A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Thursday, 9 June 2016
Heroes/heroines: Ron Kitaj.
There are very few painters whose work makes me gasp; Kitaj is one.
He was one of that highly influential group of RCA students from the late 50's/early 60's that included Hockney, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Pat Caulfield, and Derek Boshier (amongst others). Some of the liveliest work since the glory days of Matisse.
I was at school when these guys were at the RCA, but their influence even reached as far as the backwaters of Cambridgeshire. In 1961 my wise Art teacher (Norman Wadey) took me down to London in his tiny MG to see the 'Young Contemporaries' show at The Whitechapel Art Gallery, at which all the above were exhibiting.
The young 15 year old Cro was literally astounded. I'd never seen anything like it; it was like being born again into a whole new unknown world of painting. Kitaj's work shone like a beacon, and his 'Jewish Philosophy' subject matter a total revelation.
Kitaj was blessed with superb draughtsmanship, and rare intellect. He was an exceptional colourist and created complex and challenging compositions. He was top of the class.
Kitaj left us in 2007, unfortunately to suicide. At his Tate retrospective in 1994 he had been unfairly savaged by the press as being a pretentious name-dropping Yankee poseur, and he moved back to the USA in disgust. No doubt this attack, and the death of his wife (the painter Sandra Fisher) led to his demise.
Thank you for all your wonderful work Mr Kitaj; I love you. RIP.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 50 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live between an ancient cottage in a tiny village in perfectly tranquil French countryside, and a bijou townhouse in Brighton UK. In France we have plenty of fruit trees, all situated amongst a view that takes the breath away, in the UK we have a handkerchief sized patio. We also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!