Archive for January, 2012

Happy Birthday Chaim Soutine!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by echostains

Soutine by Modigliani

Today is the birthday of Expressionist artist Chaim Soutine (b 1893 – 1943 Belarus)  Soutine who was inspired by classical painting in the European tradition  and favoured colour, texture and shape over representation.  His work acted as a bridge between traditional approach and the evolvment of Abstract Expressionism.

Born near Minsk (when it was part of the Russian empire) and one of eleven children, Soutine studied at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius between 1910 – 1913  He emigrated  to Paris with fellow artist Pinchus Kremegne (1890 – 1981) and Michel Kikoine 1892 – 1968) where he studied under Fernand Cormon at the Errcole des Beaux-Arts.

Little Girl with Doll 1919

Portait of a Nurse c 1916

He became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920)   and he painted Soutine’s portrait several times when they were all struggling artists in Montparnasse. Modigliani’s  most famous portrait of Soutine was painted on an apartment door belonging to Leopold Zborowski (1889 – 1932) their art dealer.  Zborowski was later to take the artist to Nice to escape Paris when it was being bombed in WWI.

After struggle and poverty, often helped by his friends and  fellow artists, Soutine finally managed to sell 100 paintings to American collector Albert C. Barnes who established his Foundation Museum in Merion, USA in 1922..  With the proceeds, the artist now began to enjoy a better life and dividing his time between Paris , the Pyrenees and the Riviera.

Man with ribbons

Although a passionate artist, Soutine left few works.  He suffered from anxiety and tempers and destroyed a lot of his paintings.  There are a few stories about this artist which give us a sketch of his personality and the effect it had upon his work.  One of them concerns one of his most iconic set of images  series  Le Boeuf Ecorche’ .

Three studies for the Crucifixion by Francis Bacon 1962

His neighbours complained about the stench of the animal carcass which he kept in his studio and called the police.  But Soutine remained unrepentant, advocating art over hygiene.  He painted 10 of the carcass paintings,  inspired by Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef (1655) sometimes known as The Flayed Ox after studying the Old Master’s in the Louvre, Paris.  One of the paintings in Soutine’s series Le Boeuf Ecorche’(1924) sold for £7.8 million in 2006.

Little Pastry Cook

His work is characterised by its frantic brushwork, often violent colour and distorted images which covey emotion and he liked to paint bell boys, waiters and hotel workers – ordinary everyday people. In 1937 Soutine was hailed as a great painter, even though he did not take part in an important exhibition The Origins and Development of International Independent Art which was held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume.  Very soon after that, the France was invaded by the Germans and Soutine, as a Jew had to flee Paris to avoid arrest by the Gestapo.  He lived as best he could and eventually left a safe shelter to return to Paris for an operation for a bleeding stomach ulcer.  The operation was not a success and he died of a perforated ulcer on August 9, 1943  . Soutine was interred in Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Video by bestjonbon with thanks!

Also thanks to;-

Lots of information about this artist here

Modiglini portrait of Soutine from here

Man with Ribbons and Little Pastry Cook images from here

Bacon triptych image from here

Landschaft mit Häusern, 1918 and Portait of a Nurse, c. 1916   Little Girl with Doll, 1919  all from this blogspot

Good images from Oscar Grillo Oscartoons  and here

PLUS

There’s a big birthday party going on over at my sister site Bookstains – and you’re invited!

UPDATE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT BURNS (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)  Here’s a video I made of Scottish artists;-

Advertisements

Legacies; Goodbye Helen Frankenhaler

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, HISTORY, POETRY, SCULPTURE, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by echostains

On 27th December 2011, the death of New York Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenhaler was announced (b 1928 Manhattan USA).  The artist was 83 years old when she died at her home in Darien Conn. Frankenhaler, influenced by Pollock poured thinned oil paint which was diluted with turpentine directly onto canvas to achieve lyrical use of colour (her ‘soak stain’ technique). This technique, which was adopted by Pollock, Morris Louis (1912–1962), and Kenneth Noland (1924–2010 )helped lead and paved the way for a newer generation of abstract painting which became known as Color Field painting. Like Pollock, Frankenhaler also worked on the floor  pouring diluted paint onto the canvas and allowing it to soak through to produce the illusionistic stains.

Mountain and Sky

Her work was included in the 1964 exhibition Post Painterly Abstraction, which was curated by the critic Clement Greenberg who promoted Abstract Expressionism.  Frankenhaler’s work has been exhibited over 6 decades (1950s onwards) and has had several retrospectives.  She is also one of the artists I originally referenced when I first conceived the Echostains project in 2002.  This year sees the 10th anniversary of my project which has just grown and grown!  More news of this later in the year.

Poetree

From Frankenhaler’s legacy to a rather curious and  anonymous ‘gift’ which caught my imagination. Last year in an Edinburgh library, a series of sculptures began to appear.  The first sculpture, placed on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library was most appropriately carved from paper, mounted on a book and bore a tag with the library’s Twitter account number on @byleaveswelive  This is what it said;-

It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)

Next to the Poetree sat a paper egg with a scattering of words which when put together made up the sentence “A Trace of Wings’ by Edwin Morgan (see here) Despite local news coverage, no information has been found about the maker of the work.

more mystery

Then in June 2011, another paper sculpture was received, the donor this time chose The National Scottish Library as it’s recipient.  The sculpture is in the form of a gramophone and a coffin and is sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin’s ‘Exit Music’  The tag reads;-

For @natlibscot – A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. (& against their exit)

In these days of Kindle  (smacks of Orwell’s 1984 to me) nothing beats the tactile thrill of holding, caressing, smelling, –  the physical page turning, the owning of and even the dog earing of  the physical object of a BOOK.   A physical object that holds so much of our dreams, imagination and is our portal to another world. It’s wonderful that these paper sculptures should pay homage to this – long may they keep popping up!

There are more of these sculptures

Helen Frankenhaler’s obituary here and here

Frankenhaler portrait  and more information about this artist  here

Sky and Sea by Helen Frankenhaler from here

Paper sculpture Poetree image  from here  and gramaphone sculpture from here with thanks!

Information and more images are available from this site with thanks!

Barbera Hepworth’s birthday (January 10th)  read my post about her here

PLUS

Its back! The original and eclectic Bookstains!