Page 10 - Studio International - August 1966
P. 10

Italian dealers who died in 1963. Masuo   endeavour in terms of the visual arts. The   tion. If one agrees that these are fundamental
       Ikeda, whose dry-point etchings were     significance of prizes has undergone a   issues, then the Venice prizes have a limited
       undoubtedly the most interesting prints   gradual change in recent years. They no   significance; in view of this perhaps it does
       in the Biennale, received a graphics prize.   longer have the aura of medals that the   not matter that they exist as part of a ritual
       European rather than oriental in feeling,   artist receives as the culmination of his   that goes to make up the most important
       Ikeda's colour etchings make wry comments   career. Many of the prize-winners are in   single recurring event in the art world. To
       on life, death, pride, and other more    their thirties, and the awards assume the   abandon the prize system, as Geldzahler
      mundane aspects of human life.            function of encouragement rather than the   suggests, would imply doing away-with a
       The international sculpture prize, shared   recognition of a life's work. The problem   very essential part of the Biennale, which is
       by Robert Jacobsen of Denmark, whose steel  for the recognized young artists of talent is   an occasion as well as an exhibition. If it
       constructions relate to the human figure,   somewhat different. With certain landmarks   were to be considered purely as an exhibi-
      and Etienne Martin of France, whose vast   already behind them—feature articles in the   tion then the Documenta in Kassel, which
       bronzes and wood sculptures are evocative   popular press, the occasional monograph,   takes place every four or five years, is no
      of nature's more bizarre creations, was   retrospective exhibitions in public galleries,   doubt more rewarding, more serious, more
      considered by some a sentimental evaluation   representation in Venice, perhaps a prize—  extensive, better selected. That is hardly
       rather than an objective one, although there  they have achieved those clearly-defined   the point—the Biennale is an event, old-
      was no obvious contestant for the prize in   and coveted landmarks at which most young  fashioned albeit, one which is a convention,
      terms of the Venice showing.              artists aim. It is then that one has to fall   in a setting suitably unreal and beautiful
       The prizes do not suggest any specific trend,  back on all the personal resources one can   enough to allow one for a while to become
       but rather a number of personal explorations  muster, and on a philosophy that will view   involved in the politics of a non-existent
      covering most of the aspects of creative    success or lack of it in some sort of propor-   kingdom.  r

      Lev Nusberg                               Aspects of new British art
      Lev Nusberg, the Soviet constructionist and kinetic   An exhibition under this title, sponsored by the New
      artist, whose statement on a cinema project appears   Zealand Arts Council, is touring Auckland, Welling-
      on page 92, is the 29-year-old leader of a group of   ton, Christchurch, and Dunedin from the end of
      Moscow artists, numbering between fifteen and   August until the New Year. Artists included in the
      twenty people, which has adopted the name of   exhibition are Gillian Ayres, Sandra Blow, Bernard
      'Movement'. According to Edward Fry, the art his-  Cohen, Harold Cohen, John Furnival, John Hoyland,
      torian, Nusberg was at one time a basketball coach.   Allen Jones, Mark Lancaster, Henry Mundy, Bridget
       Our information on the activities of this group is as   Riley, Peter Sedgley, Richard Smith, Joe Tilson,
      yet incomplete. They have, however, exhibited their   William Turnbull, John Walker, and Brian Wall.
      works on a number of occasions, most notably at the
      Nouvelle Tendance  3 exhibition held in Zagreb last  Major show of Degas drawings
      September, where the group was represented by   The first exhibition devoted exclusively to Degas'
      Nusberg, Akulinin, Diodorov, Galkin, Infante, Krivci-  drawings is being assembled by the City Art Museum
      kov, Lopakov, Sapgir-Zanevskaja, Stepanov, and   of St Louis, and opens there on January 20. It will
      Scerdakov (Yugoslav transliterations). A selection of   consist of 150 works, and will tour Philadelphia and
      their works is illustrated in this issue.   Minneapolis. Chiefly responsible for the selection is
       In another statement—which will be published in   Dr Jean Sutherland Boggs, the newly-appointed
      our September issue—Nusberg indicates that impor-  director of the National Gallery of Canada.
      tant influences in his work have been Malevich, Gabo,
      Pevsner, Tatlin, Mondrian and Scriabin, and it is   Destruction in art            Plus ça change...
      interesting in this connexion that the group's latest   A Destruction in Art Symposium takes place this  `I would ...  induce people to inquire for them-
      commission, on which these artists are now working,   September in London. The main objective is 'to focus  selves whether modern art is a "fad" or something
      is for a kinetic wall-structure and ceiling in Lenin-  attention on the element of destruction in Happen-  serious. Is it as we sometimes hear "a baseless
      grad; the play of lights in the ceiling is to be deter-  ings, auto-destructive art, and other new art forms,  novelty", an "ephemeral fashion", "wholly per-
      mined by the frequencies of the sounds coming from   and to relate this to destruction in society'. Anyone  sonal and original", an "utter eccentricity" ?  I
      a dance band playing in the hall below.   wishing to take part should write to the Secretary,  think it a logical outcome of the past, read in the
                                               BM/DIAS, London, W.C.1.                  light of a genuine change of feeling about nature.
      Franciszka Themerson's stage designs                                              Our art is no more "eccentric" than the art of any
      Franciszka Themerson, some of whose stage designs                                 vital period.'
      are illustrated on page 104, was born in Poland in                                        from The Growth of Recent Art by
      1907, studied painting in Warsaw, was closely asso-                                             R. A. M. Stevenson, April 1893
      ciated with  avant-garde  films in the thirties, and
      arrived in London in 1940. She has had several one-                               The English skull
      man shows in London, most recently at the Drian                                   `This idea that Genius is everything, and execution
      Galleries. She is also a founder-member and art                                   nothing, is screwed fast into the skull of every
      director of Gaberbocchus Press; it was after seeing                               Englishman. And there lives not a single lady, not
      her illustrations for the Gaberbocchus edition of                                 one noble lord in all the fashionable crush in
      Alfred Jarry's Ubu Rol,  prototype of a Phillistine in                            Burlington House, who does not believe this.'
      enjoyment of absolute power, that Michael Meschke                                       from The Exhibition of the Royal Academy
      asked her to design for his Stockholm theatre.                                                     1893 by A. Besnard,
                                                                                                       translated by Will Rothenstein
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