Tag Archives: Curt Barnes

The Quinces Again, A Pile of French Novels, and Other Rainy Day Pursuits

I could not seem to leave van Gogh’s Quinces alone, particularly after my friend Curt* alerted me to abstracts by Serge Poliakoff. I intended to do more with the Quince collage above, but a Poliakoff cut-out admonished me that it wished to stand alone.

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Melon and Lemon, Quince and Marguerite

Gaughin had many talents, as we know. I was, however, completely unaware of his talent for still life—until I ran across Melon and Lemon (c. 1900), in which he shows us what makes a lemon such a magnificent object to depict. So, of course, I had to make a collage (actually two) of this painting. Above, you’ll find the lemon and melon superimposed on Tamara Lempicka’s Abstract Composition (1960).

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Deconstructing Edward Hopper

Collage using detail of Edward Hopper’s New York Office

Okay, “deconstructing” is a bit lofty to describe the Hopper-based collages posted here, but viewing “Edward Hopper’s New York” at the Whitney proved too great a temptation to resist.

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Guest Post: Curt Barnes on the Bach Cello Suites, African Masks, and Collective Genius

Ngil Society mask from the Fang people, Gabon

Ngil Society mask from the Fang people, Gabon

If you are moved by Mischa Maisky’s or Anner Bylsma’s versions of the Bach cello suites, does it matter that they’re not the way Bach heard them? I like Baroque cellists’ interpretations of the Bach suites, which may be closer to his intentions, but I absolutely wouldn’t be without modern interpretation. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin are another example: they are available in Baroque renditions, but my favorites are played with more vibrato and expression, in a post-Romantic style. And the Goldberg Variations? Like many I prefer them played on an instrument Bach never heard, the modern piano, with nuance not available to him, and I would bridle at these versions being called “illegitimate.” Seeking to justify my bias, I came to my own conclusions about it after connecting it to Robert Goldwater’s theory of African masks. Continue reading

Contemporaneous Turns Five with a Flourish: Curt Barnes and Prufrock Report

David Bloom conducts Contemporaneous at DiMenna © 2015 Dominica Eriksen. Used with kind permission.

David Bloom conducts Contemporaneous at DiMenna © 2015 Dominica Eriksen. Used with kind permission.

On March 7, 2015, Contemporaneous reached a new milestone: the ensemble turned five years old, and it did so with a flourish. Curt Barnes and Prufrock report: Continue reading