow shade.  White feels unfinished.  This yellow does not.

Think “Mark Rothko” when viewing this kitchen “vignette”.

fig14

We viewed a Rothko exhibition at the Columbia Museum last winter.  Maybe that was where the idea of unfinished edges looking finished in my kitchen was generated (of course, there is much more to Rothko’s work than simple rough edges).

wall

Moved one of our dinette sets to be centered on the yellow strip between the kitchen and the door.  It also separates the two living areas.  1-dinette set

1-full view new kitchen

1-back of studio

One more piece goes into the kitchen between the little cabinet and the dinette set,  and it is now on the back porch of the big house.

1-new oven

This mid century roaster will go into the new kitchen to give it the first oven it has ever had, and more storage.  Problem is, there is a nest and three eggs in the top.  Two Carolina Wrens are fighting the move.