Thursday, June 28, 2007

Art in America

The current June/July issue of Art in America features TP's extensive article on Hogarth.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Humument: I'll go on

A Humument, page 33, 2007.

A brief birthday calculation tells me I must get moving again with A Humument. The goal is to revise, edition by edition, the first working of the text as it appears in the first 1980 trade edition (which is itself substantially a reprint of the Tetrad Press limited edition of 1973). With bursts of activity as each edition approaches I have replaced over half the pages with new versions. 163 pages remain to be reworked. Since I announced my intentions in 1980, I have averaged only seven or so pages a year. At that sluggish rate I would have to live to the extremely unlikely age of ninety three with a steady hand and my wits about me to complete the task, so I must get a move on.

All this but a prelude to showing the first page done in my seventies, revisiting the first page of all which started the work in 1966. Here is that early version, appropriately retaining some of the original drawing, seen through a burnt hole in a newly extracted page.

Twenty five years ago Bill Packer, reviewing a show of mine, characterised my attitude to my work saying I was like Little Jack Horner. It upset me at the time but I now see it as a fair observation. It is in that spirit of self congratulation I produce this present plum
to show pleasure in demonstrating how great lines of the future (here from Beckett's Worstward Ho) lie latent in Mallock. For the connection with my own work see the lithographic portrait of Samuel Beckett.

A Humument page 33, 1966.

Friday, June 15, 2007

To Varian aka Silver from Tom aka Tom

Although in the first ten years or so of work on A Humument I relied merely on stumbling across names and particularities I eventually got Andy to make, in a little index book, a handwritten concordance; monkish work in those pre-computer days.

It has stood the test of constant use though physically it is now even more battered and ageweary than its user.

But suddenly as an extremely welcome 70th birthday present I have a finely bound, smartly printed, book version thanks to the kind thoughts and diligence of John Pull and the indefatigable Patrick Wildgust.

Thus I've been able when thinking of commemoration, celebration or topical reference to look up a key word like 'seventy'. However I still rely mainly on serendipity, having chanced on 'ted heath' ("who is Ted Heath, mummy?") and 'bush' in my aleatoric trawl. It has offered me no 'blair' of course and (not for that reason alone) I'm glad to see the back of him. Welcome twelve-times-cited Brown!

Monday, June 11, 2007

To anon & Mike C

To anon & Mike C
Feel free to talk on this blog however critically (or opaquely).
Re the Summer Exhibition I hung rooms I & II & can't answer for anything else. I don't really like to comment on another artist's work unless I am really excited by it as I am with the whopping Kiefer in Gallery III.
Lots to report but I've been more than a little fĂȘted for the amazing achievement of reaching the age of seventy on May 24th or, according to my mother, May 25th, a date which
Birthdays of the Famous tells me I share with Cilla Black & Dante Alighieri, in that order.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer Exhibition Update

TP's works this year are congregated in Gallery 2. No coincidence since this was one of the rooms he was responsible for hanging. As mentioned they feature The Library at Elsinore and the pair of Periwinkle weeks. Also Superjew, a collage from American comics. The three prints are together in the left hand corner of the adjacent print room. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is open from Monday 11th June until 19th August.

Superjew, comic collage, h43.5cm x w35cm, 2007