Saturday, January 28, 2012


I think of Howard Hodgkin like the fauve painters because we all appreciate work that is sensual and the application of paint is of course very sensual.
His painting 'Waking up in Naples' is a fascinating painting because we can certainly identify the shoulder of the man, and the blue area which could be water through the window etc. He paints on board, generally speaking and sometimes the board is revealed so the wood grain becomes the shoulder and part of the torso of the man waking up in Naples. He also uses the frame. He looks for frames and they are part of the painting or the image. Usually the paintings are about episodes in his own life and usually they are about sex, so the older boys like to relate to that.

Monday, January 23, 2012


La Porta del Parco is part of the biggest urban renewal project in Europe. It will prob­a­bly be the longest too, if it’s ever com­pleted, with chronic delays typ­i­cal of pol­i­tick­ing in Italy, but the less said…
The project con­cerns a 2,000,000 square metre area more or less cor­re­spond­ing to the Bag­noli quar­ter in the west­ern part of Naples, a mag­nif­i­cent part of the Bay with views sweep­ing from Vesu­vius to Capri, from the islet of Nisida to the Posil­lipo. A place of stun­ning nat­ural beauty, but for the heavy indus­try which devel­oped here from the mid 19th cen­tury on. Now the steel­works is no more, the land has been reclaimed, and the ambi­tious regen­er­a­tion plan known as Bag­no­lifu­tura is under way. Fal­ter­ing, but under way.
The core is an enor­mous urban park stretch­ing down to the sea with a voca­tion for tourism, leisure and cul­ture. There’ll be old indus­trial build­ings con­verted to new func­tions, muse­ums, sports and leisure facil­i­ties includ­ing a marina, hous­ing, shops, ser­vices and hotels. The mul­ti­pur­pose com­plex La Porta del Parco, as its name sug­gests, is intended as a link between the city and the new urban park.
Designed by Sil­vio d’Ascia, Naples-born archi­tect of inter­na­tional fame, it is a large pub­lic space on sev­eral lev­els with two main vol­umes in steel and glass, one the domed entrance to a 6,000 square metre spa area (not yet up and run­ning), the other an audi­to­rium seat­ing 300. The whole has a space-station look about it, with the audi­to­rium resem­bling a large, alien body rear­ing up from the depths of its piazza. The rest is, well, piazza, office space, open areas for exhi­bi­tions, and lots of park­ing under­neath.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Much of the work Beuys made in his last few years includes objects or themes which suggest death. This sculpture was originally inspired by a ladder the artist found while recovering from illness on the island of Capri in Autumn 1985, which he hung with two stones. When he visited Amalfi at Christmas in the same year, he purchased a ladder (‘Scala Libera’) from a landlord which he used to make this sculpture. Held in suspension, it appears as if the pair of lead weights are preventing this heavy wooden ladder from soaring into the air. This is one of the last sculptures Joseph Beuys made. He died in January 1986.