April 4, 2011 at 11:52am
TOOKER AND SCHWITTERS (SAY THAT THREE TIMES FAST) >>>
Buried within the pages of the art history books I studied in college were a couple of artists who had a much bigger impact on me, and probably many another artists, than might be expected given the meager paragraph or two allotted them in art history.
They are George Tooker and Kurt Schwitters - Tooker because of his haunting, Surrealistic images, which having once seen I could never erase from my memory; and Schwitters because of his rebellious attitudes, and because I thought his collages were more beautiful than those by his contemporaries Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.
I have Tooker and Schwitters on my mind because they were each featured in recent articles in the New York Times, Tooker because he died last week at the age of 90 and Schwitters because of a current show of his work at the Princeton University Art Museum (he died in 1948, this is his first major U.S. exhibition since a 1985 retrospective a the Museum of Modern Art).
I always thought Schwitters deserved a larger place in the history of art. Apparently so did a lot of others, because artists ranging from Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Damien Hirst have said he was a major influence. Schwitters didn't invent the art of collage, but he was one of the earliest to use it effectively. And his Merzbau was a precursor to contemporary installation art. The Merzbau - a term he invented- was a walk-in installation that filled rooms of his house. He worked on it for years. It was like the assemblage boxes made famous by Joseph Cornell, only not so much on a grid and as big as a house. Sadly, Allied bombers destroyed the Merzbau during World War II.
Tooker was a painter of angst and alienation. Imagine the love child of Edward Hopper and Salvador Dali. I actually never studied Tooker. I can't recall any of my teachers ever mentioning him. But I've seen reproductions of his paintings, and they are hypnotic. No one has ever expressed the bleak destruction of spirit brought about by of the corporate world so effectively. I won't say anything more about him except to urge the reader to go online and find some George Tooker paintings. Then you will be forever haunted too.
Off duty rules.
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Looks delicious! Thank you Jackie for share ^^
Banff National Park is a breath of fresh air. A small mountain town with world class facilities...
Too many cover-bands play at The Swiss.
Wohoo! Love this and great work! From one Assyrian to another I congratulate you and am rooting...