“The prerequisites for sainthood are association with two miracles and being dead. German artist Gerhard Richter (b1932, Dresden) is far from dead; he is the world’s most feted living artist, still prolific and innovating. He is credited with the secular miracle of giving painting continued intellectual credibility in the postmodern age. No living artist is more highly valued or venerated.
“Richter is known principally for three groups of work, all postdating his 1961 departure from the GDR: since 1962, paintings of photographs (subject to blurring); grids of colour swatches based on domestic-paint charts; and, after 1987, abstract paintings generated by layering paint using flat-bladed wipers. His classic photo paintings have achieved a degree of acclaim not accorded those by photorealists. Although a painter, his work has been considered conceptual in attitude. His 48 Portraits (1971–2) were painted from encyclopaedia portrait photographs, and he then exhibited photographs of his paintings. He is also seen as an upholder of the figurative tradition. Richter is a contemporary history painter, although he is uncomfortable being so cast…”
Read the full review originally in THE ART BOOK, 19 January 2010 here:
“Ian McKeever RA (born 1946) is one Britain’s foremost painters. His abstract paintings, often derived from observation of the natural world near his home in Dorset or prompted by journeys to destinations as far away as Siberia, Greenland and New Guinea, have been exhibited worldwide. A new monograph by Lund Humphries comprehensively surveys his paintings for the first time. The artist talked to Alexander Adams about his work and the book.
“Alexander Adams: So often I see in your ‘abstract’ art echoes of the natural world. Your references to nature open up avenues of association rather than close them down.
“Ian McKeever: I do draw strongly on the natural world around me, increasingly, especially, the world immediately around me, those things which encroach not only into my physical world, but also psychologically and emotionally speaking. What I sense as the gap between the sensations of oneself as being distinct from the rest of the world around one is perhaps increasingly the content of the work. Of course one cannot paint an ‘abstract’ painting and not have a strong sense of subject matter, without its lapsing into formalism, which as such does not interest me…”
Read the full interview originally in THE ART BOOK, February 2010 here:
“When Picasso acolyte Christian Zervos slighted Bonnard as clinging ‘to what is facile and agreeable’, Matisse was incandescent. Matisse considered Bonnard to be one of the century’s great painters. Picasso did not think Bonnard was a painter at all. Despite repeated efforts, the installation of Bonnard as a top-flight artist has foundered on his perceived adherence to domestic subjects, lack of obvious stylistic and thematic development, and Impressionist technique. His work does not fit comfortably into a linear, movement-centred narrative of art history…”
Read the full review at THE ART BOOK REVIEW, 19 January 2010: