Day 287- Henri Matisse- “Creativity Takes Courage”

It’s Day 287 and I cannot believe that I haven’t done today’s artist yet.  I could’ve sworn I had done him and I had to search my blog a few times just to make sure!  Join me in honoring Henri Matisse today.

Henri Matisse 1933

Henri Matisse 1933

Woman with a Hat- Henri Matisse

Woman with a Hat- Henri Matisse

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (French: [ɑ̃ʁi matis]; 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, in the Nord department in northern France, the oldest son of a prosperous grain merchant. He grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois, Picardie, France. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification. He first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art

Henri Matisse- Portrait of Lydia

Henri Matisse- Portrait of Lydia

supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. He discovered “a kind of paradise” as he later described it, and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father. In 1891 he returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau. Initially he painted still lifes and landscapes in a traditional style, at which he achieved reasonable proficiency. Matisse was influenced by the works of earlier masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, and Antoine Watteau, as well as by modern artists, such as Édouard Manet, and by Japanese art. Chardin was one of the painters Matisse most admired; as an art student he made copies of four of Chardin’s paintings in the Louvre.

Algerian Woman- Matisse

Algerian Woman- Matisse

In 1896 and 1897, Matisse visited the Australian painter John Peter Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany. Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of van Gogh, who had been a friend of Russell but was completely unknown at the time. Matisse’s style changed completely. He would later say “Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained colour theory to me.” In 1896 Matisse exhibited five paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, two of which were purchased by the state.

With the model Caroline Joblau, he had a daughter, Marguerite, born in 1894. In 1898 he married Amélie Noellie Parayre; the two raised Marguerite together and had two sons, Jean (born 1899) and Pierre (born 1900). Marguerite and Amélie often served as models for Matisse.

In 1898, on the advice of Camille Pissarro, he went to London to study the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and then went on a trip to Corsica. Upon his return to Paris in February 1899, he worked beside Albert Marquet and met André Derain, Jean Puy, and Jules Flandrin. Matisse

Harmony in Red- Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red- Henri Matisse

immersed himself in the work of others and went into debt from buying work from painters he admired. The work he hung and displayed in his home included a plaster bust by Rodin, a painting by Gauguin, a drawing by van Gogh, and Cézanne’s Three Bathers. In Cézanne’s sense of pictorial structure and colour, Matisse found his main inspiration.

Many of Matisse’s paintings from 1898 to 1901 make use of a Divisionist technique he adopted after reading Paul Signac’s essay, “D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-impressionisme”. His paintings of 1902–03, a period of material hardship for the artist, are comparatively somber and reveal a preoccupation with form. Having made his first attempt at sculpture, a copy after Antoine-Louis Barye, in 1899, he devoted much of his energy to working in clay, completing The Slave in 1903.

Gipsy Woman- Henri Matisse

Gipsy Woman- Henri Matisse

Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910. The movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, and had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were Matisse and André Derain. Matisse’s first solo exhibition was at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery in 1904, without much success. His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross.[15] In that year he painted the most important of his works in the neo-Impressionist style, Luxe, Calme et Volupté.[15] In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain at Collioure. His paintings of this period are characterised by flat shapes and controlled lines, using pointillism in a less rigorous way than before.

Matisse and a group of artists now known as “Fauves” exhibited together in a room at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours. Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Critic Louis Vauxcelles described the work with the phrase “Donatello parmi les fauves!” (Donatello among the wild beasts), referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them.

His comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, and passed into popular usage. The exhibition garnered

Portrait of Madame Matisse (Green Stripe), 1905- Henri Matisse

Portrait of Madame Matisse (Green Stripe), 1905- Henri Matisse

harsh criticism—”A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public”, said the critic Camille Mauclair—but also some favourable attention. When the painting that was singled out for special condemnation, Matisse’s Woman with a Hat, was bought by Gertrude and Leo Stein, the embattled artist’s morale improved considerably.

Matisse was recognised as a leader of the Fauves, along with André Derain; the two were friendly rivals, each with his own followers. Other members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, and Maurice de Vlaminck. The Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) was the movement’s inspirational teacher. As a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions.

Joy of Life- Henri Matisse

Joy of Life- Henri Matisse

In 1907 Guillaume Apollinaire, commenting about Matisse in an article published in La Falange, wrote, “We are not here in the presence of an extravagant or an extremist undertaking: Matisse’s art is eminently reasonable.” But Matisse’s work of the time also encountered vehement criticism, and it was difficult for him to provide for his family. His painting Nu bleu (1907) was burned in effigy at the Armory Show in Chicago in 1913.

The decline of the Fauvist movement after 1906 did not affect the career of Matisse; many of his finest works were created between 1906 and 1917, when he was an active part of the great gathering of artistic talent in Montparnasse, even though he did not quite fit in, with his conservative appearance and strict bourgeois work habits.

He continued to absorb new influences. He travelled to Algeria in 1906 studying African art and Primitivism. After viewing a large exhibition of Islamic art in Munich in 1910, he spent two months in Spain studying Moorish art. He visited Morocco in 1912 and again in

Marguerite - Henri Matisse

Marguerite – Henri Matisse

1913 and while painting in Tangiers he made several changes to his work, including his use of black as a colour. The effect on Matisse’s art was a new boldness in the use of intense, unmodulated colour, as in L’Atelier Rouge (1911).

Self-Portrait in Striped Shirt- Henri Matisse

Self-Portrait in Striped Shirt- Henri Matisse

Matisse had a long association with the Russian art collector Sergei Shchukin. He created one of his major works La Danse specially for Shchukin as part of a two painting commission, the other painting being Music, 1910. An earlier version of La Danse (1909) is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I decided to do a self-portrait (of course!) in the Fauvism style…which is one of my favorite styles.  It was very difficult and I spent most of my morning tweaking and laying more layers down.  The shadowing was challenging and you have to experience painting a piece like this to fully appreciate his work!  It’s much harder than it looks!

I hope you enjoy it and I will see you tomorrow on Day 288!  Another great master artist done.

Best,

Linda

Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 201- Otto Zitko- Read Between the Lines

It’s Day 201 and today’s painting was fun!  I also vacuumed the entire house because Taco is shedding like a madman.  It’s only 2pm and I’m pooped.  Still have to work on writing and other things so join me in honoring the wonderful Otto Zitko today.  I took this wonderful article from his website written by Herbert Lachmayr.

Otto Zitko- Work in progress

Otto Zitko- Work in progress

”The long way of the line” – on the œvre of painter Otto Zitko

Herbert Lachmayr
Installation- Otto Zitko

Installation- Otto Zitko

A line drawn by Otto Zitko when he paints continues the line which the artist began a long time ago. It is the line which accompanies him ‘on the road’ as an artist following nomadic principles, as an artist who literally drafts a path in maze-like networks and then pursues it (or proceeds first and then re-traces his steps), as an artist who places two-dimensional lines in existing spaces with space-occupying gestures of painting/drawing, thus giving the spaces dynamism, removing their boundaries and enriching them by undreamt-of depth which hints at the dimension of time.

When Otto Zitko stopped painting in the late eighties, this act did not reflect a kind of

Otto Zitko Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

Otto Zitko
Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

manifesto – something along the lines of “painting is dead for me, too”; he did not abandon painting, thus seemingly transcending it, the decision was paradoxically based on the self-critical and purifying reason that the only way to further develop painting is to pursue the line. The artist was not concerned with a kind of graphism as a fundamentalist ideology after the end of painting; much rather, Zitko uses the long way of the line (the title of a 1987 drawing) to leave a trace that precedes all painting. He prioritised drawing, which to him is the current form of painting, the flow of the continuous line, while ruling out that he is finally rejecting conventional painting.

Otto Zitko Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

Otto Zitko
Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

As a non-painting painter who elevates the area-dividing boundary in the shape of the space-dividing – and also space-constituting – line to the status of a programmatic principle, he precisely turns into a reality of art what is paradoxical and impossible as a utopia. As the line embarks on its way to become an area, a state which it will never entirely reach in spite of all concentration and intensification, Zitko’s consistent idea and intention becomes clear: to bring out the processual character of art production in such dynamically enhanced graphism, thus identifying it as the dominant feature in the

Otto Zitko Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

Otto Zitko
Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

result itself. Using the ‘principle of the line’, the artist succeeds in applying this one-dimensional means in such a way that he reaches all further dimensions. In any event, the line, being the eccentric centre of his art, used, as in Otto Zitko’s case, as an artistic element of form, as an existential image or psychological metaphor points to a multiplicity of directions. For example, delirious as a term for psychological states is a word denoting something precarious, or behaviour that does not correspond to a norm; in a

Otto Zitko Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

Otto Zitko
Photo:Rainer Iglar, Salzburg

similar vein, borderline case stands for a person in a state on the edge, somebody who might go from one extreme to the other, or does not know where he/she belongs, who is unreliable and cannot stand strain etc. Literally, delirious is derived from the Latin de linea ire which means ‘to cross the line’, an act of psychological border-crossing in a figurative sense. Using the word line in this specific sense, as in delirious thinking, one enters the realm of the borderline, one dwells in a psychological no-man’s-land, an in-between where the rational domestication of the conscious and the uninhibited wishes of the unconscious meet to conspire.

The artist has a predilection for networks. For him, as an artistic figure, the metaphors of travelling, of being on the road is a fascinating model of existence – movement from place to place, from station to station, is something that continues in his drawings; involuntarily, one is reminded of Martin Kippenberger’s underground stops. Otto Zitko’s line, driving and being

Otto Zitko

Otto Zitko

driven, is also an existential symbol of himself as an artistic figure, and it does not end in an area; much rather, three- and multi-dimensional phenomena are created as existing spaces are destroyed. Raving mad lines deconstruct existent spatial structures such as those in Venice and Linz, thus creating new, multi-layered spaces. For the Biennial, the artist produced condensed lines which were to counteract the concept of this large-scale exhibition with its honeycomb-like set-up of transit: space was to become a world in the minds of the beholders, at least for a few seconds before they proceeded through the exhibition maze.

Ohne Titel 1990- Otto Zitko

Ohne Titel 1990- Otto Zitko

In Linz Zitko caused the unadorned stairwell of a gallery to ‘disintegrate’ in his concentrated linear graphism as he covered edges and corners, making them disappear and generating a view into new spatial depth through a tangled network structure: the beholders were literally in the picture, they actually ‘proceeded’ to the first floor in it. At the same time, it was no longer the functionally exhaustive purpose of the stairwell to help someone reach a higher level: much rather, it served the equally liberating and oppressive feeling of vertical motion in this spatial picture. As important as the space-generating and concomitantly space-destroying ductus in the process of painting may be to Zitko when the creation of lines is tantamount to the creation of time, the artist’s perfect presence in absolute presentness, the way the beholder experiences his picture spaces, is at the same time a chance for perfect perception where conscious and unconscious exist on a par. For Zitko, the production of his works is a psycho-physical extension of his body as an instrument in the process of painting, his attention is mentally and profanely-spiritually focused on what is actual, he devotes himself to an excess of the here and now, which is transported by the labyrinthine line.

In the Kunsthalle Bern Zitko worked for three days and nights without stopping, completing five rooms, facing the inevitability of the situation

Otto Zitko

Otto Zitko

from stage to stage, room to room, his artistic activity coming out of an intensified state of being to which he owed his energy, out of a heightened awareness of life – aesthetic decisions are taken in an instant, out of the tension of the moment in which the pointed expression of the temporal now imagines a spatial here and makes it materialise. The contemplative core of such an artistic activity is quasi psycho-technically disposed and grounded in the aesthetic strategy of production in that the respective complex artistic act is executed up to the minute and specifically geared to each situation, not based on long-term conception and planning. Hence the artist comes up to his ambivalent ideas in an immediate way, exposing himself to them, confronting them and finding a solution in no time at all, thus preserving the structure of tension involving his own contradictoriness. From this angle, Zitko is something like a realist abstract artist of ageing modernism, an avant-garde artistic figure working in a perfect not-yet using the acme of that which has never been reached and that which remains incomplete. In this sense, he is also a romantic: the reality of his line is tantamount to the dream of travelling on and in it.

Otto Zitko Photo:© Wolfgang Woessner, Vienna

Otto Zitko
Photo:© Wolfgang Woessner, Vienna

The factors of movement and acceleration form the “time core” (a term coined by Adorno) which Zitko’s works enshrine as if these were held spellbound in the result, the so-called artwork, due to a magical process of production which is to be taken in by a congenial beholder in this dynamic state, thus being newly actualised. “What makes the artworks rustle is the sound of friction of antagonistic moments which the artwork is seeking to bring together; not least is it writing because, as is the case in the signs of language, their processuality is encyphered in their objectification. The processual character of artworks is nothing but their time core.” (Th. W. Adorno) From this point of view, Zitko’s lines are also calligraphic expressions of non-literal writing, as well as psychological engravings of a sedimentation of temporality, traces by their very nature, thus serving as a kind of notation so that the artwork up for reception can be performed, or better: experienced again. What makes Otto Zitko an avant-garde artist is the fact that in his aesthetic interventions per lineam he pursues the aim of extreme subjectivism, an attitude towards artistic production which opposes so-called objectivity in its highly subjective view and reading of the real conditions that form the framework of our lives – such as areas and spaces.

At a time when spaces seem to be generally available, as is suggested by the multi-media presence of cyberspace, Otto Zitko’s art of the open line – deconstructing spaces and re-creating them in subjective quality – is yet again becoming more current. What tempts us into individual passiveness in the digital media due to the technical perfection of its givens becomes a high degree of activity and pronounced subjectivity in Otto Zitko’s art as he applies the line to give time a site. This is in sharp contrast to the

Otto Zitko Photo:© Lisa Rastl, Vienna

Otto Zitko
Photo:© Lisa Rastl, Vienna

passive users of digital media spaces whose virtuality has very little in common with the worlds of possibility opening up in Zitko’s creations of picture spaces. Their visionary character relies on the imaginative force of individuals and their vital and sensitive creativity that enables them to design environments after the world in their heads, or rather: to appropriate them. From this angle, the line is a natural space-divider, generating space; a dot placed in a void makes space emerge – it is this fascination with artistic creation as an almost archaic-looking achievement of human originality that Zitko’s obsession with the line is grounded in as the art of painting in our times.

Please visit his website to see more of his work.  It’s so wonderful.  I really enjoy his style and now that I’ve attempted it, I appreciate it even more.

I hope you enjoy my inspired piece.  I kind of think I should’ve used a more liquidy enameled type of paint.  Oh well.  Next time!  It’s all about learning through experience!  I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 202.  Best, Linda

Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Side-View Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Side-View
Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Untitled 201- Tribute to Otto Zitko
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas