Tag Archive | Modern Art Monday

Modern Art Monday Presents: Charring Cross Bridge By Andre Derain

Charring Cross Bridge
Photo By Gail

In this cityscape, Andre Derain (1880 – 1954) rendered the London sky with dramatic color. In the summer of 1905, he developed the bright palette of Charring Cross Bridge while painting alongside his elder peer, Henri Matisse in Coullioure, France. There, the two artists produced their most radical paintings to date — paintings purged of shadows and filled with imaginative, unbridled colors. When several of these works were exhibited in Paris that fall, the public and critics found the palette to be startling, and ridiculed their efforts. As Derain later recalled, “It was the era of photography. This may have influenced us, and played a part in our reaction against anything resembling a snapshot of life. Colors became charges of dynamite.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Cell VI By Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois Cell VI Front View
All Photos By Gail

Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) began her series of room-like sculptures called Cells in 1991, eventually creating some sixty examples in various sizes and of varying complexity.

Louise Bourgeois Cell VI Right Side View

Some are filled with with a haunting mix of her personal belongings and her sculptures.

Louise Bourgeois Cell VI Back View

Cell VI is among the simplest. Bourgeois often chose the color Blue for its serene and calming effect.

Louise Bourgeois Cell VI Front View

Photographed as part of at the the exhibit, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC Through January 28th, 2018.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Autumn Scattering Leaves By John La Farge

Autumn Scattering Leaves
Photo By Gail

Along with Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge (1835 – 1910) was a pioneer of stained glass design in the United States. Watercolor was especially well suited for developing the designs, because the transparency of the medium could suggest the glowing, gemlike tones of the glass. Autumn Scattering Leaves (1900), an allegorical representation of the season,  was originally created as a stained-glass window proposal for a private home on Long Island. Although the patrons rejected this composition in favor of a figure in classical garb, La Farge exhibited the lyrical watercolor as an independent work.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Fernand Leger, Mechanical Elements

Mechanical Elements
Photo By Gail

Fernand Leger arranged impersonal elements of a new machine age like a cheerful assembly of children’s building blocks in Mechanical Elements (1920). Initially, his infatuation with modern technology did not go over well with collectors. As the artist later recalled, “For two years, Leonce Rosenberg, my dealer at the time, could not sell any of the work from my ‘mechanical period,’ while the mandolins of the Cubists moved briskly.”

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Raphael Soyer, Office Girls

Office Girls
Photo By Gail

As an astute observer of Depression-era New York, Raphael Soyer (1899 – 1987) evoked the inner lives on anonymous city dwellers. His paintings frequently depict the new generation of female workers that he encountered in his Union Square neighborhood. Leaving the home for secretarial and clerical jobs, these woman depicted in Office Girls (1936) achieved an independence that was unprecedented for women of the period, even while unemployment remained high among men. While his artist colleagues usually portrayed these young women in optimistic terms, Soyer’s composition strikes a more ambivalent tone. Squeezed between a throng of rushing female workers and a glowering man, the central woman looks out at the viewer with a gaze that is at once weary and unflinching.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum on NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Juan Gris, Still Life with Checked Tablecloth

Still Life with Checked Table Cloth
Photo By Gail

Juan Gris (1887 – 1927), a master of disguised images, presents a table brimming with coffee cups, stemmed wineglasses, a large white-footed fruit compote (see from the side and from above) containing thickly painted grapes, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Bass extra stout ale with its distinctive red diamond logo, a newspaper, and a guitar. Yet, Still Life with Checked Tablecloth (1915) has another equally compelling identity: a Bull’s head. The coffee cup at lower center doubles as the animal’s snout, black-and-white concentric circle at left is a “bull’s eye,” the bottle of ale is an ear, and the sinuous edge of the guitar is the horn. The letters “EAU” on the wine label, which ostensibly stand for “bEAUjolais” can just as easily represent “taurEAU” (Bull).

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

Modern Art Monday Present: William Baziotes, Figure on a Tightrope 

Figure on a Tightrope
Photo By Gail

William Baziotes (1912 – 1963) embraced the Symbolist concept of “correspondences”– poetic analogies in which a single form can suggest multiple references. Also influenced by the surrealist works of Pablo Picasso and Joan MiroBaziotes painted semi-abstract images with legible though ambiguous forms, like those found in Figure on a Tightrope (1947). In the year that he made this painting. Baziotes explained his process, “Each beginning suggests something. Once I sense the suggestion, I begin to paint intuitively. The [intuitive] suggestion then becomes a phantom that must be caught and made real.”

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.