Monday, 27 July 2015

31 Women now on Pinterest

For anyone interested in seeing more about the 31 women Exhibition, there is now a Pinterest board devoted to it - called simply '31 women' -

The board shows pictures of the 31 artists, some work by the artists and people and or other images linked to the artists.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Exhibition by 31 Women - Peggy Guggenheim.






30 west 57 street, NYC                          Jan. 5-31 1943

 Welcome to Exhibition by 31 Women, at Peggy Guggenheim’s remarkable New York Gallery. Before we enter, it is necessary to correct a misconception of which authors of several tomes are guilty. Whatever they may imply, Art of This Century was not just an exhibition that introduced Jackson Pollock to the wider world. It was an art gallery in New York, run by Peggy Guggenheim, which held a new exhibition almost every month from 1942 to 1947 and introduced numerous new, and not so new artists to the New York public, Pollock was merely the loudest. The gallery itself, which was a triumph of modernist design, was as revolutionary as any of the exhibitions.

Peggy in her gallery, just to her left are 2 paintings
which appeared at the Exhibition by 31 Women.
Top, Leonor Fini's 'Shepherdess of the Sphinxes'
Below, Leonora Carrinton's 'Horses of Lord Candlestick' 

Peggy Guggenheim (b. 1898) has been called the ‘Mistress of Modernism’. She was a New Yorker and an heiress. Her biographies try to emphasise that she was a poor relation of the Guggenheim family; her father, having made some unwise investments, went down somewhat unintentionally with the Titanic. However, by the 1940’s, Peggy had an investment income of approximately $400,000 per annum, which is not really most peoples’ idea of a poor relation.

In 1941 she returned to New York after living in Europe for more than 15 years. Towards the end of this time she had found her vocation, as more than just a collector of modern art. She did not send out minions to purchase works for her, like her uncle Solomon of the Guggenheim Foundation. She had lived in England and France and gradually immersed herself within the artistic community that she championed. She had three husbands, (two artists and a writer) and numerous affairs with creative men including Samuel Becket and Yves Tanguy.

In Europe she built up an important collection of modernist art, initially with advice from Andre Breton, Herbert Reid and Marcel Duchamp, but gradually relying more on her own judgement. She bought work by everyone from Malevich & Mondrian to Salvador Dali & Leonora Carrington, though not much of the work she bought was by women. At one stage she deliberately set out to purchase one work of art every day. She left Paris a bare two days before the German army arrived. Had they caught her they would probably have destroyed both her collection (of degenerate art) and herself (a Jew). 
Peggy seems to have had remarkably little idea of the danger she was in, hiding behind her American passport. This said, she gave 500,000 francs to the Emergency Rescue Committee, which organised the escape from France of vulnerable persons, and she personally subsidised the escape to the USA of artists including Andre Breton and Jacqueline Lamba. She left Europe in 1941 with the Bretons, her own family, her collection and Max Ernst, who would soon become her third husband.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Never Again! - Starting my new Goodreads shelf

From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta, #6) By Patricia Cornwell  

My rating: one out of five stars

This is the first of the Kay Scarpetta novels that I've read myself, I've heard another serialised (and heavily abridged) on the radio. Apparently this was the third about a sadistic killer named Temple Brooks Gault, but it didn't really matter that I hadn't read the others.

I feel disappointed and almost guilty about hating a really gritty novel by a woman author, but from Potter's Field is unremittingly tense and bleak, full of not very rounded and mostly depressed characters. There are no peaks and troughs, the tension is constant so the 'shocks', when they come, are almost anti-climactic. I made myself finish the book and was relieved once it was over.

I shall go back to reading Ian Rankin's Rebus novels, which are just as gruesome in places but as well as plenty of splashes of blood they are relieved by splashes of dark humour, which this novel totally lacks.

Rankin also rounds his characters out better. Here the only character whose speech was even distinguishable from the others was the rather caricatured detective Marino. This novel left me feeling stressed, tense and slightly miserable, I shan't read any more.">From Potter's Field</a> by <a href="">Patricia Cornwell</a><br/>