counterpoint no1

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 C O U N T E R P O I N T  Counterpoint is published monthly by Calusari Auctions. Why Counterpoint ? My questions is whether the contrapuntal techniques from musical compositions can be applied to visual arts. Alex Mitrutz  NO1 August 2010

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  • 8/8/2019 Counterpoint No1


    C O U N T E R P O I N T

    Counterpoint is published monthly byCalusari Auctions. Why Counterpoint ?

    My questions is whether the contrapuntal techniquesfrom musical compositions can be applied to visual arts.Alex MitrutzNO1 August 2010

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    TITLE: Femme aux bras croiss(Woman with Crossed Arms)ARTIST: Pablo PicassoWORK DATE: circa 1901

    The Blue period represents the Picasso "most extensiveexperimentation with monochromes, and the present painting, oneof the most outstanding works in this group, offers and extraordinarypoignant portrayal of soulful introspection." Picasso acknowledgedthat his Blue period "was precipitated by his confrontation with andcontemplation of death."

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    Banksy versus Hopper

    TITLE: Are You Using That Chair?YEAR: 2005

    COLLECTION: Pollock Fine Art

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    ARTIST: Edward HopperTITLE: NighthawksYEAR: 1942

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    Jeff Koons vs Norman Wilkinson

    Roy Lichtenstein working on the collage that would serve as the basisfor the Times Square subway mural.

    Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Arts for Transit programcommissioned Roy Lichtenstein to create a mural for the Times Squaresubway station. A native New Yorker who had ridden the subwaysince boyhood, Lichtenstein jumped at the chance to create a work ofpublic art. So he designed a 6-foot-tall, 53-foot-long porcelain enamel

    futuristic vision of New York, which he decided to make a gift to thecity. Lichtenstein fabricated the mural in 1994, three years before hisdeath.

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    During World War I, the British and Americans faced a seriousthreat from German U-boats, which were sinking allied shipping at adangerous rate. All attempts to camouflage ships at sea had failed,as the appearance of the sea and sky are always changing. Any colorscheme that was concealing in one situation was conspicuous inothers. A British artist and naval officer, Norman Wilkinson, promoteda new camouflage scheme that was derived from the artistic fashions

    of the time, particularly cubism. Instead of trying to conceal theship, it simply broke up its lines and made it more difficult for theU-boat captain to determine the ship's course. The British calledthis camouflage scheme "Dazzle Painting." The Americans calledit "RazzleDazzle."

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    Guilty vs USS Mahomet

    Yacht name: GuiltyLength: 35 mYear: 2008Builder: RizzardiExterior art: Jeff Koons (in the style of Roy Lichtenstein)Design: Ivana Porfiri

    Owner: Dakis JoannouPhotos: Andrea FerrariGreek Cypriot industrialist and heavyweight European contemporaryart collector, Dakis Joannou has brought together an all star team tocreate an interesting watercraft . Named Guilty, the 35 meter longyacht is decked out with sleek, interiors by Ivana Porfiri and a pop-art exterior design by Jeff Koons in the style of Roy Lichtenstein and

    camouflage design in the style of Norman Wilkinson.

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    Yacht name: USS MahometBuilder: Skinner and Eddy shipyard, Seattle

    Year: 14 November 1918Exterior art: Razzle Dazzle (in the style of Norman Wilkinson)West Mahomet, a 12,225 tons displacement freighter built at Seattle,Washington, as part of the World War I shipbuilding effort, wascompleted in mid-November 1918, shortly after the fighting had ended.Turned over to the Navy at that time and placed in commission asUSS West Mahomet , she transported flour from the West Coastto Constantinople, Turkey, between late November 1918 and earlyFebruary 1919. Following return in the U.S. in early March, she

    carried Army cargo to Antwerp, Belgium. USS West Mahomet wasdecommissioned in early June 1919, soon after arriving at NewportNews, Virginia, at the end of her second voyage. Transferred to theU.S. Shipping Board, she remained in the custody of that agency untilabandoned in about 1933.

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    "Who could better that propeller?" versus"Who could better that BMW ?"

    Fernand Lger. Propellers. 1918, MoMA

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    In 1912 while visiting Salone de la Locomotion Aerienne in thecompany of Fernand Lger and Marcel Duchamp, ConstantineBrancusi noticed a propeller. According to Marcel Duchamp, Brancusidid exclaimed wonderstruck "Now that is what I call sculpture!" and

    concluded "From now on, sculpture must be nothing less than that."However, Fernand Lger's version of what happened at the airshowwas different:"Before the Great War, I went to see the Air Show withMarcel Duchamp and Brancusi. Marcel was a dry fellow who hadsomething elusive about him. He was strolling amid the motors andpropellers, not saying a word. Then, all of a sudden, he turned toBrancusi, `It's all over for painting. Who could better that propeller? Tellme, can you do that?'"

    In 1975 French race car driver and auctioneer Herv Poulainasked Alexander Calder to customize his BMW 3.0 CSL which laterparticipated in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Prompted by enormousenthusiasm from public for this work of art on wheels, BMW thendecided to put its brilliant idea of establishing the Art Car Collectioninto practice. Today there are 16 cars painted by famous and not sofamous artists on permanent display at the BMW museum in Munich,Germany.Paraphrasing Marcel Duchamp, I am asking: Who could betterthat BMW ? Duchamp, Leger and Brancusi have been inspired bythe form of the propeller, and without doubt they created art formsmore beautiful than the propeller. On one hand some consideredthat the artists who painted BMW's blended modern art withdesign and engineering. On the other hand it is considered thatthe artists destroyed the beauty of car lines and the art of a massproduced "object" is more beautiful than the art of David Hockney,

    Jenny Holzer, Roy Litchenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenbergand Andy Warhol who all "painted" a BMW.

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    Alexander Calder in front of his "art" car, BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975Calder's artwork was on show the very same year at the 24-hourrace at Le Mans, an event which the artist attended. The BMW 3.0CSL, with which Alexander Calder laid the foundations of the Art CarCollection in 1975, was also one of the last works he produced beforehis death.Next page: Alexander Calder and Herve Poulain

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    Andy Warhol painting the car. "I tried to portray speed pictorially. Ifa car is moving really quickly, all the lines and colors are blurred."

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    David Hockney painting his BMW. 1995"BMW gave me the model of the car and I kept looking at it and lookingat it", says David Hockney on the creation process of his BMW Art Car."And then, I must admit, I also looked at the other Art Cars. In the endI thought, probably it would be good to perhaps show the car so you

    could be looking inside it."To turn his idea into reality, Hockney took several months andallowed the inside of the BMW 850 CSi to be outwardly visible.Stylized intake manifolds of the engine appear on the hood, and thesilhouette of the driver can be seen on the door. And you don't justsee the inside of the car, but also excerpts of an abstract landscape.Because "traveling around in a car means experiencing landscapes",says Hockney, "which is one of the reasons why I chose green as a


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    "The pattern should be regarded as agreeable decoration", saysFrank Stella of the black and white square grid with which he coveredthe BMW 3.0 CSL. A pattern which has an evenness and precisionreminiscent of oversized graph paper. Within the grid, numerous linesrun across the whole bodywork and leave the car looking like one greatpattern. While working on his draft version, Stella disassociated himselffrom his usual random style of painting and sought inspiration from thetechnical aura of the sports coup. The BMW 3.0 CSL took part in the

    24-hour race at Le Mans - for Stella, a passionate fan of motor racing,it was a very special premiere for his new work of art.

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    "I wanted to use painted lines as a road, pointing the way for the car",says Roy Lichtenstein of his portrayal of the BMW 320i. "The designalso shows the scenery through which the car has driven. You couldcall it a list of all the things a car experiences - the only difference isthat this car mirrors all these things even before it takes to the road." Inthe same year, his BMW Art Car won second place in its class at the24-hour race at Le Mans.

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