{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.




Twelve Months of Flowers: August (no date) by Jacob van Huysum.

The eighth month in paintings. Alan Bennett is a British artist, not to be confused with the well-known British playwright of the same name. There is, however, a slight connection between playwright and Henry Scott Tuke: Bennett’s BBC film Portrait or Bust (1994) involves an exploration of Leeds Art Gallery during which there’s a glimpse of Tuke’s The Bathers, one of the artist’s many studies of unclothed boys.


August Blue (1893–4) by Henry Scott Tuke.


August Afternoon near Dorking (1904) by TF Wilkinson.


August in the City (1945) by Edward Hopper.

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Dick Smith, 1922–2014


left: Dummy head by Dick Smith for The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961); right: Cover art by Michel Atkinson (aka Michel) for The Unquiet Grave (1963).

Cinema in the 1970s would have been very different without Dick Smith‘s makeup artistry.


Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man (1970).


Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972).


Linda Blair in The Exorcist (1973).

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Tangerine Dream’s Chris Franke, 1973.

Following yesterday’s post, more synth-mania with an emphasis on the Analogue Seventies. YouTube is laden with this stuff but the best things often take some searching out.

Tangerine Dream, Paris, 1973
This is one I’d not seen before, Tangerine Dream when they were still in their Krautrock phase prior to signing to Virgin. The music sounds like outtakes from the Atem album, and as usual with these films it’s great to see what instruments are being used.


Tangerine Dream at Coventry Cathedral, 1975
Baumann, Franke and Froese again performing one of their cathedral concerts. Tony Palmer directed this but the sound was lost so the 27-minute film has edits of the Ricochet album as the soundtrack. (See Voices in the Net.) Ricochet was compiled from live recordings from the same period so it’s not so inappropriate.


Klaus Schulze, 1977
Klaus Schulze played drums on the first Tangerine Dream album, Electronic Meditation (1970), but was never an official member of the group. This lengthy improvisation is typical of the swathes of beatless music he was producing for much of the 1970s.


Laurie Spiegel, 1977
Laurie Spiegel demonstrates one of the earliest digital synthesizers. Spiegel’s 1980 album, The Expanding Universe, was reissued in 2012, and is well worth seeking out. There’s more rare analogue and digital synthesis on her YouTube channel.


Vangelis, 1978
Vangelis in the studio recording the China (1979) album. If you can overlook the Chinoiserie clichés there’s some very good music on this release, some of which looks forward to the Blade Runner soundtrack.


3-2-1 Contact, 1980
A great little film with Suzanne Ciani demonstrating synthesizers for a show on the Children’s Television Workshop. Featuring an oscilloscope and a Prophet 5.


The Original New Timbral Orchestra
Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff made their name as Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, “Tonto” being Cecil’s custom-built TONTO (The Original and New Timbral Orchestra) synthesizer. Cecil shows off his analogue gear in this short film.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Tangerine Dream in Poland
Electronic Music Review
Tonto’s expanding frog men
A Clockwork Orange: The Complete Original Score
White Noise: Electric Storms, Radiophonics and the Delian Mode


Tangerine Dream in Poland


The conjunction this month of the Sorcerer reissue and Celestite, the latest album from Wolves In The Throne Room, has had me listening to a lot of electronica from the 70s and 80s. This in turn led to the discovery of a Polish TV broadcast of the concert Tangerine Dream played in Warsaw on 10th December, 1983, the end of a lengthy world tour which included a date in Manchester on 1st November, 1982, that I was fortunate enough to see. Anyone familiar with the Johannes Schmoelling period of the group will probably know the Logos album, a recording of the concert played at the Dominion theatre, London, a few days after the Manchester gig. At this point the group was playing the same set (with minor variations) at each performance. The Poland event, by contrast, was a special concert taking place in what was still a part of the Soviet bloc for which the group composed over two hours of entirely new music. The full concert was documented on a double-vinyl set, Poland, released a year later, an album I used to play regularly, so it’s fascinating seeing the first half hour being performed here. Also good to see the Schmoelling line-up in action; there’s a fair amount of film of the group from the 1970s but this is the first substantial footage I’ve seen from the 1980s. The TV producers seemed a little confounded by how to present this unorthodox music, so between shots of the group there are cutaways to showroom dummies (shades of Kraftwerk), Polish street scenes, and a woman dancing around in a manner that seems hopelessly naive to a jaded Western viewer. The blue triangle stage set was a nod to the White Eagle album sleeve.


Tour programme.

Poland was the last Tangerine Dream album I enjoyed wholeheartedly. The final studio release with Schmoelling, Le Parc (1985), had some high points but was more like one of the soundtrack albums the group were producing in increasing numbers at the time. I saw them perform again in 1986 when Paul Haslinger had replaced Schmoelling and the concert sent me to sleep for a minute, after which I decided that it was time for Tangerine Dream and I to go our separate ways.


Gockinga’s Bacchanal and an unknown portrait of Fritz Klein


Bacchanal by René Gockinga.

A guest post today by Sander Bink who generously translated his latest piece of research into the Dutch artists of the early 20th century who took the Beardsley style as a foundation for their own black-and-white delineations. As with this earlier post on the subject, many of these drawings are very good but the artists are less well-known than the Beardsley followers in other countries who were their contemporaries. Here’s Sander.

* * *

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of ‘Droomkunst’. This time we’ll discuss our cult hero Joseph René Gockinga who has a drawing exhibited at the Singer Museum Droomkunst exhibition. An obvious choice, because how often do you see his work—which I wrote about more in detail here—in a museum? Almost never. In 1976, two works by Gockinga were shown in the Kunstenaren der Idee exhibition but unfortunately I was only just born that year. The current locations of these works by the way is still unknown to me.


Salomé by René Gockinga.

One of them, however, Gockinga’s version of Salomé, resurfaced in 1995 but I don’t know the current location either. And the acclaimed Louis Couperus Museum last year showed an unknown Couperus illustration of Gockinga from a private collection (no, not mine). In Droomkunst now hangs a small but fine work in a similar style: the Bacchanal already mentioned here. The Droomkunst catalogue dates the work about 1915. I would dare to date is somewhat earlier, I think 1913.

In his opening speech Singer director de Lorm compared Gockinga’s Bacchanal with the work of Erwin Olaf because of the hedonistic, decadent parallels between the two works. If I remember correctly, de Lorm also talked about certain places preferred by these artists, in addition to the perverse, decadent, decayed Amsterdam also Indonesia and especially Java, which was known as a kind of international gay colony.

Now, our Gockinga has also dwelled there; I do not know exactly where and when, but—and this is information that surfaced after my earlier mentioned article was published—he lived in the late thirties in Bali for a while in the home of the renowned painter W.G. Hofker. And in a recent study Imagining Gay Paradise: Bali, Bangkok, Singapore and cyber-Singapore we read that Gockinga was one of the victims of a scandal; he was arrested because of his homosexuality in December 1938 in Denpasar. Here, the comparison with the 2000 generation of artists limp, which, after all, in Amsterdam and elsewhere were partying without having fears of being arrested for lewd behaviour.


Fritz Klein by René Gockinga.

Where several generations of artists do come together is in the following, in our humble opinion a very nice item that was sent us last year. The majority of Gockinga’s Beardsley and the Nérée-like drawings from around 1917 are still unfortunately lost. Probably the “immoral” nature of his work is the main reason. So the item presented here is, as far as we know for the first time, is a new discovery.

It is a Beardsley-like portrait from 1917 or thereafter and it portrays none other than the painter Fred (Fritz) Klein (1898–1990), father of the famous and important Yves Klein.

Huh? What? How can that be? Well, that is of course very well possible. They were more or less contemporaries (Klein was born in 1898, Gockinga in 1893), were both born in the Dutch East Indies and were back in The Netherlands in 1913. They shared a great interest in art. In 1920, Klein moved to France, where he would make his sunny canvases that he became known for. Before that, he was apparently also in The Hague, where he visited his friend Gockinga. That friend has now made a special and somewhat decadent portrait of Klein: a kind of mythological half-man, surrounded by masks and, as I said, in a nice Beardsley-style. You could interpret the masks and the mix of male/female characteristics in a certain way but I leave that to the viewer. In any case, a special drawing can be added to the mysterious oeuvre of the Dutch Symbolist. Big thanks to the Klein relatives that allowed me to write about and portray it, of course.

Sander Bink

Previously on { feuilleton }
Antony Little’s echoes of Aubrey
Aubrey in LIFE
Beardsley reviewed
Aubrey Beardsley in The Studio
Ads for The Yellow Book
Beardsley and His Work
Further echoes of Aubrey
A Wilde Night
Echoes of Aubrey
After Beardsley by Chris James
Illustrating Poe #1: Aubrey Beardsley
Beardsley’s Rape of the Lock
The Savoy magazine
Beardsley at the V&A
Merely fanciful or grotesque
Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife
Aubrey by John Selwyn Gilbert
“Weirdsley Daubery”: Beardsley and Punch
Alla Nazimova’s Salomé





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