3/25: Georges Mathieu, Painting
This work represents the artist and intuitive interpretations of his take on history. To him, spontaneity and impulsiveness in art were best represented by the speed with which the work had been created. Just so, he created many works of art by directly applying paint from the tube to the canvas in quick slashing motions. Mathieu chose titles of famous battles and events in history to instill his belief onto others that although he was painting in such an abstract style, he was still a “history painter”. Often times, he would even dress up in a suit of armor and paint before an audience in his slashing style, almost as if he were attacking the canvas. This kind of performance was later popularized in the latter half of the century. Turning to the work itself, the piece obviously displays the characteristics of Mathieu’s style as well as representing the Art Informel movement. The movement was one of proud abstraction, but not as some might think. Meaning “formless” in French, the style was characterized by blurring the lines between methods of creating art. The movement emphasized spontaneity, freedom of thought, and freedom of form. While many of the paintings were abstract, the point was just as much finding new tools and methods of creating art as it was in the art itself created. A new antithesis had been created; this time, as an alternative to geometric abstraction.
A little more on Art Informel:
The artist’s career:
The Song of Roland (the character Mathieu often seemed to portray in his performances):