Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Wednesday Post

I Don't Really Want to Stop the Show, but I Thought You Might Like to Know
Arp, Bourgeois, and Blake make their philatelic farewells to the Infinite Art Tournament

Jean Arp had a French mom and a German dad, and grew up in Alsace-Lorraine under the German occupation. He studied in Strasbourg, Weimar, and Paris, and would eventually live for an extended period in Zurich. He called himself Jean when speaking French, and Hans when speaking German. If he was hitting his stride today, he would likely be interrogating the nature of national identity.

But! As far as I can tell, only France has got around to claiming him on a postage stamp.

Arp went 0-2 in the Infinite Art Tournament, leaving us back on May 11.

Louise Bourgeois moved from France to the United States after World War II. She is described sometimes as the founder of "confessional art," which seems to involve abstractions which invoke the human form in part or whole and which suggest, shall we say, an anxious outlook on human interaction. It appears to involve brooding.

The big spider sculptures that she created late in life turned out to be wildly popular and quite lucrative; one of them set a record for the highest price ever paid at auction for the work of a female artist. Bourgeois conceived them as an homage to her mother, a weaver, and noted that "spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother."

Boudin had a very respectable 1-2-1 record in the Tournament.  When she exited the tournament last weekend, she was only the second artist to leave having compiled more votes for than votes against..

Sir Peter Blake was a yachtsman from New Zealand who... no, wait, wrong Sir Peter Blake. He has stamps too, though.

OUR Sir Peter Blake is, let's just come right out and admit it, a successful and widely-recognized artist who is nevertheless mostly known for a single high-profile piece of commercial work done in the 1960s. Here it is as commemorated by the British postal service a few years back.

Sir Peter accumulated a 1-2-1 record in the Tournament before he left us on July 11.  At the time, he had logged more positive votes than any other artist to have exited the tournament, but he was overtaken just a week later by Bourgeois.


lamanyana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael5000 said...

lamanyana, I totally didn't mean to delete your comment -- which was "We saw one of Bourgeois' spiders recently (in New Hampshire). It was kind of creepy."

What I MEANT to do was pretend that Louise Bourgeois had said "Spiders are kind of creepy, just like my mother." But maybe that's disrespectful!