Thursday, August 27, 2009
Today a twitter friend tweeted the following "aaaah USA http://bit.ly/7qtS6", link leading to a Guardian story "Model arrested for posing nude at New York museum."
Next in the story, "Kathleen Neill charged with public lewdness after posing for a photographer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." I thought Dick would be interested in this story, having himself had some of his nudes taken off the walls of a gallery in NY, in the 70s, if I recall right.
The show of photographs of the above mentioned nude model in public spaces will be closing, in a few days, August 30 at Chair and Maiden in NY.
"aaaah USA http://bit.ly/7qtS6", and I can only add, why in chains right away?
Dick might not be in touch or reading this until later in the week, as I believe he's still disconnected, due to the storm a week ago ripping out some trees near his barn and breaking some telephone poles and wires, which are probably still being fixed. Here is how it looked from the cottage where I was staying last weekend, right after the storm hit. Watch my short clip to the end and listen...
More images coming to my photo set(UPDATE now already there) from the Berkshires trip here.
Check out the "lewd" show if you're in NY before it closes.
Zach Hyman "Decent Exposures"
Venue: Chair and the Maiden
Schedule: From 2009-08-20 To 2009-08-30
Address: 19 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-255-0562 Fax: 212-675-6330
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Since I'll be heading out to Dick's studio in the country to do a little photo and video shoot, and to breath in some fresh country air, I'm especially taken by the newly added paintings of tools of all sorts associated with art and labor.
Industry (1967) oil on linen 40'' x 50''
Chime Knife and Barking Spud (1970) oil on linen 28'' x 44''
Forest Tools (1985) oil on linen 72'' x 46''
Harvest Tools (1987) oil on linen 36'' x 48'' Andso on.
And of course the studio table...Studio Table (1996-97) oil on linen 36'' x 48''
Blogging-wise, I don't think we're ready to move on from the current topics of the nude and photography that are on Dick's mind and in his writings. Conveniently, Dick stays on the subjects in his phone calls too. I listened to a voice mail(thank you google voice!) Dick left me the other day, where he mentions another two photo related books and authors, Janet Malcolm and John Szarkowski.
I let the Wikipedia entry on Janet Malcolm be an introduction to this staff writer for the New Yorker.
John Szarkowski was best know to me as the author of several books on photography and a MoMA curator.
I'm sure Dick would have a few words to add here on both authors and their photography ideas.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Whenever the human body appears, in life or art, clothed or unclothed, there is an erotic potential. In art, whenever the erotic goes beyond potential to become itself the subject one may cross the line between art and pornography.
In art, the nude body is neutral. Sexual differentiation is a fact.
Unless the artist has gone intentionally past the line, whatever happens beyond the artist’s intent lies in the eye, or rather the mind, of the beholder.
For myself, the subjects of the nudes are the particular individuals, male and female, which I have painted. They have 3-dimensional form, in the painting as in life; they are capable of movement and in their postures express the connection between their inner self and its physical manifestation.
In the “Art of Painting: Reflections on Edwin Dickinson and Representation” (unpublished) I have written, “A great photographer of the nude such as Robert Mapplethorpe in his straightforward studies has understood light on form and the way the parts of the body move into each other in a dynamic relationship better than most painters, present or past...” I am interested in these nudes, not his homoerotic images or for that matter, his still lifes.
Francis Cunningham 8/6/09 (UPDATED 8/10/09)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Note the new addition on the side bar, on the right hand side, the widget with Dick's book recommendations. To start with, it contains books, which Dick either mentioned to me in our conversations or handed me to peruse. The first was Kenneth Clark's "The Nude."
It was not the first time that I came across it. In my own research on the body in the films of Claire Denis I came across this title. It's interesting how such a "classic text" can be used even for contemporary film analysis, the text I have to admit I did not use to its full potential.
Later, Dick surprised me a bit, but not really, mentioning The Black Book. I think it's a natural due to Dick's interest in the nude. Here is what he told me he came up with before breakfast, "when often interesting thoughts occur," today and left it on my voice mail, to clarify the reasons behind his interest in Mapplethorpe's photography and in particular in his nudes.
"Whenever the human body appears in life or art, clothed or unclothed, there is an erotic potential. In art, whenever the erotic goes beyond potential to become itself the subject one may easily cross the line between art and pornography.
In art, the nude body is neutral. Sexual differentiation is a fact. Unless the artist has intended the erotic to be the subject, whatever further happens lies in the eye or rather the mind of the beholder.
For myself, the subjects of the nudes are the particular individuals, which I have painted, male and female, having 3 dimensional form in the painting as well as in life, capable of movement, and in their posture expressing the connection between their inner self and its physical manifestation.
I am interested in Mapplethorpe's straightforward nudes, not his homoerotic images or for that matter, his still lifes." Francis Cunningham 8/6/09
Finally, a title that Dick refers to in his writing a lot, but was cautious when mentioning to me for material for the blog. But I think Italian Painters of the Renaissance is a wonderful inspiration.
When on the Renaissance, there was a great show at the Met "Art and Love in Renaissance Italy", which I was lucky to see earlier this year and found it great and on top of that packed with visitors of all ages.
A quick final note to close the circle, Kenneth Clark was a great British historian, but also a TV personality, here is a DVD title, a series that covers a big chunk of European art history.
I understand the show was a hit when it was running.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Really hot day in New York, with Dick away, in the barn - as he'd probably say, I worked from home on adding a few remaining nudes to the website. It's great to see them all together, but they look so much grander human size and in relation to objects around them and to each other.
Image: Francis Cunningham with "Stephen Ringold" (1983) by Francis Cunningham oil on linen 60" x 56"
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