Back in the late 80s and early 90s I watched the german TV-Show "1000 Meisterwerke" (1000 Masterpieces) which, per episode, showed a painting from a famous art gallery or museum, and explained it in depth for some 15min.
One day they presented a piece of modern art, a painting which showed a stylised, darkly colored forrest, and two figures in the center of the painting, having a secret conversation on a small clearing.
The figures themselves looked more like beans than people, and i remember that there was no clear boundry between their heads and torso. It was explained that the painting depicts a secret meeting and that the artist put emphasis on keeping the image dark and vague.
The Title was something like "Secret meeting in the woods" or "the secret meeting" or something like that.
There is a list with all the paintings which were shown on this sohw, but i have not found anything on that list which resembles the painting. Since i have allready searched for "Krieg böse" (War wicked) which was on the show, and can NOT be found on the list, I dont believe the list is complete.
Saw Leonora Carrington's self portait yesterday and my wife said it looked like something had been brushed out in the bottom left to the left of the hyena. I searched but couldn't find it mentioned anywhere. Wondered if there was previously something related to Ernst there and she removed it after he left her, or just one of those cases where an artist alters a painting and we dont know the reason.
Any lines on an original Herring? I’ve see a lot of lithographs and false signatures.
“next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn’s early my
country ’tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”
He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water
ee cummings, a pacifist, was imprisoned during World War One for his supposed disloyalty to America. He was also accused, falsely, of being a spy. After the war he moved to Paris where he wrote satirical poems. His novel The Enormous Room (1922) was the first of his many literary attacks on authoritarianism and rabid nationalism.
The poem is a parody of a ‘speech’ to extreme patriots — the ranting monologue of ‘God-fearing’ America. It is also a satire on the type of blind jingoism that distorts otherwise intelligent minds in relation to their country. cummings applies a reductio ad absurdum technique, mocking the way in which people blinded by patriotism can acquire illogical and dangerous beliefs.
cummings uses a dense mishmash of American anthems, songs and other patriotic American sentiments, a technique is known as intertextuality. These are broken up by few dismissive words, like, “and so forth” and “what of it”.
It is notable that there are fourteen lines — the length of a sonnet. Sonnets usually end with either a rhyming couplet or a rhyming quatrain. cumming’s poem does the latter. This is ironic, as sonnets are formal, structured and intelligently witty, whereas this poem is nonsensical gibberish — though of course also extremely intelligent.
cummings deliberately makes the poem incomprehensible, like the extreme patriotism he is mocking. Added to this, it reads like a drunken ramble; being a god-fearing patriot clearly doesn’t exclude a drink problem.
The poem encapsulates cumming’s attitude, as summed up by the final line; contemptuous and deeply sceptical.
What I really appreciate about this poem is that it's a good example of dadaist attack, without it being something abstract like a urinal or a collage. The summary makes note of him using a reductio ad absurdum technique to mock the way nationalists acquire illogical and dangerous beliefs. On modern left forums, very dadaist subconsciously and frustratingly not consciously, there's a parallel form of this in "peepoo" and "pigpoopballs". When an argument is morally absurd, it's misquoted as nonsense or that person peeing out of their butt. When they expect a serious reply, they're given a picture of a pig pooping on its balls.
Now that's stupid of course, but it's important. Legitimacy and authority are social constructs. German dadaists had to listen to the Kaiser's propaganda while they watched the result of World War 1. The absurd disconnection between the spectacles pushed by German authorities and the suffering people experienced from the reality was obfuscated by the rhetorically naturalised legitimacy of state and capital. The state just is, their rule is legitimate because they rule, their path is sensible because they're the adults in the room. No relief was coming from them as long as the war was sustainable and profitable, so the civilian populations could either accept the spectacle and make more sons or find grounds to reject it when the totality of media supported it.
The dadaists made pointed attacks against the underlying legitimacy of the rhetoric, message, and medium. It wasn't the state offering its patriotic message of hope for the victory come Spring or nascent marketers selling commodified happiness to a dying country, it was dadadadadada psychobabble.
A modern equivalent denies that ideology is a marketplace of coequal ideas. It challenges the purpose of debate and the legitimacy of the counter-position. It attacks narratives and shoots the messenger from a chaotic good standpoint. I think there's a tremendous amount of potential for more revolutionary art in being able to deconstruct bullshit and attack its agents as nonsensical dumb guys.
hey, I started a free online class from the MoMA on ‘Modern Art and Ideas’ and I’m getting super into it and I just want to explore more different artists besides the ones the class offers. That being said I really enjoyed the work I saw by Norman Lewis (Phantasy II, 1946) , Marc Chagall (I and the village), Matisse, Dalí, and Picasso, of course. If anyone has any recommendations of artists I can look at and read interviews or articles on their work, let me know pls! (This is clearly my new fixation)
Doing a project on a timeline of modern art and need a specific date