Oscar Rejlander

24 07 2012

Oscar Rejlander was one of the fathers of photographic montage. His work is still interesting and informative.

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1857: “The Two Ways of Life”.

“Working in Wolverhampton, Oscar Rejlander took six weeks to create a seamless combination print from 32 negatives. Loosely based on a classical theme, there were two versions — both complex high Victorian tableaux. They depict the life-choices of a young man, Industry or Dissipation. It was first shown at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, when many objected to the nudity. But Royal patronage followed, and Rejlander moved to London and made his name as “the father of art photography”. His later The Bachelor’s Dream (circa 1860) is an almost proto-surrealist staged picture.”





Aubrey Beardsley

24 07 2012

Beardsley was very big in the 60s and 70s. There were posters all over walls in every student residence. There was something feminine and druggy about his work. It seemed decadent and vulgar. It seemed to me that he had become the artist of the ‘pseudo-intellectuals’. Since then he has almost disappeared from the popular scene. (Or maybe I’m just that far out of it myself.)

Aubrey Beardsley was born on August 21, 1872 in Brighton, Sussex, England. With only minimal art training, Beardsley was commissioned to illustrate an edition of Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. His highly erotic illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salomé won him notoriety but lead to a loss of work after the Wilde scandal. Beardsley, who had contracted tuberculosis at age 6, died in 1898 at age 25.

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“BEARDSLEY, AUBREY VINCENT (1872—1898), English artist in black and white, was born at Brighton on the 24th of August 1872. In 1883 his family settled in London, and in the following year he appeared in public as an “infant musical phenomenon,” playing at several concerts with his sister. In 1888 he obtained a post in an architect’s office, and afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company (1889). In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art, then under Professor Brown; and from 1893 until his death, at Mentone, on the 16th of March 1898, his work came continually before the public, arousing a storm of criticism and much hostile feeling. Beardsley had an unswerving tendency towards the fantastic of the gloomier and “unwholesome” sort. His treatment of most subjects was revolutionary; he deliberately ignored proportion and perspective, and the “freedom from convention” which he displayed caused his work to be judged with harshness. In certain phases of technique he especially excelled; and his earlier methods of dealing with the single line in conjunction with masses of black are in their way unsurpassed, except in the art of Japan, the country which probably gave his ideas some assistance. He was always an ornamentist, rather than an illustrator; and his work must be judged from that point of view. His frontispiece to Volpone is held by some to be, from this purely technical standpoint, one of the best pen-drawings of the age. His posters for the Avenue theatre and for Mr Fisher Unwin were among the first of the modern cult of that art.”