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Clive Head (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 28. November 2010


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 200 Seiten
  • Verlag: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd (28. November 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1848220626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848220621
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,9 x 2,3 x 29 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 678.610 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Michael Paraskos is one of a new generation of writers on art associated with the New Aesthetics. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, radio and television. He was editor of the book Re-Reading Read: New Views on Herbert Read, and author of Steve Whitehead, The Table Top Schools of Art and Is Your Artwork Really Necessary? He has organised conferences at Tate Britain and the Whitechapel Gallery, and is Director of Programmes for the Cyprus College of Art.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
An interesting monograph about one of Britain's best realist painters. The book does, though seem to be about two art styles: Photorealism and photo-rendering realists. Clive Head, through the essays of Michael Paraskos, says he is not a Photorealist but for my money, I think it's a term he's going to have to live with. For me the style is essentially American, evolving originally around the late sixties. Head, like the first and second-generation Photorealist artists use photos to create their own interpretation of reality (mostly of the commonplace environment). They use them to get a correct fix on the huge amount of detail required for this painting style.

Throughout the three chapters, there is a reference to Photo- rendering realists and explained in a footnote quoting from a 2005 Damian Hirst New York exhibition: "Take a photograph, and copy it meticulously, until your painting and the photograph are indistinguishable". This is not Photorealism at all but copying a photo, hardly even an art form and certainly nothing like Head's complex paintings though his work would be impossible without photos for reference.

The essays by Michael Paraskos fill ninety-eight pages and I thought they could have done with some editing because they take ten more pages than Head's paintings. The first (rather exotically called Metastoicheiosis) takes a lot of text to reveal that the paintings are not precisely like real life but a creative montage of reality. Pages ninety-one and two show thirteen transparencies that were used to create the `Coffee at the Cottage Delight'. Looking at the painting (Plate ninety-five) it's easy to see how Head picks and mixes the visual information in these photos to make his wonderful picture. Just like any Photorealist would do.
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Amazon.com: 2 Rezensionen
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Heading off the Photorealists 17. Februar 2011
Von Robin Benson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
An interesting monograph about one of Britain's best realist painters. The book does, though seem to be about two art styles: Photorealism and photo-rendering realists. Clive Head, through the essays of Michael Paraskos, says he is not a Photorealist but for my money, I think it's a term he's going to have to live with. For me the style is essentially American, evolving originally around the late sixties. Head, like the first and second-generation Photorealist artists use photos to create their own interpretation of reality (mostly of the commonplace environment). They use them to get a correct fix on the huge amount of detail required for this painting style.

Throughout the three chapters, there is a reference to Photo-rendering realists and explained in a footnote quoting from a 2005 Damian Hirst New York exhibition: "Take a photograph, and copy it meticulously, until your painting and the photograph are indistinguishable". This is not Photorealism at all but copying a photo, hardly even an art form and certainly nothing like Head's complex paintings though his work would be impossible without photos for reference.

The essays by Michael Paraskos fill ninety-eight pages and I thought they could have done with some editing because they take ten more pages than Head's paintings. The first (rather exotically called Metastoicheiosis) takes a lot of text to reveal that the paintings are not precisely like real life but a creative montage of reality. Pages ninety-one and two show thirteen transparencies that were used to create the 'Coffee at the Cottage Delight'. Looking at the painting (Plate ninety-five) it's easy to see how Head picks and mixes the visual information in these photos to make his wonderful picture. Just like any Photorealist would do. The other two essays reveal a lot of art theory and how it relates to the paintings. Missing, I thought, was any detailed description of how Head actually works: what sort paints, brushes; canvas; how is the initial drawing created using the photos et cetera. There is a fascinating photo on page six showing Head drawing up a canvas for 'Leaving the Underground' and it clearly shows what a superb draughtsman he is. The essays could certainly have done with some editing to reduce paragraphs for a more readable format. I read one at ninety-nine lines and another at 142.

The ninety-six paintings in the book's Plates section are arranged in date order, from 1988 to 2010. Nearly all are exterior cityscapes, street scenes or interiors of coffee shops. One characteristic of so many of the works are lines that start at the bottom of a painting and zoom into the detail. It could be a balustrade, wall, railings, road markings, a windowsill or frame but they all take the eye on a journey of discovery through shapes and color in the rest of painting. Head's style has certainly changed over the years. Page twenty-eight has a painting from 1991: The Riviera, that is very reminiscent of Robert Cottingham's rather flat graphic style. The last works in the book are a mixture of close-up street scenes cleverly using interiors and exteriors at the same time, allowing for reflections in windows to add to the dazzle of detail.

I thought the book's production worthy but bland with some editorial sloppiness: the three essays ending with short columns on the page, for example. What I found most annoying was that several plates were not as big as the pages would allow. 'Brooklyn Heights' (pages 136/137) has far too much empty page space and it could easily have been much bigger. Head paints a large canvas with plenty of detail and it seems nonsense not to have them as big as possible within the book's grid. Because of this, I've given the title four stars.

The book's back pages have a listing of exhibitions and a short bibliography but it seems that there is nothing that has as many examples of Head's work as this title. Incidentally, he had fourteen paintings in Louis Meisel's 2002 book: 'Photorealism at the Millennium' where Meisel stated that Head '...deserved to be recognized as an artist with a sincere dedication to the Photorealist style'. In 2011 I still think that's true.

+++LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
Interesting 16. November 2012
Von S. Clarke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I wasn't aware of Clive Head's work until I saw a copy of "Exactitude" by John Russell Taylor and then bought this both stimulating and slightly disappointing book. My disappointment stems from the impression created by the photos of Head at work, and the preparatory studies included, that the book would offer more insight into his methods. There is a lot of reference to what Head doesn't do but little detail of how he moves from photos of a scene to the finished work. Instead, the bulk of the discussion is about fairly esoteric theory. Having said that, this is one of the most stimulating books about painting I have read for a while, and Clive Head is clearly a masterful painter.

Although both Head and Paraskos make some bold claims about the uniqueness of Head's work, Head is not particularly unique in his approach to the depiction of a three dimensional world on a flat surface. I'm thinking here of Turner and contemporary painters like Rackstraw Downes and John Wonnacott who is surely one of the most underappreciated British painters at work today.

In recent years, I've read a few books that made me think carefully about painters and their work. The first was David Hockney's Secret Knowledge, which explored the role of lenses and mirrors in Art. The second is "Rackstraw Downes" which contains excellent discussions about the problems of depicting space as we perceive it. Lastly, I should mention James Gurney's books. Gurney is a great painter who thinks deeply about his craft and, like most illustrators, is happy to share his knowledge with others. In each of these books we get the benefit of a painter writing about painting in an insightful way.

My impression is that Head is breaking new ground in the way he uses photography to depict space as we perceive it but I suspect his denial that he is a photorealist stems from the method he uses to construct his pictures. Our perception of any scene is always a rapid amalgamation of myriad impressions. Photorealism is mesmerising because photo-realists present a view of the world as a convincing and sharply focussed whole. As Paraskos details in the book, Head constructs a believable space based on his photographic studies then draws up a framework of key elements before filling in the fine details. Using this method, he transcends the limitations of a single photograph but it is noticeable that the final effect is still photographic in a way that works by Wonnacott, Downes or Lopez Garcia are not. If Dr Paraskos was more of a practitioner than theorist he might be more sceptical of Head's claim that he fills in the details by drawing them freehand. Despite the vehemence of Head's denial that he copies photos, background details in many of Head's pictures are clearly not "eyeballed" as David Hockney would say.

A number of writers have uncritically accepted Head's claim that he is creating new spaces and moving through space in his work but his pictures suggest a more modest amalgam of views consistent with, say, a photographer scanning around a scene from a fixed standpoint. As David Hockney has pointed out, every time a photographer moves the camera he or she is recording a new set of vanishing points. Head certainly uses multiple perspectives but so does every tourist who swivels around to capture panoramic views of spectacular settings. Head's particular skill lies in the way he merges these viewpoints into a coherent space. When viewing his works, which are quite large, we recreate the movement of the camera in capturing the images on which the pictures are based.

In some ways the artist who most closely compares to Head is Norman Rockwell who was also conflicted about his reliance on photos. Like Head, Rockwell was a gifted painter. Over time, Rockwell developed a technique based on careful photographic studies of his subjects. From the photographs, he would assemble a form of collage of elements into a final version of the world he wanted to create. Although he is sometimes seen as a "mere" illustrator, Rockwell was an artist who used the advantages of photography to create works that still have enormous appeal to the general public.

As Clive Head says, painting is a difficult and humbling pursuit. Although I'm curious to know more about his working methods, I don't think it matters how he creates his effects. He is entitled to keep his methods to himself but in declaring that copying from photographs is a moral issue, Head is inviting criticism for his assertions have no credibility. In the end, this is an interesting book, and the finished works are arresting and well worth studying in detail.
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