Monday, December 28, 2020

The Writing of Art

The Writing of ArtThe Writing of Art by Olivier Berggruen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not sure of my impetus in ordering this scholarly little book from the library. References within are made to Roland Barthes, to Douglas Cooper who helped the author's father amass a small collection of impressionists, and others such as Gertrude Stein. The author's offers short essays on Picasso, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Ed Ruscha, Basquiat, Agnes Martin and Cy Twombly. With Pablo Picasso he focuses on the artist's work in theatre in June 1924 especially Mercure with music by Erik Satie(including the Feast of Bacchus). The section on Paul Klee discusses influences of a trip to Egypt while the Yves Klein piece focuses on Klein's travels in Japan. In talking about Ed Ruscha, the emphasis is on Wittgenstein Ludwig's "famous duck-rabbit paradox" to produce his word pictures like Cut Lip, Pool, Self, Promise, Cherry, Rodeo, Anchovy, Mint, Carp; his "emphasis on graphic design allows for traces of authorship to vanish." "Our cognitive understanding of the world is permeated by language." The chapter on Jean-Michel Basquiat(1961-1988) discusses his 1982 screen prints Anatomy & Tuxedo plus the untitled prints made in the Fred Hoffman studio. The chapter on Agnes Martin is entitled "The Lightness of Art" and examines her transition from grays to more seductive work in pastels. Finally, the part on Cy Twombly "The Summons to Living Things to Return Home" was not easily readable and challenged me, but I was pleased to be reminded of the work of these artists and expand my knowledge.
Also, noted the impressive work of the Berggruen Institute on thinking and prizes they award seen on YouTube.

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