Wednesday, 29 April 2009

feel the love

Margaret Mellis

Kurt Schwitters Collages

Am I discerning or just plain fussy?
I like marmalade on seeded bread toasted, honey on wholemeal bread toasted and apricot jam on white bread toasted or plain. No other combination will do!

Comic Sans goes into a bar and orders a drink, the barman says “we don’t serve your type”

My favourite font is Calibri, I like the clean, hard edged feel to it.

Although I admire Damien Hirst I do not always like his work or his lifestyle before he cleaned up. I have however of late been forced to reappraise him, the first surprise was discovering his relationship with the late Margaret Mellis who’s work I absolutely love.

Margaret worked on in Southwold, filling her attic studio and garden with driftwood. In 1986 she received a card from a would-be art student, Damien Hirst, who had "been equally blown away" by her constructions and Francis's collages. He visited and they swam, walked and worked together. In a foreword to Margaret's 2001 show in Newlyn and at Austin/Desmond Fine Art in London, Hirst recalled: "We lost touch. I don't really know why. Maybe it was the age difference, maybe it was because I got into art school. I think it was also because I felt such an affinity with her."

The 1995 Turner Prize-winner concluded that Margaret had been neglected by critics and curators and deserved to be "up there - large on the map with her contemporaries" and that her work should be in "the museums where it belongs". from here

When I read how underrated he felt she was I could not help but warm to him. They seem poles apart and yet that he has the sensitivity to understand and enjoy her work raises his him in my estimation. The second surprise was this piece in the Guardian yesterday.

In January 1948, Schwitters died of pneumonia. The Merz Barn, a one-hour walk from Wordsworth's cottage, soon became a secret pilgrimage spot for artists and academics. Damien Hirst remembers that a former teacher at Goldsmiths chanced upon it while rambling. "When they went inside," Hirst says, "it was filled with loads of old farming equipment; the windows were low down with grass growing outside, giving it an eerie green light throughout. To me, as a student, that was a very inspirational story."

Again there is that deep emotive response, this time to the work of Kurt Schwitters. Another artist I have also had a deep seated love of, especially his collages which have influenced much of my work.
The road to Damascus, is now double the prize. You snooze you loose.

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

Off to look up Calibri font -- I learn so much here (loved finding out something about Hirst as well, of course)..
And thanks for the London tips -- we're looking forward to it.