Thursday, August 9, 2018

Memorable Pictures Made in the Nineteen Seventies

Eliot Hodgkin
Pink and White Turnips
oil paint on board
Tate Gallery

Colin Self
The Gardens - with Four Eagles
graphite on board
Tate Gallery

Viktor Pivovarov
Meditation by the Window
enamel on board
Tate Gallery

Ben Nicholson
78 (16 Strings) 
watercolor and oil paint on paper
Tate Gallery

from The New Spirit

"We were just the other night leafing through some old declarations, nostalgic for the first crisp rendering of the difference, like an outcry, the difference between what separated us and what we were now going to do. How like children in the way of thinking that some beatific scrap may always fall and as time goes by and nothing ever happens one is not disappointed but secretly pleased and confirmed in one's superstition: the magic world really does exist. Its dumbness is the proof of this. Indeed any sign of activity on its part would be cause for alarm, since it does not need us, need to signal its clarion certainties into our abashed, timid, half-make-believe commerce of every day."

from The System

"The great careers are like that: a slow burst that narrows to a final release, pointed but not acute, a life of suffering redeemed and annihilated at the end, and for what? For a casual moment of knowing that is here one minute and gone the next, almost before you were aware of it? Whole tribes of seekers of phenomena who mattered very much to themselves have gone up in smoke in the space of a few seconds, with less fuss than a shooting star."

from The Recital

"It no longer mattered very much whether prayers were answered with concrete events or the oracle gave a convincing reply, for there was no longer anyone to care in the old sense of caring. There were new people watching and waiting, conjugating in this way the distance and emptiness, transforming the scarcely noticeable bleakness into something both intimate and noble. The performance had ended, the audience streamed out; the applause still echoed in the empty hall. But the idea of the spectacle as something to be acted out and absorbed still hung in the air long after the last spectator had gone home to sleep."

– John Ashbery, published in Three Poems (Viking, 1972)

Robert Motherwell
Elegy to the Spanish Republic #132
acrylic paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Jennifer Durrant
Sweet Pea Painting
acrylic paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Philip Guston
oil paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Philip Guston
oil paint on paper, mounted on board
Tate Gallery

John Hoyland
acrylic paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Michael Moon
acrylic paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Incident in Mexico (1835)

The two had gone through unsettled country
where no water was to be had for the horses they were riding
and suddenly
they came upon a stream
flowing over a bed of yellow sand.

The horses sprang forward
to drink
and the riders dismounted,
holding the reins loosely in their hands,
while the horses stepped down from the bank
into the clear water.
But one of the riders
saw the forefeet of his horse
sink quickly – too quickly – into the streams' bottom of sand
and jerked the horse away.

The other horse, eager to drink, went on
and sank to his shoulders in the sand.
As the horse tried to get out,
lifting his chest high,
the sand drew his haunches into the sand.
The horse gave a shrill cry,
tossing his head;
his mane fluttered for a moment on the water
and then the sand closed over him.

– Charles Reznikoff, from Last Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1977)

Jeremy Moon
Drawing [1970]
pastel on paper
Tate Gallery

Roger Hilton
oil paint on canvas
Tate Gallery

Gerald Wilde
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
pastel and gouache on paper
Tate Gallery

Jirí Kolár
They Pass Before Me, Those Electric Eyes Some Abstruse Angel Must Have Magnetized
(from series Flowers of Evil)
'prollage' assembled with sliced photograph and sliced lithograph, mounted on paper
Tate Gallery