The London Review of Books editions that arrive every two weeks seem to vary in their interest value. The most recent edition, however, grabbed my interest in a short article on the life of the German Expressionist, George Grosz. Then I went on to read about the amazing Adolfo Kaminsky, the brave photographer and forger on behalf of radical causes. Two good articles and it puts you in the mood to read the rest before the next explosion of magazines arrive with more information having to be processed. (LRB Volume 45 Number 4 -16th Februrary 2023)
Thomas Meaney has visited the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart and his review of Grosz is particularly interesting from a psychological viewpoint with informative quotations from Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt; the former claiming that Grosz’s caricatures were not satire but reportage. His transition to America in 1933 marked a point at which he seems to have attempted to subdue, what he considered, his former arrogance and nihilistic tendencies. Yet he seemed out of sympathy with American society, its cultural interests and the false persona he felt he had to adopt in his teaching of drawing. By 1954 he appears to be in some sort of deep decline. Meaney quotes the Dadaist and friend Schlicter –
“Rarely have I seen a person with such self-destructive rage…..It is a depressing spectacle to see a man whom one once cherished go to the dogs in this way.”
Returning to Berlin where he died in 1958 seems to have exacerbated matters still keenly aware of past issues unresolved.
Secondly, last week there was a dearth of anything but Tory supporting newspapers at Sainsbury’s so I decided to buy the Morning Star. I came across an interview by Chris Searle with the veteran Bassist Dave Green. He and his friend, Evan Parker have just issued a new CD called Raise Four.
The clip above is almost 20 years old but in this recent interview, Green highlights his favourite artists; Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins and among British Jazz musicians, Bruce Turner. Green has been a dedicated anti-racist and an ardent believer in constant experimental freedom to develop his craft.
The third article to engage my attention, in this case by the vivid illustrations, was in Saturday’s Guardian and may be found at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/feb/16/women-abstract-expressionism-whitechapel-gallery-krasner-sobel
This article is a review of the Women’s Abstract Exhibition (1940-1970) to be found at the Whitechapel Gallery until 7th May. I particularly was taken by the dark variegated shades of Li Fang’s work of 1969.