Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 2013 Newsletter--Makings of Modern Art

Now that we've covered much of the leaders in the post-Impressionist era: Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Toulous-Lautrec and George Seurat, I'd like to visually demonstrate how they influenced later artists of what is called modern art. If strictly defined as forsaking traditional, narrative art of the past to embracing the art of experimentation, then modern art has a long history from 1860 to 1970. Since the 70s, art has been defined as contemporary or post-modern. Many would argue this whole thought process, but this is from where I will launch my comparison.

So let's start with Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), a hero for Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), as he stated, "my one and only master." In 1906, Picasso saw the Large Bathers  (below) by Cézanne at the Salon d'Automn. While he knew of the artist, this painting was the pivotal point in Picasso's career.  

Large Bathers
827⁄8 in × 983⁄4 in (approx.. 7 x 8 ft)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States

As we discussed before, Cézanne based his work on three forms (shapes): the sphere (circle), cube (square) and cone (triangle). He believed all of nature could be created based on these three. The above painting is his last in a series of bathers and the largest, thus the title. He worked on it for seven years (see below for Cezanne's other bathers).

Picasso was fascinated. He, along with his buddy, George Braque (1882- 1963), played around with the concept. They experimented with fragmented space, forms in space, the foreground and background as well as simple geometric forms. All of which resulted in Cubism. Within a year after working on many studies he created, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Exhibited in 1916, the painting was considered immoral.  To see more on this subject, there is a great little film entitled Cézanne and Picasso

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon
Originally titled The Brothel of Avignon)1907
Oil on canvas
96 “ x  92” (roughly  8’ x 8’ square)
MOMA, New York City
Another artist influencd by the Bathers painting and Cézanne was Henri Matisse (1869-1954). He stated once, “In modern art, it is undoubtedly to Cézanne that I owe the most. Cézanne, you see, is a sort of God of painting.” Interestingly Matisse and Picasso would argue about most things but when it came to Cézanne, he was their hero.

In fact, in 1899, Matisse bought Cézanne's Three Bathers (see below) by hocking his wife's expensive wedding ring. He treasured that painting saying that it nurtured him everyday. He admired Cézanne's use of simplicity and color, which he expressed in his own bathers painting, entitled, Bather with a Turtle.
Bathers with a Turtle, 1908, Saint Louis Art MuseumSt. Louis

For more information on Cézanne's influence on Matisse, please watch this video:
Previous Bathers in Cezanne's series:

Three Bathers 1874-75
Trivia at its best:  Paul Cézanne always worked from the right hand side of the canvas across to the left hand side. In his bather's series the left hand side of the painting is usually less finished than the right hand side.

How did the post-impressionist influence modern art? Part II--next month

What's coming up!

Thatched cottage in Chiseldon
Now taking reservations and deposit for the Sketching the English Village trip in May, 2014. For details go to:

Summer Drawing Challenge
Try the summer drawing challenge at The Doodler Suite, absolutely fun, absolutely FREE!

Glastonbury Studios Workshops
August 10 
Let's Paint! with Pastels
Full-Wait list available
Workshops at Sitka! Oregon Coast
Basic Acrylic Painting
Friday and Saturday
September 20- 21, 2013

10 a.m. To 4 p.m. $185
Basic Drawing
September 23, 2013

10 a.m. To 4 p.m. $100

For more information:
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
56605 Sitka Drive
Otis, OR 97368.
Phone: (541) 994-5485

Glastonbury Studio Classes 

Visual Journaling
Sunday, August 11, 2013 
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  $20

Summer Special! Travel Sketching Class
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
10 a.m. to 12 noon  $20
We will meet outside entrance of Garden.

Autumn Six-week classes to begin week of September 22, 2012
Tuesday evenings  Drawing $70/session  7-9 p.m.

Wednesday mornings  
Sketching $70/session  10 to 12 noon

Thursday evenings 
Acrylic Painting  $80/session  6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Every Second Sunday: Visual Journaling1 p.m. to 4 p.m. $20 per 

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