Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Blue and White and Stripes

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
and White and Stripes

in Art

How artists compose these elements.

Lake Superior
Lawren Harris (1885-1970), Canadian
Oil on canvas, 50" x 44" (w x h), circa 1923
The Thomson Collection,
Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

Source Wiki edited:
In May 1920, Harris, J. E. H. MacDonald, Franklin Carmichael, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, and Frederick Varley, formed the noted Group of Seven. In the fall of 1921, Harris ventured to Lake Superior's North Shore, where he'd return annually for the next seven years. While his urban and Algoma paintings of the late 1910s and early 1920s were characterized by rich, bright colors, and decorative compositional motifs, the discovery of Lake Superior as a source of subject material meant the depiction of what Jackson called a "sublime order". Harris conveyed the spiritual side to the scene through a more austere, simplified style, with a limited palette.

In 1924, a sketching trip with A.Y. Jackson to Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies marked the beginning of Harris' mountain subjects, which he continued to explore with annual sketching trips until 1928, exploring areas around Banff National Park, Yoho National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park.

In 1930, Harris went on his last extended sketching trip, traveling to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and Labrador aboard the Royal Canadian Mounted Police supply ship and ice breaker, the SS. Beothic, for two months, completing over 50 sketches. The Arctic canvases that he developed from the oil panels marked the end of his landscape period.

Still Life with Blue and White Tablecloth
Louisa Matthiasdottir (1917-2000) Icelandic American
Oil on canvas, 52" x 40" (w x h), 1994
Reynolds Gallery,
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Source Wiki edited:
Louisa Matthiasdottir grew up in Reykjavik's noted Höfði house, a private residence at that time. It's now best known as the location for the 1986 Reykjavík Summit meeting of President Ronald Reagan of the United States and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union.

She showed artistic ability at an early age, and studied first in Denmark and then in Paris. Her early paintings, dating from the late 1930s, established her as a leading figure in the Icelandic avant-garde community. In these paintings her subjects are painted with a broad brush, emphasizing geometric form.

Portrait of Woman
with Blue and White Striped Blouse

William H. Johnson (1901-1970), American
Tempera on paperboard, 22" x 28" (w x h), circa 1940-42
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Source Wiki edited:
Born in Florence, South Carolina, he became a student at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He later lived and worked in France, where he was exposed to modernism. After Johnson married Danish textile artist Holcha Krake, the couple lived for some time in Scandinavia. There he was influenced by the strong folk art tradition. The couple moved to the United States in 1938. Johnson eventually found work as a teacher at the Harlem Community Art Center, through the Federal Art Project.

Johnson's style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style, for which he is best known. A substantial collection of his paintings, watercolors, and prints is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has organized and circulated major exhibitions of his works.

Sam Tchakalian (1929-2004) Chinese American
Monotype, 18" x 12" (w x h), 1987

Source Moderism edited:
Sam Tchakalian's art has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Sam Tchakalian, a painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born in Shanghai, China in 1929. His family relocated to California in 1947 and, after serving in the U.S. Army, Tchakalian enrolled in San Francisco City College, where he received his AA degree in 1950, his BA in 1952, and finally his MFA in 1958. His oil paintings created with a palette knife are complicated reveals of layers of color. They are the signposts of Northern California abstract gestural painting. He taught at California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, the College of San Mateo, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and for 35 years at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Kenneth Baker in an exhibition review in 1991 wrote: "For many years Tchakalian has made abstract paintings consisting of broad horizontal bands applied in expansive, undemonstrative, gestures, But Tchakalian is much more a materialist than color field painters like Helen Frankenthaler or Olitski... Part of the art of Tchakalian's work is in leaving every canvas looking as fresh as if he had finished it at one go."

Peinture 162 x 130 cm, 9 juillet 1961 /
Painting 162 x 130 cm, July 9, 1961

Pierre Soulages (1919-2022), French
Oil on canvas, 52" x 61" (w x h), 1961
Christies 2020 Paris auction
sold: $5,790,000 USD

Source Christies edited:
Pierre Soulages said, "I do not depict, I paint. I do not represent, I present." Against a bone-white ground, broad strokes of black and Prussian blue build a right-angled structure of bold, rhythmic power. Horizontal beams span the canvas like bird's wings. Pitch-dark bars of black hang to the left, bringing the work into imposing tension. With his scraped scraping technique, Soulages pulls back the still-wet blue and black pigment with drags of a homemade spatula, revealing bright gleams and halos of light. The drama of the painting, which stands as tall as a person, is present.

Study for Treatise on the Veil
Cy Twombly (1928-2011), American
Drawing paper, transparent adhesive tape,
wax crayon, pencil, colored pencil, and ink,
39" x 27" (w x h), 1970
The Menil Collection, Houston

Source: Gagosian and Wiki edited:
For Treatise on the Veil (1970) Twombly had in mind a particular piece of musique by composer Pierre Henry from the early 1950s, which amplified the sound of a cloth sheet being torn apart, and relates to the idea of the veil.

Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly Jr. (1928-2011) was an American painter, sculptor and photographer. Twombly is said to have influenced younger artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat. His best-known works are large-scale, freely-scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. His highest work sales price was at a Christie's auction in 2014, $69,600,000 USD.

A 2015 article about and including the huge Treatise on the Veil painting and its twelve studies when they were on exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, on Gagosian is HERE.

White lines (vertical) on Ultramarine
Tony Tuckson
Diptych: styrene-based house paint,
polyvinyl acetate and pigments on hardboard,
96" x 84" (8' x 7') (w x h), 1970-73
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Source Wiki:
John Anthony Tuckson (1921-1973) born in Egypt, was an Australia Abstract Expressionist artist, an art gallery director and promoter of native Aboriginal Australian art, and a WWII Spitfire pilot. After major Australian Exhibitions several of his paintings are on permanent display at the National Gallery of Australia.

Woman in Striped Dress
Édouard Manet (1832-1883), French
Oil on canvas, 33" x 69" (w x h), circa 1877-1880
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

Source Guggenheim notes:
Manet's endeavor to capture the flavor of contemporary society extended to portraits of barmaids, street musicians, rag pickers, and other standard Parisian types that were favorite subjects of popular illustrated literature. Since the subject of Woman in Striped Dress is unidentified, conjecture that she might be the French actress Suzanne Reichenberg remains purely speculative. It's tempting to view this portrait as Manet's rendering of one such type: the fashionable Parisian bourgeois woman, complete with Japanese fan.

No comments: