Paint Box

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cy Twombly - Bad Painting

The subject of Bad painting seems to come up again and again in my tutorials with E. This is something I have never been challenged with before. In fact the idea that some of my painting is 'bad' (a-levelesque) I find particularly abhorrent (being a teacher of A Level), and the suggestion that I would deliberately make marks on my paintings which fall into the 'Bad' catagory is well outside my comfort zone. However, Cy Twombly is one of the artists who has been raised and although I wouldn't describe myself as a fan, I am intrigued by his dribbling and scribbling. I have always thought of his style as drawing with paint, letting it spill over the canvas, layering and hiding and scratching into the surface.
I was suprised to find that he has created a series of 'flower' paintings like 'Untitled' (Peony Blossom Painting) (2007) which reflects the marks that I sometimes make in the background of my own work.

I find the scale of his work is also quite impacting (see Flickr link). Much bigger than I would have expected for his flower forms. They are far from descreet and the bold marks and dribbles seen close up must appear quite tactile.


There are more connections with Twombly's work than I initially thought. The only work I have seen is the work around seasons which incorporates text which I tend to steer well clear of; it sounds silly but I've never really looked at the markmaking in relation to my own work. Not sure how comfortable I would be currently with using this type of painting on such a grand scale, as I like to mix the surface and marks I use. Maybe this is something for my works on paper which I have yet to explore. I wouldn't want to be labelled as a bad painter, but using Bad painting appeals in a slightly subversive way.

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