Ad Reinhardt (1913 – 1967) studied both Eastern and Western art history at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He deepened his understanding of Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies by attending the lectures of Zen teacher Daisetz Suzuki at Columbia University. Number 22 (1949) shows Reinhardt fusing Eastern and Western traditions by using calligraphic brushwork inspired by Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in a gridded composition influenced by those of de Stijl cofounder Piet Mondrian.
Number 22, Detail
In classical East Asian painting, the fragility of paper wet with ink limits the artist’s ability to rework the composition. The sturdier canvas support and slower-drying oil paints used throughout much of the history of Western painting allows artists to highlight various revision and layering techniques. Although he worked in oil on canvas, Reinhardt chose to restrain himself and not rework his painting’s surface, in keeping with Asian calligraphic traditions. The result is a far more controlled manner of gestural painting than those of the Abstract Expressionists.
Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Series By Tom Kelley, 1949 (All Post Photos By Gail)
There would probably be little argument that Marilyn Monroe is the most legendary and iconic Hollywood Movie Star to have ever lived. Countless contemporary artists — from Andy Warhol to Ron English, Ad Infinitum — have captured and re-appropriated her likeness into their own works, and her image still turns heads wherever it appears. While she did not have a long life, she certainly has achieved immortality in a sense. Limited Runs, a company that specializes in Classic Hollywood and other Fine Art Photography has just released the Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Collection, which features her famous nude shots circa 1949 that originally appeared on promotional calendars. Now you can all own prints of these gorgeous photographs that were at one time so controversial, they had to be “dressed” in superimposed lingerie in order to be sent through the mail.
Above is an example one of these calendars, where Monroe’s breasts have been blocked out to avoid being labeled as pornography — pretty hilarious when you consider the types of fashion photography and figure modeling that has become acceptable, and even mainstream, in the past 70 or so years. One of the Red Velvet poses made her the first Playboy Sweetheart — the prototype for the centerfold-featured Playmates who would follow in years to come.
Here at The Worley Gig, we have been reminiscing about our punk rock roots just lately, and so would like to pay a bit of tribute today to the late Stiv Bators (Dead Boys, Lords of The New Church) who was born on this day, October 22nd in 1949. Stiv (born Steven John Bator) died of an untreated concussion on June 4th in 1990 at the age of 40, after being hit by a taxi cab in Paris, France, where he was living at the time. Let us remember Stiv today with the playing of some of his very fine music that he left behind.
Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers was born on this day, August 28th, in 1949! Hugh is currently in the process of re-releasing his download-only 2008 album, HOOVERDAM. Like all of Cornwell’s dozen or so post-Stranglers‘ solo efforts, HOOVERDAM is quite excellent and recommended listening. Favorite Stranglers song: “All Roads Lead To Rome.”
John “Sib” Hashian, original drummer for Boston, and current drummer for Ernie & The Automatics, was born on this day, August 17th in 1949. Read my update on Sib in the September 2009 issue of Modern Drummer, on newsstands now. Happy Birthday, Sib!
I’m not sure how I missed the fact for all of these years that Queen drummer Roger Taylor, shares July 26th, his anniversary of birth, with Mick Jagger. Taylor made his first appearance on the planet in 1949, while Jagger was here a few years before that, in 1943. I mean Mick Jagger is Mick Jagger – the guy is just everywhere – but Queen is the band that were like a religion to me at a time (high school) when music can really, literally save your life. So I really should have committed his birthday to memory at this point. Sorry Roger! Happy Birthday, guys!