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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.
 

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C H R O N I C L E

Howard Hodgkin

Tate Britain, London 18 June 2006 

Howard Hodgkin is aware of the backlash by the British media. Once feted; now slated. It is by nature of a retrospective that we honour the career of an artist including the work of 20 years ago that the art media then loved. That breed of critics have been replaced by a new brand of contrary spokespersons. I haven't read them all, but Laura Cummings in the Observer finds Howard Hodgkin, “overloaded, overwrought and obscured”. You might just find this phrase overladen with alliteration, but bare in mind that I am quoting the critic that is more likely to favour the light of a fluorescent tube than the application of oil paint on a flat surface. (see Dan Flavin )

Charles Darwent in the Independent On Sunday, also expressed surprise at Howard Hodgkins popularity. “These paintings are likeable, so why don’t I like them”, he said.

It did not occur to me that Howard Hodgkin was so popular, but here we have two esteemed broadsheet critics saying virtually the same thing.

Laura wrote, “I don't see the adored aspects of his work”

It is almost as if these two critics got together at the press show and supported each other with a critical consensus, perhaps going on to some other place, for a glass of wine, and a your-place-or-mine, before they wrote their copy.

Mrs Monk borrowed a kid’s drawing tablet from the Tate Kids trolley, and ostentatiously got amongst the paintings and sketched away and just wanted to get her hands on more loose and free art materials. Kids ran about the gallery. Parents tamed the kids, pointing and sharing in their enjoyment of the paintings and I just knew they all had the same visceral joy in the physicality of Howard’s paint. Laura and Charles would have been appalled.  Howard may also have been disappointed to be simply popular.     Shoestring Chronicle

Mrs Monk’s

Would-Be Diary

two esteemed broadsheet critics saying virtually the same thing

Kadinsky

Tate Modern, London  24 June 2006

While Howard Hodgkin is apparently an abstract painter that insists that he is not, Kadinsky was an aspirant abstract painter whose critics insist that he was not.

Post modern critics (excluding North America) tend to argue that Abstraction is for the birds and that even if an artist declares a painting devoid of representation, the post modern critic will just not buy it.

 Laura Cumming in the Observer for example.

Kadinsky claimed that he was the first abstract painter and let’s not quibble since he was certainly right there when theses issues were being discussed for the very first time along with Malevich and others. He gave his works deliberately non representational titles, Improvisation 35, for example.

The Tate has called this show The Path To Abstraction and perhaps for the first time we are able to see the troublesome oarsman that he featured in so many of his paintings from the very beginning when he had a clear representational style and to the very end when he insisted that he did not.

The oarsman often represented by a number of short parallel lines, are often cited by the post modernists as proof that Kadinsky failed to achieve his objective of painting the very first abstract paintings.

The current generation of art criticism is keen to reject abstraction, free of representation, in a way that a musician or an architect would not. Practising artists also have no problem with abstraction, it is just these wretched critics.

Some critics are taller, but they are usually American.

Read also a musicians perspective on Kadinsky, the composer Gerard McBurney writes in the Guardian

Last week Mrs monk was inspired to work in the manner of Howard Hodgkin but this week her painting is likely to move in a different direction. Exit murmurings were decidedly positive and appreciative  RECOMMENDED

      Shoestring Chronicle

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