Re: Cover Art

Illocutions

The image looming in a feculent pother over this blog is Goya’s ‘Witches’ Sabbath’ from his Pinturas negras, his Black Paintings, a series of fourteen murals not-untimely ripped from the Quinta del Sardo after the artist’s death and housed reverentially now in a kind of sacristy of the Prado. Would that they were hung among the dunnest smokes of Hell. They are bloody, rancid, corrupt, shockingly modern. As scatological as they are eschatological, they churn with the fleshy nausea of the Isenheim Grünewald and the raw formal weirdness of El Greco, yet are possessed also of a ghoulish intimacy, like Dutch genre-scenes from a Boschian phantasm. At the same time, their proto-expressionism is obvious: Kokoschka’s viscosity is here, curdled with the awful sensuality that informs Soutine’s slabs of meat. The pulsing messes to which Goya reduces his human groups prefigures Bacon’s biomorphs, each punctured by the haunted eyes out of a Dix or Grosz. They are paintings not…

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