Monday, January 11, 2016

Anecdotes of Modern Art by Hall and Wykes

Derain:
Many painters gain energy in old age but not Derain. On the contrary, old age confirmed loss of vitality, loss of talent, loss of prestige. Of all the artists he had known, and he had known them all, only two of note stayed faithful: Giacometti and Balthus. Sun-day lunches at the estate in Chambourcy grew steadily more morose. Derain was not granted even the modest consolation of a dignified farewell to failure. One day he was run down by a careless motoris The injuries at first did not seem serious. Alberto went several ti see him in the hospital at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Then his mind to go, and he lingered for some weeks in a vagueness. Asked ass failing if there was anything he wanted, he said, "A bicycle and a piece of blue sky." Two hours later he died, the date September 8, 1954. Few people took the trouble to attend his funeral. Only a single artist of stature: Alberto Giacometti. It was a sorry end to the wild venture that had started off with such colorful exuberance half a century before. —LORD.
Utrillo:
Exceptionally fond of his mother Suzanne Valadon who kept a goat in her studio and fed it bad drawings, he tended to worship distant female figures.... like Joan of Arc.
Georgia O'Keefe:
A niece from Lake George remembers meeting her for the first time. Rehearsed by grandmother Lizzie, and with all the concentration of a not-quite-three-year-old, I offered my hand, performed my curtsy, and pronounced on cue, "How do you do, Aunt Georgia?"—to which her instantaneous response was a cheek-stinging slap and a blazing "Don't ever call me Aunt!"
The sexuality of her paintings was always an issue. One woman who owned a big O'Keeffe flower painting was shocked to discover someone teaching a child the facts of life from it. When she hastily rehung it in her bedroom, a friend remarked, "Oh, I'm so glad you moved that vagina out of the living room."
There were always other expectations. In 1954, when she greeted art critic Emily Genauer while carrying some flowers, Miss Genauer exclaimed, "How perfect to meet you with flowers in your hands." Still acutely sensitive about the subject, O'Keeffe snapped, "I hate flowers—I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move!"
Joseph Cornell:
Cornell loved his brother who was spastic and severely handicapped. The meals he made for him always consisted of dishes like nuts and fruit Jello of the most incredible colors. There was never any real food, but it was colorful. He used to squeeze violets on top of mushroom soup to make it violet.

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