Saturday, February 16, 2013

Henri Matisse - Open Window

At first glance, the freedom in Matisse's style in Open Window seems to deny any skill or technique. Only upon further analyzation does it become obvious how effective his use of visual elements is and an instinctive sensibility becomes visible. The key to making this painting work visually is the simplification of forms that allow for the use of such exaggerated colors. Matisse realized that if he intensified the color, he had to also reduce the amount of detail in order to achieve the expressive effect he aimed for. He had this to say on the subject:
"We move towards serenity through the simplification of ideas and form.......Details lessen the purity of lines, they harm the emotional intensity, and we choose to reject them. It is a question of learning - and perhaps relearning the 'handwriting' of lines. The aim of painting is not to reflect history, because this can be found in books. We have a higher conception. Through it, the artist expresses his inner vision."
When first displayed in the Salon d'Automne in 1903, Open Window was ridiculed and hated by critics and public alike. Eyewitness accounts tell of laughter coming form Room VII where it was being exhibited. Critic  Louis Vauxcelles disparaged the painters, quipping:
"Tiens, Donatello chez les fauves" (Well, well, Donatello among the wild beasts)
 Henri Rousseau's large jungle scene The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope was exhibited near Matisse's work and may have had an influence on the pejorative used. Regardless, the name stuck and the movement, led by Matisse, became known as Fauvism. Room VII thereafter became known as "le cage."  Matisse, disheartened by the bad reception of his works, found comfort in Gertrude and Leo Stein after their purchase of Woman in a Hat. The two also introduced him to Pablo Picasso, with whom Matisse worked increasingly with and against for the rest of his career. Matisse told Gertrude Stein that he and Picasso were "as different as the north pole is from the south pole." Art historian John Richardson commented on the this quote and the relationship between the two artists:
"although the North and South Poles are antitheses, the icescapes surrounding them are indistinguishable. Matisse apparently wanted to emphasize that, while he was very much a man of northern France, Picasso was very much a man of southern Spain. Indeed, there seems to have been a magnetic pull between them, a yin-yang polarity that allowed for a constant shift in the roles of giver and taker, leader and follower, hero and antihero."
Richardson goes on to call the two "opposing deities: Matisse as Apollo and Picasso as Dionysus." The to artists traded paintings within a year of meeting each other. Trying to dramatize the rivalry between them, Stein said they both chose “the picture that was undoubtedly the least interesting either of them had done. Later each one used it as an example … of the weaknesses of the other one.… The strong qualities of each painter were not much in evidence.”  Instead the to chose paintings that they wished to learn from. Matisse chose "a Picasso still life, a tight, tough, awkward little painting of a lemon and some ugly nondescript objects which tease the beholder’s eye with their convexities and concavities." He did so with intentions to revolutionize the genre of still life painting, something both Cezanne and Picasso had attempted. Picasso's painting challenged Matisse to take risks he had not contemplated prior. Picasso told one of his biographers, Pierre Daix, “You have got to be able to picture side by side everything Matisse and I were doing at that time. No one has ever looked at Matisse’s painting more carefully than I; and no one has looked at mine more carefully than he.” The two pushed each others boundaries and kept each other's ideas relevant and new. Their friendship and rivalry is one of the most peculiar yet astounding in the art world. It would be interesting to see what would have become of the two had they not met and influenced one another so greatly.


Van Gogh's Influence

"Van Gogh’s greatness goes beyond his brilliant draftsmanship and approach to color and structure. [He] is the artist who almost single-handedly brought a greater sense of emotional depth to painting. In that way, he can truly be called the father of Expressionism.”
Ronald S. Lauder, 
President of the Neue Galerie, 

Van Gogh, born 1853, died at the age of 37 after  "one of the saddest episodes in a life already rife with sad events." In his last months alive Van Gogh struggled with "fits of despair and hallucination during which he could not work, and in between them, long clear months in which he could and did, punctuated by extreme visionary ecstasy."

 Van Gogh rose to prominence only after his death; posthumously influencing a new generation of artists with his innovative works.  His unique Post Impressionist style along with his brushwork and and use of color link together Impressionism and Expressionism. His symbolic use of color that expressed his personal emotions was the very definition of abstract Expressionism, and he has since been recognized as one of the founding fathers of the movement. Van Gogh's influence can also be seen in the use of color in Symbolist and Fauvist works. Since his death and up to modern day, Van Gogh has influenced thousands of artist -- all whom reinterpret his works in the light of their own concerns.  For Wassily Kandinsky, he represented the way forward to abstraction, while for Oskar Kokoschka, he signified a vital figurative tradition based on the great humanist art of the past. Erich Heckel was already experimenting with broken brushwork, but he found in Van Gogh a new sense of visual drama. Emil Nolde engaged with Van Gogh at a spiritual level, seeking like his mentor to “grasp what lies at the very heart of things” and “transform nature by infusing it with one’s own mind and spirit.”

For further information of Van Gogh's influence, watch "The Power of Art - Van Gogh":

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Schiele-Kant Connection

Here at A&M, my major is Philosophy. Although my thoughts gathered through the study of Philosophy often exert themselves in my art, it is a rare and savored occurence when I can relate something which I have found through other's art to something which I have studied in Philosophy. Today in class, I had that opportunity. In Egon Schiele's The Self Seer II (Death and the Man)
and A Nude Model before a Mirror, Schiele places himself within the painting. He arguably cannot remove himself from his works because he is inherently intertwined in anything which he makes. This theory is called projection. It is oft- used by the artists of the time, in reaction to the beliefs of Sigmund Freud, a famous and trending, Psychologist at the time. Given that I am not a Freud scholar, I see more parallels between this idea of projection and the 19th Century Philosopher Immanuel Kant. In Kant's The Critique of Practical Reason, he asserts that we cannot completely remove ourselves from the lens that we see the world through. That is, essentially, we cannot say that anything exists or is the way that we believe it to be without acknowledging that we view the world through each individual's "rose colored glasses." This, to me, is in great alignment with how Schiele presents himself in his paintings. By ever-including himself in his narrative, he is acknowledging his "lens" and creating a construct of his own reality through the painting which would be unavailable to others without this creation of his.  In conclusion, from two completely different fields of study, just from exposing myself to them both I have been able to draw connections which I would not have seen otherwise. Perhaps in the Visualization center, it would be interesting to have some sort of forum for drawing connections through art, across major-college lines. Certainly I would not be the only one to see some striking connections.
Shiele- The Self Seer
For more on Immanuel Kant, see:

Hammamet with its Mosque by Paul Klee (1914)

I want to put myself up for a challenge, a challenge of interpreting a painting that does not fire up in my art chamber by first look. The reason for that is that I want to try to explore matters that I am not totally familiar or confident with.

After a weekend of thoughts and questions asked to different people with a little of interest in art, I have come to terms with this presentation.
It does not take a genius to find that this is a very abstract image, but yet I still wanted to find out why I personally choose to challenge myself with this image, but through the weekend, I found why this is an important presentation to me, and specifically me.

There is an intense amount of coloristic possibilities in this presentation giving the opportunity to elaborate onto the tale that is going on.

The figures of the lower scape of the painting give it a characteristic poetic, imaginative border area of the figurative and the non-figurative. Like the seen and the not seen.

This is Hammamet today

One can argue that the stone in front the beach is Mr. Klee's way to express the non-figurate. Willingly or unwillingly, I have linked it to a style of painting that has been sweeping and evolving the Middle East for a very long time.
For the first time ever, I want to expose a painting (publicly) made by a family member (Mehdi, 2006) Damascus, Syria. This painting is made with three other paintings to be exhibited soon.


The Painter's Triumph

The Painter's Triumph, by William Sidney Mount is a suspicious painting in that the more the viewer looks at it, the more they see, the more they understand the meaning of the painting. Also suspicious is the fact that every single canvas in this painting is turned away from the sight of a viewer. We are not supposed to know what Mount has painted that the man on the right finds so interesting as we can see from his facial expression. At first glance, it looks as though there are just two men looking at a painting. One, obviously William, is showing off his artistic skills to a man who looks as though he was randomly selected off of the streets. This farmer-looking man is astonished at what he is seeing on the canvas in front of him. We discussed that as we look closer at the farmer, we discover that he is wearing an earring, which all comes down to the knowledge that he is a christian, he is a sailor, for the time period they are in, he is very well traveled for an American, and that he has better vision than that of those who were not sailors who wore earrings. This fact alone makes him all the more qualified to be judging Mount's painting and more meaningful if he  believes that it is a good piece of art. Mount's purpose of this painting is to prove that he, albeit American, not European, is just as talented an artist and a painter as a European artist who has more traveling experience and thought to be a better artist than any American artist. William's refusal of formal education by European artists, and this painting are forms of his trying to create or portray equality between America and Europeans, especially the artists. This can also be interpreted by the artist and the seemingly wealthy sailor both standing together fawning at this art piece as though they are equals. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Zwei Männer Am Tisch by Erich Heckel (1912)

Do not let the German title confuse you, but it solely means two men at the table.

This painting resembles two men discussing a subject, a subject that involves deep passion and sorrow projected by their faces. The colors play a crucial role in the undertone of the mode of the environment.
The painting involves the characteristics of melancholia and depression. Really this vision depicts the faithful and the scientist. On the walls one can see the a illustration of a painting with Jesus on the ground off the cross on the side of the person that seems to be representing the religious aspect of life.

On the other side, one can see the standing passionate aspect of a man proposing theories, hypothesis based on knowledge. Behind him is another painting depicting a serious man, possible a great personality in science, art, or another famous person of the time. Most importantly, the person in the painting is most likely non-superstitious as well.

There is a rugged expressionist style over his painting with etching solid colors. The painting is definitely has a story with a beginning, middle, and end, all culminated. 

In relation to this beautiful composition, I found a convincing theme that reminded me a lot of it, and here it is.

Same title (Zwei Männer Am Tisch) by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff  1923



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That Green Line

Henri Matisse, Portrait of Madame Matisse (The Green Line) (1905)

   Henri Matisse seems to be influencing a wide range of people with his diverse set of art styles; he is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century after all. Leading the Fauvism movement, with his high degree of abstract paintings, he made the Green line famous. Portrayed in Portrait of Madame Matisse (The Green Line) (1905), shows a green line divide the face of the wife. Other artist soon caught on to the fashion, and started to use it in their own paintings.

   An artist in particular that I am reminded of is Kathy Sosa, currently being displayed in the MSC’s James Reynolds Student Art Gallery. The MSC Visual Arts Committee presents the San Antonio-based artist, exhibiting her mixed media portraiture, containing vibrant oil portraits collages with fabric, wallpaper or photographs. “The exhibited pieces take a modern approach to traditional Mesoamerican folk art.” You can see more of her work at her website, The exhibition will end on March 15th. (A&M, 2013)

   Another part in pop culture that I see this style in is The Shadow Magazine. Launched in 1931, it soon established a monthly schedule and doubled to a twice monthly schedule in 1932, which met its end in the Summer of 1949. It published 325 issues, which had a lead novel featuring Kent Allard, "The Shadow," as well as a small number of short stories and other features. The Shadows’s covers often display the main character’s face, divided by a shadow contour. You can most likely see inspiration from comic books covers having a protagonist or antagonist character’s face divided by a contour, displaying one side darker than the other.

A&M. "Texas A&M University Calendar: Kathy Sosa Exhibition." Texas A&M University Calendar. Texas A&M University, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
"The Shadow Magazine." The Shadow Magazine. Philsp, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Observations on The Scream

The Scream Link

Henri Matisse's Progression

Henri Maltisee's Progression

Henri Matisse was a French painter that was very unique in a sense that he practiced many styles of painting. Most artists have a distinct style in a way that their work can be picked out from their similar qualities, but not Matisse. He was a painter that really got in touch with his emotions while painting and the progression of his emotions are clearly observed through the painting The Dinner Table (La Desserte) and a later rendition The Dessert: Harmony in Red. 

Maltisse painted The Dinner Table (La Desserte) earlier in his career. In this painting, he is fairly using representational color with an emphasis on red and maybe a little green as well. The maid setting the full abundant table tells us reveals  that Matisse is in a positive happy mental state.
Matisse painted The Dessert: Harmony in Red later in his career and an obvious change can be seen. The paintings both hold the same points of interest such s the table, the maid, chairs, and a window. However, in this edition, Matisse's main focus is not that of an extravagant table setting but more on the designs on the table and wall. At this point in his career he is painting solely on what he finds the most appealing and at the time he was painting this, it was the patterns. The colors used on the food and the maid are irrelevant while the red used on the table and wall are vibrant and loud.

The drastic change between the two paintings are due to his progressing career and learning new techniques from new mentors such as John Peter Russel. It is a progression to a more abstract style that coincides with a further parting of traditional academic art. Matisse progressed from more traditional style to and abstract style that was based on how he felt with nothing to do with "guidelines".

Like a child

This triptych created by Emil Nolde portray the story of Saint Mary of Egypt (the story from the link is about half-way down the page.) The religious reference of the subject is mirrored in the use of a triptych, or 3 paneled work, which was traditionally used for alter pieces. See here or here for examples of traditional triptychs

Saint Mary of Egypt, Emil Nolde,
Emil Nolde participated in an art movement called Die Bruke, or "the Bridge". They wanted to bridge the past and the future of art and culture. Color played a large role in their artwork pieces, and they tended to include primitiveness. This idea can be seen in the child-like rendering of images shown above this paragraph. Emil Nolde wanted to maintain as close a rendering to what an innocent and untainted mind would portray. Children and less industrialized nations were viewed by many artists as having some sort of intrinsic truth.
The style reminded me of many comments I have heard about modern art, ones that specifically use the words "my 5-year old could have made that".
Jean-Michel Basquiat, for example, painted in a very colorful style with obvious brush strokes, like Nolde did. He referenced spiritual topics, like the crown of thorns pictured in the piece below, and he painted in a primitive style similar to that of tiki's or African masks. Some people thought he was always inhibited by some substance and couldn't therefor make more academic art. Some critics simply did not like his style. This article discusses Basquiat's life and the thoughts of some of his critics.
I have also heard that several people's 5-year olds could have made Pollock's or  Mondrain's paintings. Often these critics would find that it would take a lot more than a 5-year old to reproduce some of those popular pieces of art. Additionally, art isn't always about the skill used to produce something at which we look, but it sometimes is about the skill used to change the way we look at something.

Street, Dresden by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

       Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was an architecture student before he became an artist. A born German, Kirchner founded the artists' group Die Brucke (The Bridge) in 1905. Similar to Expressionism, Die Brucke sought to capture the raw emotion behind works of art, frequently taking the themes of modern society as reference points.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Street, Dresden. 1908 (reworked 1919; dated on painting 1907)
      The work features a crowded city street. Men and women walk about, attending to their daily tasks. A monorail is shown in the background, taking a group of people elsewhere in the city.What makes Street, Dresden unique is the facial features of the subjects of the work: most are shown walking away from the viewer, preventing their faces from being visible. The people who are actually taking time out of their day to stare at the viewer do so with blank, almost mask-like expressions. It is as if the monotony of daily life in the city has taken a toll on their psyche, putting a visible drag in their step. The young girl pictured in the center work, for instance, almost appears mentally insane based on her slouched posture and wildly open arms.
       One unavoidable characteristic of modern art is that themes, the words and images that our minds use to label the world, are often idealized, exaggerated, and occasionally made into stereotypes. Street, Dresden dramatizes Kirchner's perception that life in the city takes a certain mental toll on its inhabitants. There is some truth to this perception, however. Research has shown that living in a city with no visible nature (which was often the case during the ongoing modernization of Europe) can inhibit the brain's higher functions, such as self-control, and also make the brain more susceptible to stress. All because of the controlled chaos of city life. The human brain simply needs the occasional break.
       At the time Street, Dresden was painted, Europe was being influenced by the works of notable figures like Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx. Marx's socialist ideas presented in his Communist Manifesto were new at the time, and Kirchner likely believed that the hierarchy of society, which Marx opposed, was what had reduced the people to this masked state.

Saint Mary of Egypt

 These three panels together by Emile Nolde are called "Saint Mary of Egypt". They Depict a story of Mary, who in first panel, above, is actually not a saint, but a prostitute who heard of a group of people who were going to pillage a church. She thought she could make a lot of money off of the men who would be there, so the first picture is of her dancing for some of the men.
 This panel of the triptych is showing when Mary wanted to enter the church, but something inside of her wouldn't let her enter. She fell to her knees and threw up her hands in begging for forgiveness for the way she has been living her life. 
Mary had made a personal promise to God that for forgiveness for her earlier behavior in her life, she would be bound to live in the desert for the rest of her life, never to return to society. This panel shows a monk who has come across Mary, heard her story and wants to take her back and help clean her up. But Mary refuses. She does ask the monk to come back in exactly one year to visit her. In one year, the monk comes back to find Mary's body dead. He tries to dig a hole to give her a proper burial, but can't because he is digging in the sand. The lion walks up and helps the man bury Mary once and for all.

This painting, to me, is a perfect example of how people can change when they are changed by God and not by their own decisions. This is an amazing and inspiring story for anyone to hear or to see. Emile's use of harsh color makes it all the more eye-catching and able to draw in a viewer who may need to see this piece of art. He also uses aggressive and reckless brush strokes, the harsh color, and the distortion of the faces and forms to portray the sinful ora that is about this piece. The viewer can also see Nolde's intense passion for this piece and for the message it portrays. He is seen to have strong feelings about this situation and these goings on in Europe at the time and this was his way of illuminating his thoughts and sharing them with whomever would take the time out to study his painting.

What is Art, Science, and Technology?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Picnic in the Country

Vlaminck was very much encouraged and influenced by Matisse in his painting style. Picnic in the Country, by Maurice de Vlaminck depicts a man and a woman who are having a picnic together in the middle of the country where there is nothing and nobody else around to distract or deter their attention away from each other. This was done during a period of time when a form of industrialization and many various forms of shopping and things that took people's attentions away from things that used to matter most, like leisure time doing nothing but being with the ones that they love. The man does not even almost have a face. That could be because his face is not important for the contents of the whole scheme of the picture. This painting shows two people who seem to be very much in love and enjoying each other's presence just simply having a picnic. Though, if they are said to be out in the country, where there is nothing around them, what is the chaos that is happening in the foreground and background? They are surrounded by the energy and intensity of love and romantic emotion. This intense emotion of the artist at the time can also be seen in the harsh way he painted this. The brush strokes are not meant to make a beautiful picture in what the viewer would see as they look at this painting; these brush strokes are meant to make the viewer feel something when they look at this painting. 


Portrait of Madame Matisse (Green-stripe), 1905, Henri Matisse

The piece pictured above radically influenced art. Matisse, a Fauvist, used a simple green stripe down his wife's face, and critics hated it. Its cryptic meaning did not cater to their old-school tastes. The artists of the time, however, loved it. In fact, many of them began to put a green stripe on the faces they painted as a cultural reference to this piece. Some are featured below...

Portrait de Marie Therese, 1937, Pablo Picasso

This is a modern piece by Joseph Garnett, see here

Marie-Therese Walter, 1937, Pablo Picasso

Each of these people made a clear reference to Matisse's work, and Picasso may have even been referencing Matisse's wife as the subject by painting his mistress.

Society is Not Interested in Art

"Society is basically not interested in art. Art has a purpose of its own." - Donald Judd

Theory Has Nothing to do with a Work of Art

Gerhard Richter Quotes

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dance, Dance

Dance II by Henri Matisse

   Henri Matisse, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, led the Fauvism movement with his high degree of abstract paintings. One painting in particular, The Dance II, is recognized as “a key point of [his] career and in the development of modern painting” (Russell, 1996). Originally, this painting started with a previous work titled Dance, which was pretty much a draft for his commissioned work, but decided to incorporate more color into the painting. The two versions were inspired by Matisse’s work, Joy of Life. The painting depicts 5 naked men and women dancing in a circle, while holding hands. Matisse uses bold outlines to isolate the intense brick red color of the nude bodies, the solid green grass, and the intense dark blue skies.

    The dancing nudes express Matisse’s feelings toward emotional liberation, and the joy of being free. It’s almost like the metaphor of having nothing weighing you down (clothing), you are free to dance with no care in the world. Symbolically, clothes can represent the rise of industrialism, and by not having any type of clothes represented on the figures, it shows that they are liberated with pleasure.

 The painting can sometimes can be associated with the “Dance of the Young Girls” from the famous musical The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky. The Rite of Spring is an orchestral concert, and the music for the “Dance of the Young Girls” kind of reminds me of Jaws. Some scenes that I watched from a Youtube, as well as pictures from the internet, seem to capture the essence of the painting quite beautifully.

    What this painting mainly reminds me of is the movie, “The Crucible,” the scene where the 7 girls dance with the black slave, Tituba, in the forest. Do you remember that? Arnason’s textbook, says that Matisse tries to capture the joyful feeling of being free in this picture, but all I am led to see is some sort of which craft, thanks to pop culture.
Arnason, H. Harvard. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1968. Print.
Cacace, Christopher. "History and Analysis of Dance II & Music by Henri Matisse." Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo, 3 May 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
Dabrowski, Magdalena. "Henri Matisse (1869–1954)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)
Russell T. Clement. Four French Symbolists. Greenwood Press, 1996. Page 114.

A Carnival Evening with Rousseau

Henri Rousseau, Carnival Evening (1886)

Henri Rousseau was an autodidact, or self-taught, French Post-Impressionist painter. Although most widely known for the elaborate jungle scenes of his later years, Rousseau was also adept at a style of painting that he coined himself called "portrait landscape." Carnival Evening is one of those portrait landscapes. It's dark, extremely detailed trees and branches starkly contrast with the brightness of the moon and the lone couple in the foreground.  This shocking contrast immediately draws the viewer's attention to that lone couple who almost seem to be glowing from within. Looking closer the couple can now be recognized to be wearing festive carnival costumes. Upon even further investigation, and possibly some research, the characters can be identified as Pierrot and Columbine. 'Why?' is the question on most peoples minds. Most critics were confused by Rousseau's works and often ridiculed it, writing him off as a naive or primitive painter.   Essayist Guy Davenport observed that "until we are willing to enter Rousseau's world, we are going to misread all of his paintings."  Carnival Evening expertly demonstrates Rousseau's "unique chromatic imagination, his proto-surrealist ability to juggle unexpected pictorial elements, and his untutored but brilliant skill in the stylization of forms."Rousseau simply could not paint the same way the academic painters did for one reason: he frankly did not see what they did. While they were content to continuously paint the same thing, things Rousseau saw were transformed in his mind into the visions that he transferred to canvas. Visions that were rarely met without strong emotional responses; be it amusement, confusion or admiration.

Source:  Christopher Riopelle, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 202.

Henri Matisse and Fauvism

       The story of Henri Matisse and Fauvism begins around 1890, when he was in convalescence after a case of appendicitis. It was during this period of recovery that Matisse learned to paint, and he became an artist not too long after that, forsaking his previous occupation of lawyer. This began the process by which the end he had become a major pioneer of Fauvism in the art world.
       Matisse began developing his repertoire of skills first at a standard art academy, but left out of frustration due to the perfectionist style that the academy taught. As time went on, he was influenced by the Pointillist style of Georges Seurat (La Grande Jatte) and Paul Signac (Portrait of Felix Feneon). Matisse's first major work was painted while he was in Saint-Tropez in France.  
       Lux, calme et Volupe's main feature is bright, vibrant scenery with all seven colors of the rainbow. Within the color and strokes clearly influenced by Pointillism, several nude women are shown lounging in the sunlight. The title of the work comes from an excerpt in Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs de Mal (The Flowers of Evil):

                          Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
                          Luxe, calme et volupté.

                          There all is order and beauty,
                          Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

Luxe, calme et volupte. Grande Jatte.

       Matisse showed this work at the Salon d'Automne in 1905, and received a response typical of artists who deviated from traditional academic practices: scornful jeers and biting criticism. Like Impressionism, however, it was at this Salon that the Fauvist movement was coined. Matisse was called a "fauve" (French for "wild beast"), and that was how a new movement was born.
       Fauvism was similar to Impressionism; both featured bright and strong brushwork. Fauvism is different, however, in that it does not focus on the reflection of light as much as the sheer spontaneity of color throughout the work: objects are colored in a non-representational style, in that they are not the normal color that one would see in the real world. It would not be farfetched to say that Fauvism was similar to Expressionism as well. Both styles incorporate sinuous and whimsical strokes to project a powerful emotion to the viewer. The main difference between Fauvism and Expressionism was that Expressionism did not have the non-representational color palette of Fauvism.  The Open Window (1905), also by Matisse. Compared to Edvard Munch's The Scream.

Portrait of Madame Matisse by Henry Matisse (1905)

I choose to write about this specific painting due to the fact I saw the original painting back in Denmark. It is exciting to be able to remember one piece of art out of thousands, and thousands of different other paintings and art structures.

A under-appreciator will probably just claim that there isn't to much thought to this presentation. There is only less than half a dozen colors in the whole painting, but I believe that the colors are chosen for the specific purpose of giving Madame Matisse a dominant feminine look.

Dark orange, light purple, light red with pink, olive green, yellow and black is what is to be seen from far away, but amazingly enough I feel like I can see so many different art styles in just one painting. I see expressionism, pointillism, and synthetism. Now again, I do not know if that is quite right, but despite that I really think that he incorporates different eras in just one.

The painting is extremely vivid with a blurring echo of her power if you will. I can seem to come to a conclusion of why Henry Matisse decided to paint his wife with a green stripe going down her face, so I looked up a real life portrait of her, and she looks like this:

It took quite some time to find a picture of her, which is why this blog is posted so late on the day, but I am most certainly impressed by the Henri Matisse's elegant brush strokes now more than ever. I must say he is a true artist due to the fact that he could depict his wife with great precision and complexity. Now do not let the word complexity confuse you. What is meant by complexity in this context is like I mentioned before, despite the few colors used there is an enormous amount of effort in this specific artwork. 

There is not a right answer in art, but despite that I want to elaborate because I can not stop doing it, but if I put myself in behind Henry Matisse's eyes, I see that really payed close attention to detail. Moreover, I feel like he tried to show the world what he sees in his wife, and that is where he incorporated the green stripe. That was the glory right in the middle of her face. Matisse is giving the world something that we can all see, but something that only he can feel.

I have a theory that the green stripe gave the world a new perspective on portraits in general. Now, I do not know if I am off on a tangent, but it is depicted in a lot of very famous art works after Matisse, and here are some examples, but just before I end off I would like to add that the upcoming works do not necessarily have anything that even resembles a green stripe, but it is based on the same idea of Matisse's. I think he had in mind to show us how he can just the background and the front segregated. It is the side view with the vibrant naturalistic shade that he possibly empowered.

Frida Kahlo

President Barrack Obama

Ernesto Che Guevara

NOTE: Please do not focus on historical or political content of the examples. This is solely depicted paintings, 3D animations, and photographs that I could think of with the use of Matisse's lightning effect (or similiar) .

2 non visual sources:

1) Involving Matisse and his model describing the history line of how the development went on. (FOCUS paragraph 4 and 7)

Spurling, Hilary
Smithsonian, Oct2005, Vol. 36 Issue 7, p72-80, 9p, 9 Color Photographs, 5 Black and White Photographs
Document Type:
Subject Terms:
MATISSE, Henri, 1869-1954
WOMEN in art
NUDE in art
Focuses on the painter Henri Matisse. Relocation to Nice after Nazi Germany overthrew France in 1940; Posing of Matisse's wife, Amélie, who was attracted to the desperation and danger of Matisse, represented in his paintings; Controversy of Matisse's paintings "Woman in a Hat" and "Portrait of Madame Matisse" among contemporaries due to their riotous colors.
Full Text Word Count:
Accession Number:
MasterFILE Premier

2) Authors:

Lubow, Arthur
Smithsonian, Jan2012, Vol. 42 Issue 9, p50-62, 10p
Document Type:
Subject Terms:
ART -- Collectors & collecting -- History -- 20th century
STEIN, Gertrude, 1874-1946
STEIN, Michael
PICASSO, Pablo, 1881-1973
MATISSE, Henri, 1869-1954
CEZANNE, Paul, 1839-1906
PARIS (France) -- History -- 1870-1940
Geographic Terms:
PARIS (France)
The article discusses the art collecting of writer Gertrude Stein and her brothers Leo Stein and Michael Stein, as well as Michael's wife, Sarah. It examines a period in the early twentieth century when they lived in Paris, France. The author comments on their relationships with and collecting of the art of several artists, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cézanne, particularly noting the purchase of the Matisse painting "Woman with a Hat." The author also considers how Gertrude Stein's interest in art impacted her writing. INSET: CATALYZING MODERN ART.
Full Text Word Count:
Accession Number:
MasterFILE Premier

Le Regard/The Gaze

Gaze Prezi

Devouring Children makes for Great Sculpture

Jean Baptiste Carpeaux "Ugolino and His sons"

The character portrayed here is Ugolino and his sons whom appear in Canto 33 of Dante's Inferno. Imprisoned and left to die of starvation Ugolino's sons urge him to eat them so he may live longer: 
But when to our somber cell was thrown
A slender ray, and each face was lit
I saw in each the aspect of my own,
For very grief both of my hands I bit,
And suddenly from the floor arising they,
Thinking my hunger was the cause of it,
Exclaimed: Father eat thou of us, and stay
Our suffering: thou didst our being dress
In this sad flesh; now strip it all away.
Carpeaux's composition depicts his admiration of painstaking anatomical accuracy and realism. This work also demonstrates the influence of the High Renaissance Masters, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo. This piece contrasts very highly with a composition of the same scene by Auguste Rodin, whom worked in the realm of sculpting at the same time as Carpeaux.

Rodin's composition pushes the boundaries of Academic art towards the future of more modernist movements. Carpeaux however, utilizes a more classical approach. The lack of muscular emphasis and the movement away from standardized emotions in Rodin's piece makes the sculpture more of an experience -- an open ended question if you will. Although it's a step towards the future, I feel that Rodin's sculpture doesn't as accurately capture the gravity of the situation. Using tried and true practices, Carpeaux mimics the sculptures made during the High Renaissance period through a very traditional yet romantic style. Carpeaux's use of standardized emotions and heroically idealized figures more vividly articulate Ugolino's internal conflict. Although he's no Michelangelo, Carpeaux does great justice to the traditional side of sculpture and deserves his place in art history, albeit in the shadow of the High Renaissance Masters.