Friday, 29 November 2013

Ochre Pit Modern

Ochre Pit Modern, oil on canvas, Steven Rhude, 24"x 38", Emma Butler Gallery

"The cultivated man of today is gradually turning away from natural things, and his life is becoming more and more abstract. Natural (external) things become more and more automatic, and we observe that out vital attention fastens more and more on internal things… …Modern man –although a unity of body, mind and soul – exhibits a changed consciousness: every expression of his life has today a different aspect, that is, an aspect more positively abstract. [1]
Piet Mondrian


She asked him "what's it like to be modern?"

He could reply, but he didn't. He wanted to think.

She said, "I mean there are lots of things in cities and our homes that make us modern...

things that can change and are replaced, maybe changed for the better...

even out here in the landscape where there are trees and fields...

 but I'm not sure that necessarily makes us modern."

He thought he didn't know anymore what it was like to be modern. Many so called modernists just follow fashion.

He had this idea that modernism encompassed the world of space and time, and what was done with it. He believed Ghandi was a modernist. But maybe he was wrong.

He knew she liked the landscape around her, but he really didn't care for nature; he disliked the Netherlands because there were too many cows and fields. He especially disliked nature in painting. He was truly a flatlander. He liked his white paint flat - flake white flat.

For him the white was never flat enough. Space was never flat enough. Objects were intimidating - they needed to be flattened. Better yet, they had to go.

The ethos of place was precision to him; the only thing modern to him now was pure arrangement.

She said: "you gonna think all day or give me an answer?"

He said: "Trees! How ghastly!".

She left him and went down to the wharf. She needed to get out on the water.



[1] Piet Mondrian - * source, famous Dutch people life quotes: ‘De Nieuwe beelding in de Schilderkunst’, Piet Mondriaan, in ‘De Stijl’ No. 1, October 1917; as quoted in ”Letters of the great artists”, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London 1963, pp. 234-236.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS










Monday, 25 November 2013

Passing through Dildo and toponyms to remember

The place name "Dildo" is attested in this area since at least 1711, though how this came to be is unknown. The origin of the word "dildo" itself is obscure. It was once used to reference a phallus-shaped pin stuck in the edging of a row boat to act as a pivot for the oar (also known as a "thole pin" or "dole pin.") [1]


Passing Through Dildo, oil on canvas, 35"x 60", Steven Rhude, Emma Butler Gallery

The Rock isn't just known for its colourful buildings and people. Newfoundland place names have inspired some of the most lively discussions over the centuries and, in many instances avoided sanitising by a 1904 Nomenclature Board, that according to Gordon Hancock (faculty member at Memorial University and a member of the Advisory Committee on Toponymic Research) was formed to eliminate postal code chaos and what at the time was considered to be "local embarassment that resulted from duplicate or unfortunate toponyms".  

The town's unusual name has brought it a certain amount of notoriety in the same vein as Fucking, Austria; Anus, France; Nob End, England; Effin, Ireland; Twatt, Scotland; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Bald Knob, West Virginia; and Wankum, Germany. [2]


Detail

In Scott Walden's fascinating book, Places Lost - In search of Newfoundland's Resettled Communities, he remarks on  how Dildo was intended to be replaced with Port Dornier, a much less memorable place name to say the least. South Dildo was to be replaced with the pedestrian "Avenue River."


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In other communities under siege by those pesky name changers "Joe Batts Arm" survived the ever boring name of "Queenstown", and Hibbs Hole was to be made appropriate for any modern map with a modest alteration to Hibbs Cove.


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One potential place name change which is truly baffling was the attempt to politicize "Little Catalina" into "Orangeville".

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In most cases the attempts to change community names met with resistance. Even Confederation played a role in name changes. The Newfoundland community name of "Regina" received official sanction in 1913 but was later changed to "Reginaville" to avoid confusion with Saskatchewan's capital of Regina. However, resistance has many forms and the residents still call their place - Regina.

Dildo, Wikipedia [1], [2]

Recommended reading - Places Lost - In Search of Newfoundland's Resettled Communities

Steven Rhude,Wolfville, NS 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Studies of Old Masters


After Michelangelo, graphite, 14"x 12", Steven Rhude



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After Michelangelo - Pieta, Florence, Santa Maria del Fiora - Head of Nicodemus.


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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Studies of Old Masters

In about 1614 - 1615 Rubens made some studies in connection with a Christ on the Cross painting. One in particular stood out for me. The original now in the London British Museum was drawn with Black and White chalk, and some bistre wash. It measures 21"x 15".  


Study after Rubens, chalk, 40"x 32", Steven Rhude



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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series - Ophelia



Ophelia, chalk, 40"x 32", Steven Rhude



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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Lost Drawings Series

Possibly seen near a stream.


Study of a Tree Branch, Graphite on paper, 11"x 14", Steven Rhude


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Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS