Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘luxe’

RedStudio

Charles Jencks’ book on Post-Modernism was at 700 JE on the library shelf. What a relief, I had to refresh my memory on what he says about Pruitt-Igoe.  But at 700 HO, right next to Jencks, was “Art for Dummies.”  I pulled it off the shelf, hoping to find something to chuckle over after a week of overworking myself.  Hoving!  They got Thomas Hoving to contribute to the For Dummies series?!  I opened the book at random and there on p. 173 under the heading “Is Modern Art Something of a Joke?” I found this wonderful paragraph:

“Modern art is, admittedly, rash, confusing, prone to making one suspect that it’s all a joke, annoying at times, and forever puzzling as to meaning and significance.  Yet, much of it possesses a power and an elegance equal to the greatest earlier movements and styles in Western art.  The real gift of Modern art is that it allowed artists, if they wanted, to go far beyond the rather restricted practice of copying a subject faithfully.  Pure energy could be expressed.  So could mysterious emotion.  It takes dedication and lots of work to come to grips with Modern art, but when you have saturated yourself in it, you will, in time, appreciate the explosive genius of Picasso and the infinite calm and serenity of its most illustrious master, who is, in my opinion Henri Matisse.  He once observed that he wanted to create an art that might be so comforting that tired businessmen would readily turn to it for solace.  Once you gaze at his triumphant Red Studio or Luxe, Calme et Volupté, in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, you’ll see that he succeeded.”

I took it to the circulation desk and checked it out along with the architecture books.  In his Art for Dummies book Hoving inserts some cartoons by Rich Tennant—something to chuckle over, after all.

LuxeCalmVolupte

Henri Matiss,  Red Studio, 1911

Henru Matisse, Luxe, Calme et Volupté, 1904

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

www.katherinehilden.com

www.khilden.com

Read Full Post »

I did this small drawing (6×10) yesterday from fast poses, about one to three minutes.  Now, a day later, it reminds me of Matisse’s painting, “Luxe, Calme et Volupté,” 1905.  Not in technique, but in the sense of pleasure that it conveys.   In the Matisse painting, as in my drawing, the nudes are at ease and are loosely sketched, without much fuss about anatomy.

But there’s another connection and that has to do with the pleasure of doing the work.  I can’t speak for Matisse, though he must have enjoyed the freedom of those wild colors in his Fauve years. (“Fauve” means wild beast.)

I’ll speak for myself and the materials I used.  This drawing is done on mat board, specifically 4-ply museum grade mat board.  Now, mat board is not intended to be drawn on; it lacks fiber and sizing.  I think of it as compressed lint.  But, oh, it is luxurious to draw on, if you give it a thin coat of clear acrylic gel. This seals the natural ragediness of the mat board, making it friendlier to the friction of the pencil.  The pencil I used here is the Stabilo-Aquarellable (see post 4.19.11) which loves the mat boards cushy surface.  It sinks in at the slightest pressure, produces a rich velvety line and deposits lots of black stuff for later washes.

When I’m preaching the importance of pleasure in drawing I’m perhaps a bit reactionary, in the sense that our contemporary art tends to the conceptual, the constructed, the engineered, the ironic, the alienated.  That’s fine, I love having my brain tickled.  But the artist’s rapport with the materials themselves has been suppressed, possibly even lost.  You can be sure that the original modernists, like Picasso and Matisse, loved their paints and their charcoal, their brushes and papers, their glops of paint and their drips.  They loved the mess and the physicality.

So, here’s the moral of the story: Draw on any surface that feels good.  I don’t mean your neighbor’s garage door, but neither do I mean to say that the paper or canvas has to come from a sanctified art supply store.   Experiment with supports!  Ditto pencil, pens, markers, brushes, sticks.  Take time to muck about with the materials and find something that—to you– feels like “luxe, calme et volupté.”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

www.khilden.com

http://www.marciawoodgallery.com/luxe_calme/essay.html

Read Full Post »