Thursday, April 13, 2006


hanging matisse etc

can’t remember where I read this… two out of five people hang matisse upside down…or some such thing…I found this quite funny because I never thought it is that difficult to hang him (the paintings ) the right way up…but come to think of it…well, his later paintings - patterns more like it- are quite difficult to determine which way is up actually…but now I think I remember… must be somewhere in Nabokov’s ‘laughter in the dark’…much to my surprise I managed to finish this sad story within a couple of weeks; now that’s pretty quick for me because I read purely for pleasure… I never care when I finish anything…I’m not on any particular hurry…just read and savor.. that’s the thing really….but coming back to hanging (paintings ) I think 10 out of 10 can’t hang Jackson Pollocks the right way up unless there are some pointers (like the shape of the canvass or the signature for instance)..…may be Rothko too or any of those other crazy abstract expressionists. Of all the later art movements I like abstract expressionism best…and actually my art appreciation stop here…I detest all those rauchenbergs, warhols and the rest…all these pop arts are rubbish…I dislike current art movements and by the way what is the current movement??...…but as I was saying… ‘laughter in the dark’ is a sad story…I know women can be mean but I can’t recall any meaner and more deceitful than the young Margot of the story… well actually I can think of another one woman that is more deceitful (but not meaner) and got away with it too and that came from the first story in “thousand and one nights”… I feel very lucky to stumble upon and bought a five volume complete set of English edition from a book fair in kolkata three years ago …and about abstract expressionism… call it serendipity but I just picked up a Vonnegut volume at random the other day on the way to the loo (my mini louvre as it were…as I hang several Balinese water colors -of batuan style- and one copy of moghul miniature painting of shah jehan and his mumtaz -,which I bought in a bazaar somewhere near the red fort three years ago- on all the four walls of the loo) and it turned out to be ‘Bluebeard’ , a 1988 paperback about one one –eyed survivor of Armenian genocide who became an abstract expressionist painter in the US living alone in a 19 room mansion –apart from a cook, her young 15 yr old daughter (who’s already on the pill) and one recluse writer who very much resembled jd salinger (his name: Paul Slazinger) and one uninvited guest : Circe Berman (to whom the book is strangely dedicated)…and true to Vonnegut’s fashion the story is the usual darkly comic and a gloomy satire and this time at the expense of abstract expressionism…. And to end this rambling nonsense just a bit more about paintings… there is a very good article by orhan pamuk on the current exhibition “Bellini and the East” at the National art Gallery now and especially about the great painting of the great ottoman sultan mehmet II who is very dear to my heart as he was the one responsible for wresting Constantinople into muslim domain and forever transformed it to Istanbul… as I already mentioned somewhere before…I only have two (copies) of portraiture , one is ayatollah khomeini’s (with an expression of a deep scowl and all) and the other is this copy of bellini’s painting by my friend who only went to school up to primary six.......

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