The art of Manfred Sillner

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Über Regensburg (1979–82).

Manfred Sillner is a German artist whose work had eluded me until very recently when curiosity about a print on the cover of an obscure album impelled me to search for the person responsible. Happily, Sillner has a website (many contemporary painters let galleries do the web work) which gives a decent overview of his prints, drawings and hyper-detailed paintings. The picture above has a page of its own with a number of detailed views. I’m not always keen on the work of artists pursuing what many people would consider as late Surrealism, it’s easy to stray into whimsy with this anything-goes approach. Sillner avoids this for the most part, and I like the concentration on architecture. Some of the prints on his website are small reproductions but larger copies may be found elsewhere.

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Die Kirche von Villers-la-Ville (1987).

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Das Selbstportrait (1996–97).

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Hinter Traumvorhängen (1977–82).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The fantastic art archive

Weekend links 427

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Inside an O’Neill Cylinder, an orbital megastructure. Painting by Don Davis, 1975.

• RIP Lindsay Kemp: dancer, actor, choreographer and (if we have to drop names) mentor to David Bowie and Kate Bush. Kemp’s work has been featured here on a number of occasions, particularly his landmark productions of an all-male Salomé, and Flowers, A Pantomime for Jean Genet. There was also considerable overlap with Kemp’s troupe and the films of Derek Jarman via appearances by Kemp himself, David Haughton and the irrepressible Jack Birkett. The Genet production was filmed in 1982, and is now available on DVD. (There’s also a rougher copy with unmatched audio and video.) From 1970: Pierrot in Turquoise, or The Looking Glass Murders, a Commedia dell’arte performance for Scottish TV featuring David Bowie. And reversing roles, Mick Rock’s video for Bowie’s John, I’m Only Dancing featuring Kemp and company.

• At Expanding Mind: Erik Davis in conversation with activist and writer David Nickles about “the DMT Nexus, psychedelic militancy, extraction tek, the Statement on Open Science for Psychedelic Medicines, MAPS, and the trouble with for-profit psilocybin companies”.

• From the end of August to January 2019: Spellbound at the Ashmolean; “Spellbinding stories, fascinating objects…from crystal balls and magic mirrors to witch bottles and curse poppets”.

On Earth, as on the International Space Station, the collective misperception of a flat plane helps build community and culture. We are all equal in our geometric relationship to one another. The reality, of course, is that we do not stand parallel. Each of our bodies corresponds with a distinct radial vector on the surface of a sphere, pointing away from a common center that we can never perceive or occupy. Our vectors diverge by imperceptible angles.

In “inside-out” worlds like the Bernal Sphere and the concave Earth, the situation is reversed. Our feet all point outward, into an inaccessible, but technologically habitable void, while our heads point inward, some of us apparently “upside-down.” Standing, we rise toward a visible center, which can be reached simply by climbing a hill, strapping on wings, and jumping into the air, as low-tech as Icarus.

The Shape of Space by Fred Scharmen

Michael Moorcock again, interviewed this time by Bernard Braden in 1968. I think this one was for a Braden TV series which was never broadcast.

• “Stupid things are best”: Neil Fox on Conny Plank: The Potential of Noise, a documentary about the great music producer.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 556 by Helios, and An Ode to Eris with An Other Ode to Eris by The Ephemeral Man.

• A monstrous primer on the works of HP Lovecraft by Emma Stefansky. With illustrations by Michael Bukowski.

Silent Agents by Julius-Christian Schreiner: photographs of hostile architecture from around the world.

• Back to the Futuro: Mark Hodgkinson on the spaceship house that landed in Yorkshire.

• The Great Chinese Art Heist by Alex W. Palmer.

Rhizome: a new recording by Drew McDowall.

The Starman Tarot

Mad Pierrot (1978) by Yellow Magic Orchestra | Spellbound (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees | Sphere (2011) by Emptyset

The art of Boleslaw Biegas (1877–1954)

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Univers de la tendresse (1918).

This Polish artist came to my attention recently while looking for something in a book about Surrealist art. As before, the web has its uses especially when it comes to discovering more about artists such as Biegas who were never prominent enough to be given more than a passing mention in art histories. Biegas isn’t really a Surrealist, however, although Apollinaire apparently liked some of his stylised sculptures. The paintings Biegas produced from around 1920 separate into two surprisingly different groups: semi-abstract portraits rather like the later wholly abstract works of Frantisek Kupka, and the Symbolist-styled nocturnes featured here. I naturally prefer the latter, not least because some of them nod to the dark cypresses and islands that populate many of Arnold Böcklin’s paintings, but the portraits and sculptures are often very good as well. There’s an artist’s website although the reproductions there are small and watermarked.

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Lord Byron (1919).

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Chopin (1919).

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Grotto of the Temple of Secrets (1924).

Continue reading “The art of Boleslaw Biegas (1877–1954)”

Weekend links 426

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Self Preservation (1970–77), a collage by Penny Slinger from the series An Exorcism.

• RIP John Calder, one of the most important British publishers of the last century whose death was acknowledged in the Washington Post (and in the Telegraph, a paper that would have given him no support during his censorship battles) but at the time of writing hasn’t been mentioned at all in the increasingly useless Guardian. The omission in the latter seems even more surprising when Calder himself wrote obituaries for the paper, and they ran an archive piece two weeks ago for the 50th anniversary of Calder & Boyars’ successful court defence of Last Exit to Brooklyn. “Publishing is an industry run by capitalists now.

• Another 50th anniversary: David Bushman asked Alan Moore for his memories of Patrick McGoohan’s superb TV series The Prisoner.

Michael Moorcock in conversation with Hari Kunzru at Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

Stephen O’Malley presents Acid Quarry Paris – In Session with Richard Pinhas (Heldon).

• When a rock is a stone: Louise Steinman on finding Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.

• Victorians, Vaults, and Violet Water: a profusion of links at Greydogtales.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 666 by Róisín Murphy.

• The amazing adventures of Melinda Gebbie.

Starbirthed

Exorcism (1971) by Lucifer | The Final Calling (Physical Exorcism) (1984) by CTI | Exorcism Of The Hippies (2010) by Mater Suspiria Vision

A view over Yuggoth

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I mentioned in the post about the Sherlock Holmes illustrations that the next book from Editorial Alma featuring my work would be another Lovecraft collection. One of the illustrations in the new volume was of the planet Yuggoth, a world known to human beings as Pluto. In Lovecraft’s mythos Yuggoth has long been an outpost of advanced alien civilisations, particularly the fungoid crustaceans of The Whisperer in Darkness and the splendidly-titled sonnet sequence Fungi from Yuggoth. I’d broached this subject a couple of times in the past, first with a panel in my Haunter of the Dark comic strip (the Shining Trapezohedron is described as being brought to Earth from Yuggoth) then with a photocopy collage of Haeckel organisms for the first Starry Wisdom collection.

Yuggoth is one of several alien outposts in Lovecraft’s fiction, allied in its remoteness from humans with the underwater city of R’lyeh and the Antarctic city in At the Mountains of Madness. All these locations suggest exotic architecture so they’ve long been some of my favourite features in Lovecraft’s work, hence this new piece which I couldn’t resist doing after completing work on the Alma book. Since I acquired a Wacom tablet four years ago I’ve become so used to using it for line drawing that working with it now feels as natural as working with pens and inks. But digital painting was something I still didn’t feel happy with. This is mainly because the brush options in Photoshop are limitless, and one thing I’ve never liked with art materials is too much choice. When I was working with physical media I used to use a minimum of pens and brushes so what I really wanted from Photoshop was a single brush that would do what I wanted without having to swap tools all the time when working. This view of Yuggoth is the result of having finally settled (by chance, as it happened) on a brush that does everything I want without getting in the way. The drawing was completely improvised so as a composition it has some flaws; it could also have been developed a lot more to bring out highlights and details. But as an experimental piece it worked out well and also didn’t take too very long to do. When I have the time I’ll be doing more with this new brush.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Thing on the Doorstep
Leather Cthulhu unleashed
Leather Cthulhu
The Gods of HP Lovecraft
Lovecraftiana calendar
Providential
NecronomiCon Providence 2015
Yuggoth details
A Mountain Walked
Lovecraft’s Monsters unleashed
Lovecraft’s Monsters
JK Potter and HP Lovecraft
Cthulhu Labyrinth
Tentacles #4: Cthulhu in Poland
Cthulhu Calendar
S. Latitude 47°9, W. Longitude 126°43
Resurgam variations
De Profundis
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
Heavy Metal, October 1979: the Lovecraft special
Cthulhoid and Artflakes
Cthulhu for sale
Cthulhu God
Cthulhu under glass
CthulhuPress
The monstrous tome
Cubist Cthulhu