The Polyartists

Couture died today.

Yves Saint Laurent was obviously a huge force in fashion.  Reading his obituary today I couldn't believe that he took over from Dior when he was just 21 years old.  Truly a talented man.

One of the most fantastic aspects about art is when brilliance inspires even more brilliance. YSL's most iconic piece is of course the Mondrian dress.  The dress is memorable not because of its homage to the great paintings that precede it, but due to the way the designer interpreted the landscape of Mondrian into his own work.  It is not a pastiche, but something that stands as a success on its own.

This weekend I discovered some new work by Gerhard Richter - a series of six paintings titled Cage (1-6).  The identically sized paintings dominate a single room of the Tate Gallery, each realised in a similar style of smearing paint horizontally across the canvas. The work is inspired by Cage's music and his Lecture On Nothing.   They seem to have a sound of their own - colour fighting to get through the noise of the layers that smother from above.


Cage was himself inspired by art, keeping the company of artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenburg (who also recently past away) - Rauschenburg's White Paintings were a direct influence on Cage's signature piece 4'33".  I find these connections fascinating - they form a road map to our cultural history.

Literature is perhaps the more commonly accepted cousin to music, but for me the visual arts have always been the most inspirational, capturing emotion far beyond the written word - having the ability to motivate and push you to constantly strive for more within your own work.  

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