A Slight Attack of Third Dimentia Brought on by Excessive Study of the Much Talked of Cubist Pictures in the International Exhibition at New York,” drawn by John French Sloan in April 1913.
Among the artist whose work feature large in the show were the Duchamp brothers:
The brothers, left to right: Marcel Duchamp, Jaques Villon and Raymond Duchamp-Villon. This Photo was actually taken in Jacques Villon’s studio in Pateaux, France in 1914.
Marcel Duchamp’ Nude Descending a Staircase No.2 painted in 1912 attracted a great deal of attention, as did Picasso’s Le Guitariste (1910) and Braque’s Violin and Candlestick (1910)
Among others at the exhibition:
Henri Matisse l’Atelier Rouge(1911)
Maurice Prendergast Landscape with Figures (1913)
Arthur B Davies Reclining Woman (Pastel Drawing)(1911)
Prendergast and Davies were both American artists and members of a group of painters called The Eight, which included Robert Henri, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, Ernest Lawson, George Luks and William Glackens. Out of the group came the Ashcan School of artists.
Ashcan School artists and friends at John Sloan’s Philadelphia Studio, 1898
The exhibition was undoubtedly a success and very comprehensive at the time. It went on to show at the Art Institute of Chicago and then in Copley Hall in Boston. There, due to a lack of space, all the work by American Artists was removed. How sad is that. How insecure of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. It is worth having a look at this entry:
Your can judge for yourselves whether a judiciously proportionate culling of works – to make way for display in Boston – would have been more appropriate.
Edward Hopper 1908, George Bellows 1909 and Maurice Prendergast 1901
Fifty-two years ago today, 16th February 1959, Fidel Castro became Prime Minister of Cuba. Shortly after he took office he visited the United States for the first time on the 15th April 1959. It was not a state visit, but he went to the U.S. as a guest of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. In fact he had himself invited by the Press Club. Whilst in New York he made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar. Paar had only recently taken over as host of the show, which was later renamed The Jack Paar Show, whether because of Castro’s appearance or for some other reason, who knows.
>WHO IS BEST REMEMBERED?
The 12th February marks a birthday shared by two of America’s more controversial figures:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
A speech that could be made in any place where people are protesting for their democratic rights. Not bad for an uneducated boy from the backwoods of Illinois. Cotton Mather for all his privilege and education was nowhere near his class.
Duncan MacAskill’s mail art is an open secret that has been going on for years. I count myself fortunate to be amongst many of Duncan’s friends who have been receivers of his postcards. They began as small versions, ‘diminutives’, of his larger abstract work. They were of course works in their own right and they were posted by him to his friends on various days throughout the years as the mark of a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday, an exhibition, a journey, and many other reasons or for no reason at all, just to say hello.
He would also ask his friends, when going on a journey, if they wouldn’t mind posting a few cards for him from wherever they were going. The collection would usually contain a card addressed to the person’s own address. The cards are now treasured possessions and I know of many people who would like to be part of Duncan MacAskill’s mailing list and it is quite some list.
Abstract art is not always easy to understand and it is not an art form that is to everyone’s taste. A work where the artistic content can depend on internal form rather than pictorial representation is not necessarily an easy form to understand or to be moved or enlightened by. That is not to denigrate pictorial forms of art. All artistic endeavours consist of a combination of colours, hues, shapes, balance, depth, composition, scale and context.
I think any artist hopes that her or his particular combination of elements is understood and will lead to some kind of shared emotion or enlightenment. I believe we look at works of art with this in mind. We like to follow the journey and we all like a good story.
This work is part of a much wider project. As well as being a record of friendships, musings, thoughts and images that have travelled around the world, a simple telling of where the names and places of things have meaning. They are also a stamp collector’s dream.
There is something rather special about the creation of this work. It is not just a collection of individual cards and sundry bits and pieces, but a very large and extended work of art. This is mail art participation on a grand scale. Duncan has made each of us a party to his grand scheme. We become extensions of his hands and arms, another pair of eyes. We are the neurotransmitters and the work is a continuing living piece enabling sensation and action throughout the world.
One might be lucky enough to get a number of cards which you find at some point down the line all come together to create yet another story.
Anyone travelling anywhere? If you are interested in joining in the piece post a comment and let me know. I have not told Duncan I am doing this, but what the hell.