Monday, June 29, 2009

Ivan Albright, All Right with Me

Poor Room-There Is No Time, No End, No Today, No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, Only the Forever, and Forever and Forever without End (The Window) (1942-63)

That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door) (1931-41)

Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida (1929-30) [note the "floating" handkerchief]

Three pieces by Ivan Albright, one of my favorite painters, whose "The Door" (above) is one of my very favorite paintings. Amazing, humbling stuff, in my opinion. Never had the privilege of seeing any in person, unfortunately. I suppose you can see the influence here on people like Joe Coleman (who I love) but Albright's work has its own sort of mystical ambiguity which I find really compelling and much more frightening than something like Coleman's murderous hobos or whatever. But that's probably not a sensible comparison... Any way, good stuff, skill beyond any normal human measure as far as I'm concerned.


Human Mollusk said...

Yeah, Ivan Albright is great. I saw some of his paintings in an expo about neo-realism a couple of years ago. The pale, rotting moldy textures make you feel disgust and wonder at the same time.
I also love the Dorian Gray movie with his incredible painting in it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MD Encolpius said...

textures in his paintings are really great. I can only wonder how they look in person.

ULAND said...

I worked at the Art Institute of Chicago for a summer a few years back, mostly selling tickets/memberships, but for a week or so I got to act as a stand-in for a docent and chose to stick around the American Painting wing. I didn't deal with many visitors, as there was a big Toulouse Lautrec exhibition going on nearby. So, I got to hang out in a room with two Albrights', including The Picture Of Dorian Gray, as well as a few by Peter Blume, including The Rock

It was a great time.

Joe Sylvers said...

I saw "Poor Room" my favorite of his paintings at the Chicago Museum of art a few years ago, had never seen any of his work before, and ended up staring for quite a time and then forced myself to remember his name. Albright's textures are wonderful, he's one of the few artist who can do "fightening" through style alone, without having to resort to showing anything particularly disturbing. It's all in the how, not the what, anyway it's fantastic stuff. Good call Jeff.

Matthew Allison said...

My wife and I visited the Art Institute of Chicago last summer and I was so bummed that the American Painting wing was closed for renovations. I would have loved to see some of Albright's work in person.


Yah, his stuff is nice. The Ida piece really reminds me of a much more rendered George Grosz piece. I am particularly impressed by his ability to maintain the sort of organic pattern chaos used by modern artists, but with real, strong representational rendering. Reminds me of Max Ernst in that way as well.

Aeron said...

I remember seeing the painting of his on display at the Art Institute in Chicago several years ago. Can't recall which one but it was huge and probably a portrait of a haunting looking man? I was struck by the morbid textures and the nightmarish mood of the piece.

Anonymous said...

Albright is one of my all time favorites, and the Art Institute in Chicago is the only place I have seen his work displayed. The 3-4 times I have been there they have had a room or at least half a room displaying his work. Also the only place I ever found a book of his work.

On one visit they had a series of self portraits that spanned his life, upto and beyond the stroke he suffered. To see the evolution of his style in those protraits, from a young man through the amazing morbid detail he's known for and then suddenly the post stroke childlike renderings was really potent and sad. Such an under appreciated artist, thanks for giving him some exposure.

I have an unreleased music track I did inspired by "That Which I Should Have Done..." that I will have to dig up now and maybe post.