woensdag 24 maart 2010

Lucebert '50s '60s Photography Cobra Joan van der Keuken

Lucebert's chief claim to fame is as a poet, painter and member of the Cobra group. Not many people know of his interest in photography in the fifties and sixties. At the beginning of the fifties, curious about the medium and wanting to photograph his children, he started to experiment. In the years that followed he undertook several journeys which he documented extensively. One of them was to Berlin, where he spent some time in 1955 at the invitation of Bertolt Brecht, followed in 1956 by a visit Bulgaria at the request of the Bulgarian writers' association.

Lucebert was first and foremost a photographer of people: he aimed his camera at colleagues, his children or street scenes, and made remarkable portraits of his artist-friends. Photography was an emotional rather than a rational activity to him. Atmosphere was a particularly important element, for that is what gave his photographs their poetic charge. The important thing about both his photography and poetry was that both were the result of a sudden impulse. By that token Lucebert saw a closer connection between photography and poetry than between photography and painting.

LUCEBERT, Time and Goodbye

This portrait of the artist and poet Lucebert, the author of unseemly, almost child-like drawings, is in fact constructed from three films: black-and-white collages from 1962, a colour film from 1966 and an epilogue which was made in 1994 after the artist's death. These drawings, naive and rudimentary in their expression but also highly charged, seemingly exacted an equally robust form on Van der Keuken's film and its many details. The robust gestures of this distinctive painter dictate the expressive tempo of the director's collage, which overflows with colour, shapes and analogies. The artist's work developed alongside children, and the film's soundtrack often contains the sound of children's games, perhaps the echo of the painter's longed-for innocence. It is not until the very end that the walk through the studio, with its numerous contrapuntal colour-spray images, slows down its pace and lets in the light.... We see a hand which appears to seek shared relief in Lucebert's works.

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