Day Twenty and I have to say that it was another challenging day. Not only was I intimidated by this artist, but I just couldn’t get
into the groove of painting today. As I look at this painters artwork I keep questioning myself, “Should I have done something different?” Despite all the negative thoughts and doubts, I trudged through and finished. More about my arduous journey after we learn more about…
Nadir Afonso, (December 4, 1920 – December 11, 2013) was a geometric abstractionist painter. Formally trained in architecture, which he practiced early in his career with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, Nadir Afonso later studied painting in Paris and became one of the pioneers of Kinetic art, working alongside Victor Vasarely, Fernand Léger, Auguste Herbin, and André Bloc.
As a theorist of his own geometry-based aesthetics, published in several books, Nadir Afonso defended the idea that art is purely objective and ruled by laws that treat art not as an act of imagination but of observation, perception, and form manipulation.
Nadir Afonso achieved international recognition early in his career and many of
his works are in museums. His most famous works are theCities series, which depict places all around the world. He was known to have painted into his later years and died on December 11, 2013, at a hospital in Cascais. During his life he achieved great honors, representing his country at the finest level.
Nadir Afonso Rodrigues was born in the rural, remote town of Chaves, Portugal, on December 4, 1920. His parents were Palmira Rodrigues Afonso and the poet Artur Maria Afonso. His very unusual first name was suggested by a gypsy to his father on his way to the Civil Registry, where he was due to be registered as Orlando.
By the age of four, he made his first “painting” on a wall at home: a perfect red circle, which anticipated his life as under the signs ofrhythm and geometric precision. His teen years were dedicated to painting, and he won his first national prize at age 17. It was only natural that he was sent to the bigger city of Porto to enroll in the School of Fine Arts to pursue a degree in painting. However, at the registration desk, he took the advice of the clerk, who told him that his high school diploma allowed him to enroll in Architecture, which was then a more promising career. As he later admitted, he made a mistake by listening to that man.
Nadir Afonso took on the challenge and graduated in Architecture, though he
flunked the third year because some of his professors could not accept his artistic style. Settled in Porto, he started to design houses and industrial buildings, while at the same time painting the city around him under his other surname, Rodrigues. As a member of the artist collective Independents, he took part in all their art exhibitions until 1946 and became a favorite with the national critics. His oil A Ribeira was purchased by the Contemporary Art Museum of Lisbon in 1944, when he was only 24 years old.
Read his entire biography here on wikipedia.
I chose to showcase just a few pieces of his artwork that I drew inspiration from above. He has so many paintings you can look at
online and as I researched them and stared at them I chose his more geometric/abstract pieces. He had studied architecture and eventually started working with an architect and his art work started reflecting that…it was those paintings that highly intimidated me! As I worked on my piece, I realized how
difficult this type of painting is. Just like with Itten and other similar painters, I initially thought…oh, this’ll be a breeze. I’ll just draw a bunch of shapes and lines onto the canvas and fill in it with paint. SO absolutely wrong. Paintings clean and perfect brushstrokes while remembering to breathe is almost impossible. Choosing complimentary colors was a chore. I still don’t think I used enough blue. Or maybe different types of blue? Maybe I used too much black. Well, it’s all a part of this wonderful challenge. Learning, doubting, accepting and eventually just relaxing and letting go. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all negative. I learned much about painting today.
So, here it is…my final piece. Not my favorite and it was especially taxing to have a difficult day after a few happy days of painting! You win some and you lose some. I take a gracious bow and say, “I screwed up!” with a smile on my face. Not really screwed up, but I definitely think there is tons of room for improvement on this one. Thank you Mr. Afonso for sharing with me your wonderful art and talent. Here’s to Day Twenty-One! It’s one of my lucky numbers so let’s cross our fingers and hope the luck bleeds onto my canvas tomorrow. 🙂 Linda