An argument for painting's ongoing potential as a medium for social commentary.
"There is no reason for today’s painting - even in the age of multi-media, performance or interdisciplinary artists - to step down and limit its activity to what is believed to be its unaltered or eternal essence. The fixed image, may it be produced in drawing, painting or in print, can do much more than be 'content with a material-based practice.' All of the [works mentioned in the post] of traditional art share the following: they mastered their medium and they were socially relevant if not transformative. Why should not the same be true for painting and painters today?"
Nelkin writes that "This is the first exhibition in London to focus on the tradition of Spanish draughtsmanship and marks the culmination of a major, four-year, research project; one of its aims is to highlight how Spanish artists drew inspiration from the Dutch and Flemish schools – their work and ideas having been transmitted through the study of prints, as can now be seen, in part, by the bold graphic lines of the drawings."
William Poundstone blogs about Goya's miniature paintings on ivory, two of which are now on view at the Getty Museum.
Poundstone notes that "To create these pictures, Goya coated a small slip of ivory with lamp black and dropped water on it. This produced random splotches not unlike those prized by Japan’s contemporary Rimpa school. Goya, however, took the splotches as a starting point. His younger contemporary Antonio de Brugada reported, 'Goya took advantage of these traces and always turned them into something original and unexpected.'... In basic concept, this was similar to the surrealists' technique of frottage."
In this excellent post Charles Kessler blogs the conversation between Charles Garabedian's painting Starless Night (2009) and Van Gogh's Starry Night. Although technical similarities are in evidence, Kessler notes that "their subject matter couldn’t be more different. The Van Gogh, of course, is about the awesome power of God or nature ... Garabedian’s subject, on the other hand, is about man-made ruination." Here Kessler discovers Garabedian's painting engaging in another conversation, this time in the "ordinariness" of the violence depicted, "like the soldiers executing prisoners in Goya's Third of May."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.