Some weeks ago, in an effort to exercise that hamster in my brain, gather more formally my education of modern art history, I enrolled in a self-directed online course entitled Modern Art: 1880-1945 offered by the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
As a graduate (with a 96% average and a t-shirt, thank you very much) the single largest message I surprisingly take away is one of COLLABORATION. I was unaware previously the important role that collaboARTing, collective creativity played in the evolution of modern art during that period.
Of equal importance, I affirmed that my unique angst, my divine process, my search for community, my wishes for humanity, are all part of what is, being an artist.
To really EARN my t-shirt I promised myself I would share here a quick thought, image, inspiration from each module. My final project if you will. (Gawd, I miss school!)
module one: impressionism & post-impressionism
“I paint as I see, as I feel, and I have very strong sensations.” – Vincent van Gogh
Should I be alarmed about those same very strong sensations? Oh right. There are meds for that now.
module two: Klimt & symbolism
My connection to the spirituality of the symbolists resonates deeply.
The intricate, thoughtful, breath-taking work helps too.
The Hope oil on canvas painting 1903 by Gustav Klimt, 189.2 cm x 67 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
I visit her regularly. She has a bronze Rodin behind to keep her amused. I like that. Merci, National Gallery of Canada.
module three: Matisse & fauvism
When I think Matisse, I invariable think of his later work. His gallery in Nice. That sunny day those many years ago. Getting lost looking for Matisse, but ending up instead in the most unbelievably beautiful rose garden in full bloom on the top of a cliff overlooking the sea at the near-by monastery. And no one to bother me, not even a monk! Glorious!
What I wasn’t familiar with were his earlier works. Playful paintings filled with warmth. I felt particularly at home in “The Red Studio”.
Henri Matisse The Red Studio, 1911. Oil on canvas, 71 1/4″ x 7′ 2 1/4″ MoMA
My little still life of a few weeks back, directly inspired by this work, was painted whilst mentally visiting his studio.
module four: Kandinsky & expressionism
This module happened to align with the start of my expressionism class at the Ottawa School of Art. Quelle chance! Informative, though if I am honest, early Russian, German expressionism isn’t really for me. However, Austrian, and Klimt protégé, Egon Schiele rocked my week.
Egon Schiele Female Nude
module five: Picasso & cubism / Boccioni & futurism
For obvious reasons I am drawn to the synthetic cubism of Picasso and Braque. The extra dimension that I personally feel collage, papier collé, assemblage adds to the story of piece. And what a story they shared. A reverent nod to the dynamo duo of Pablo & Georges. We could have had fun boys!
This has been an enormous number of words for little ol’hBg. Hope some of them were interesting.
I will send the rest in part two in a day or three…
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