Glasgow is out to prove that WHISTLER created more than art for art’s sake in the biggest-ever display of his work.
v r Ruth Hedges
\t't‘}ttlte ltt\ e\ [U \neet‘ til
.-\nteriean\ it's a happ}
British pastime. laughing \lllllgi} \xith ottr 'oh- so eutting‘ iron}. hrilliant \xit and hlaek hutnour ii]tt\L‘ Yanks are \tt stupid. the} iuxt don‘t get it. l-.\en \liehaei \loot‘e \tt}\ \H. :\ttd M) ii\ lit) surprise titat .lamex .\le.\'eil Whistler. horn ll .lui_\ lh’34. |.o\\e|i. .\iu\\ilL'illl\Cll\. \\a\ regarded as something oi a )ttllllg' pretender to he huntoured. \otttelitnex adittit‘ed. httt not taken altogetlter \eriotlxi} h_\ tlte iiuropean art extahlishment.
Respeet eatne pttxlilllliittihi). and in the \\ttl‘ti\ ol' lt‘iltt“ pond hopper. ii/ra l’ound. ‘he lel't the message it uould seem h} aeeident: that heing horn in Ameriea is no excuse for heing eontent with a paroehial standardf
Whistler \\;t\ to lea\ e the ['8 in 1855. ne\er to return. :\n Ameriean itt l’arix. art Amertean in London he “as a hon \ixeur utth radieal llL‘\\ ideas
ahottt painting. lie eoined the phrase 'art lot" art's \ake' pattern. dexigtt. \Hlxlhl tlte onl} reason he attd ()\e;tt' \Vilde
and his l'axeination \tith aesthetics hat‘tttott)‘ \\ L‘l‘t‘ mates.
Sparring partners. \Vhixtler pt'm ed that ex en a l.ttddite \\ ith an east coast draul eould engage in \\ itt_\ repartee “Hit the hext oi 'ent. \Vilde e\ en nieked Quite a ten oi \\'lti.\tle't".\ aphorixmx. as tlte iamous e\ehange Wilde: ‘l \xixh i had \aid that.‘
hL‘l“ L‘L‘lt [item \ito\\,\ \Vhixtler: ‘You \\ ill. ()xear. _\ou \\ i||.'
'i‘ilix )L‘ut‘ i.\ the L‘L‘lilL‘llttt'} Ui-
\\'lti\tlei".\ death and the lltmterian .-\rt (Ballet) is staging the higgext M et‘ eelehration oi his lite and \\Ul'i\\ and has seemed the loan ol‘ his most latttotts painting. Arrangement in (iret‘ um/ Ii/ui‘k No 1: Portrait oil/1e l’ttiitlt'r".\ .llulltt'r. lh’7l. ‘l‘m delighted lilttl i’ut‘ix iiitx agreed [it
lend the .ilnlltr't'.‘ \tl}.\ senior eurator l’ameia Rtth‘l'iNUIl. 'ilK going l0 he Mt Ilil'iiiiltg lit l'iltttli} \L‘L‘
her hanging on that \tall.'
The pieture oi the stoieal mother. austere and muted. helie,\ the labour oi ime that \tent into its exeetttion. Whistler “th notorious iot‘ the endless ~sittings he made models endure. hill the modelling lahours \tere oi'ten oi lo\ e. too. .loanna ilil'l'ernan. the heatttii‘ul redhead \\ ho posed for the ieonie htit xeattdalous St‘ntp/imrt‘ in \i'ltilt'. .\'o I: The ll'ltrit' (it'r/ heeame his itH er for man} years. Later. .\laud Franklin. who modelled tor. Symphony in /‘/<'\/I
SlHVd 'AVSUOQ .13an O
Arrangement in Grey and Black No 1: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother, 1871
l'nuxuall} ior an artist ol~ hix limes. \Vhixtler \ixited \qttalid innx. roamed ahout the titl‘h\ltiL‘ oi the 'i'hamex and immer\ed ltitnxeli iii the dirt} old tottn. ‘ln lilthk‘
da_\\ the ‘l‘hamex \\a\ an open sewer.‘ \a_\\ Rtthet'lxttti.
‘The Thames was an open sewer and Whistler found beauty in it’
‘lt \tax. tor man}. a \}mhol oi deslilulion and _\ou’d jump oli the hridge it )our lii'e \xax no longer \torth li\tng. it had thine eonnotationx and \\'hi\tler l'ound heaut} in it.‘
l‘ilittii}. \Vhixller illllh radical \iL‘P\ It)\\;tl‘ti\
ahxtraetion \\iiil his Nurturiu' series. The murk}. mtxterioux times oi in- het\\een txtilight. daun. duxk had indistinct. ha/_\ qttaliliex [ital alloued Whistler the lt'eedom to e\plore paint \xithout the eitnxlt’ielioth ol' deiinite torm.
(ilaxgou has long heen at the ioreiront ior \Vhtstler researeh. home to one oi the \lt'itttge\l permanent
eoileetionx and \o it is \tholl} lilting that it should he pla) ing host to the higgest eelehration ot' thix enigmatie
artist. The programme ineludex a \ariet} oi e\hihttion\.
('o/ntu‘ and Pink: Portrait (trill/ix l-‘mm'm [AW/(HUI.
stepped off the eam'as to heeome a real lite x} mphon}
0i ﬂesh and pink.
86 THE LIST J .-
ttnearthing hundreds oi prinh and paintings lrom the arehi\e\ attd hot‘t‘imittg others tt'om galleries \xorld— \\itiL‘. iilL‘i'L‘ \\iii itth he IiiL‘ [ilii‘ile'ttlittli (ti ilHlilil letteix trom \Vhistler‘s eorrexptindenee.
So mumm_\'\ eoming home. the neo-ahxtraet paintings are to he eelehtated. the mixxnex on hie. lo\ e. art. tashion and squalor are going to he opened tip tor our e} ex and a series or related iilntx \xili he \ereened. i)ttil.i \\ L‘ ithi itt\C ittlt' ;tl‘ii\l\ onee the} .i'L' dead'.’
Whistler 2003 exhibitions open at the Hunterian
Gallery, Glasgow on Sat 21 Jun. See listings.
News from the v. one 0" art
THE FIRST OF TWO exhibitions accompanying the Glenfiddich 2003 Artist in Residence programme has now opened at the Glentiddich distillery in Dufftown. Featuring recent work by the eight participating artists which includes Roderick Buchanan.Jacquehne Donachie and Matthieu Laurette. the fruits of their residency will be shown in a second exhibition from Friday 15 August. Also. at the Arts and Business awards in May. Glenfiddich won the celebrated Visionary Sponsorship award for their programme which was applauded for leading the way and creating a residency programme which looks “set to become one of the most prestigious in the world'.
Bishop Briggs by Roderick Buchanan
KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY and Museum in Glasgow will be closing its doors to the public on Sunday 29 June to allow work to start on its £25.5m refurbishment, the Kelvingrove New Century Project. With plans to reopen in 2006, you can still see some of Kelvingrove's impressive collection at the McLellan Galleries on Sauchiehall Street.