Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Sons Of Hogarth

Keith and I were looking at Manchester's collection of 20th century British art. We weren't  impressed. Here's Vanessa Bell trying to be Cezanne and here- on a later wall- is Vanessa Bell trying to be Matisse. Here's Ben Nicholson trying to be Braque and here's someone whose name I forget trying to be Dali. A theme emerges. Even Paul Nash- an artist capable of great work- spends a lot of his time giving us Cezanne's take on the English countryside. I don't hate these paintings- I'd be happy to hang most of them over my fireplace- but they're imitative and second-rate. The only artists who emerge as remarkable are the ones who don't give a damn about riding the European art history train: Spencer, for instance and Burra and Lowry-  sons of Hogarth all three- bloody-minded, obsessive and in love with the grotesque.

Later we sat in front of Ford Madox Brown's "Work". Keith doesn't like it but I think it's wonderful so I tried to convert him. Brown is another Son of Hogarth.  He's doing the great 19th century novel in paint. His people are goblins. The weird, flattened perspective of the foreground- as if viewed through a telephoto lens- threatens to tip Victorian Hampstead into your lap.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 4 comments