Saturday, January 21, 2006

 
German Art Week Day 5

Karl Valentine (born 1882) was an artist, filmmaker, cabaret star. But more radically I think of him as a very early performance artist who, in a way that seems ahead of it's time, made his body into a work of art. His unstable and sickly form was a presented as a kind of critique of the unstable and sick society he lived in and his comedy spoke of the grotesque idiocy of the world. Like Charlie Chaplin whom he is often compared with, Valentin was a comedic genius, but Valentin had an scathing edge chaplin didn't have. He was skeletally thin and lanky and used his body like a dancer, his contortions underlined the tone of the time, a frightening moment between the world wars when political tensions were running high and the Nazis were coming into power. Mark Stevens from a review of the 2004 show of the Comic Grotesque at the Neue Galerie points out
“Artists associated with Dada savaged the body, mocking both art and the larger “body politic.”
Think Hannah Hoch, John Heartfield, Georg Scholz.

Valentin worked closely with Liesl Karlstadt. (pictured below left) They were partners on and off the stage for most of his life. But Valentin was a hypochondriac, she tired of taking care of him, he spent her fortune and she tried to kill herself, eventually they parted ways.

Valentin lived in Munich where kept a museum of his stage props costumes, photographs, and Dadaist objects. If you go to Munich, go see his museum, it’s unbelievable, the whole building is a work of art, I remember there being a leg coming out of a wall, exactly like a Gober.

Comments:
just wanted to say thanks so very much for german painters week
it has been really inspiring-better than my wildest expectations
as someone who knows from overworking a painting-some of my paintings have 15 other paintings under them
I felt your pain earlier this week and I just wanted to agree with MM you've got great instincts just go with it
 
15 paintings in 1 has got to be a selling point to be exploited. I say do a show of one painting with an archive of infrared scans and x-rays of the underpaintings. Let science sort it out.
Thanks for the kind words Gree c.and I second your sentiments about Sea Monkey coming back.
 
dear corny, there are currently 3 paintings au shaq that are frozen in a state of acute fear and paralysis. do you have any advice for a blocked sloth?

sincerely, anonymous.
 
Corny, I'm with Gree C. I was reminded of things and learned a lot of new things this week. Thank you for your excellent work (as always.)
 
Enjoyed a lot! » »
 
You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it »
 
Enjoyed a lot! » »
 
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