Temptation

Temptation. Odilon Redon.

Temptation. Odilon Redon.


After The Storm

By Derek Walcott

There are so many islands!
As many islands as the stars at night
on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
But things must fall, and so it always was,
on one hand Venus, on the other Mars;
fall, and are one, just as this earth is one
island in archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
I stop talking now. I work, then I read,
cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was,
and when that don’t work, I study the stars.
Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
as the deck turn white and the moon open
a cloud like a door, and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.


Landscape at Large

Landscape at Large. Paul Nash. 1936.

Landscape at Large. Paul Nash. 1936.

‘Landscape at Large’ is one of a group of landscape collages made by Paul Nash in 1936-8 in which real objects were used pictorially. The Tate Gallery also has ‘Swanage’ (made from photographs of objects and watercolour) and ‘In the Marshes’ (made from bark and sticks). From the title it is evident that this one was seen by Nash as an abstract landscape, with the shape of the bark suggesting perspective, and the texture and patterns of the materials making the features. The ‘at large’, although not explained by the artist, probably has its usual meaning of either ‘at liberty’ or ‘there in complete detail’, implying that the objects are standing in for themselves.

Text from Tate


A Sudden Gust of Wind

Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri. Katsushika Hokusai. ca. 1832. Woodprint.

Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri. Katsushika Hokusai. ca. 1832. Woodcut.

Study for 'A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)'. Jeff Wall. 1993.

Study for ‘A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)‘. Jeff Wall. 1993.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai).  Jeff Wall. 1993. Transparency on Light Box.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai). Jeff Wall. 1993. Transparency on Light Box.

A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) by Jeff Wall is a large colour photograph displayed in a light box. It depicts a flat, open landscape in which four foreground figures are frozen as they respond to a sudden gust of wind. It is based on a woodcut, Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri(c.1832) from a famous portfolio, The Thirty-six Views of Fuji, by the Japanese painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Wall photographed actors in a landscape located outside his home town, Vancouver, at times when similar weather conditions prevailed over a period of five months. He then collaged elements of the photograph digitally in order to achieve the desired composition. The result is a tableau which appears staged in the manner of a classical painting. As in Hokusai’s original, two men clutch their hats to their heads while a third stares up into the sky, where his trilby is being carried away by the wind. On the left, a woman’s body is halted in a state of shock, her head concealed by her scarf which has been blown around her face. A sheaf of papers in her hand has been dispersed by the gust and their trajectory, over the centre of the image, creates a sense of dynamic movement. Two narrow trees, also in the foreground, bend in the force of the wind, releasing dead leaves which mingle with the floating papers. In Hokusai’s image the landscape is a curving path through a reed-filled area next to a lake, leading towards Mount Fuji in the far distance. In Wall’s version, flat brown fields abut onto a canal. Small shacks, a row of telegraph poles and concrete pillars and piping evoke industrial farming. The unromantic nature of the landscape is reinforced by a small structure made of corrugated iron in the foreground. The pathway on which the figures stand is a dirt track extending along the front of the photograph from one side to the other. There is no sense of connection between the characters, whose position in the landscape appears incongruous. Two wear smart city clothes, adding to the sense of displacement.

Text from Tate


Napoli

Napoli. Luigi Ghirri. 1980.

Napoli. Luigi Ghirri. 1980.


La Danse

A Visual History

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing. William Blake. circa 1786

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing. William Blake. circa 1786.

Dance (I). Henri Matisse. 1909.

La Danse (I). Henri Matisse. 1909.

Dance (II) Matisse. 1909/10

La Danse. Henri Matisse. 1909/10

Music. Henri Matisse. 1910

La Musique. Henri Matisse. 1910

La Danse with Nasturtiums. Matisse. 1912.

La Danse with Nasturtiums. Henri Matisse. 1912.


Fallen Angel

Winged Man The Fallen Angel Odilon Redon

Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) Odilon Redon. 1880.