Simon Rae

Simon Rae

Happy communicating with people online, after all, as the great New Yorker cartoon puts it, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

Location Near Milton Keynes

Activity

  • I’ll post this here as well as the other place that I’ve posted it… there is an interesting short article about Peter Blake “HOW SIR PETER BLAKE BECAME BRITAIN’S PREEMINENT POP ART STAR” by Andy Battaglia in the art journal Art in America with some nice pictures. It takes a very quick look at Blake’s work from the heady days of Pop in the 1960s right through...

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    If anyone makes it this far… there is an interesting short article about Peter Blake “HOW SIR PETER BLAKE BECAME BRITAIN’S PREEMINENT POP ART STAR” by Andy Battaglia in the art journal Art in America with some nice pictures. It takes a very quick look at Blake’s work from the heady days of Pop in the 1960s right through to his current...

  • Not the perfect Pop Art course … little content but loads of references.

    I had been looking forward to finding out what the wonderful Centre Pompidou made of Pop Art, how they thought it began and developed, a different perspective on an art form usually associated with the UK and the US. What I got was links to other people’s (mostly UK and US)...

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    I wrote a comment about this album earlier in the course, it seems apposite to repost it…

    As a fan of Warhol and the Velvet Underground since the late 60s, I remember seeking out a copy of Songs for Drella when it was released in 1990. Conceived of and performed by Lou Reed and John Cale, ex-band members of the Velvet Underground and house band of Warhol’s...

  • I’m getting to the point that I’m glad that I haven’t paid anything for this course … this video did nothing to enhance my knowledge or appreciation of Andy Warhol or of Pop Art.

    I found it colourful and slick but empty of any understanding of the times and culture that Warhol existed in. I guess that some may say “well, it’s empty because Andy’s work and...

  • Problem with thinking out of the box… as soon as you do the box morphs to include what you have thought, and a new box is defined.

    When a new art form is defined ‘outside of the box’, the box adapts to accept the new form. Braque and Picasso thought outside of the box and Cubism was born, within a decade the art world (artists, agents, buyers etc) had...

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    I remember reading some very nasty reports of the legal and copyright machinations that have surrounded Robert Indiana's painting… I can't remember the details but suspect that he lost his copyright of the work at some point and was sued for reproducing it? Or some such nonsense! (See "The Surprising History of Robert Indiana's "Love" Sculptures"...

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    I love it when Hamilton says of his collage ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ in the interview … “the idea of that was to take a whole lot of elements which I regarded as representing or symbolizing modern life. I made a list: “what is today?.” I wrote, at the top of my list, “men and women” as being the basic, the starting...

  • I’m beginning to agree with you. I wonder though if I’m being a bit unfair. I’m 70 and have been to more galleries than I can remember. I did a couple of years at Art College in 69/70 and I already know something of Pop art having grown up during it (and I bought Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Velvet Underground when they came out). If I knew...

  • I think the date would be one pointer, Pop Art seemed to be the thing in the 50s and 60s whereas neo-expressionism is later, in the 70s and 80s. From the look of them, Pop Art looks very smooth and shiny with very clean lines and often a manufactured look. Neo-expressionism looks far more painterly, you can see the paint and the brushstrokes.

    But that’s...

  • I would like to have seen the show. It looks huge. I’ve seen lots of Warhol’s work over the years and even bought a short fairytale book that he illustrated. He was a great draftsman.

    As a fan of Warhol and the Velvet Underground since the late 60s, I remember seeking out a copy of Songs for Drella when it was released in 1990. Conceived of and performed...

  • @ValentinaFacilitator @LynnHilditch I think the time period and location of the two are important as well. My understanding of Dada is that it started during and responded to the terrible social upheaval of World War One when everything, especially in Central Europe, was being violently changed. Many of the artists involved were or became stateless and the...

  • Hi, I’m Simon. Retired. Too much time on my hands. Love art. All art. Want to see how a French view of Pop Art will be different. Interested to see their version of the history of Pop Art: where and when it started, who started it, and how it fits in with what I think I know about it.

    I’m looking forward to having my histories changed!

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    Nice video…

    To my way of thinking though, looking back over the 50+ years since art went Pop, it wasn’t that “Pop art artists took themes, images and references from popular culture and brought them into the fine arts and paintings” but it was that Pop artists took the techniques and commercial structures of fine art and paintings and brought them into...

  • Hi, I'm Simon and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Centre Pompidou's version of Pop Art is and what a more European perspective will add to my UK and (less of) US appreciation of the art.

    I'm looking forward to finding out who started Pop Art or where it started if it wasn't in the US!

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    Another final comment… an article about "Fallism and restitution: Removing racist statues and returning looted art objects" by Dan Hicks (Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum) and Nicholas Mirzoeff (Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU).

    https://newafricanmagazine.com/23931/

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    One final comment after finishing this course a little while ago…

    This article appeared in my Twitter thread today, it presents a view of art that meshes with what I've learned...

  • Interesting point… @EF And no, I’ll often/usually walk past piles of bricks on building sites.

    No, for me it’s the installation of the bricks (or metal plates or railway sleepers etc) in the gallery environment that focuses my attention … having said that, if a building site is redefined as a ‘gallery space’ by an artist then I’ll happily put on my...

  • @MaryR Might that book be next to his copy of Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (1979) (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del,_Escher,_Bach)? One of those books that I've started many times but never managed to either finish or grow tired of. I seem to recall that Hofstadter filled in for Gardner with puzzles for...

  • @MaryR @EF @MaryMac My contribution to the Alice thread is media based. I was half watching the 1949 film: Vote for Huggett on TalkingPicturesTV. The action revolved around the candidate knocking on the door of three elderly ladies to ask for their votes - lovely scene, so I googled the elderly actresses involved. Isa Bowman...

  • @SharonWells @EF @InekeFioole et al… Fairly sure that the OpenLearn courses don’t have discussion threads like this. As I remember they are mostly short courses trimmed out of full-length OU courses and presented as simple web pages that you can just work through at your own pace and on your own… or you can download them as a Word document or a .pdf and...

  • I was listening to a program - Work of Art (Fons Americanus Part 1: Introduction), the first of a mini-series discussion in which art historian Alice Procter (https://www.theexhibitionist.org/) examines U.S. artist Kara Walker’s Tate Modern Hyundai Commission 2019, Fons Americanus...

  • @EF @MaryMac @MichèleBethke @SharonWells @InekeFioole @LindaMatthews @MarkJackson … I’ve been lurking on the course this last week and I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying your conversation in this thread. So, my apologies for reading your group thoughts and comments (not all to do with Modern Sculpture), and thank you.

    One thing in...

  • Another issue informing Art Historical critical reading of art since I did any study of AH with the Open University back in the 70s/80s is decolonization, not just an issue in AH but across the curriculum, from primary school through university study.

    I came across this paper recently: Decolonizing Art History by Catherine Grant & Dorothy Price, Jan 2020...

  • @MarkJackson I once saw a Malevich for sale in a gallery in Old Bond Street, very small - a sheet from a child's drawing pad with a Suprematism drawing done with bright, primary colour crayons; nice. How much is the Malevich I asked the stylish receptionist … Oh very reasonable she replied, £25… my heart missed a beat, I could afford that (the wife wouldn't...

  • @SharonWells If you're feeling adventurous while you are up in Scotland, do try for the Lost Gallery. We were gently motoring from one B&B to another and we saw this sign pointing to the Lost Gallery which we thought we try and find (we wanted a coffee as well). Four miles later, the last up an almost 1 in 1 single track road, we found it on top of a small...

  • There is a monumental precident for honouring cartoon characters, in Dundee at least. That city boasts statues of Desperate Dan and Wee Willie among others, plus more 'normal' ones of Queen Victoria and to a soldier of the Black Watch. Plus, if you're ever that far north, Dundee is home of the V&A (Northern branch, outside London)...

  • @SaraF Not sure how many Art Students there are at the University of York, lots of History of Art students but no Art practitioners. But my point was more that Sculptors have usually trained and worked hard at their profession and that I’m not sure that students could do it … ie if I ever have to have open-heart surgery I’d prefer to be operated on by a...

  • @AnnBridgwood I had to attend a weekend workshop once in Newcastle and I knew Schwitter’s Merz Barn was somewhere there. I spent most of the afternoon going round the city centre asking likely people where it was (this was pre-internet-on-your-Smartphone days). I finally found out that it was in a gallery space in the same building complex that my workshop had...

  • @ChrisRooney Isn’t this a bit like asking the students to create the financial accounts for the colleges? Sculptors and Accountants would see themselves as professionals, and that training and experience play quite a large part in any success in their work. And asking students to give up time from their studies to create a statue … I can see the headlines in...

  • @SusanDunn The concrete Cow's at Milton Keynes make for an interesting case study in both animal sculptures and in public art … https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_Cows …MK's Cow's are not accurately realistic like Friesian Calf calf, although they certainly read like a small herd of cow's from the road or train when going past, but they have worked...

  • I remember them from the 60s as well, but I didn't think of them as sculptures then, they were signs advertising the new Bull Ring shopping centre. My, my, don't attitudes change!

    And I agree with comments on the new Bull, too shiny, too smooth and a bit too Disney for me, I'd prefer to have one of the original ones in my collection!

    I wonder if there's...

  • Ahh… @PamelaHumphreys I knew that there had been some changes. Pity it was down the very commercial route :-(

    @AlisonBole They still do some free courses though, the OpenLearn facility offers a range of free courses: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue (I can recommend the 'Art and life in ancient Egypt' which I did some work on back...

  • @marionk Belatedly, yes Fritz was a memorable art teacher. He afforded all of us at the school (a very minor, all boys, public boarding school) the opportunity to do ceramics using the local, very rough Stourbridge fireclay which was great for making huge slab or coil pots but hand-ripping for throwing on the wheel (literally), welding, lost-wax (actually...

  • @LesleyB As you say, some artists are aware, others not so… and people are patronised.

    The target audience need not be confined to museums & galleries though, now that we have 'social media' to spread the word. A tweet is a quick way to register concern to all your followers (and more).

  • @AlisonBole Some time ago I did some Art History courses with the UK Open University which I found excellent. Their tutoring & presentation methods have changed a bit since then (now ‘blended’ ie online and set reading/books) but not the quality of the teaching & learning materials: http://www.openuniversity.edu/.

    However, I do have to admit bias, some time...

  • Simon Rae made a comment

    Thank you York, I really enjoyed the course.

    I started the course thinking that it might touch on the politics of public art illustrated by some Yorkshire examples, eg the Hull Three Ships mural destruction: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-humber-50515763, the Sheffield City Centre Artwork:...

  • I've always enjoyed looking at paintings, any paintings, but usually walked past sculptures to get to the pictures :-)

    This course has raised my level of interest/respect for sculptures and sculptors.

    Next time I'll look at the sculptures before walking round them.

  • @PaulGarwood Oh yes… One of the ongoing themes when I used to research Open University student use of the Block Texts they received was did they write in the wide academic margin that was designed in for that purpose or not…

    I still have to force myself to do it though - is it an age thing do you think?

  • Yes, Art can help change minds and can play a big part in educating the public about important issues like climate change and the environment. Although I have to say that I'm not convinced that big expensive projects like Cape Farewell are the best way, not sure how well it relates to ordinary folk, other than along the lines of a big jolly sending lucky...

  • I always feel a bit sad when I see books used for anything other than reading @ClareMaloney - seems a sacrilege to me. But I agree, there are some very clever uses of old books, and very powerful messages. (But I just want to read them …)