3 x Books

Massey, I  Patrick Procktor  Art and Life  (2010) Unicorn Press

  • Good overview of his life, work and influences
  • Very useful, high quality reproductions of main work
  • I would have liked to read more direct quotes from Mr. Procktor, especially around his painting process.  It was largely sourced from other people’s anecdotes, which I can understand considering he died before this book was written/published.
  • It gave me a better understanding and appreciation of his work and I will probably re-read it several times.

I don’t think it is necessary to know an artists’ life story in order to appreciate his or her work.  That said, it is important to understand how the artist approaches the business of painting.

Graw, I (and others) Thinking through Painting –  Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas (2012) Sternberg Press

The commentary/arguments around Luc Tuymans’ work is interesting, though somewhat outdated now (the book was published in 2012)  – especially in view of the amount of video interviews with the artist, as well as his lectures extant on YouTube.   I far prefer to listen/read the thoughts of this man, than to read theories and arguments put out by academics (as is the case in this book) who tend to philosophise and talk themselves round and round in circles. No-one explains or discusses his work better (in my opinion) than Luc Tuymans himself. Full stop.

Gerhard Richter The Daily Practise of Painting – Writings and Interviews 1962-1993  (1995 – UK) Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist   Thames & Hudson

Eventually I managed to get a copy through AbeBooks for £17.95 plus postage.  I have been away and it was waiting for me on my return yesterday.

‘I am against movements and terminology on principle’  

Gerhard Richter – The Daily Practise of Painting (1972)  G. Richter – p72

I have only just started reading this book.  Already, I can see that it is going to be a massive task to absorb all the ideas.  It is filled with pages and pages of anecdotal passages/mantras/contradictions (too many to list).  It is fascinating, confounding, annoying, brilliant, confrontational, emotionless, passionate … as enigmatic as Richter’s vast creative output.   I was advised by my tutor to obtain this book mainly to understand how Richter used photography to inspire or inform the subject matter or theme of his earlier paintings.  And there is plenty of direct quotation from him on this topic.  I am only at page 73 of 273 pages, so I might add to this comment later!  I am really glad I bought it.


I am feeling somewhat conflicted at the moment, mainly due to the vast difference in viewpoints I’ve been trying to grasp whilst reading these three books.  I have many ideas whizzing around in my head and I want to make sure I do the next exercises justice.  I guess it all boils down to just getting on with it and seeing where it takes me.  I am not rushing through this part of the course.

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