We Monks enjoyed the Royal Academy show last weekend which has stirred up all the old arguments. We all have something to say about those existential “macho heroes.”
It is currently the best show in town.
I have spent some energy in my time arguing about "Abstract Expressionism," so named but referring principally to the narrow field of American painters Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still and others, These are the painters who have claimed the handle "Abstract Expressionism" for themselves. The controversial debate continues to this day; 100’s of reader comments in the Guardian Review demonstrate the debate, and also the notion that there are many expressive abstract painters that predate the Americans.
"Any early supremacist (Malyevich, Filonov), Rosanova, Kandinsky, etc. Black Square prefigured Rothko by 30 years."
"No matter how much art experts write and elaborate about Pollock's work, posterity will agree that former was drivel and the latter dribble."
"Pollock's 'Mural' was the centrepiece of an exhibition I visited in Malaga a couple of weeks ago - truly stunning indeed."
But I have in mind the work of JMW Turner (1775-1851). When they put on a show of Turner’s work in New York in the 70’s the American critics were certainly open to the connection and resonance of Turner with their homespun NY artists of the early 50's...
Pictures by Monks that I would loosely call ..