Friday, February 19, 2010

Talk about multi-tasking. Artist Ian Fairweather started drawing seriously while otherwise occupied as a prisoner of war in France during WWI. This was also the time that he began to teach himself Chinese. After the war he studied drawing at the Hague as well as forestry at Oxford, but finally settled on painting at the Slade school in London.

Later travels took him to Canada, China, the Dutch West Indies, and Australia. Apparently these were not Abercrombie and Kent style tours - he did a lot of living and traveling on the cheap, and even after successful shows in Australia and London, he lived out his last years in a thatch hut he built for himself on the island of Bribie off Australia. (Well, I guess we all have different goals; probably got by without a coffee maker, too.)

Others have pointed out the influences of Chinese calligraphy, batik designs, and Cubism in his work. Above is Monastery (1961). There's something alive about the use of line, isn't there? And those borders work so well, don't they? I think if you took away the borders, there would be something incomplete about this, and some tension would be lost. But I think if you added two more borders, the painting would become sort of static. What do you think?

It's too bad we have to look at this on a small screen. At 56 7/8 x 73 inches it probably knocks you out.

No comments:

Post a Comment