kim pieters studio

 

 

‘the guitar lesson’

seven paintings
2018

As ‘the guitar lesson’ paintings were being made in the New Zealand summer of 2018, they attracted to them (through the artist herself; her reach), a homage to the spanish painter joan miró (1893-1983). pieters’ paintings being non-representational have a tendency to be ‘sticky’:     memory, philosophy, politics and poetry form into and out of them in a continual negotiation. ((if these thoughts interest you you may enjoy ‘letter to X’ a more thorough discussion of the artists practice. find it HERE.))

One of the orbits that manifested itself was this particular artist and a lesson his life taught her because of a book she had found in the dunedin public library. before this new information, she had known very little about miró. excerpts found in flimsy remainder books, the odd art gobbledegook essay that didn’t say very much or replicated an acceptable fable. the ‘soundbite’ that had come through for her had been that  joan miró … was a happy, joyous character, slightly naïve. the work itself she had enjoyed. it often used strong primary colours and the hand of a child/not child.

In the book there was a chronological reference section which was packed with letters that miró himself had written; of events and places which were part of his studio life in the time the book catalogued. miró, contrary to her ‘soundbite’  in fact held an anger in him. like many other artists his use of the child’s gesture was deliberate. a revolt against fascist values. part of his practice was specifically anti-painting and for good reason.

Less than one hundred years ago, miró had lived through the horror of europe’s two world wars: the 1918 flu pandemic which killed at least 17 million people and the great depression of the 1930’s.  his own country, Spain, experienced a terrible civil war that resulted in the victory of the fascist Franco. 

It is curious how limited information produces these ‘soundbite’ glosses (our internet memes) that we often accept unanalysed and badly understood, yet they influence us and confirm our sympathies. what ARE our sympathies? what do they say about ourselves? these glazes are not unlike the daily news, fake news, misinformation, propaganda, superstition and gossip of any time. and this information may or may not hold to any ethical use.

‘the guitar lesson’ for her was a lesson in the need to make the effort to ask each time: what are the actualities behind these extracts? whose interests are being served by them? what is being forgotten in them and why? what is the end game of such thinking? what are its general ethics? what does she think? does she care? if she can answer these questions. she can act and she does.

the book was called ‘I’m going to smash their guitar’

 

 

Joan Miró 1917-1934 catalogue to the exhibition “La Naissance du Mode“
(Birth of the World)

in Galerie 1, Centre Pompidou,
3 March to 28th June. Paris. France. 2004.

note by albert caeiro july 2020 dunedin. aotearoa. new zealand.

‘pastoral’

 

 

600mm x 600mm
mixed media on board
1/7   ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

‘untitled (nude descending the stair)’

 

 

600mm x 600mm
mixed media on board
2/7  ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

sold

‘dutch interior II’

 

 

1200mm x 1200mm
mixed media on board
3/7  ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

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‘portrait of mistress mills 1750’

 

 

1200mm x 1200mm
mixed media on board
4/7   ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

sold

‘spanish dancer’

 

 

440mm x 440mm
mixed media on board
5/7 ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

sold

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‘portrait of mm B’

 

 

310mm x 310mm
mixed media on board
6/7 ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

sold

‘landscape (the grasshopper’

 

 

310mm x 310mm
mixed media on board
7/7 ‘the guitar lesson’ suite

sold

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<<<<<click on image to download a basic catalogue of  ‘the guitar lesson’ series of paintings ( 20MB)

 

 

 

<<<<<click on image to download a full catalogue of ‘the guitar lesson’ series of paintings (45MB)

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