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Of The Humanities - A Visual Arts Site 2004-2016 / Archive . . . . ???:Click for Music



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". . . . . Paper cutouts became Matisse's favored exploratory medium and, until the end of his life, the dominant medium of expression . . . .

The remarkable career of Henri Matisse, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, whose stylistic innovations (along with those of Pablo Picasso) fundamentally altered the course of modern art and affected the art of several generations of younger painters, spanned almost six and a half decades . . . . Sculpture was another medium pursued by Matisse since his early years, and although independent in expression, it was frequently used to find a solution to pictorial problems or became an inspiration to painting. . . . . Matisse's creativity extended into the area of graphic arts and book illustration, the latter begun when he was already in his sixties, with the illustrations to Stéphane Mallarmé's 'Poésies' (1932), and culminated with the cutout compositions (1943 - 44) for his book 'Jazz' (published in 1947). But the crowning achievement of Matisse's career was the commission for the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence (1948 - 51), for which he created all the wall decorations, Stations of the Cross, furniture, stained-glass windows, even the vestments and altarcloths. The beauty and simplicity of this project constituted Matisse's spiritual Gesamtkunstwerk and attested to his creative genius." - Henri Matisse (1869-1954) ('Timelines of Art History' - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)



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The Still Life in Northern Europe - Still Life with Römer, Flute Glass, Earthenware Jug and Pipes, 1651. Oil on canvas by Van der Velde- "A few shiny objects contrast with a dark, empty background. The table seems to have been carelessly deserted after a meal. Oysters, chestnuts and a lemon are lying around" . . . . . . . Vanitas Still Life, c. 1620-30. Oil on panel 91 x 120 cm. Attributed to Jan Lievens - (). "A pile of old books and a lute lie untidily on a stone slab. In the background are two globesGlobeA globe is a sphere representing the earth or one of the planets. A scale model globe would often be mounted on a stand to be placed on a table and turned on its axis.. In the foreground a small still life picturing a jug, a glass and a loaf of bread has been painted within the still life." . . . . . . . "Imitation has always been the sincerest form of flattery, not least in art. To quote a fellow artist was a sign of respect. Dirck Hals, for example, borrowed elements from a work by Buytewech. But 'Imitation and Inspiration' also features paintings that imitate sculpture and a relief by an Indian sculptor who evidently drew inspiration from European art. For years, Venetian glass was copied by glassblowers elsewhere, just as cabinetmakers copied French furniture designs. Imitation of technology is another interesting aspect. For example, European craftsmen tried to copy Oriental lacquer work and attempts to imitate porcelain led to the development of delftware pottery. A unique example of imitation in art is an Indian painting of a Roman soldier. The original source can be traced back to prints by the Haarlem artist Goltzius." - (The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) - Search for: Still Life . . . . . . . -"Here the effects of light, texture, and color make the painting itself an object of rare craftsmanship, like the Turkish table carpet, the silver tray, and the late Ming bowl. The fruits have been worn and toned down by past cleanings, and the whole painting has darkened with age."- Still Life with Fruit, Glassware, and a Wan-li Bowl, 1659 by Willem Kalf (Dutch, 1619-1693). Oil on canvas; 23 x 20 in. (58.4 x 50.8 cm) - The Still Life in the Timelines of Art History) . . . . . . . Still-Life Painting in Northern Europe, 1600-1900 - "In general, the rise of still-life painting in the Northern and Spanish Netherlands (mainly in the cities of Antwerp, Middelburg, Haarlem, Leiden, and Utrecht) reflects the increasing urbanization of Dutch and Flemish society, which brought with it an emphasis on the home and personal possessions, commerce, trade, learning --all the aspects and diversions of everyday life . . . . .

The French painters Jean Siméon Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Oudry are among the many eighteenth-century heirs to the Netherlandish tradition." - (From Timelines of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC)


Chardin - Water Glass and Jug c. 1760. Oil on canvas, 32,5 x 41 cm. Chardin. Description. Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute - Pittsburgh, PA. "Chardin remained the great magician-painter whose canvases deceived the eye by their tremendous realism, down to the very textures of the objects painted . . . . . . . (A) French painter of still lifes and domestic scenes remarkable for their intimate realism and tranquil atmosphere and the luminous quality of their paint. . . . they form in fact a logical extension of the lives that Chardin's genre pictures depict. . . . . " - (Web Gallery of Art, Emil Kren and Daniel Mars)


Ignace-Henri-Jean-Theodore Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904) - Still Life with Roses and Fruit - 1863. Bequest of Alice A. Hay, 1987 (1987.119). "In this Early Painting, which is interesting for its slightly eccentric, off-balance composition, the artist had yet to achieve the extraordinary realism associated with his still lifes of the mid- to late 1860s" - (Metropolitan Museum, NYC)


Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906)- Dish of Apples, ca. 1875 - 77. Oil on canvas; 18 1/8 x 21 3/4 in. (46 x 55.2 cm). "This rich and dense still life, with a napkin shaped like Mont Sainte-Victoire, was painted about 1875-77 in the house of Cézanne's father in Aix. The artist painted the decorative screen visible in the background when a very young man." - (Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC)


René Magritte - La condition humaine, 1933. - "At first, one automatically assumes that the painting on the easel depicts the portion of the landscape outside the window that it hides from view. After a moment's consideration, however, one realizes that this assumption is based upon a false premise: that is, that the imagery of Magritte's painting is real, while the painting on the easel is a representation of that reality. In fact, there is no difference between them. Both are part of the same painting, the same artistic fabrication. It is perhaps to this repeating cycle, in which the viewer, even against his will, sees the one as real and the other as representation, that Magritte's title makes reference." - (National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC)


And Production stills from "Humor" (2003) - Elizabeth Murray (American, b. 1940) belongs to a generation of artists who emerged in the 1970s and whose exposure to Cubist-derived Minimalism and Surrealist-influenced Pop inspired experimentation with new modes of expression that would bridge the gap between these two historical models. In this context, Murray has produced a singularly innovative body of work. Warping, twisting, and knotting her constructed canvases, she has given the elastic shapes of classic surrealism a space in their own image. (MOMA, NY) - "A pioneer in painting, Murray's distinctively shaped canvases break with the art-historical tradition of illusionistic space in two-dimensions. Jutting out from the wall and sculptural in form, Murray's paintings and watercolors playfully blur the line between the painting as an object and the painting as a space for depicting objects." - ("Tell me about 'Bop'.") - "Well it has some predecessors. For a couple of years I've been working with cutting out shapes and kind of glomming them together and letting it go where it may. Like basically making a zigzag shape and making a rectangular shape and a circular bloopy fat cloudy shape and just putting them all together and sort of letting the cards fall where they may. And I don't know why I am doing it this way. What I want more than anything else in my life and in my painting is, however I get there, for things to unify and for things to come together. . . . " (Murray) (Art in the Twenty-first Century)

PBS program on 21st Century Art - "What goes on inside the minds of today's most dynamic visual artists? How do they make the leap between insight and finished object? What inspires artists to break through the barriers of convention to arrive at new ways of seeing? These and other intriguing questions are explored in the Seasons of 'Art:21 - Art in the Twenty-First Century,' the only series on national public television to focus exclusively on contemporary art and the people who create it. Like the great biennial art exhibitions that regularly showcase current artistic activity, Art:21 returns to television every two years to profile working artists who build our living culture with each painting, sculpture, photograph or installation that they create." - (Posted by jk on the blog: 'Rose-Colored Glasses' at 10:15 PM | November 14, 2005)


THE WORK FEATURED ABOVE: - Henri Matisse. Goldfish and Palette. Paris, quai Saint-Michel, fall 1914. Oil on canvas, 57 3/4 x 44 1/4" (146.5 x 112.4 cm). Gift and bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx. 2005 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. The collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) . . . . . . . MUSIC: - by Scarlatti (1660 - 1725). "When he was 12 he was sent to Rome, where he may have studied with Carissimi. He married in 1678 and later that year was appointed maestro di cappella of San Giacomo degli Incurabili (now 'in Augusta'). By then he had already composed at least one opera (the title is unknown and it was not performed) and a second, 'Gli equivoci nel sembiante,' was a resounding success in 1679. It confirmed Scarlatti in his chosen career as an opera composer and attracted the attention of Queen Christina of Sweden, who made him her maestro di cappella." - (Classical Music Pages, Middle Baroque Epoch - Extracted from 'The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music' edited by Stanley Sadie � Macmillan Press Ltd., London.)


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