The Easel

13th June 2017

It Takes Two Museums to Cover the work of this Prolific German Neo-Expressionist

On the event of his first US retrospective Lüpertz cheerfully reveals his forthright views. Basically, new media is fine but painting is what matters. “You can’t do anything differently, whether it’s Baselitz or me there is no difference. All we can do is put a brush to a canvas. Caravaggio couldn’t do anything differently. The individual aspect of art is the artist … and that’s the exciting and wonderful part of painting.”

A must see: Dorothea Lange’s remarkable photographs at OMCA

Lange is commonly referred to as a social activist but that’s not how she saw it. She said she just wanted to show the truth. Her portraits of people who fled to California from the Dust Bowl are iconic images of poor America.  “Five years earlier, I would have thought it enough to take a picture of a man, no more. But now, I wanted to take a picture of a man as he stood in his world.” More images are here.

6th June 2017

“Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries” at Scandinavia House

Her art training had included Paris but by mid-career Schjerfbeck was in rural Finland caring for her mother. This semi-isolation may have helped her find her own voice. Her landscapes are “pleasant”; in contrast her portraits have a “nettlesome gravitas. You’d have to look to late Rembrandt or Bonnard to find a picture that confronts mortality with as much sobriety and candor. [She] deserves a place of prominence in the genre.”