Archive for June, 2011

Happy Birthday Antoni Gaudi!

Posted in Architecture, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, DESIGN with tags , , , , on June 25, 2011 by echostains

Antoni Gaudi

Today is the birthday of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.  Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí Cornet (to give him his full title) was born on this day in 1852 and died in 1926.  It is unknown where exactly he was born, but it may have been either Reus or Riudoms (he was baptised the day after his birth in the church  Sant Pere Apòstol in Reus, though he always stated his family was from Riudoms.

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Anyone who has seen Gaudi’s architecture never forgets it.  It is both beautiful yet playful and very very striking.  Barcelona abounds with it.  Gaudi is the best known Catalan Modernist, though he was briefly influenced by neo-Gothic art, he became part of the Catalan Modernista movement which was at its peak towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

Casa Batilo roof and Gaudi's famous garlic form

Gaudi was inspired by nature and his work has an organic quality to it and shows his earlier oriental influences.  He studied at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher school of architecture, graduating in 1878.  He worked as a draughtsman to supplement his studies.

entrance hall Casa Vicens

His first important commission  was the Casa Vicens and after this success he received more commissions.  At the Worlds Fair he impressed Catalan Industrialist Eusebi Güell.  Gaudi was to work on future projects for Guell who became a firm friend an important patron and whom Gaudi did some of his most beautiful work for.

Finca Guell ventilation tower with ceramics

A lot has been written about this enigmatic architect and craftsman.  He has left the world a beautiful legacy  of architecture, and craftsmanship which shows such a purity of vision and just looking at it brings joy to the soul.

Casa Calvet

For more about this remarkable artist  read here

Gaudi’s life and works here 

All images from this fantastic site dedicated to the architect here

Gilded wood anagram designed by Gaudi with the letters JMJ (Jesus, Mary and Joseph

MEANWHILE…….Did you know that there are Goblins over
at Bookstains?  Just click here

Poll Truth or Fiction?

Posted in ART, ART QUOTES with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2011 by echostains

Which of these art quotes speak truthfully to you and which do you disagree with?  Just vote for your favorite and why you disagree with any.  Truth or fiction?  It’s all subjective. 

I agree with Da Vinci who illustrates the difference between poetry and art so succinctly.  

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.  ~Leonardo da Vinci

But as usual, Picasso has a rather dramatic yet persuasive way with words (but I can’t disagree with him)

We all know that Art is not truth.  Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.  The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.  ~Pablo Picasso

 I can see where Mattise is coming from – but he makes it sound so boring:-

I don’t paint things.  I only paint the difference between things.  ~Henri Matisse

  I also agree with Degas too.  I have seen a lot of very delightful art made by untrained children and sometimes breaking the rules can free your art. 

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.  ~Edgar Degas

Rouault’s strangled laugh sounds quite terrifying, a kind of torturous escapism  (and one I haven’t experienced…yet) so I would have to disagree with him:-

For me, painting is a way to forget life.  It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.  ~Georges Rouault

I have to agree with Claes Oldenburg to an extent, I do like art to do something rather than sit in a museum – but I do like to know where it is for when I want to visit it 🙂

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.  ~Claes Oldenburg

So, to sum up  Leonardo Da Vinci gets my ‘truth’ vote and poor old Rouault gets my disagreement vote 😉 

Art quotes are from The Quote garden

The puzzle image comes from here

PLUS

 

Happy Birthday Egon Schiele!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by echostains

Nude-woman-hair-dressing

Today is the birthday of Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele (b. 1890 – 1918).  Schiele was a protégé of Gustave Klimt and is also associated with the art nouveau movement.  His expressive use of line indicates his substantial  talent.   Shieles’ figures are often twisted and distorted.  They are sinewy, sexually posed and very often disturbing. 

Seated-Woman-With-Bent-Knee

Schiele attended the Vienna School of Art and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule) where Gustave Klimt had also studied.  After a year, and at his relative’s insistence, he then moved onto the more traditional Akademie der Bildenden Künste  where  he studied drawing and painting.

Standing-Male-Nude-With-A-Red-Loincloth

Gustave Klimt took a lot of interest in Schiele, mentoring him  and even buying some of his drawings.  Klimt appreciated Schiele’s talent and  took the young artist under his wing,, securing him patrons and introducing him to the arts and crafts workshop (Wiener Werkstätte,) who were connected with the Secession

Standing-nude-young-girl

In 1909, under Klimt guidance, Schiele exhibited at the Vienna Kunstschau.  There he was to encounter the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch who also exhibited.  Schiele’s work explored the human form and sexuality, which is often very explicit in some of his work.  The artist himself was often the centre of controversy over his involvement with his young models.  His favorite model was 17-year-old Valerie Neuzil (known as Wally) and she features heavily in his work.

Frau-Schiele

Schiele’s led a very chequered life – and  was even imprisoned briefly for using underage models.  In time he married a ‘suitable’ and more socially acceptable bride than poor Wally.  In World War 1 he was stationed in Prague were he drew and painted whilst guarding the Russian prisoners of war.   In 1918 he took part in the Secession’s 49th exhibition in Vienna, where he also designed a poster for the event, as well as exhibiting 50 works.  The success of this show was to elevate Schiele’s work, increasing its  popularity and its price.  Schiele died a tragic death three days after his pregnant wife in the autumn of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic.  He was only 28 years old.

Dead-Mother

More detail of Schiele’s life can be found here

All images from http://www.egon-schiele.net/ with thanks!

Masquerade – A celebration of Masks

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by echostains

It’s been a while since I posted.  I have been busy  compiling another video – a  a celebration of masks from history, cultures and of course art.  The most prolific artist who featured a lot of  of masks in his work was probably James Ensor ( 1860 –  1949) and many of his mask paintings are featured in this video.  Picasso, Matisse and Watteau also appear in the video, along with masks from different cultures.  There’s even a few quirky ones (knitted) which I’ve added and a few TV characters who are famous for wearing masks.  Hope you enjoy the video (and recognise some of the paintings)

Many image credits here;-

Picasso here here here

Pietro Longhi here  and here Magritte here Banksy here   Eileen Agar here  and here Salvador Mayol

Thomas Eakins    Louis Emile Durandelle   Man Ray Brancusi  Zeng Fanzhi  Watteau Diane Dooley Natalie Holland

Green Man  Abriginal  and here  Chinese, Japanese and Greek mask here  American Indian Indian  Roman Chinese

PLUS

Another Poetry challenge over on Bookstains!  Just click and go!