Thursday, June 27, 2013

Louise Nevelson and The Red Shorts

Louise Nevelson,  Photographic painting by l.w.roth, 1979
This photographic painting was done many years ago, while I was studying black and white photography--the old fashioned kind where we shot 35mm film, developed it in chemicals that made your nails grow too long to play the piano and then printed the negatives using a Bessler Enlarger, which I still own  and is in storage. I really adored playing around in the dark room and spent hours there trying this and that. This painting of my hero, Louise Nevelson is one of my photographic experiements. I may or may not have shown it to you, but Sharon Wright got me thinking about reversal renditions in her post: Stuart,Stuart,Stuart when she thought she needed another rendition of her subject to round out a collective composition.

Louise was an artistically talented Jewish housewife and mom, (remind you of anybody), who longed to be an artist in a cultural period of time where women stayed home cleaned, cooked, cared for kids and went crazy. It was a time before Betty Fridan and Gloria Steineim  got together and Erica Dejong wrote about the 'zippless fuck'. We hadn't marched in the street yet. But Louise did on her own. In Pink Floyd's words, she thought, "F#@k all this, let's get on with that.," divorced her husband, sold her jewelry, rented studio space in New York and launched a career in sculpture that took her works to museums everywhere.  If you've seen black box structures in the MOMA or the Whitney, or any place else, you've seen Louise Nevelson's art.

When I saw a picture of her in the newspaper, I cut it out and used it as a reference for this photographic painting with light. I made a finished enlarged positive drawing of her from the picture I cut from the paper, placed a piece of glass over it and using black acrylic, painted the drawing in reverse.  In other words, I made a negative drawing from the positive.  Everything that was white in the enlarged positive drawing, was painted  black not always solid, but thinning to washes as needed.  Then I placed my glass printing plate over a piece of photographic paper (I liked Kodak matte finish) and exposed it to light under the enlarger.  It took a few exposures before I got the  time right with the whites as white as they could be and the blacks as dark as they could be and the midtones registered clean.  I'm especially pleased with how her glass beads came out.  Unfortunately, I then discarded the glass printing plate leaving the world just one print. This one of a kind is hanging not in a museum, but  in my powder room. It did get high accoulades for originality  from members  in my local photographic community.

See Louise's work for yourself. You'll immediately understand why a spacial designer/builder trained in sculpture would be drawn to this woman's art. Her work was very inspirational in some of my building constructions.  The woman knew how to use space and textures.



RED SHORTS POST PONED:  Click on the dizzy looking graphic painting I added to my sidebar and you will be transported to the new blog I started yesterday rather than painting JD's shorts.  I call it The Menieres Blog. (Really grabs you right)? I started it because I'm totally frustrated with this chronic malady I have which has kept my head foggy and my sight blurry for months now and I know I'm not alone. In the last months, I have tackled lowest salt cooking (the first thing the docs tell you to do when you are diagnosed), and it leaves a lot to be desired with regards to taste. So, in the manner that Julie tested Julia Child's recipes, in the movie Julie and Julia,  I thought I might do the same with Donald A. Gazzaniga's recipes in the only lowest salt cook books around.worth their salt, ( sorry, I couldn't resist). Food is comfort.
Food without salt isn't all that comfortable. I'm hoping to find ways to change that starting with Donald and adding a lot of what Linda discovers in her very own kitchen.

In this first post, I introduced myself.  I don't know whether I did a good job,  so I would appreciate your honest, straight forward, do-not-worry-about-offending-me-I-can-take-it opinions and suggestions. Thanks.

I really think its cool how all you have to do is touch the picture and you'll be there. I added that gimick to the new blog as well--though I doubt it will bring many readers this way. Menieres, thank God, is a disease very few people have, (615,000 in the US), or fewer people than that have ever heard of . Aren't I a lucky duck to be among the rare birds who has not only heard of it, but knows how to spell it too? 

8 comments:

  1. Het is prachtig er zit zoveel kracht in en gevoel lieve groetjes Danielle

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    1. Nevelson was beautiful and powerful. Her work reveals her character. While she tried doing white and natural wood colored assemblages, I think her black work was the best. The power of pieces decreased with the lightening of the finish.

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  2. I'm also a Louise Nevelson fan. Love everything about her--and yes, I can see parallels between the two of you. I love the portrait you did of her--so fitting. I visited your new blog. It is exciting that you will use blogging to sort through what has to be a lot of frustration about a crap deal! What I sincerely love about you, LW, is that you are such a no-nonsense person and not prone to any manner of 'woe-is-me'. I like how you fight back (always) against things that would have a lesser person retreating. I'm sure you could serve as a good role model for others with this condition. It so happens I know someone who I believe shares the illness and I forwarded your new blog link to her. All I can say is bravo--I can't imagine food without salt, but I've heard that you get over the craving for it quickly once it is completely removed from one's diet. (I'll be checking your blog in the future to find out if that is true). :)

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    1. Thank you so much. Your sympathies brought a tear to my eye--no kidding. This has really been a depressing time for me and instead of making me sad, it has gotten me angry and defiant. I hope I do get over the craving for it--but letting salt go also costs me shell fish, shrimp cocktails and whole Maine lobsters, my favorites. And while you can find salt free potato chips--another favorite--the fat content is off the charts and your hand gets greasy eating them. But I'll keep chipping away at it--a sense of humor is imperative.

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  3. This reminds me of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz... I love b&w- photography, sketches, paintings... shows a lot of emotion (to me) more so than color.

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    1. I just realized what I thought was a witches hat, isn't... my bad... the shape is what got me... black can bring out drama, eh?

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    2. If I remember correctly--I did it in the seventies--there were flowers on her hat. She was a wild dresser. The older I get, the more I think I'll folow in her fashion shoes. I always admire those aged women I see who use their clothing to express themselved regardless of trends and old lady protocols. If not now when?

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  4. It's a beautiful work of art. I can see why you are so draw to this remarkable woman and her work. Yes- I think of you.
    I'm off to check out your new blog. I hate to hear about the Menieres disease but I'm glad to hear you are being proactive.

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