Previous: I labor under no illusions (73)

Next: Now let us praise The New Criterion (149)

Vincent Price art promo

Post #1433 • December 17, 2009, 3:33 PM • 48 Comments

Vincent Price used to sell art through Sears, apparently. Via Necee.



Happy Bidding

December 17, 2009, 4:15 PM

I'd buy a Goya for $35!



December 17, 2009, 4:40 PM

Happy Bidding, Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm afraid you're about 60 years too late for the Goya (judging from Price's age & the inclusion of artists like Karl Zerbe, who was big in the 40s (and as such, was included in my dissertation).


Tom Hering

December 17, 2009, 4:47 PM

Sears Archives.



December 17, 2009, 5:29 PM

That is great. Although personally, I would not buy socks from the man.



December 17, 2009, 6:09 PM

off subject: Piri did you see the article on abstraction by Barry Schwabsky in the Nation?



December 17, 2009, 7:51 PM

Sears used to be an amazingly imaginative company. Back before 1940 most people in the US did not live near anywhere they could easily get stuff so they got it mail order from Sears. They even sold prefabricated houses.

Schwabsky writes boringly about an artist named de Keyser who is pretty good.


Chris Rywalt

December 17, 2009, 8:15 PM

Are you crazy, Lucas? I'd buy socks from Vincent Price any day of the week!

I love how he says "Hiroshige". Sounds like "piroshki".


Chris Rywalt

December 17, 2009, 8:28 PM

Wikipedia sez Sears offered the Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art from 1962 to 1971, which strikes me as strangely recent, since I was born in 1970. My parents could bought a Rembrandt!

Instead we had to make do with a Picasso print.



December 17, 2009, 9:28 PM

I'm surprised that the Price video is only 47 years old. I would have thought it was earlier, but as it is, it shows how widespread admiration for pop and ab-ex were as late as 1962, which is to say, not very. All the work in the video is either Old Masters or vaguely "modern" representational work, done in the most traditional possible media. This must have been what the good people at Sears thought would appeal to Middle America, and judging from their sales record, they knew their market.

John, I hadn't read Schwabsky's piece, or seen any of the art he discusses. Clearly, I've been spending too much time huddled over a hot computer!



December 17, 2009, 9:30 PM

I've never been particularly trustworthy of mustachioed sales personnel. I find it makes reading their expressions extremely difficult. Although I've never been proven to be crazy, some of my hangups are quite mad.


Chris Rywalt

December 17, 2009, 9:52 PM

The only way to buy socks is from a man with a mustache.



December 17, 2009, 11:18 PM

I can't argue with opie's observation about the Schwabsky essay, but I'm satisfied that it appeared. As he says early on, there is a standard spiel that many use to dismiss abstraction in total. He advocates not dismissing it in total, but rather looking at art one artist at a time, and that's good enough for now. He has written about abstraction before (Tworkov).

Didn't he have something to do with Arts towards its end? If he did, it's not mentioned in his bio blurb.


Chris Rywalt

December 17, 2009, 11:53 PM

Schwabsky lost my interest at "demotic".

You know what show I forgot to mention I saw today? The Hockney show at PaceWildenstein. You know what show I'd forgotten I'd seen already until I walked into it earlier today? The Hockney show at PaceWildenstein.



December 18, 2009, 12:02 PM

Chris, apropos of your comment under "I labor under no illusions" and your comment here. I'd be interested to know when your full report on Fairfield Porter etc. goes on view, so I can check it out. Meanwhile (if you haven't already) you can read my response to Hockney in my December 1 issue, which (despite the date) didn't go online until just last week.


Chris Rywalt

December 18, 2009, 2:59 PM

I just finished the section on Richter and am now working on Ana Tzarev. So it should be done in a couple more days. I'll work faster if I know someone is waiting for it.

I'll put up a note here if Franklin doesn't object.



December 18, 2009, 6:27 PM

A great landscape by a Hokusai pupil (click on image once it comes up for better one):


Yes, it's Mt. Fuji in the distance.


Chris Rywalt

December 18, 2009, 7:13 PM

That needs a Miyazaki character cavorting in the foreground.



December 18, 2009, 11:24 PM

Those Hockney paintings look wonderful!



December 19, 2009, 12:36 AM

The Hockney's don't look wonderful. They look like when in doubt, shoot off all the cannon and hope it works.


Tom Hering

December 19, 2009, 9:51 AM

Each Hockney looks like it's at war with itself - color and representation locked in a fight to the death. (Not an effect I like when looking at a painting of Nature.) At least the Fauves let color win.


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 9:59 AM

I'll have a full review up soon, I hope, but the short version is the Hockneys are really big, really colorful, and a little scary. They are not, however, very good.


Tom Hering

December 19, 2009, 10:11 AM

Scary because the man doesn't love color - he rapes it, and leaves its body lying there for all to shudder at.


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 11:29 AM

That's a bit harsh but, um, not too far off. I'll give the guy credit for using fluorescent colors which would frighten off all but the most avant garde color field painters. But there's a fine line between courage and folly, and I think Hockney might be able to see that fine line from where he's standing deep in folly territory.



December 19, 2009, 11:48 AM

Hockney was fun in the 60s with those California swimming pools but he has really deteriorated badly. I've seen nothing lately that is worth looking at and much that is just plain bad. Tom's color remark, while lurid, is not mistaken.


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 12:05 PM

"Lurid", which more literally means "wan" or "pale", is entirely the wrong word to use around Hockney's latest.

Gaudy might be more like it, but, really, it's too weak. "Like a kid's mask from Halloween in the 1970s" might cover it.



December 19, 2009, 12:45 PM

Direct from my desktop dictionary:

lu0rid (lÜr2≤d) adj.
1. Causing shock or horror; gruesome.
2. Marked by sensationalism.
3. Glowing or shining with the glare of fire through a haze.
4. Sallow or pallid in color. —lu2rid0ly adv. —lu2rid0ness n.



December 19, 2009, 12:48 PM

AND I was referring to Tom's remark, not Hockney's painting.

Correct the OP man if you will, but do so with deliberation & care.



December 19, 2009, 12:55 PM

Hockney, I suspect, has "issues" such as his aging/fading status, as well as the pressure to be a media celebrity like Hirst and Emin (especially in England). At this point, he's apparently simply trying too hard, and it shows.



December 19, 2009, 1:30 PM

No, it's not a Lichtenstein. It's older (1894) and better.

Naval Battle


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 2:01 PM

OP, you've got to know I was only partly serious. I actually read somewhere -- was it Confederacy of Dunces? -- a character complain that "livid" means pale blue and "lurid" means "pale", usually the opposite of what people mean when they use them. Constant misuse has moved their meaning, though, as evidenced by your dictionary.

I was mainly making a joke about how loud Hockney's paintings are, that even when describing a remark about them you should use garish words.

Jack, I didn't get the impression from the show that Hockney has issues. I got the strong feeling that he's really just doing what he wants and fuck everyone else. Which is commendable. The work reminds me a lot of the tempera paintings kids bring home from school: They have that complete abandon.

That abandon comes at the price of self-criticism, though, which Hockney seriously needs. He's got the color sense of a demented Fauve and the paint handling of a palsied Guston and he really needs to figure out what he's doing.

He is, alas, a better writer than a painter.



December 19, 2009, 2:04 PM

Jack, looks like an illustration of the seige of Port Arthur in 1904, when the Japanese decimated the Russian fleet. Also, a very dramatic picture.


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 2:06 PM

That print, Jack, looks nothing like a Lichtenstein, mainly because the drafting is competent. It reminds me more strongly of Hergé.

Personally I'm more interested in navel battles.



December 19, 2009, 2:23 PM

OP, this is a battle scene from the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). You're talking about the Russo-Japanese War of a decade later, which also generated woodblock prints documenting war events. The triptych format was favored for these war prints, and many of them are very effective graphically.



December 19, 2009, 2:31 PM

Here are the three sheets individually (click on image once it comes up for a better image):


As tends to be the case with triptychs, each sheet is designed to be able to stand alone.



December 19, 2009, 2:48 PM

And Chris, going by the admittedly suboptimal images of the Hockney show at the gallery site, what I sense is not abandon. Everything seems rather carefully calculated and controlled, and the color doesn't ring true, so to speak--though it's obviously meant for impact. In at least some pictures, I get a vague whiff of Dali, de Chirico and even Thomas Hart Benton. It's like retro work in Day-Glo colors. I still think he's trying too hard, and not exactly succeeding. "Painted corpse" may be too harsh, but the phrase does come to mind.



December 19, 2009, 7:28 PM

How many folks are going by the gallery website to evaluate Hockney's latest show, and how many have actually been to both venues? I still think the drawings are very decent, one large reason being that color is not an issue with them, but none of them are reproduced at the gallery website.


George R

December 19, 2009, 7:33 PM

Carmen Herrera, She’s the Hot New Thing in Painting



December 19, 2009, 7:35 PM

I'm not surprised his drawings are more successful, Piri. He can certainly draw better than many brand-namers, certainly far better than Hirst, for instance.



December 19, 2009, 7:44 PM

Piri, I remember that it was a relief to come upon some of those Celia things of Hockney's at a show of his work, because there was some virtuosic drawing in them, and I didn't have to deal with any of that seemingly deliberately bad color orchestration in them or any of his sexual preferences that he seems/seemed to want us all to know about. But I certainly did not warm up to the drawings or their subject, who came across as a kind of airhead, like a studio prop. She could as well have been an apple or something.


George R

December 19, 2009, 8:19 PM

I saw the paintings in Chelsea and liked them a lot especially the winter-summer pairs.

I don't think anyone who hasn't seen them in the gallery has a clue about their color - it's more intense in the gallery.


Chris Rywalt

December 19, 2009, 11:25 PM

I did see them in the gallery and they were more garish, if that's possible, than online.

I don't remember seeing any drawings, Piri. I don't know how I missed them, except maybe the glare from the paintings was too much.


George R

December 19, 2009, 11:36 PM

Chris, did you see the Hockneys on 57th street, or just in Chelsea? Piri saw both venues, and I just saw the ones in Chelsea.


Chris Rywalt

December 20, 2009, 1:39 AM

There are galleries outside of Chelsea? Heck, I don't even go below 20th, much less above 28th!

More seriously: I saw the Chelsea arm of the show. I didn't realize there was part uptown. I was right up there, too. I never even thought of it. Oh well.



December 20, 2009, 7:30 PM

hockney's work is always fun and
exciting to look at. he continues to
play second fiddle to his heros but
he is so much better than most of the
schlock out there. and i also like his
drawings a lot. great sensitivity. you "guys"
are being silly.



December 20, 2009, 8:10 PM

hockney's work is always fun and
exciting to look at. he continues to
play second fiddle to his heros but
he is so much better than most of the
schlock out there. and i also like his
drawings a lot. great sensitivity. you "guys"
are being silly.



December 20, 2009, 10:13 PM

Once was enough, tonight. The drawings are only at the 57th Street gallery, and they're landscapes, not figure studies. I don't say they're masterpieces, but they don't deserve the kind of contempt that was being ladled on the paintings.



December 21, 2009, 12:24 AM

Opie deserves credit for being only ten years off in his guess at the war print date, especially when you consider how young he must have been at the time. I'm surprised he still remembers the event at all...



December 21, 2009, 8:53 AM

Hey, MC. I was there, working with master spy Sidney O'Reilly.



Other Projects


Design and content ©2003-2022 Franklin Einspruch except where otherwise noted