Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Art of Blue and Green Essay

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The Art of Blue and Green
An Essay on How 8 Artists Paint It

Two Islands, Sunny Day
Stephen Pace (1919-2010), American
Oil on canvas, 36" x 30" (w x h), 2004
Dowling Walsh Art Gallery, Rockland, Maine
For sale: $30,000 USD

Source: Wiki
Stephen Pace was resident of Manhattan and Stonington, Maine During the course of his long and productive career, he made important contributions to Abstract Expressionism. Pace began his formal training at the 17-years-old. He continued to hone his skills while serving abroad in England and France during World War II by painting views of local landscapes. Upon his return, he studied with Hans Hofmann, who had an influence on Pace's work in the 1950s. In 1960 Pace returned to painting in a style characterized by simplified forms and imaginative colors; he most often painted his immediate surroundings, depicting outdoor scenes, such as lobstermen and of his wife while she was gardening, as well as interiors and nudes done in his studio.

Blue Green
Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), American
Lithograph, one from a series of ten,
edition of 75, 38" x 37" (w x h), 1970
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Source: Wiki edited
In 1947, while Ellsworth Kelly was studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, down the street I was born. In the mid-1960s he took up printmaking in and focused on it. From 1970 on he collaborated primarily with Gemini G.E.L. His initial series of 28 transfer lithographs, entitled Suite of Plant Lithographs, marked the beginning of a body of work that would grow to 72 prints and countless drawings of foliage. Before his Lithography period his focus was painting and after it sculpture. The highest price for a work of his, the nine foot high Red Curve VII, is $9,800,000 USD. See it at Christies HERE.

The Silver Veil and the Golden Gate
Childe Hassam (1859-1935), American
Oil on canvas, 32" x 30" (w x h), 1914
Brauer Museum of Art,
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana
Brauer Museum of Art

Source: Wiki
Hassam was especially prolific and energetic in the period from 1910 to 1920, causing one critic to comment, "Think of the appalling number of Hassam pictures there will be in the world by the time the man is seventy years old!" Hassam truly produced thousands of works in nearly every medium during his life. His friend, Weir, might paint six canvases in a season, Hassam would paint forty.

Source: ArtNet News
In February 2023 the Brauer Museum of Art was challenged for its plan to sell three art works valued at $20,000,000 USD, including this Childe Hassam (valued at $3,500,000 USD), to fund freshman dormitories improvements.

Sea Movement–Green and Blue /
No 2 Mark Island / Light House

John Marin (1870-1953), American
Watercolor with wiping, and fabricated charcoal,
over graphite, on thick, slightly textured,
off-white wove paper, hinged to wood-pulp board,
faced with cream paper, gilt with silver leaf,
21" x 17" (w x h), 1923
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Source: John Marin, Part 1 a Stylistic Analysis, Sheldon Reich, University of Arizona Press, 1970
Marin wrote to Alfred Stieglitz from Stonington, Maine on August 14, 1923. "He asserted his link to reality by insisting that no matter how far an artist changes the surface appearance of his picture from its ostensible subject, it has to be rooted in that subject in some deep, meaningful way. Marin was reassuring himself that no matter what anyone else could say or write, he was basically a realist, a man who looked to nature for the source and meaning of his art."

One my personal paintings, coincidentally also using green and blue, was of the same view as John Marin's, but seventy-five years later is online on my blog HERE.

Blue and Green
Victor de Vasarely (1908-1997), Hungarian French
Color serigraph on heavy white wove paper,
22" x 24" (w x h)
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Source: Wiki
Victor Vasarely, born in Hungary in 1908, was a Hungarian-French artist, who is widely accepted as a grandfather and leader of the Op art movement. Over the three decades, 1930s to 1960s, Vasarely developed his style of geometric abstract art, working in various materials but using a minimal number of forms and colors. There are two museums in Hungary devoted to his art.

James Edward Davis (1901-1974), American
Graphite and pastel, 9" x 5" (w x h), 1944
Gift of the artist, Class of 1923
Princeton University Art Museum

Source: Princeton and various

James Edward Davis, born in born Clarksburg, West Virginia, was a painter, photographer, and filmmaker, focused on abstract art. He was noted for his experimental abstract films involving color, light, and movement. He graduated from Princeton University in 1923, and studied with Andre Lhote in Paris.
In 1974 he died in Princeton, New Jersey. West Virginia University holds much of his archives, including his writings about his fellow artists and friends Frank Lloyd Wright and John Marin, and Davis's collaboration with Leo Merker while filming "Pertaining to Chicago", among others. His art can be seen online at Princeton HERE or at the American Art Collaborative HERE. The West Virginia archives are HERE.

Homage to the Square, P2, F33, I1
Josef Albers (1888-1976) German American
Screenprint, edition of 1000, 12" x 12" (w x h), 1972
$3,500 at 1stDibs

Source: 1stDibs
"Homage to the Square - Portfolio 2, Folder 33, Image 1" from the portfolio "Formulation: Articulation" was created by Josef Albers in 1972. This series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist's most important color and shape theories.

Source: Wiki edited
Albers is considered to be one of the most influential teachers of visual art in the twentieth century. "Every perception of color is an illusion...we do not see colors as they really are. In our perception they alter one another." Josef Albers, circa 1949, when he started his first Homage to the Square paintings.

In 1933 when he arrived at Black Mountain College when a student asked him what he was going to teach, Albers said: "To open eyes."

It Was Blue and Green
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), American
Oil on linen, 40" x 30" (w x h), 1960
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Source: Wiki edited
The year Georgia O'Keeffe painted the art above, 1960, the Worcester Art Museum held a retrospective of the 73-year-old's work. In 1972, O'Keeffe lost much of her eyesight due to macular degeneration, leaving her with only peripheral vision. She stopped oil painting without assistance in 1972. But in the 1970s she made a series of works in watercolor.

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