insight

naphumber December 23, 2011

Marion Milner, a celebrated child psychoanalyst wrote of her own creative anxieties in her book On Not Being Able to Paint (Heineman, 1950, but still available). Fear is embedded in much of the writing on creativity, mainly because creativity is a public expression of internal life. It is a form of exposure, and ever mindful […]

naphumber July 26, 2011

Another early scratching of an early human endeavouring to capture the external world has been found in Wales (2011). What was this person thinking, and why did he or she even do this? What is particularly interesting, and assuming this is about 14,000 years ago, is that with visual forms, there is a need to […]

naphumber September 3, 2009

The September issue of Frieze art magazine is all about ‘theory’ or what appears to pass for theory in the art world.  The whole issue reads like some undergraduate magazine or papers prepared by graduate students with too much time on their hands; political polemic blends with obscure language, which even core Frankfurt-school-istas would find […]

naphumber August 10, 2009

“Tu m’” by Marcel Duchamp is a good example of how this artist played with our sensibilities.  Karl Gerstner, in his Puzzle Upon Puzzle, which examines Tu m’ in exquisite #161617233 / gettyimages.com detail is an example of an analytical critique that may just miss the point. I read this book through with great interest, […]

naphumber May 22, 2009

Image via Wikipedia Should we see art history as linear, with the phases, fads and movements embedded in the moment, or can we continue to learn from them, revisit them over time.  Indeed, can all of art exist simultaneously? There is a bias toward linearity in art history, but it is tiring and probably unhelpful […]

naphumber March 16, 2009

Image via Wikipedia I am still trying to make sense of Malevich.  His book, commented on in an earlier posting, published in English in 1959, but dating much earlier, still feels fresh and insightful and I continue to be taken by his approach to ‘treating’ realist painters, by prescribing the medicine of Cubism.  Some artist […]

naphumber November 8, 2008

Bruno Frey writes about the economics of art.  His work is provocative and challenges many assumptions about how the art world operates.  I quite like his observation of the challenge facing gallery owners who, striving to make a living, only represent artists who are likely to sell, while at the same time, wanting to bring […]

naphumber September 29, 2008

I’m now subscribing to Turps Banana, a London-based art magazine published by artists.  They held a fund-raising event to ensure the financial security of the magazine and provide editorial freedom from advertising. My hope is that the magazine’s writing will be accessible rather than the art-babble that so often is found in magazines; almost rivals […]

naphumber July 28, 2008

Today I’m thinking about the work of Tomma Abts and her highly geometric abstractions.  Her colours are delightfully muted.  I am thinking about whether I like the machine-like perfection (despite her saying these works take a long time and betray their provenance).  I do like the layering, of past incarnations being replaced and the lines […]