Category / Master Artists

Pablo Picasso Uncategorized

The Artistic Diversity of Pablo Picasso

The Creative Process of Pablo Picasso

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” -Pablo Picasso

“Pablo Picasso’s insatiable curiosity and tireless urge to create art often led him to mediums beyond painting. He fully explored sculpture and drawing, as well as printmaking and ceramics. This exhibition looks at Picasso’s engagement with printmaking over the course of his long career, and the ways it fostered his creativity by encouraging a thematic approach to his subjects and by allowing for constant experimentation.

“As a young artist, Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) bought a small printing press, and prints became part of the ongoing development of his work. His first series of etchings and drypoints was devoted to themes of the Blue and Rose periods. Examples include Frugal Repast (1904), a well-known scene of a destitute couple at a sparsely-filled dining table. Others depict itinerant circus performers known as saltimbanques. As Picasso went on to forge his Cubist style, he made prints intermittently, cross-fertilizing related drawings and paintings. One series of his abstracted images was conceived in 1910 to illustrate St. Matorel, a book by poet Max Jacob, who was among his closest friends during the first years in Paris.

“While prints played a small but continuing role in Picasso’s early work, by the late 1920s and early 1930s, he became truly engaged in the medium, and remained so for the rest of his life. It was at that time that he grasped the narrative potential in his printmaking. He enjoyed propping up his copperplates and conjuring up compositions that led his invented characters from one scene to another. Later he would call this manner of printmaking his own way of “writing fiction.”

“Picasso created tales of the Minotaur, of fauns and satyrs, and of bullfighting. In Minotauromachy (1935), he combined the Minotaur myth and the violence of the bullfight in a highly symbolic, enigmatic scene that is considered a milestone of modern printmaking. Especially under the influence of Surrealism, such motifs became entangled with events in Picasso’s personal life, particularly those involving his relationships with women. These entanglements are also a factor in other themes he explored, from scenes of the artist in the studio, to portrayals of sexual aggression, to tableaux in which one figure watches the other sleep.

“Picasso’s focus on the women in his life also involved portraiture. Each time he became involved with a new woman, he absorbed her features into his artistic vocabulary, depicting her over time in a manner reflecting his own changing moods. The exhibition includes a range of prints inspired by these women, from the 1905 Head of Woman, which portrays Madeleine, a lover known only by her first name, to a late series of linoleum cuts presenting a complex and evolving portrait of Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s second wife and companion until his death in 1973. Also included are the young Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose face constitutes a mysterious presence; Picasso’s first wife, Olga, whose stirring portrait, which was recently acquired, exemplifies her role as muse of the Neo-Classical period; the Surrealist photographer Dora Maar, who served as model for the monumental Weeping Woman of 1937; and Francoise Gilot, the aspiring painter who spent the postwar years with the artist, and whose likeness evolves over time to show Picasso’s changing relationship to her.

“Picasso continued making prints with great enthusiasm until the last years of his life. During seven months in 1968, he created Suite 347, named for the number of prints it contains. It represents an intense period of printmaking in a range of etching techniques, exploring a variety of themes. Among the subjects is the artist’s reflection back on his long life, with figures of varying scale in compositions filled with spatial disparities that suggest a flood of memories.

“The master printers with whom Picasso worked provided not only technical expertise, but also stimulating collaborative partnerships. Roger Lacourière tutored him in intaglio techniques (etching, drypoint, engraving, and aquatint) in the early 1930s, as he reached a new level of complexity in such prints as Faun Unveiling a Sleeping Girl (1936). Fernand Mourlot championed Picasso’s work in lithography after World War II. The printers at Mourlot’s shop in Paris fostered Picasso’s seemingly endless experimentation with developing images, like those in the Bull series, which begins with a naturalistic rendering and ends with a few simple lines. In linoleum cut, Hidalgo Arnéra spurred Picasso on at his workshop in the South of France in the 1950s and 1960s. Picasso created masterworks like Portrait of a Young Girl in this medium, which until then had been considered secondary. Finally, in his last years, Picasso collaborated with Aldo and Piero Crommelynck, who set up an etching workshop near his residence in the Mougins to accommodate his demanding schedule.” -ArtDaily

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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse: Balance of Art

Henri Matisse: sitting in studio

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” -Henri Matisse

Synopsis:

“Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colorist of the twentieth century and as a rival to Pablo Picasso in the importance of his innovations. He emerged as a Post-Impressionist, and first achieved prominence as the leader of the French movement Fauvism. Although interested in Cubism, he rejected it, and instead sought to use color as the foundation for expressive, decorative, and often monumental paintings. As he once controversially wrote, he sought to create an art that would be “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair.” Still life and the nude remained favorite subjects throughout his career; North Africa was also an important inspiration, and, towards the end of his life, he made an important contribution to collage with a series of works using cut-out shapes of color. He is also highly regarded as a sculptor.

Key Ideas:

“Matisse used pure colors and the white of exposed canvas to create a light-filled atmosphere in his Fauve paintings. Rather than using modeling or shading to lend volume and structure to his pictures, Matisse used contrasting areas of pure, unmodulated color. These ideas continued to be important to him throughout his career.

“His art was important in endorsing the value of decoration in modern art. However, although he is popularly regarded as a painter devoted to pleasure and contentment, his use of color and pattern is often deliberately disorientating and unsettling.
Matisse was heavily influenced by art from other cultures. Having seen several exhibitions of Asian art, and having traveled to North Africa, he incorporated some of the decorative qualities of Islamic art, the angularity of African sculpture, and the flatness of Japanese prints into his own style.

“Matisse once declared that he wanted his art to be one “of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter,” and this aspiration was an important influence on some, such as Clement Greenberg, who looked to art to provide shelter from the disorientation of the modern world.

“The human figure was central to Matisse’s work both in sculpture and painting. Its importance for his Fauvist work reflects his feeling that the subject had been neglected in Impressionism, and it continued to be important to him. At times he fragmented the figure harshly, at other times he treated it almost as a curvilinear, decorative element. Some of his work reflects the mood and personality of his models, but more often he used them merely as vehicles for his own feelings, reducing them to ciphers in his monumental designs.” -TheArtStory.org

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Marc Chagall

The Life of Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

“If all life moves inevitably towards its end, then we must, during our own, colour it with our colours of love and hope.” Marc Chagall

 

Introduction:

“This bibliography focuses on the artist Marc Chagall (b. 1887–d. 1985; born Moyshe Shagal), whose career at the center of modern art movements and institutions saw its evolution in several continents and spanned the 20th century.

“Chagall was one of the most versatile artists of the modern period; he produced tapestries, paintings, stained glass, drawings, prints, sculpture, murals, and stage design and worked in many different genres, such as portraiture, landscape, and illustration. With his migrations from Russia to France to America and his many international commissions, Chagall is variously identified as a Russian painter, a Jewish painter, a French painter, and an international artist and is most adequately associated with multiple identities simultaneously.

“While Chagall has been studied through a variety of lenses, including his artistic influences (surrealism, cubism, primitivism), his major periods, and the ways in which his reputation rose and fell, Jewish studies scholars and art historians of Jewish art have found Chagall’s national cosmopolitanism a useful lens through which to study the relationship between Jews and modernity in the 20th century. Like other Jewish artists who would enter the artistic culture in France, Chagall grew up in a Jewish town (Vitebsk) in the Pale of Settlement. The memory of his childhood home inspired much of his work throughout his career; therefore, many of the texts included in this bibliography give significant attention to the artist’s early life and the residual impact it had on his work and life. The sections of the bibliography approach the artist through categories that concern his cultural heritage as well as through categories that shed light on his artistic choices. The sections defined by geography (his early Russian period, French period, American period, and the period associated with his work in Israel) reflect the regionalism that has informed the vast majority of Chagall scholarship. There are also sections defined by themes and preoccupations relevant to his body of work, such as his attention to biblical themes and his recourse to both Jewish and Christian traditions. General information on particular 20th-century cultural and historical contexts that would have been influential on Chagall’s biography and artistic endeavors is obtainable through the various encyclopedias or survey texts: these range in topics from Russian history at the turn of the century, life in the Jewish ghettoes, traditions in Jewish art, the impact of the Holocaust, and the culture debates of Zionism.

Jewish Art Surveys

“In the broad field of Jewish studies, Marc Chagall holds the place of the quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century. Chagall’s reputation for “Jewish art” has been earned more for his articulation of Yiddish culture than religious identity, and art historians of Jewish art generally give Chagall’s cultural Judaism a prominent role in Jewish art surveys (Kampf 1990), although some surveys conspicuously avoid giving Chagall a central place (Baigell and Heyd 2001). Those that do place Chagall at the center of the Jewish art survey focus more on his themes across genres and mediums and seek to include the scope of his work within the canon of Jewish art (Roth 1971, Schwartz 1949). Sed-Rajna, et al. 1997 places Chagall among Jewish artists searching for a universal visual language such as Marc Rothko and Barnett Newman.” -OxfordBibliographies.com

 

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Creative Relationships Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe

1939, Probably Mexico City, Mexico --- Artist Frida Kahlo, in a Tehuna costume, with her pet hawk, 1939. --- Image by © Condé Nast Archive/CORBIS
1939, Probably Mexico City, Mexico — Artist Frida Kahlo, in a Tehuna costume, with her pet hawk, 1939. — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/CORBIS

“There is something uncommonly heartening about bearing witness to the virtuous cycle of support and mutual appreciation between two creative luminaries…

“One of the most touching such exchanges was between two of the greatest artists and most remarkable women the world has ever known — Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe. Both were prolific letter writers — Kahlo in her passionate illustrated love letters to Diego Rivera, and O’Keeffe in her equally passionate love letters to Alfred Stieglitz, her lifelong correspondence with her best friend, and her emboldening missives to Sherwood Anderson. But what Kahlo wrote to O’Keeffe in 1933 was a wholly different kind of epistolary and human magic.

“Even though the Mexican painter had herself been dealt an unfair hand — including a miscarriage just a few months earlier, her mother’s recent death, and more than thirty operations over the course of her life after a serious traffic accident during adolescence sent an iron rod through her stomach and uterus — Kahlo didn’t hesitate to reach out with a beam of compassion during O’Keeffe’s moment of crisis.” -OpenCulture.com

THE LETTER:

 

 

TRANSCRIBED:

Georgia,

Was wonderful to hear your voice again. Every day since I called you and many times before months ago I wanted to write you a letter. I wrote you many, but every one seemed more stupid and empty and I torn them up. I can’t write in English all that I would like to tell, especially to you. I am sending this one because I promised it to you. I felt terrible when Sybil Brown told me that you were sick but I still don’t know what is the matter with you. Please Georgia dear if you can’t write, ask Stieglitz to do it for you and let me know how are you feeling will you ? I’ll be in Detroit two more weeks. I would like to tell you every thing that happened to me since the last time we saw each other, but most of them are sad and you mustn’t know sad things now. After all I shouldn’t complain because I have been happy in many ways though. Diego is good to me, and you can’t imagine how happy he has been working on the frescoes here. I have been painting a little too and that helped. I thought of you a lot and never forget your wonderful hands and the color of your eyes. I will see you soon. I am sure that in New York I will be much happier. If you still in the hospital when I come back I will bring you flowers, but it is so difficult to find the ones I would like for you. I would be so happy if you could write me even two words. I like you very much Georgia.

Frida

 

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Creative Relationships

Mark Twain & Nikola Tesla

“It is wiser to find out than to suppose.” -Mark Twain

“Mark Twain in Nikola Tesla’s apartment, New York 1894 The high-voltage current is being passed through the human body to bring the lamp to incandescence. Tesla’s friend, Mark Twain, is holding the loop above the resonating coil. Tesla is in the background. Originally published as part of an article by T.C. Martin called “Tesla’s Oscillator and Other Inventions” that appeared in the Century Magazine (April 1895)”

“When Tesla returned from Colorado Springs to New York, he wrote a sensational article for Century Magazine. In this detailed, futuristic vision he described a means of tapping the sun’s energy with an antenna. He suggested that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. He predicted machines that would make war an impossibility. And he proposed a global system of wireless communications. To most people the ideas were almost incomprehensible, but Tesla was a man who could not be underestimated.

“The article caught the attention of one of the world’s most powerful men, J. P. Morgan. A frequent guest in Morgan’s home, Tesla proposed a scheme that must have sounded like science fiction: a “world system” of wireless communications to relay telephone messages across the ocean; to broadcast news, music, stock market reports, private messages, secure military communications, and even pictures to any part of the world. “When wireless is fully applied the earth will be converted into a huge brain, capable of response in every one of its parts,” Tesla told Morgan.

“Morgan offered Tesla $150,000 to build a transmission tower and power plant. A more realistic sum would have been $1,000,000, but Tesla took what was available and went to work immediately. In spite of what he told his investor, Tesla’s actual plan was to make a large-scale demonstration of electrical power transmission without wires. This turned out to be a fatal mistake.

“For his new construction project, Tesla acquired land on the cliffs of Long Island Sound. The site was called Wardenclyffe. By 1901 the Wardenclyffe project was under construction, the most challenging task being the erection of an enormous tower, rising 187 feet in the air and supporting on its top a fifty-five-ton sphere made of steel. Beneath the tower, a well-like shaft plunged 120 feet into the ground. Sixteen iron pipes were driven three hundred feet deeper so that currents could pass through them and seize hold of the earth. “In this system that I have invented,” Tesla explained, “it is necessary for the machine to get a grip of the earth, otherwise it cannot shake the earth. It has to have a grip… so that the whole of this globe can quiver.” -PBS.org

 

Creative Relationships Marc Chagall Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso & Marc Chagall

“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn’t paint.” -Marc Chagall

“Picasso and Marc Chagall, two of the greatest painters of the last century, were friends until a dinner at Chagall’s place in 1964. “When are you going back to Russia?” Picasso asked his host. They were both expatriots living in France. Chagall was Russian and Picasso was Spanish. “After you,” said Chagall with a smile. “I hear you are greatly loved there [Picasso was a Communist] but not your work. You try to make it there and I’ll wait and see how you do.”

Picasso didn’t like that answer much. It was after dinner, he was feeling his wine, and his guard was down. “I guess with you it’s a question of business,” he told Chagall. “You won’t go unless there’s money in it.”

Francoise Gilot, who was at the table, says Chagall grinned at that remark but burned inside ever after. That was the end of the friendship.

Both those Titans had severe commercial temptations in old age. Each suspected or believed the other was a sinner.” –PabloPicasso.org

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Patron of the Arts- Creativity & Inspiration Crown

Journal & Sketchbooking Master Artists

Famous Artists Journals & Sketchbooks

“These empty pages are your future, soon to become your past. T will read the most personal tale you shall ever find in a book.” ―Anonymous

Below are sketchbook pages from master artists.

“One of the strangest things is the act of creation.

You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.

You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.

And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.

It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.

You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.

You have glimpsed the divine.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

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Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo:The Artist’s Wardrobe locked up for 50 years, Revealed

“I recommend her to you [Frida Kahlo], not as a husband but as an enthusiastic admirer of her work, acid and tender, hard as steel and delicate and fine as a butterfly’s wing, lovable as a beautiful smile, and as profound and cruel as the bitterness of life.” –Diego Rivera

“Frida by Ishiuchi Miyako (2013) is a photographic record of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe and belongings. Following Kahlo’s death in 1954 her husband Diego Rivera began placing her personal effects into the bathroom of their Mexico City house, “The Blue House”, which later became the Museo Frida Kahlo. Rivera gave instructions that this room should remain sealed until fifteen years after his death and it in fact remained unopened until 2004 when the museum decided to organise and catalogue the contents. Ishiuchi Miyako was invited to photograph these artefacts, over 300 unseen relics of Kahlo’s life.

“As a project Frida is both a departure from Ishiuchi Miyako’s normal practice and a natural conceptual progression. While moving away from the Japanese subject matter of her earlier series, the work reveals Ishiuchi Miyako’s continued obsession with the traces we leave behind both as individuals and as a society. In her earlier series, Mother’s (2000-2005) and ひろしま/ Hiroshima (2007-), she photographed previously worn garments, evoking the lives and memories of the people who wore them as well as the social climate of post-war Japan. In documenting Frida, Ishiuchi Miyako again respectfully sifts through the ephemera left behind by an individual and in doing so makes intimate revelations about one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. Frida Kahlo (1907 -1954) was an invalid throughout her life. Having contracted polio as a child she was then involved in a near fatal bus accident at the age of 18, which resulted in numerous surgical interventions. In the aftermath of her accident Khalo constructed her iconic wardrobe to camouflage her physical ailments. Ishiuchi Miyako’s images document the traditional Tehuana dresses that both concealed the damage to her lower body and acted as a feminist salute to the matriarchal society from which they are derived. * Through her photographs Ishiuchi came to recognise the parallel between these traditional garments and the kimonos of her own country, an “ephipany” that is evident in the images themselves. Throughout the photographs there is a particular awareness, a tenderness that is inherent to a woman looking through another woman’s intimate possessions. As she painstakingly catalogues the chic of Kahlo’s sunglasses, the intimacy of her darned tights and the corsets that were to be the armature by which she survived.” -MICHAEL HOPPEN GALLERY

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Frida Kahlo Master Artists

Frida Kahlo: Wings to Fly

Frida Kahlo: Wings to Fly

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” -Frida Kahlo

“Throughout the early 30s, Kahlo traveled with Diego to San Francisco, Detroit, and New York while he worked for American capitalists on large commissions with leftist themes. Kahlo, meanwhile, with Rivera’s proud encouragement, developed her craft, honed her engagingly sassy persona, and made important contacts in the social and art worlds—from the Rockefellers and Louise Nevelson (with whom Diego probably had an affair) to that other amazon of art history, Georgia O’Keeffe. Frida’s friend Lucienne Bloch remembers that Frida was “very irritated by the famous O’Keeffe” when she met her in 1933—a reaction probably provoked by competitive feelings. But Frida habitually neutralized rivals (usually Diego’s mistresses) with a disarming camaraderie, which in this instance may have flowered into a physical relationship. Art dealer Mary-Anne Martin has in her possession an unpublished letter Kahlo sent to a friend in Detroit, dated “New York: April 11, 1933,” which contains a revealing passage, sandwiched between jaunty gossip about mutual acquaintances: “O’Keeffe was in the hospital for three months, she went to Bermuda for a rest. She didn’t made [sic] love to me that time, I think on account of her weakness. Too bad. Well that’s all I can tell you until now.” -Vanity Fair

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Master Artists

Edward Hopper: The Inner Life

Edward Hopper- Inner Life of an Artist

“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” -Edward Hopper

“Edward Hopper broke into prominence around the 1920s, coinciding with his partnership with future wife Josephine Nivison. He had begun to find his distinctive style, utilizing a visual technique similar to Impressionism but ending up more in a Realist manner with the considerable detail that he still paid attention to. Critics have dubbed Hopper’s distinctive style “soft realism.”

“He painted modern cityscapes and urban dwellers in a moody, dark palette. At the same time, Hopper’s continued on with his alternative idyllic subjects such as seascapes and rural scenery. Hopper’s works were marked with a calculated discipline in composition, with clever and compelling visual balance that draws the viewer’s eyes to desired subjects in the frame. A viewer would sense highly dramatic tension from Hopper’s scenes, especially those involving human subjects. Void of dynamism or physical action, the subjects communicated instead with nuances. Hopper’s works usually expressed and elicited solitude, withdrawal, pensiveness, regret, and other emotional themes.

“Despite the Great Depression that hit in the 1930s, Hopper was fortunate to have enjoyed even more prominence, with his works being recognized and bought by the most important museums in America. He continued to be extremely productive, coming up with works well into the second half of the 20th century.” -TotallyHistory.com

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