ahem, I was saying…
module six: Modigliani & the school of paris
Picasso, Hemingway, Modigliani, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein, Cocteau, Coco Chanel…
My heart breaks…where was I?! Not glorious times I understand, but that creative stew feels intoxicating even from this distance!
I walked those streets this past July. It was difficult to find their vibe in the now narrow streets of touristic cancer. I escaped the commercial-feeling first floor of Shakespeare and Company to a quiet corner in the library on the second floor. I read Hemingway awhile. Others quietly came and went. A sudden downpour of Paris rain blew open the little window overlooking the Seine, and for one glimmer of a second I felt connected to that School of Paris.
Amedeo Modigliani “Reclining nude” c. 1919. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 45 7/8″ MoMA
module seven: Malevich, Mondrian & utopian visions
“A revolution strengthens the impulse of invention. That is why there is a flourishing art following a revolution, when the interrelationship between the initiative individual and the collective is clearly defined.” – Vladimir Tatlin
I previously never felt deeply about this crew. Visually speaking. Speaking emotionally. It reflected the times, but I have grown fond of Malevich and company for their intention of, “supremacy of pure emotion in the arts”. I now feel the divine in Malevich’s “White on White” and am reminded of the power of the story that lurks in the shadows of any art.
Kazemir Malevich “Suprematist Composition: White on White” 1918. Oil on canvas, 31 1/4 x 31 1/4″ MoMA
module eight: Moholy-Nagy & the Bauhaus
Again, upon first sight, this is a group I am not immediately drawn to. The industrial, mass-produced aesthetic leaves me cold. However, the key word there was “group“. The Bauhaus did for considerable time manage to be a formidable model of integrated collaboration amongst artists and artisans, students and teachers creating for the greater good. There is great power in collaboration, and great heART in collaboARTing! (I must certainly be on some watch list)
Paul Klee did warm up to spirit girl with this… “Art doesn’t reproduce what we can see, it makes it visible.”
module nine: Duchamp & dada
Can I just say that I am relieved to finally understand the origin of the word “dada”. Meaning any number of trivial things in a few languages, it was, more importantly, chosen at random, they say, by pointing blindly and haphazardly at a dictionary. I get it. I have made decisions that way. One might think it would be the collage, the assemblage and the move toward a more conceptual approach to art-making. No, it is the reverence for the laws of chance that capture me. And the pervasive humour. We mustn’t take ourselves to seriously.
module ten: Dalí & surrealism
I am not going to concern myself with too many words here. It seems futile.
I will give specific applause to my girl Frida Khalo. An early self-portrait of mine was done as a nod to her. A piece of my heart belongs to Mexico. She, therefore, is the easiest entrance into a connection with surrealism. And perhaps, as far as I should go right now.
Frida Khalo “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”
“I defy any amateur of paintings to love a canvas as much as a fetishist loves a shoe.” – George Bataille
With that I will say thank you, to MoMA for time well spent, and to those that came before, and are around me now, and who will continue to inspire me daily.