Since our last issue Laurence Fuller and I have been working with the TATE to increase public interest in Peter Fuller’s work and his archives at the TATE. As part of TATE public programmes they will be hosting a lecture on Peter Fuller around the 20th Anniversary of his death in April 2010. We are also looking at screening Peter’s documentaries at the same time. We will be working with the archive department to increase the Peter Fuller material we publish in Art Influence, and the Peter Fuller Memorial Foundation will be hosting the Memorial Lecture at another venue for the 20th Anniversary.
In this issue we have published archival material and started a new section titled Peter Fuller Articles that can be downloaded as PDFs. In his last review Peter discusses the London School of painters and a young artist Simon Edmondson who was exhibiting at Nicola Jacobs Gallery in Cork St at the time. Since then Edmondson has become an artist of international standing exhibiting in Europe and South America. His paintings continue to be as Peter described them 19 years ago: concerned with “inner space” and imaginative reason.
Since Peter died I have moved many times, and each time I come across something of his I’d forgotten I still had. In a drawer by my desk were folders of this nature that I’d collected but hadn’t looked through to see what they contained. We are publishing most of them this issue, including the two last articles he wrote the week he died and a small number of his obituaries and reviews of the launch of Modern Painters. There was another folder containing correspondence between Anthony Caro and Peter which we will publish next issue along with a video interview of Sir Anthony Caro by Laurence Fuller.
In 1987 the Barbican interview between Peter Fuller and Cecil Collins was recorded by a member of the audience. The interview was recently transcribed and edited for the Cecil Collins Memorial Conference at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in Feb 2009. We have edited the interview further and publish it this issue, and in it Collins reveals and clarifies some interesting points about his involvement with the Surrealists and the paintings of Francis Bacon.
Other articles include a review by Robin Wallace-Crabbe of Pan Macmillan’s Art of Australia, Volume 1: Exploration to Federation by John McDonald, that well written and beautifully illustrated volume on Australian Colonial Art History. Originally commissioned in the early 90s by another publisher, the planned Volumes 2 & 3 should be easier to write with such great publishing support behind the project. An excerpt from another book Art & Ritual: A Painter’s Journeyby Stephen Newton describes the dream image process and contextualizes it in relation to ancient ritual traditions such as Australian Aboriginal art and African art. He uses the process to explain the use of dream images in modern day western painting. Nevermind wends its way through a philosophical discussion on the ‘art world’ and its strange relationship with language, and questions the idea that it is what an artist does rather than what she makes that is important. This is an argument at odds with Stephen Newton’s hypothesis in Art & Ritual, but then Newton’s argument assumes that the discussion is about a ‘good’ artist rather than a contemporary one.
In Memories Diane Simmons reminisces about her initial meeting with Peter, his friends and his unusual maternity ward conversations when Diane and I both had caesareans and our babies by coincidence shared a name. When Modern Painters began Peter asked Diane to transcribe interviews for him and assist with his work on the magazine. Diane provides a personal view of what Peter’s working home life was like.