Page 14 - Studio International - May 1966
P. 14

Some thoughts on kinetic ar� / continued

      the absurd. The associations they evoke may   of junk and scrap. Oh great brotherhood of   another's brain by any means.'
      have little to do with the fundamental   Jules Verne, Paul Klee, Sandy Calder,     One could say that kineti  art is a basically
      issues of life, but they are not removed from   Leonardo da Vinci, Rube Goldberg, Marcel   heroic manifestation which consistently
      them-pointed humour is certainly a       Duchamp, Piranesi, Man Ray, Picabia,     breaks those boundaries which conventional
      welcome ingredient. Jean Tin gu ely, whose   Filippo Morghen, are you with it?'   art impHes. Yet little of it is truly experimental
      'Homage to New  rork (1960) was the first   Bruce Lacey's robots, which are a cross   since lt uses accepted formal currency. It is
      large-scale performance autodestructive   between life-size puppets, junk objects and   an art form where marginal differences
      sculpture, is the creator of the anti-machine­  motorized anarchy, are sculptures with a   are often magnified, where desire for
      moving hybrids of junk and ideas. Alfred H.   message. Social comment, often obvious but   anon   ity in the object may be completely ',
      Barr's short comment on his work is as apt   always touching, is their hall-mark. Each   contradicted by the urge to evolve new
      as anything I have read: 'Forty years ago   work deals with a specific aspect of life which  terminology through  hich to stress the
      Tin gu ely's grandadas thumbed their noses   Lacey worries about.  The brain machine,   individual approach. It is an idiom of
      at Mona Lisa and Cezanne. Recently       for instance, about which he wrote: 'This   the roots are more varied than might be
      Tin gu ely himself has devised machines which  deals with brainwashing and the influence   suggested by citing such ancestors as
      shatter the placid shells of Arp's immaculate   of the mind by various means including   Duchamp, Gabo and Moholy-Nagy. In a
      eggs, machines which at the drop of a coin   the lobectomy operation, the spokeµ word   strangely self-conscious, seductive way,
      scribble a moustache on the automatic    lie-detectors, etc. An ultrasonic detector   kinetic art is something of a myth, such as
      Muse of abstract expressionism, and (wipe   senses when people approach it and operates  Kaprow might have had in mind when he
      that smile off your face) an apocal yp tic   ' a toppling device which unbalances the   wrote: 'If something of value must remain
      far-oui breakthrough which, it is said, clinks   head inside the machine. This is a fear and   for our tomorrow, it will have to be a myth.
      and clanks, tingles and tangles, whim and   hate machine, for I believe it to be a   A myth may compel even more than a
      buzzes, grinds and creaks, whistles and   diabolical liberty and an affront to the   picture, and someone may decide to act it out,
      pops itself into a katabolic Gotterdammerung  dignity of man for one person to influence   however altered it may be in its ·new form.' D

      The  Monet Monets                        worn inches above the knee and transparent evening­
      When M. Michel Monet, the painter's son,  died in  a   gowns were much in evidence. 'It will be a stunning
      car-crash on February 8 (he was returning from a visit   irony', wrote one critic,  'if the most popular, conse­
      to his mother's grave), an art-collection of enormous   quential,  stirring  exhibition  ever  presented  by  the
      value  and  importance  came  to  l_ight.  Stacked  in  Museum of Modern.Art should turn out to be that of
      various rooms about the house were ninety-two Im­  an old master'. (Dore Ashton reviews the exhibition
      pressionist works, including forty-three Monets, which   � n page 207 of this issue.)
      almost no-one knew about. These pictures made up
      part  of  his  father's  private  collection,  and  Michel   Paolozzi on home ground
      willed them to the Musee Marmottan on the outskirts   The Scottish National Gallery  of  Modern  Art,  Edin­
      of Paris. Although it already owned Monet's Impres­  burgh,  has  been  showing  sculpture  and  prints  by
      sion, which gave the group its name, and a small but   Eduardo Paolozzi, who was born  in  Leith in  1924 of
      splendid collection of Impressionist work, the Musee   Italian immigrant parents. 'Paolozzi's recent sculpture
      Marmottan  is  small  and  desperately  poor.  It  was   is abstract, made from shapes designed by him and
      delighted with the news of tbe Monet bequest, which  executed in aluminium or chromed steel in a Suffolk
      will now assure it many more visitors. At the moment   engineering  shop.  These units are th�n  assembled
      it is poorly attended.                   in the shop by the artist and welded or bolted, some­
       At the end of March another surprise was in store  times being·painted afterwards.
      for the Marmottan. They had inherited from Monet's
      son a further forty-six paintings done by his father.                                seventy-three years ago
      Most of these are studies of water-lilies made between                            The  Westminrter Gazette of April 5 records the ap­
      1905 and 1920. Together, the Monet bequest pictures   After five-and-a-half years at  19 South Street,  Farn­  pearance of THE STUDIO, says 'it is nicely produced,'
      make  up  one of the  richest  artistic  legacies of the   ham, Surrey, the Ashgate Gallery is moving to larger   and is kindly anxious concerning its success. This
      century.                     •           prel]'lises in the town at Wagon Yard, Downing Street,   is quite  'up-to-date'  reviewing,  for  even. the  first
       Michel Monet refused to leave his collection to the   where it opens on June 1  with an exhibition of new   sheet had not left  the press by _that date,  and no
      louvre  even though Monet was the first living artist   paintings by JoHn Verney.   human being had seen a copy, for the simple reason
      ever to be shown there.  Monet's son had never for­                               that no copy existed.
      given  the  Louvre  for  refusing  to  hang  his  father's   A well-choserl selection of Chinese pottery and porce­  (TIIE  STUDIO was first published in April 1893)
      early paintings.                         lain was  ecently exhibited by the Oriental Ceramics
       Although he  lived almost  as  a  recluse  In his  Nor­  Society at  Qantas Gallery, London; the show demon­  It is a pity America does not take as much interest
      mandy house, Michel went every year to his father's   strated how,  with effective  lighting  and by  avoiding  in  English  paintings  as  in  English  literature • . .
      villa at Giverny to replant the ponds with water-lilies.   overcrowding the exhibits, such specialist exhibitions  America, with eyes for the art of all the world, save
      Michel  himself  was  well-known  as  an  explorer.  He   can be made to appeal to much wider audiences than  one little island, does not even condescend to scold
      and his wife were the first couple to cross the Sahara   hitherto.                us-or to be more precise has hardly done so yet ...
      alone.                                                                            In an American paper lately it was said that when­
                                               The major Stuyvesant Foundation award at the Young  ever  a  distinctly  English  artist  had  arisen  he  had
                                               Contemporaries exhibition held recently at  London's  invariably chosen an ugly type of face and  figure,
      Turner in New York                       F.B.A.  Gallery  was  a  joint  prize  awarded  to  Terry  and  from  Blake  to  Burne-Jones  the  writer  cited
      At last Turner's reputation is being extended beyond   lbbott and Malcolm Dakin and not, as ·mplied on page  examplt!S to support his argument. Indeed it would
      the British  Isles.  On the  first  evening  of  Spring  the   106 of our March issue, an award won by Terry  lbbott   seem as if English Art meant to foreigners the Pre­
      Museum of Modern Art in New York opened a Turner   alone.                         Raphaelite school-not of course the actual  P.R.B.,
      exhibition  which  is  largely  the  work  of  the  Tate's                        b  t all the work of the fantastic,  decorative order
      Lawrence  Gowing.  Op  art  banners  flew  from  the                              that  is  easy  to· recognize  under  that  heading �!­
      Museum's  flagpoles  and  many  of  the  first-night                              though it lacks a more precise name.
      visitors were as desperately fashionable: skirts were                                                from  The Lay Figure Speaks
   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19