Archive for brancusi

Happy Birthday Dear Modigliani!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , on July 12, 2009 by echostains

Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani

It’s Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani today.  He was born in Italy in 1884 and died  in 1920.  Modigliani led a typical bohemian lifestyle, but with more excesses than most.  He was marked for an early death by contracting TB whilst young.

Modigliani, famous for his portraits and nudes

Modigliani, famous for his portraits and nudes

Modigliani’s style is his own though.  He is not easily classified, though he is often called an Expressionist.  He was influenced by Toulouse Lautrec, Cezanne:  his sculpture owes much to the influence of  Brancusi.  Although he did paint a few landscapes, he became famous for his portraits and nudes.  

Amedeo-Modigliani sculpture

Amedeo-Modigliani sculpture

A brief summery of his life and work can be seen HERE

modigliani nude

modigliani nude


More of my posts celebrating artist’s birthday;




Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton


Van Gogh







Favorite Art: Art I LOVE, Frank Auerbach ‘Head of Gerda Boehm’ The Head Says it All

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by echostains



In 2002, the Frank Auerbach Retrospective at The Royal Academy London had a profound effect on me.  ‘The Head of Gerda Boehm’is a relatively small painting (about 13 in x 13 in), but the effect it had on me was enormous.  Before I had seen this painting, I could never understand why Auerbach painted the same model every day for year: though I could understand the compulsion of why he scraped back, layering brushstrokes with the intervention of the knife; –

” These brushstrokes, forever catching the changing light, the accidental drips, the swirling paint sometimes laid on like butter or mixed up like concrete, or at other times reminiscent of the viciousness of black pitch, are all testaments to a unique way of making and marking down reality in a visual way, which is all that visual art of whatever direction can hope to do.”   (Norman Rosenthal)

The head of Gerda Boehm shouts: she has a voice!  It comes from beneath the layers of paint – it is beyond paint.  Auerbach has gone beyond paint, he has captured her essence!  It is so certain because it affects the viewer through the senses.  I am speaking from my own experience of course.  Rosenthal is in a way right, Auerbach may indeed be marking down reality, but everyone experiences ‘reality’ differently, everyone has their own reality: reality is subjective.


What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things…it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.”   (Brancusi)

Taken from my short dissertation ‘Echostains: The Artist as Magician’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nothing beats seeing the real thing, reproductions will only ever be just that – reproductions.