Wragg writes: "I am fascinated by Twombly’s compulsion, shared with many recent and current painters, for urgency, here-ness, enveloping near-ness, and close-ness, beyond composition. Concomitant with science’s understanding of the expanding evolution and nature of the universe, I find it interesting to see how the mark-making of Turner, Monet and Twombly evolved successively bigger, nearer and more emphatically tactile from one to the other over the span of three centuries. Twombly’s application of paint is more splashy, gungy and physical than Monet’s, whereas Monet’s is more systematically flattened and emphasised across the surface than Turner’s. Nowadays bonkers erratic in your face scribblings and splashings or heightened-colour-flatness stems from a very real need for possession, for being thrown out, in and around, and gripped by a simultaneously in out of kilter connectivity. The spectator becomes a magnet catching the memory of fleeting sensations of being in the studio and has an empathy with the artist working directly with painting. The overriding power of making and resolution seems to arise in spirit as much as in feeling, in the hand; it is central to the experience of most of the paintings in this exhibition, that seem of their time yet as timeless as the first handprint in pigment on a cave wall, made forty seven thousand years ago."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Jacob Feige.
In a review of Feige's exhibition After Dense Fog at Lombard Fried Projects, for Frieze Magazine, Christopher Bedford wrote: "Jacob Feige’s work explores the threshold that divides and binds mimetic and abstract painting... Feige’s fondness for 19th-century Romanticism and the sublime landscape tradition in particular is evident in almost every canvas. Rendered with an airy, atmospheric touch, these grand, unspoiled vistas do not dominate the pictorial field, but rather occupy the background, while the foreground is given over to gestural abstraction and/or hard edge, Technicolour geometries. The spatial implausibility of these modernist elements inscribed upon Feige’s often idealized landscape depictions yields far more harmonious compositions than one might expect. Nevertheless, his paintings retain an edgy, propositional quality."
Huntley Dent writes about the newly hung Turner Galleries at Tate Britain which house selections from the bequest of painter J.M.W. Turner, who left his estate, which included 30,000 works of art on paper and 300 oil paintings, to the country in 1856.
Dent writes: "The newly hung galleries can’t help but open your eyes. Turner left hundreds of unfinished paintings to the Tate and thousands of drawings and water colors, so any angle a curator wants to take can be illustrated, and still the torrent of imagination has only been caught in a teacup. At 21 and 22 Turner made his first Royal Academy pictures, both depictions of moonlight, a notoriously difficult illumination to capture on canvas. You have to lean in to squint at the astonishing detail that he has carefully inscribed in subtle shades of black and brown, a really virtuoso effect. But then, with Turner as with Paganini, one expects the virtuosic as his stock in trade. Quite literally he might do an avalanche before lunch and a cataclysm after tea while sketching in the defeat of Hannibal on the side."
Hylan Booker looks at "utopian romanticism and neoclassicism" in two paintings that share the title Allegro, one by Thomas Cole (1801 - 1848) and the other by Rolph Scarlett (1889 - 1984).
Booker notes that "advantageously fit into the definitions of allegro: one being a mental state, the other a musical composition. And though broad schism would place one in the nostalgic pastoral era and the other in the futuristic abstraction era, there was to me a mysterious albeit strange affinity they both shared."
Leslie Anderson blogs about Edward Hopper's inclusion in the 1952 Venice Biennale. She notes that the positive reception of Hopper's work in Europe may be linked to an existing contemplative tradition in European painting beginning with Jan Vermeer and including Hopper's near contemporary, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi.
Anderson quotes Stuart Preston of The New York Times who noted, in his review of the 1952 Biennale, that of the Americans represented "Hopper made the deepest impression. Foreigners recognized, and rightly, something authentically American in the pathos of his landscapes, a germ of loneliness..."
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.