Tag Archives: 1946

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jean Dubuffet, Four Figures

four figures photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Jean Dubuffet (19011985) sought to replicate the immediacy of the art of the untutored. In this sheet, he incised four figures into a ground of opaque watercolor, exposing the sandpaper he used as a support. The technique shares more with graffiti and the scrawls of children than with academic drawing. The artist once remarked, “When I say ‘draw,’ I’m not to the slightest degree thinking of faithfully reproducing objects . . . No, its a matter of something quite different: to animate the paper, to make it palpitate.”

Photographed in the Morgan Library in Manhattan.

 

Modern Art Monday Presents: Raúl Lozza, Relief No. 30

raul lozza relief no 30 photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In works such as Relief No. 30 (1946), Raúl Lozza fragmented the surface of painting into discrete parts — usually, irregular geometric shapes — that he fixed in a particular configuration with connecting rods. Known as Coplanals, these constructions are placed directly onto the wall without any framing mechanism. The empty space in between their shapes thus becomes a part of the work.

Lozza investigated the possibilities of the coplanal for years, founding the Perceptismo group with his brothers. They developed a mathematical approach to painting that focused on the relationship between the wall and the coplanal’s dimensions and colors.

Photographed the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life

Henry Koerner Mirror of Life Photo By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Mirror of Life (1946), like many of Henry Koerner’s paintings, reveals the artist’s preoccupation with his experiences during World War II. Born in Vienna to Jewish parents, Koerner (19151991) escaped Austria following Hitler’s 1938 invasion, fleeing first to Italy and subsequently to the United States. Soon after, he was drafted by the US military and stationed in Europe, where he was assigned to sketch the proceedings of the Nuremberg trials, the military tribunals in which leaders of Nazi Germany were tried for war crimes. Koerner returned to Vienna in 1946 only to learn that his parents, who’d stayed in Austria, had died in concentration camps during the war. Mirror of Life emerges from this context of conflict and loss. Disorienting juxtapositions — night and day, biblical events and present-day life, ordinary pastimes and bizarre phenomena — present a chaotic and disjunctive reflection of reality. The shirtless man leaning out of his window seems to be a stand-in for the artist. Home, for him, is not only the place where one resides but also a vantage point to witness all that has been lost.

Photographed in The Whitney Museum in NYC

Modern Art Monday Presents: Francis Bacon, Painting

Painting By Francis Bacon
Photo By Gail

Created in the aftermath of World War II, Painting (1946) is likely a veiled portrait of Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who often carried an umbrella and has gone down in history for his policy of accommodation of the Nazi regime. His dark suit is punctuated by a bright yellow boutonniere, yet his bared teeth and concealed gaze suggest brutality. This sense of menace is accentuated by the cow carcasses suspended behind him. The drawn window shades evoke those found in a widely circulated photograph of Hitler’s bunker, an image that Francis Bacon included in mulipleworks. Bacon claimed that this work was an accident; he had originally set out to paint a bird descending onto a field.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye on Design: DCW Side Chair By Charles and Ray Eames

DCW Side Chair
Photos By Gail

This modern and affordable dining-room chair was designed by the American husband-and-wife team Charles and Ray Eames. Built after an exhaustive period of testing, the different parts of the chair were fabricated using heat and pressure to bend the plywood. The DCW Side Chair (1946) was lauded for being both ergonomic and comfortable

The Eames‘ pioneering use of new materials and technologies transformed the way people decorated their homes, introducing functional, affordable, and often highly sculptural objects and furnishings to so many middle-class Americans.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

DCW Side Chair

Modern Art Monday Presents: Norman Lewis, Phantasy II

Phantasy II
Photo By Gail

Norman Lewis (1909 – 1979), began his art career as a figurative painter, focusing on life in Harlem. In 1946, he announced that he wanted to create art that broke away from what he called “its stagnation in too much tradition.” Inspired by the writings and art of the Russian painter Vasily Kandinsky, one of the first artists to create abstract paintings, Lewis abandoned representation in favor of the “conceptual expression” of ideas. Like other Abstract Expressionists working in New York, Lewis was deeply interested in music, and especially jazz, which influenced the painting of  Phantasy II (1946). In an automatic process, he made a linear composition with boldly colored lines and forms akin to the improvisational structure of jazz.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Benjamin J. Bowden’s Spacelander Bicycle

Spacelander Bicycle 2
All Photos By Gail

Designed by Benjamin Bowden (1907 – 1998) the aluminum prototype for this futuristic Spacelander bicycle was handmade by the MG Auto Company in England in 1946.  The original design incorporated an ingenious dynamo that stored the downhill energy  and released it on uphill runs.

Spacelander Bicycle

Manufacturing the bike to-spec for consumer use turned out be prohibitively expensive, but in 1960, Bowden contracted with Bomard Industries in Michigan to produce this more mechanically conventional, one-speed version of the dynamic, organic design fiberglass, a new design material.

Spacelander Bicycle Rear View

Ultimately, the endeavor was too costly for Bomard Industries as well, and the firm went out of business after manufacturing only 522 examples.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum’s Visible Storage Archive.

Spacelander Bicycle 3

The Below Images of a White Spacelander Bike, Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art,  Were Added to This Post on April 6th, 2019.

White Spacelander Bike

From the 2019 Exhibit, The Value of Good Design.

White Spacelander Bike