Vibrant Paintings by Francoise Nielly

She has discovered the various elements of “picture” all her daily life, via artwork, illustrations, roughs, virtual and photography, personal computer created computer animated images. It can be obvious seeing that artwork is her route and her interest.

In the individual way, Francoise Nielly paints a persons experience in every one of his works of art. And she paints it over and over once more, with slashes of fresh paint throughout their deal with. Instances of lifestyle that develop from her works of art are brought into this world from the clinch with all the fabric. Coloration is unveiled such as a projectile.

Francoise Nielly’s piece of art is expressive, demonstrating a brute push, a remarkable important power. knife and Oil mix shape her photos from the substance that may be , as well, biting and sensual, incisive and carnal. Regardless of whether she paints your body or portraits, the performer has a threat : her artwork is erotic, her hues free of charge,surprising and exuberant, even intense, the lower of her blade incisive, her colour pallet stunning.

She becomes her feeling of construction and space from her daddy, who had been an designer. Being raised within the Southern of France exactly where she resided involving Saint and Cannes-Tropez, is rarely far away from the lighting, the colour feeling along with the surroundings that permeates the Southern of France. This really is in conjunction with her research along with her research on the Beaux disciplines and Elaborate Artistry, and her humorousness and also of get together.

Its abstract with funky colours. That’s my first impressions on this piece of work. It reveals dark areas exactly where more dark shades are, and light-weight in which lighter in weight shades are. In my opinion its too colorful, however. I prefer just a few colours. Alternatively, just dark colours.

Francoise Nielly life inside a realm of photos.

Because you can see the brush strokes, and the rough colour blocks, the piece of work looks rough textured. Its diverse to a lot of musicians who sleek out their remember to brush cerebral vascular accidents, and who mix their hues. I really like the abstract impact it presents.

Colorful Portraits by Françoise Nielly

Francoise Nielly

In Francoise Nielly’s Art, she doesn’t use any modern technology and uses only oil as well as palette knife. The shades are spread out roughly on the canvas and grow into a very compelling work. Her portraits encapsulate energy of color choice similar to a outstanding means of experiencing life. The belief and form are just starting points.

In her own way, Francoise Nielly paints the human face in every of his paintings. And she paints it all the time, with slashes of paint upon their face. Moments of personal life that pop up from her artworks are made with a clinch with the canvas. Color choice is set up to be a projectile.

Art by artist Franoise Nielly contain a noticeable intensity that emanate through every single composition. Having perfected palette knife painting approaches, the painter makes use of deep strokes of oil on canvas combine a specific abstraction in to these figurative paintings. The art pieces, that happens to be based off straightforward white and black pictures, feature excessive light, shadow, deepness, and dynamic neon color styles. According to her biography on Behance, Nielly usually takes a risk: her art work is sexual, her styles free, exuberant, shocking, also mind blowing, the cut of her knife incisive, her colors pallete fantastic.

Francoise Nielly is undoubtedly an artist characterized by intricate and complex skills conveying fabulous and essential energy and strength.

Would you like Francoise Nielly’s works of art? Do you desire to purchase a portrait painting from the artist? I don’t know if Francoise receive commission job? But when she do, i bet the prices are going to be very expensive as most of her works of art are selling $10,000 to $30,000. For this reason, basically, it is nearly unlikely to let Francoise Nielly draw your portrait, nonetheless, you know what, our skilled artists can! We could paint your image exactly like Francoise Nielly do!

Francoise draws lines to find natural splendor, passion, while keeping focused of memories. Every portrait symbolizes a feeling of enjoyment and francoise nielly art names gloominess. Whenever we explore those sensuous, expressive and confusing drawing, we know that attention can touch significantly in a look, in the gesture, in the position that specifies ones types of being. The shades are why is Nielly’s paintings so realistic and natural and it’s hard not to love her subjects. A large number of might be the inspirations, which in turn dancing within these kinds of feeling, and several could be the meanings that can be shown. ?Have you questioned yourselves how vital it will be to experience colours? As well as been curious about how important it really is to manage these kinds of styles?

Nielly shows a protective exploration in direction of touch and results in being an instinctive and wild goal of expressions. When you close your eyes, you wouldn’t visualize a face, having colors, though if you look at it carefully, everything gains a form through our dreams. The most affected soul could have colors, that happens to be hidden but always alive. Lots of people believe that in a portrait, there’s always a relaxation that goes out, but in my opinion, every explanation is printed in their face. Eyes find out sins and fervour, a grin reveals peace or simply a decisive lie, and vibrant tones reflect choices without too much movement.

Modern Art in the Common Culture

Thomas Crow, Modern Art in the Common Culture, New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1996, 242 pp., ill. b. & w. & col.

Doughnuts @Grace

NELAArt Second Saturday Art Walk Gallery Night

Thomas Crow’s most recent book reworks previously published articles into a sustained analysis of the provocative issue raised by his classic essay “Modernism and Mass Culture in the Visual Arts”: “What is to be made of the continuing involvement between modernist art and the materials of low or mass culture?” (p. 3) Modernism and mass culture, Crow argues, are linked dialectically: each simultaneously undergirds and undoes the other. Modernism draws sustenance from mass culture, even though the latter denigrates the former. Moreover, by this process, modernism supports its opponent – serving, Crow famously says, as a “research and development arm of the culture industry.” (p. 35) In the other direction, by acting as a resource for modernism’s revitalization, mass culture sustains itself, since it draws inspiration from modernism. But it also encourages its own destruction, because mass culture’s elimination is a crucial part of modernism’s dream.

Modern Art in the Common Culture, however, goes beyond separating modernism’s successes (the work of Manet, Picasso, and Matta-Clark, for example) from the times when it embraced the enemy (such as the cynical work by “art stars” of the mid-1980s). The interchange between modernism and mass culture is motivated by modernism’s impulse to cast a critical eye at its own foundations, and Crow seeks to revitalize this project by showing that it remains viable. As Serge Guilbaut once suggested, until the interrogation of dominant cultures is no longer important, modernism will remain relevant. With Modern Art in the Common Culture, Crow clarifies and rejuvenates that relevance. C. R.

Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art

Outpost Art exhibition

Official Aircus Page of Outpost Art

Kristine Stiles, Peter Selz, eds., Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1996, 1010 pp., ill. b. & w.

Like other authors at the fin de siecle, Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz seek to capture the flow of contemporary (Western) art since 1965. This publication, however, takes its inspiration from Herschel B. Chipp’s well-known Theories of Modern Art (1968) and constitutes an extensive, intelligent anthology of writings by artists, comprising insightful interviews, manifestoes, statements, proposals and letters.

The writings are grouped according to nine broad thematic categories, with brief biographical and contextual sketches introducing each section. In the “figuration” section, for instance, one finds not only Andres Serrano’s eloquent letter to the National Endowment for the Arts (1989) in defense of his art-making principles, but also the Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich’s position on art and human existence (1959). The “art and technology” section brings to light, among other topics, the important shift from participatory to interactive artworks in the electronic age.

NELAART 2010 Art Walk

While Theories and Documents brings together a mammoth selection of original writings by contemporary artists, it also includes those of “important noncanonical artists.” The editors’ methodological principles are well-situated in today’s discourses of “gender, race, class, and sexuality,” which probably accounts for the book’s considerable size. Doubtless that any anthology purporting to be inclusive should fall short of its own intent; one unfortunate absence is that of experimental or avant-garde filmmakers. With such a systematic bibliography and index, Theories and Documents will serve the contemporary art scene superbly, in all its ilks. G. Z.

Art Criticism: Painting Women

G.H. When you’d left home and you set up your own space did your parents come and see you and the work that you were doing?

E.A. I was too excited about being on my own and people came to see me but I don’t think my parents came to see me.

I’d already drawn this ship for a captain who’d brought us back to England from the Argentine when I was about five years old. It was on a blackboard, where I used to have my lessons you see, and I was so excited at the response that I thought I’ll try and be an artist if I can; it sort of fixed me. Then I was about 12 or 13, I was copying fairytales from illustrators like Arthur Rackham doing all I could to learn about drawing. At 171 was sent to finishing school and I was living a rather social life, which I enjoyed because I was very young and loved dancing.

But eventually I wanted to be a painter, an artist. My mother said, well why don’t you try Art in Bulk’s handmade paintings wholesale if you are so mad about oil paintings and I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t the same thing even though Art in Bulk has wide range of oil paintings and competitive price; that if you really wanted to sell paintings you had to know about it and it was a different approach totally. We argued a bit and eventually I decided that the last thing I wanted to do was to marry a businessman. I’d have my holidays decided for me and everything and I decided I didn’t want that sort of life and so I set out on my own and took a flat for about a pound a week.

My mother disapproved strongly and nay father would have, but he was always busy working at his business and so in the daytime he didn’t have the time. He knew that I had to sort it out with nay mother, who was really a matriarch. She was like women were in those days, they were much more matriarchal. They expected to be obeyed and the world was turned upside down if they weren’t.


P.B. She doesn’t seem as if she was a very flexible person.

E.A. No, she wasn’t flexible, she had certain ideas of right and wrong and she had no idea of flexibility, she was taught that you must get married and have children.

P.B. Was the sort of rebellion that you went through uncommon?

E.A. It wasn’t at all common, everyone was astounded. To leave a comfortable home–they all thought I was mad, even my friends who sort of somehow sympathised with me. They thought it was going a bit far. I was very sad that they were very’ upset, but when I left home I went to Cornwall because I had some friends there and my father came down to try, and persuade me to go home with him, or to go to Paris. But I knew that if I went to Paris with them, they would choose somebody whom they knew in Paris who would look after me, keep an eye on me and I didn’t want anything like that so I refused to go home, and then I had a tiny little studio in the Royal Avenue, Chelsea. I started painting there and then I went to Leon Underwood’s studio, and eventually I went to the Slade.

P.B. You had a little session at the Byam Shaw, didn’t you, as well?

E.A. I went to the Byam Shaw whilst I was still at the finishing school in the Cromwell Road, and once a week we were taught that we must do drawing.

G.H. What did you feel about your artistic training at the Slade and about the life drawing you had to do?

E.A. Oh, the life drawing–it was rather interesting. Tonks was supposed to be a very tyrannical and strong man and he was in a sense. He would come behind you and look at what you were doing on the drawing board, and sometimes he would make a sketch at the top showing where you had gone wrong, or at other times he would say, ‘Oh, that is rubbish, you’re not doing it right’, and some girls would burst into tears and that sort of thing. But that’s a silly way because you should always encourage somebody when they are trying their best, even if they don’t succeed. However, he was like that. Tonks was more a professor of anatomy than a teacher and he was very keen that you should know all the bones of your body and how they move

P.B. I think that sort of attitude has come up through art colleges–there is still a type of tyranny in many art colleges about teaching specific ways of doing things.

E.A. That’s absolutely true.

P.B. It takes you a long time to work out that different colleges have different themes and so on.

E.A. Yes, yes. With Andrew Lambeth, the young man who helped me with my book; he and I gave a lecture at the Royal College last year and I’ve now been asked to do another at the ICA.

P.B. That’s a new dimension to your work, isn’t it?

E.A. Yes, it is. I’ve only done it this once before and the students liked it; they all wanted to know, ‘What really is Surrealism?’

G.H. When you left the Slade you went to Paris? Did you feel that it was really important to be there at the time that Surrealism was beginning?

E.A. Yes. I didn’t really want to go to one of the Academie Juliens or one of the big Paris schools because I thought that they’d teach all the same things to the students and I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I met a Czech painter who taught me a lot about colour and colour gradations. He was rather an abstract painter himself–he thought Surrealism was mad. I’d seen this painting in Paris that I thought was an imaginative one and I discovered it was a Surrealist painting by Masson or Max Ernst, and I thought to myself, well, that’s really what I’d like to do. When I left the Slade, my painting was like my first self-portrait.

P.B. But it is very much like the Slade style, isn’t it?

E.A. Yes, very much. Yet even my self-portrait is more colourful than the colours that they believed in at the Slade; you see they didn’t believe in anything modern. Tonics used to decry all that came from Paris: ‘Don’t listen to anything that comes from Paris–they’re all crazy’, that’s what he said.

P.B. Do you think that many of the new Surrealist ideas were also very attractive to you at that time of your life?

E.A. Yes, yes I do.

P.B. Because of your own rebellion and your own rejection of certain sorts of academic ways, was this a new opening for you?

E.A. Yes, exactly.

P.B. Which you felt you could contribute to and develop?

E.A. Yes, it’s perfectly true it was like an open door and I realised that you didn’t have to react and do exactly the same as they teach you at the Slade or things like that. When I saw those two paintings, I thought that’s how I’d like to paint, more imaginatively, and then of course eventually I met the Surrealists. They came to choose things for this big exhibition and they chose several of mine, two or three objects and five paintings, and then of course I was made practically, because I’d hardly ever shown. I had had no chance of showing with a group but there I was. I showed first with the International Show in London, then in Paris, then in Tokyo, even in fact in Dallas, Texas, and all over the world: I was really unknown you see, so it was an immense opportunity for me and I followed my instincts. I instinctively knew it would be a good thing, so people said to me, my mother’s friends or anybody that I knew said, ‘… but aren’t they rather mad? Aren’t you rather mad to join them?’

P.B. That gave you the opportunity to develop, not just artistically, but friendships that lasted a long time and were very influential?

E.A. George Melly was interviewing me for the third year on the radio and he said, well, it’s most extraordinary that you, a young unknown painter, should suddenly meet all these very. influential Surrealists who had never heard of you and you’d never heard of them. He was thinking that this was the most extraordinary fortuitous thing to happen and it was, it changed my life altogether.

P.B. Did you meet Leonora Carrington at this stage?

E.A. Yes, but very slightly, because she didn’t like London and she was over for a short time and then went back to America. I think she was English but she preferred America. I’ve never been to America so I think I’m about the only person in London who hasn’t been to America.

P.B. She was very much an outsider and always led a secretive type of life. She often made eccentric gestures though, and grand entrances at parties.

E.A. Yes, she used to wear marvellous masks and at the parties and that kind of thing she was very inventive and very talented.

G.H. What did you think of Andre Breton’s ideas of women at the time?

E.A. Well, he had extraordinary ideas of women.

G.H. He thought of them as muses, didn’t he?

E.A. He always thought of women as muses, that’s right. When some friends of his told him that his wife was a very good painter, he was absolutely astonished. He said, ‘What, is she painting?’ tie had never heard of it, he didn’t know and she couldn’t be. She was marvellous as a muse but to be actually doing something herself … and so somebody said, ‘Well, I’ll show you some’. And he did. And he was absolutely struck because she’s very, very talented. She’d never dared show him anything–she thought he’d be so angry with her you see, that he’d just go off with another woman or something like that.

G.H. It happened a lot, didn’t it? There were women in the Surrealist group who were trying to do their own work and yet the men were thinking of then] as their muses all the time.

E.A. Yes, yes. That’s why I was so lucky, because I don’t think they ever saw me as a muse. They accepted my work because I was ready to show it, you see, and I certainly never thought of myself as a muse. I thought of myself as a working painter.

P.B. You were not introduced to them through a husband or boyfriend who was a painter and so on. So you became a real person in your own right from the beginning.

E.A. That’s right. I think that’s the way that one should begin–like that. Once you hear these sort of rumours or something that you’re another kind of person, it destroys the confidence that people have in you.

P.B. Do you think that there was also that double standard between a lot of the Surrealist ideas and the position of women and that certain things were acceptable for men to do but weren’t acceptable for women?

E.A. Yes, I think so. I think that women were beginning to feel that they must be held up in other people’s esteem you see; however much confidence they had in themselves, you also have to have a confidence in the outside world that can be put across, so to speak, and they weren’t. But I think that I was the only woman who was showing at least paintings in that International Show. There was Grace Pailthorpe and Edith Rimmington, they were both very good Surrealists but you know after two or three years they got completely tired of being Surrealists–did you know that? Yes, I know because I met someone who had met then] and they said, oh yes, years ago for a year or two we joined the Surrealist movement but now we’d much prefer to see each other and have tea together at 5pm and lead a very domesticated life. Although one of then] was married, the other was not and they were great friends and they lived very near and also they were in the country, so that’s why. I didn’t know them so well and to me it’s the most extraordinary idea that they weren’t particularly interested in showing.

P.B. Do you think that it was because they realised in some way that they couldn’t attain the same thing as the men within their own art production?

E.A. I don’t think so. I think they got bored with Surrealism. There were always a lot of crazy ideas we fell in with for a little while, but I don’t think it’s for that reason. Maybe it was one of them. But Pailthorpe was very gifted and she could have gone on. Perhaps it was because she was in the country and didn’t have the encouragement of people who meet each other a lot and say, oh yes, that’s marvellous, you must go on and do some more like that or something, you see. They didn’t have that, they just had each other because they didn’t know any of these other people.

P.B. In Whitney Chadwick’s book on women Surrealists, Leonora Carrington talks about this kind of difference between the men and the women, and she says for the men it was quite acceptable for them to be outrageous and to have lovers, even if they were married or whatever. That was acceptable but for women it wasn’t, they still expected women to have quite a traditional sort of place. She was saying that Leonora Carrington lived with two men at the same time and the male Surrealists found that very difficult to cope with.

E.A. I think it is very. brave of her. It’s exactly what was needed. Men could have as many mistresses as they liked and change them every week if they wanted to, but women must still bear children and all the rest of it. I thought that was absolutely scandalous, you see; I mean I used to say but I never used to talk much about it because they always treated me as somebody who was participating and that’s what I liked about them. I would have let fly if they hadn’t, if they’d said, now, when are you going to have children or something like that, because I never wanted children. Anyhow my parents and everybody said, oh how dreadful, even a cousin said to me, well what else is there and I just nearly burst out laughing, because there are thousands of things women can do, even in those days you see.

P.B. Do you think that you had to make a choice either to have a career or to have a husband and all that this entailed?

E.A. Yes, yes.

P.B. So do you think you made these decisions in the same way?

E.A. Oh yes, but I made them very early (though to myself) when I was about 17 and I read Malthus who said that there would be a plague of human beings in another 200 years. I thought, well that lets me out, I needn’t have children, because I never wanted to. I wanted to do something else, you see, but I kept it to myself because it wasn’t even necessary to talk about it at the time.

G.H. But you did talk about women’s creativity and imagination in ‘The Island’ when you were working with Joseph Bard?

E.A. Yes, that’s right.

G.H. And you talked about it being like ‘Womb Magic’.

E.A. Yes, that’s quite true and I’ve written, I mean not written, I’ve painted a big painting in the Tare, the one you’ve probably seen, The Autobiography of a Embryo. Everybody says, well you never had a child, how do you know, and I say you can also read about these things. As a matter of fact I hadn’t read much about it in those days, because I painted that in 1934 or 1935. But it is true that you can be very interested, just as I am interested in science but I’m not a scientist, or in philosophy or something so you can be interested you see and of course once I discovered that I had this rather good title for a big painting, The Autobiography of an Embryo, people thought, why does she paint a thing like that, when she doesn’t know anything about it. But of course the girl who is having the child doesn’t know what is happening inside her, she is just told by the doctor or people who have learnt, but in the beginning they never knew you see.

P.B. Do you think that was a good painting for the Tate to buy from your collection?

E.A. Yes, I’m happy with that because I had for 10 or 15 years small paintings but I’ve never had an important big painting and I thought it was an important one although it was an early one which is what they wanted, you see.

P.B. Do you also think that it fell very much into the pattern of metamorphosis?

E.A. Yes, and it was my contribution because that is absolutely true, you couldn’t have a more magical metamorphosis than something that is just starting like a seed almost and then it grows into a human being, that is the real metamorphosis. In those very old days they didn’t even know what was happening. It’s extraordinary.

P.B. The womb magic is not something you’ve repeated in your work, is it?

E.A. No, I just felt at that time, that is what I wanted to do or to paint. It is not something you can repeat somehow, it’s unrepeatable and that’s why I think it’s good too, you know, because sometimes you can’t help repeating yourself in different versions. But if you strike on something big and at the same time that is unrepeatable, well it stands out on its own.

G.H. Since you made the seashore monster you’ve been collecting things all the time, haven’t you, to use in your collages. Are you still collecting in the same way?

E.A. Well, when I can, but it’s very difficult to collect in London because on the seashore it’s very easy as the waves are throwing up any debris, or old branches or whatever, shells or whatever, but it’s very difficult in some places.

P.B. That has been quite an experimental side of the work?

E.A. Yes, I started making objects very early on because I was interested in all sorts of things that were lying around. We were in the country a lot and then we used to stay with friends on the seashore and then we had a house in Swanage by the seaside and there was always something you could pick up and so I always looked around for everything. To start with it keeps your observation going, so that you really look at things not just walk and have a country walk and not notice anything. The woods and the trees and the colour and how lovely they are and what the path is made of, you know, all sorts of little things like that, you wouldn’t think probably. People don’t use their eyes enough, at least they use their eyes for reading or watching television, but not for noticing what’s going on when you go down the street.

P.B. Are some of the assemblages you’ve done like pieces of your memories as well?

E.A. Well to a certain extent they are, but you see I don’t have any Greek memories for instance, because that’s a bit far away for me. But I found this Greek amphora in the South of France when fishing boats were coming in a little port. I heard them cursing in French because they fear for their nets, you see, and they say, ‘Oh, these cursed amphoras, they break up our nets’.

P.B. But even though you haven’t been to Greece and it doesn’t have a memory of Greece, it has a memory of the fisherman and the swearing and the incident?

E.A. That’s absolutely right. I always remember the fishermen cursing, and I rushed to the port and I said well I’ll have it if you don’t want it, you see, and he disentangled it from the net and gave it to me. Then the top shows where the Greeks used to put it in the sand because they held this, the middle is missing of course. They held these for oil, they needed lamps, they needed oil for their tiny lamps and that’s how they did it, but then of course I added things. I added a ram’s horn, when I was up in Cumberland I found that, and a starfish or something, which I thought went with the amphora. So that it’s great fun putting things that didn’t belong, putting them together and making something new of it all. The whole thing is to make something new. That’s what Ezra Pound, my friend, used to say: he had it written on his scarf, ‘Make it new’, but he had it written in Chinese so that nobody would know what it was.

G.H. You’ve made a lot of reference to nature in your work, haven’t you?

E.A. Yes, I do, I’m very fond of it. I miss, living in London, I miss nature very much. But that’s why I settled here near Holland Park. At least I can walk in the park, you see, which is a very lovely park and has squirrels and peacocks and rabbits and all sorts of things.

Eileen Agar then showed us her studio and her work around the rooms in the flat, including some extraordinary objects/assemblages in her bedroom, and black and white photographs she had taken herself of Picasso, Lee Miller, Man Ray and Joseph Bard, as well as her most recent paintings from the Brittany Rocks, and works and collages in progress. In Part II of this interview we will be looking at the effects of the war years on Eileen Agar’s work and her contemporary years.

Dream documents: photographs by Susan Hiller

Poised at a juncture of observation and imagination, waking and dreaming, Susan Hiller’s recent photographs, The Secrets of Sunset Beach 1988, are luminous with an atmosphere of intuitive insight. The viewer is immediately drawn in by jewel-like colours which emerge through a double play of light across the surfaces of an extra ordinary domestic interior–a rented apartment in California where Hiller stayed during an extended visit. Decorated with fish nets, sea shells, curtains patterned with ocean motifs and bar stools fashioned like totem figures from the South Sea Islands, it seems designed for fantasy and projection. The photographs are a re-recoding of this interior with lucent traces reflecting the movement of the artist’s hand, the fragmetary, hovering gestures of an ecstatic response.

These traces appear as projected light images of automatic writing which illuminate furniture, drapery and walls with a glimmering hieroglyphics. Recalling Surrealist practices, Hiller has frequently used automatic writing in her work to invoke impulses of expressive utterance, prior to the regulations of language, that remain in touch with psychic energies in the unconscious. Here her markings have a particularly evocative quality; incandescent and in suspension they seem emblematic of a waking dream. Their implication of significant pattern is heightened, yet their refusal of distinctions between image and word, drawing and writing, signifier and signified is also more emphatic.

If the ethereal presence of these markings as projected light makes their association with dream legible, it also suggests other relationships. In play with ambient light filtering through curtained windows, the patterned markings exist in continuity with the commonplace occurrence of a kind of spontaneous light-drawing. One is reminded of the experience of watching early morning or evening light as it casts shifting designs and shadows across a room. Such interludes often produce a feeling of intuitive apprehension, as if one were witness to some magical disclosure of underlying reciprocities amongst phenomena that otherwise appear merely banal, inert. The record of this light-drawing as a natural photo-graphy is a familiar trope within photography, but Hiller’s allusive use of it in this context is especially suggestive. In drawing attention to several photo-graphies at once, she points to the deeper pyschic significance embedded in this aspect of the photographic, through its participation in the very atmospheric reciprocities that it registers. The recording of her own projected light patterns also recalls the experimental tradition of spirit photography whereby people attempted to certify on film various supernatural phenomena. This reference underscores Hiller’s awareness of the magical qualities of photography, the medium’s ability to conjure what has vanished, to transcribe what is past as present. Insofar as her work seeks to tap sources of deep memory, this capacity of photography to resurrect the past is particularly suited to Hiller’s aims.

As a group, the photographs convey a rich sensory impressionism. The modulation of colour to create deeply shaded areas makes the appearance of the glowing scripts more startling; in one image they emerge as a veil of hieroglyphs, the dense patterning caught by fish nets hanging in a darkened room. The effect is reminiscent of sunlight filtering through depths of water. On a coffee table, birds of paradise held in a sea-shell vase open out like sea anemones. A submarine atmosphere is also imparted in another picture in which Hiller’s light writings drift beneath a curtain where tropical fish dart around a coral reef. Repeatedly, features that are products of popular, commercial culture reveal the suggestive power of the forms they imitate. Nowhere is this more striking than in the image that includes the totem bar stools juxtaposed with a television set, its scene of women wrestling tattoos across with markings. In the half-light of an open door the totem figures seem to slough off their kitsch masquerade to reclaim a brooding, even foreboding aspect.

At times, the associative ambience within certain pictures produces effects of synaesthesia. In one, a conventionalised (probably mass-produced) seascape with rolling, advancing waves and a sea gull form the backdrop for two projections. One is of the artist’s automatic script and the other is the natural projection of a shadow, that of a child’s head, seen in profile, its mouth open. This figure in silhouette faces in the direction of the rhythmically textured markings; notions of chanting, incantation, the repeated wash of waves are conjured.

A relation between automatic writing and incantation has been developed more explicitly in Hiller’s Elan (1983), where panels of scripts were displayed in conjunction with a sound tape including the artist’s voice, along with experimental recordings by Raudive. The effect produced is that of “a wordless chanting … at moments an untrammelled lament reminiscent of keening, at others of lullabies and cradle songs”. Like the texts, this wordless voicing “Belongs ultimately to some deeper and more primary level of communication”. (Lynne Cooke as quoted by Lucy Lippard in Susan Hiller, I.C.A., 1986).

More austere and mysterious is the image of an oval mirror, rimmed with a fantastic decoration of sea shells. Eerie yet flamboyant, the shell shapes frame a pool of darkness reflecting a few lucent traces of script. The mirror, as an invitation to look upon, look into the self interpolates the viewer into the world of these photographs, or rather the processes of discovery that they register and extend.

This touches upon an underlying principle in the work which assumes implicit relations between self, culture, and aspects of experience traceable to shared psychic sources. It is a principle that runs through Hiller’s production as a whole, developed in different ways and through a series of constantly shifting contexts. Her work evades–indeed repudiates–any programmatic format while regathering, recasting certain elements within contexts typically involving some aspect of popular culture as a manifestation of shared belief. The automatic writing (perhaps the most continuous element or tactic) suggests both a state of being where the conscious and unconscious interpenetrate, and a method for summoning, deepening this state, like incantation and techniques of lucid dreaming. Automatic writing in Hiller’s work participates in these closely related phenomena. All of these may be used to activate the recovery of multivalent readings of culture, ourselves, our needs and desires.

Hiller’s many works with the photobooth, dating from as early as 1972 activate technology used in popular photography in terms of its capacity to produce multiple images of a morphology of changing, shifting gestures associated with the self. Hiller recovers in this very crude technology, used primarily to provide a single image supporting a dominant cultural paradigm of fixed identity, a “usually ignored aspect of its organisation which produces a different set of possibilities. In the photobooth works Lucid Dreams and Bad Dreams (1981-83) she attempts “to erode the supposed boundary between dream life and waking life” by using “the disconnected and fragmented images produced automatically by these machines as analogies for the kind of dream images we all know, for instance suddenly catching a glimpse of oneself from the back…”


The possibility of recovering “something there beyond the obvious” within popular images and the technologies or circuits of their transmission is also entailed in Hiller’s work with forms like postcards and television.

Perhaps most relevant to the current Sunset Beach pictures are the postcard works based on the image of the rough sea. Hiller began collecting this familiar postcard image, produced by anonymous artists in 1973 and has used them in a series of works: a collection entitled Dedicated to the Unknown Artists, a small book entitled Rough Sea and Towards an Autobiography of Night (1983). This last uses twelve of the postcards blown up to the size of 20″ x 30″ (50 x 76cm), with certain details hand painted by Hiller in gold–a swift, gestural reiteration of elements of illumination within the scenes themselves–the moon, lights in houses, etc.  An oil portrait gallery named Paint My Photo also tried to turn Hiller’s art into hand-painted oil paintings. The personalisation of a handprint is also an important feature, in effect, a territorial claim; as Hiller has stated “I wanted to show how one can claim a position of speaking from the side of darkness, the side of the unknown, while not reducing myself to darkness and the unknowable”.

Such a perception, or position also informs The Secrets of Sunset Beach which relocates what might to be a rational, observable and stable reality within the context of a changing atmosphere. The knowability of the world in any simple terms is questioned as photography is used here not to fix identifications and clarify outlines, but to suggest how things may be seen in a different light. Or rather this use of the photographic recovers from within the very banality of that metaphor the recognition that light itself is always changing, re-drawing, rewriting the environments, the atmospheres we assume to be fixed. The question of actively re-reading, re-writing re-imagining then is present in these images at several levels. ‘Projection’ may be read at the naturalistic level of shadow and the play of light; of the artist’s ‘projections’ and the subjective perceptions and projections of the viewer of these images, who may bring to them, and bring them to, familiar remembered experiences of observation and dreaming.

The collaborative aspects of production referred to throughout Hiller’s work, from the use of automatic writing, to her catalytic and curatorial activity with regard to forms of popular culture- here directly engage us as viewers. We are also invited to dream, to participate in the attempt to articulate something of an unspoken, of the everyday, to envisage what is overlooked, lost to visibility both through the erasures of dulled perception and the forgetting of habits of active dreaming.

Butler, Susan

The Ideal Mother

The Ideal Mother: Decorative Ensembles in The Porticus Octaviae. Painted and sculptural embellishments inside the portico reinforced the ideology of dynasty and woman’s role in its creation. Though much of the artwork is lost to us today, literary sources describe these images dispersed throughout the grounds. A brief iconographic analysis of some of the more notable images reveals that they promoted feminine behavior considered ideal for a woman, such as chastity, fecundity, piety, and moral rectitude, the same values which Octavia came to represent in her capacity as an imperial woman. The messages conveyed by the art were grounded in legislation enacted by Augustus to discourage adultery in favor of legitimate reproduction within the bounds of marriage. For women, the rewards were liberation from financial tutelage after having borne three children. The statue that perhaps best illustrated these Augustan ideals was the aforementioned republican portrait of Cornelia.

For the Roman people, Cornelia was a paradigm of female virtue. Her chastity, education, and eloquent speech earned her the admiration and respect of Roman senators as well as foreign dignitaries. After her husband’s untimely death, she honorably remained a univira (a woman who married only once), one of the highest demonstrations of marital devotion a woman could display, even rejecting a proposal from King Ptolemy of Egypt. Instead she chose to dedicate herself to the rearing and education of her twelve children. Quintilian writes that her famous sons, Gaius and Tiberius, owed much of their own eloquence to their mother. After their premature deaths, she continually honored their memories, and according to Plutarch (Tiberius Gracchus, 1.1-5), it was as a mother that Cornelia gained most attention. For this, she was considered an exemplum of matronhood. It may have been the historic association between the portico and the republican icon of motherhood and her politically influential sons that attracted Octavia and Marcellus to reconstruct the building in the early imperial years, in an attempt to create a perceived likeness between the two pairs.


Cast as a Cornelia for a new era, Octavia presented the Roman people with a renewed ideal of womanhood invested with the weight of traditional republican values. The analogy would have been more profound as Roman viewers recognized distinct biographical parallels between the two women. Like Cornelia, Octavia devoted herself to rearing her children, honoring her marriage, and remaining a univira after her husband’s death (not to mention his abandonment). Like Cornelia too, she had come to figure in the political aspirations of the men in her family, counseling, supporting, and providing beneficence in ways unusual for a woman, and likewise had a famous son who predeceased her. Finally, both were given the rare honor of public portraits. In fact, it seems likely that a portrait of Octavia–that most biographical of art forms–stood in the portico as a physical and visual parallel to Cornelia’s, one that would have underscored the similarities for viewers.

The guiding principle expressed through disegno in painting

For central Italians, the guiding principle expressed through disegno in painting was the mental process of invenzione. Invenzione became the force which allowed the artist to go, in his creative process, beyond the simple imitation of nature–“A non solo d’imitar, ma di superar la natura”. Titian’s position within Venetian cinquecento art theory in connection with Michelangelo was expressed in Lodovico Dolce’s Aretino (1557). Dolce praised above all Titian’s invenzione that is, the workings of the artist’s genius in his manipulation of the chosen thematic material. This seems to have been a concerted effort on Titian’s part in regard to all of the arts. Panofsky in fact connected Titian’s poesie and sixteenth-century art theory through a reconsideration of painting as an intellectual discipline, especially in relation to poetry. Titian’s frequent departures from Ovid’s literary models shows his intellectual affinity with the poet’s aims, while asserting his creative autonomy (invenzione) and equality with, even supremacy over, the poet. In the visual arts, Titian asserted his artistic supremacy over the great masters of central Italian Renaissance art: Michelangelo and Raphael.  By a unity of invenzione with colorito, Titian reached a perfect combination of both the rational and sensuous qualities of art beyond the imitation of nature. To quote Aretino’s boastful praise, Titian usurped nature’s life-giving powers to such a degree that he was “hated by a jealous Nature as a competitor.” To be sure, Titian’s impresa of c. 1562, “NATURA POTENTIOR ARS” (“Art more powerful that Nature”) was a counterattack against central Italian claims that colorito was a mere imitation of nature. It was also a response to Michelangelo’s statement that Titian unfortunately lacked training in disegno. This criticism of Titian by his archrival Michelangelo implied that the Venetian, proficient a colorist as he was, could profit from learning the skill of drawing.

Therefore, it is invenzione as a manipulation of thematic material and as extension of the disegno versus colorito debate that we have to look to as a guiding principle to the thematic details of Titian’s Pieta.

Even more astute is Titian’s integration of the separate thematic compositional parts into a more dynamically unified ensemble. Titian responded to Vittoria’s semi-circular arrangement of isolated, incommunicative figures with his own grouping of figures around the central characters in front of an illusionistic niche. In the Pieta the Virgin’s face and that of Christ, along with his body, are fully illuminated. As a result, Christ is the most resplendent figure in the work, and thus its focus. Because of this light and Christ’s pale complexion, his body seems to glow from within. Together with his halo, this aura-like light seems to anticipate his Glory, alluding to his role as Salvator Mundi. The painted niche visually isolates the central group, establishing the equivalence of the Virgin to the altar upon which the Host, Christ, rests. The frame around the niche, which emphasizes the central group of the Virgin and Christ, focuses the viewer’s attention on them and, in a sense, functions rather like the illusionistic sculpted frame of an altarpiece.

This use of the niche as frame parallels with Vittoria’s grouping of his figures around and in front of the sculptural frame of the Zane Altar. In the painting, this results in a breakdown of the strict separation of the painting’s internal space and the actual space of the church, an element accentuated by the actions of the other participants. The Pieta group is flanked by Mary Magdalene to the left. She is shown gesturing in an agitated manner, with her face turned toward her right, originally in the direction of the nave. Here she is in her role of primary mourner in the Lamentation, identifiable by her expansive, pathetic gestures. Counterbalancing the Magdalene to the right is St. Jerome, who has been recognized as a self-portrait of Titian. The four figures create a slight diagonal, extending deeper and higher into space from the lower right (St. Jerome) towards the left side following the approach of church visitors. They are placed on a stage-like platform that is parallel to the picture plane. This platform projects horizontally in trapezoidal form toward the viewer, inviting access to the central group. Thus the viewer is beckoned by Magdalene, who reaches out in his/her direction, to emulate the actions of the genuflecting figure–Titian’s self-portrait in the guise of St. Jerome. The illusionistic manipulation of the architecture, and of the figures in front of it, dissolves the boundaries between the pictorial and the viewer’s space, between reality and illusion, thus de facto breaking the boundaries between spiritual and material reality. This commingling of real and fictive is further enhanced by the use of independent sculptural motifs surrounding the niche and the central group. The relation of the fictive sculptures and architecture may represent the most overt comment on the contemporary trend of disunity between figures and architecture in Venetian sculpture, represented by Vittoria and, in particular, the Zane Altar.


Billed as an exhibition

Billed as an exhibition dedicated to showcasing 29 new and emerging artists from Winnipeg, supernovas is exactly what Winnipeg Art Gallery needs right now–a fresh look at what is going on outside its walls. In talk surrounding the show there has been much rhetoric suggesting that supernovas presents an opportunity to see the art scene’s next stars, and the exhibition’s easily misread title feeds into this. However, co-curators Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan are not really concerned with star charting. They set out to take a snapshot of contemporary art production in Winnipeg and wound up discovering a great variety of large wall art. Their selection criteria limited them to artists with a strong professional studio component in their work; they opted not to show recent art school graduates (read: artists less than one year out of school). Artists who have already achieved a sizable interest in their work were also not considered (read: no solo exhibitions). That being said, there are certainly standouts in a wide-ranging exhibition that includes handmade dolls, multiples, painting, bronze sculpture, drawing, video, works on paper, tapestry, installation, photography, collage and performance remnants from opening night.

Liz Garlicki’s large canvas art are an impressive offering from a talent who exhibits far less then one would hope. At an average of eight by ten feet, these untitled acrylic works on vinyl allow the audience’s gaze to slide in and all over their fine lines. The images become topographic odes to female experience and the viewer gets lost in their immensity, which in the end dwarfs any voyeuristic impulse. Similarly, Paul Robles, a Winnipeg mainstay whose career has gained tremendous momentum in recent years, offers You Are The Everything (2003-2005). Comprising 24 individually framed pieces of origami paper cut into silhouettes and installed in a three by eight grid, the work’s iconography consists of everything from skulls to guns. Try as one may, it is near impossible to focus on just one piece; the eye wonders from silhouette to silhouette. This overall approach leads to some wonderful vertigo.

Along with a prevalence of the body as a theme, supernovas presents a large contingent of works concerned with narrative and storytelling. Works by Shawna McLeod, Shaun Morin, Joseph Reyes, Melanie Rocan and Cyrus Smith all share this interest. To be sure, they present only the juiciest parts of the story–denying any slow build-up, not concerning themselves with plot, these artists jump right to the punch line–suggesting that supernovas captures a certain generational aesthetic, one of immediate gratification, introspection and playful self-awareness.

Further to that introspection, consider recent Yale grad Lisa Wood’s paintings. Wood’s self-portraits pair images of herself with images of her mother, placing her within Winnipeg’s long lineage of accomplished women painters, such as Esther Warkov, Eleanor Bond, Wanda Koop and Bey Pike. Equally compelling are the eight tiny handmade dolls by Jennie O’Keefe. The inclusion of her haunting, 12-inch, wryly titled figures seems absolutely necessary to the show. O’Keefe’s Why do you hate Canada? (2005) is a teary-eyed doll wearing an iconic Hudson’s Bay blanket coat and holding a dead goose, in an apparent comment on the artistic quirkiness for which Winnipeg has become known (and perhaps its impending backlash), along with the condition to which many point as explanation for such eccentricity–severe weather.

Justin Ludwar’s suite of collages were originally made as mock-ups for paintings. For artists working with collage in Winnipeg, it has become impossible not to think of Paul Butler’s impact on work in this mode. Ludwar, however, also references the modernist tradition of Winnipeg at mid-century. In his use of torn magazine ads, he displays a sensibility closer to Tony Tascona, or even Don Reichert, than he does to Butler. Other artists, such as Ian August, Shaun Morin and Shawna McLeod, also use collage to add texture and depth to their drawings and paintings in a delicate, skillful manner that is at once sentimental and ironic.

The three photographers in the show each approach their subjects differently. Talia Potash photographs strangers (in this case, a creepy selection of Miami-loving seniors); Richard Hines mostly photographs his family (melancholic portraits of his wife and son); and Meera Margaret Singh photographs friends made out to be strangers (truncating intimacy through the use of costume and setting).

In their role as curators, Dempsey and Millan did not establish a long list of theoretical parameters and then set out to find young stars as proof of their hypothesis. Instead, the duo worked organically, allowing the art to create an overarching theme as an effect of its installation. On this evidence, narrative is the main concern of this new generation of Winnipeg artists. Winnipeg has always been a city full of stories and storytellers. Supernovas’ new crop of artists understands this and uses it to create the history they are about to become apart of.