Day 315- Heinrich Anton Müller- Parallel Visions

It’s Day 315 and I had a great time with today’s piece.  It was nice to work with some slightly different material.  Like a chalk marker and pencil.  Join me in honoring Heinrich Anton Müller today.  Below is an article from the NYTIMES.com.

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller was born in Versailles (France).

ART REVIEW; The Fantastical Visions Of an Obsessive Outsider

By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: March 17, 1995

These days, outsider art is, as a genre, thoroughly studied and widely appreciated. It may be becoming so deeply in that it almost renders the very term an oxymoron. Still, an exceptional exhibition at the Swiss Institute in SoHo proves that for Americans at least, some significant surprises and discoveries remain.

This show introduces the art of Heinrich Anton Muller, a Swiss outsider, or self-taught, artist who died in 1930 at the age of 61. He’s great, almost on a par with outsider giants like Adolf Wolfli (who was also Swiss), Martin Ramirez and Henry Darger. Muller’s work is not a secret in Europe. Even in his lifetime, his large drawings of fantastical figures and animals were known to Hans Prinzhorn, the German psychiatrist who was among the first to write about and preserve the art of the insane. Muller’s art received its first gallery exhibition in Paris in 1949 and was admired by Jean Dubuffet, who included it in his art brut collection. It also inspired other French artists, like Daniel Spoerri and Jean Tinguely, who both dedicated artworks to Muller, and was seen in the 1972 Documenta exhibition.

Muller’s only previous American appearance was in the less-than-coherent “Parallel Visions” exhibition at the Los Angeles County

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

Museum of Art in 1991. But this show of 35 drawings and four photographs, which was organized by an independent curator, Roman Kurzmeyer, for the Kunstmuseum Bern and was previously shown at the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, is his first retrospective in the United States. (The Swiss Institute says it will probably also be the last, because of the drawings’ fragility.)

Muller was a mechanically inclined vineyard worker, born in France, who spent the last 24 years of his life in a mental hospital in Munsingen, Switzerland. Around the turn of the century, he invented a machine for grafting grape vines; others stole his design after he failed to maintain his patent. This loss seems to have triggered a breakdown. Hospitalized in 1906, he began around 1914 to build elaborate linear structures, involving frames and moving wheels, which he saw as perpetual motion machines. (His materials included discarded wood, rags and wire, as well as his own secretions and excrement).

These obsessive works do not survive; in fact, Muller sometimes destroyed them in protest against his confinement. But even in photographs they easily evoke Tinguely’s kinetic junk sculptures, and also resemble distant relatives, madly multiplied, of Picasso’s welded steel sculpture “Project for a Monument to Guillaume” in the Museum of Modern Art.

Luckily, Muller vented his often lustful imagination on paper, too. Looking at his sad, seductive creatures the mind zooms back and forth

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

between distant and local cultures: to the frequently childlike drawings of Klee and Chagall, Middle and Far Eastern art, medieval art and modern art, as well as Swiss folk art. There’s an image of a duck here that could almost be Japanese. Yet when Muller draws a house, it is complete with Swiss decorations, and when he writes on certain images, explaining the action, it is in big cursive words rendered in exemplary 19th-century penmanship. An outstanding example of the latter depicts one Pere Darou, astride an old-fashioned bicycle, taking his pig Rafi for a walk.

Muller’s main formal staple is a banded line, in pencil, white chalk or colored pencil, that sinuously delineates most of his heads, figures and hybrid creatures, but also, like a flattened serpent, has a life very much its own. Serpents are pertinent, for several of Muller’s people have spiraling reptile tails instead of legs. And one of the best drawings in the show, “Hermine,” depicts an Eve-like woman in orange and green pencil. Holding a bunch of grapes, she stands on a fruit tree with a smaller figure in her belly while a serpent glides upward toward her through a faint glow of orange.

Heinrich Anton Müller

Heinrich Anton Müller

With their big eyes, sad expressions and often ghostly whiteness, Muller’s creatures communicate an acceptance of the harshness of life. They seem like enlarged versions of figures from a book of medieval fables, or an illuminated manuscript. For example, “Hermine” has a small, quite beautiful rat on her head, and she’s not the only one; the device brings Aesop to mind and, similarly, gently stresses the interrelatedness of the species. Vulnerability is signaled in other ways: especially striking is an image of a goat whose hooves have grown into long curls, which resemble exotic Persian slippers and suggest neglect and immobility.

Despite a prevailing wistfulness in many of Muller’s images, his art can also strike the eye as quite aggressive. His banded line almost always takes command of the surface, and his work is infused with an implicitly confident — and modern — sense of scale and process. His drawings, not unlike his sculptures, are also constructions, sewn-together pieces of butcher paper or cardboard in which blunt stitches, sometimes forming borders, add to the drawn motifs. His backgrounds are often enlivened by being rubbed, tinted or textured, and he can also smear on materials with an almost expressionistic verve. In “Our Baker,” white chalk seems to waft over the body of a slyly grinning serpent like flour or smoke, giving his shape further power.

This power gives way in the show’s final works, made after 1925, when Muller suffered a severe case of pneumonia. He returned to his art but produced much smaller, more delicate images of figures and wilted trees in colored pencil. They seem to be almost in the process of fading from sight, which is consistent with the biographical note that Muller died in 1930 “after a brief illness during which he would not allow himself to be examined.”

Article on Heinrich Anton Müller from www.nytimes.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today on this interesting and intriguing artist!  I sure had fun creating it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 316.

Best,

Linda

Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Side-View Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Side-View
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 1 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 1
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 2 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 2
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 3 Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Close-Up 3
Sadness Strikes Again- Tribute to Heinrich Anton Müller
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic, chalk and pencil on canvas

Day 308- Aloïse Corbaz- Perpetual Ecstasy

It’s Day 308 and I am so excited about today’s artist.  I wish my arm (tennis elbow) wasn’t hurting me so badly today because I think I could’ve done a little better with the coloring.  I also liked the article that I found about her.  It makes a good argument regarding drugs vs. creativity.  I wonder how many artists anti-psychotic drugs are affecting today.  I am a very anxious person and I like to contribute a lot of that energy to being creative.  It’s also why I am very anti-drug…I think it’s good for some people, but I also think we live in a very over-medicated society.  Well, moving on.  I don’t really want to make this post about that, but it did make me think.  🙂  Please join me in honoring Aloïse Corbaz today.

Aloise

Aloise

Marie Christine- Aloise

Marie Christine- Aloise

Aloïse Corbaz (1886-1964) was born in Lausanne. She dreamt of becoming an opera singer, but was sent off to Germany as a children’s governess, where she worked in Potsdam, at the court of Emperor William II. Upon returning to Switzerland in 1913, she began her anti-military ranting and adopted delusional behaviour. She was interned for schizophrenia in 1918 and remained interned for the rest of her life.

Aloise drew with coloured pencils, reinforcing the contours of the drawings with graphite pencils. She used geranium petals to add rich reds hues and frequently added toothpaste to her drawings. Towards the end of the 1950s, she switched to wax crayons when her eyesight began to decline.

There are 834 known drawings by Aloïse containing 2,000 compositions. Many of the works are

Aloise Drawings

Aloise Drawings

two-sided and 20 are on large rolls of paper. The exhibitions in Lausanne showcase about 300 works, including sketchbooks.

Her drawings depict exotic flowers and animals and often include illustrious figures such as Napoleon, the pope, Abraham Lincoln, the empress Elizabeth or Lucretia Borgia, or heroines of opera (Tosca, La Traviata, Manon Lescaut, Mary Stuart, Ann Boleyn).

Waterloo- Aloïse

Waterloo- Aloïse

Aloïse, a major figure of art brut, also known as outsider or raw art, produced all her phantasmagoric drawings during her long internment for schizophrenia. Had the Swiss artist been medicated, she might not have produced anything at all.
On the occasion of two key exhibitions dedicated to Aloïse this summer in Lausanne, the question of whether her creativity would have survived modern medication has surfaced.

Antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants relieve the distress of innumerable individuals, but they can also switch off creative drive.

The debate has taken on new relevance since the publication of a scientific study that establishes

Aloïse

Aloïse

a correlation between schizophrenics and highly creative individuals. Low levels of dopamine receptors allow more uncommon associations to take place in their brains.

Antipsychotics regulate the dopamine, thereby reducing the ability to make unexpected (creative) connections.

Interned for schizophrenia at the age of 32, Aloïse for the next 46 years exorcised her torment by dreaming up a world of her own that she transcribed in notebooks and drew on sheets of paper.

“It is unlikely that Aloïse would be institutionalised today,” Pascale Marini, curator of the exhibition taking place at the Collection de l’Art brut told swissinfo.ch. She would have been medicated instead and therefore deprived of the protected environment that ultimately allowed her art to flourish.

“Perpetual ecstasy”
Aloïse had begun to draw almost immediately after her internment in 1918, at first secretly on bits of salvaged papers, where she also consigned her unruly thoughts. She was gradually supplied with the colouring pencils and large sheets of paper that would allow her to make her hallmark drawings.

Aloïse

Aloïse

“She created a world for herself in which she was the demiurge, the total artisan. It was a perfect retreat,” Marini explained. By showcasing this world in the exhibition, the purpose is not to illustrate Aloise’s schizophrenia, she added, but to show the role of creativity in allowing people like her to deal with their torment.

Aloise herself qualified creativity as “miraculous”, “the only source of perpetual ecstasy.”

Jean Dubuffet, the French painter behind the concept of art brut, had been following her work for almost 20 years and often visited her in Switzerland. Upon her death in 1964, he expressed the opinion that her art had cured her (see sidebar).

It was Jacqueline Porret-Forel, a young general practitioner interested by Aloïse who had introduced her work to Dubuffet. He immediately recognised the singularity of her mental vision, an observation that was to inspire him when he later identified other art brut creators.

Porret-Forel was to become Aloïse’s window to the outside world from their meeting in 1941 onwards and may even have acted as a catalyst to her explosive creativity over the next ten years.

“She could feel my interest in her,” Porret-Forel told swissinfo.ch.

Living through drawings
Spearheading Aloise’s recognition, including as far as Japan, where several Aloïse exhibitions have already taken place, Porret-Forel is

Aloïse

Aloïse

also the author of the recently online-published catalogue raisonné. After all these years, at the age of 96, her enthusiasm for Aloïse remains as fresh as ever: “She keeps me going,” she observed with a smile.

“She wanted more than anything else to be incarnated in her drawings. It was a way for her to exist, to regain possession of the body from which she felt detached,” Porret-Forel recalled. “She was never happier than when the flower or animal that she had just drawn represented her.”

Aloïse

Aloïse

She too is convinced that Aloïse would have led a very different life had she been administered the antipsychotics that had been available from the 1950s onwards. “Antipsychotics completely transform inner worlds,” she said.

Aloïse would have drawn differently, if she would have drawn at all, elaborated Porret-Forel, although, as a doctor, she believes that there is little justification to deprive anguished individuals of relief through medication.

This opinion is not necessarily shared by all. Edvard Munch, painter of the “Scream” famously said “[My troubles] are part of me and my art.  They are indistinguishable from me, and it [treatment] would destroy my art.  I want to keep that suffering.”

The case of Aloïse is however somewhat different, Porrt-Forel suggested, because she believes, as Dubuffet did, that her exceptional gift helped heal her.
Not art therapy
On the other hand, she thinks it wise to set right a number of misconceptions: “Contrary to popular belief, there are no more artists

Aloïse

Aloïse

amongst the mentally disturbed than there are in the population at large,” she said, nor are art brut creators only to be found amongst the mentally unstable.

“What I have observed over the years, including by studying the writings of Jean Dubuffet, is that

art brut is made by individuals who have a mental – not visual – vision of the world.” These can include mediums.

Aloïse

Aloïse

They lay their mental images on whichever support is at hand. This one-way process is entirely different from that of traditional artists who work back and forth between what they see and what they have created. In this respect, art brut is not to be confused with art therapy either.

Asked whether modern medication would not sound the knell of art brut, she answered that because it is not a movement, but a concept: “There will always be people with personal mental visions that differ from ours.”

Above article, The Creative Schizophrenia of Aloise is from swissinfo.ch.

I also loved that my artist from yesterday, Edvard Munch was mentioned in this article!  I hope you enjoy my piece today.  It was hard to color on canvas with my arm in pain and now I’m thinking I should’ve done it on paper and then adhered it to the canvas, but oh well!  I think it definitely capture’s Aloïse’s spirit.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 309!  I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far and time is already running out!  Whew.

Best,

Linda

Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz Linda Cleary 2014 Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz
Linda Cleary 2014
Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Side-View Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz Linda Cleary 2014 Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Side-View
Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz
Linda Cleary 2014
Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz Linda Cleary 2014 Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz
Linda Cleary 2014
Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz Linda Cleary 2014 Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz
Linda Cleary 2014
Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz Linda Cleary 2014 Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Fantasy Land- Tribute to Aloïse Corbaz
Linda Cleary 2014
Colored Pencil & Pastel on Canvas

Day 280- Lenz Klotz- Oscillating Lines

It’s Day 280 and I enjoyed today’s painting.  The challenging part was finding an extensive biography of the artist!  Join me in honoring Lenz Klotz today.

Lenz Klotz

Lenz Klotz

Lenz Klotz

Lenz Klotz

Lenz Klotz (* 1925 in Chur ) is a Swiss artist .

After receiving the teacher diploma of the cantonal teacher’s college in 1945, he ordered Churchill in the years 1945-1950 the graphical estate of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  

From 1951 to 1989 he was a specialist teacher at the School of Applied Art Basel (now Basel

Wuppel II- Lenz Klotz

Wuppel II- Lenz Klotz

School of Design). To his seventieth birthday two exhibitions were in 1995 in the Kunsthalle Basel and the Basel Art Museum organized.

Biography above is from the German wikipedia.

Inspired by Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, Lenz Klotz developed a unique visual language of intersecting and oscillating lines, forming two-dimensional geometric figures reminiscent of calligraphy, musical scores, and other lyrical forms of notation.

Lenz Klotz

Lenz Klotz

As invested in drawing, etching, and lithography as in painting, Klotz relied on both line and vivid color, often simultaneously.

Although purely abstract, his work nonetheless indicates human narratives and

Flugfeld- Lenz Klotz

Flugfeld- Lenz Klotz

experiences, both in its visual recalling of man-made systems and symbols and with its playful titles like Not only for illiterates (1961) or That’s Enough (2001).

Bio above is from www.artsy.com.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I enjoyed creating it and I will see you tomorrow on Day 281!

Best,

Linda

Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Side-View Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Side-View
Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Pen on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Yes, Stars- Tribute to Lenz Klotz
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Pen on Canvas