Friday 25 November 2011

William Merritt Chase - part 2

1884 Self-Portrait 
pastel 44 x 34 cm

This is part 2 of a 3-part post on the life and works of American artist William Merritt Chase. For biographical notes and for earlier works by Chase see part 1 also.

c1888 The Blue Kimono (Girl in Blue Kimono) 
oil on canvas 145 x 112 cm

c1889 Spring Flowers (Peonies) 
pastel on paper 122 x 122 cm

1890 A Bit of the Terrace aka Early Morning Stroll 
oil on canvas 53 x 62 cm

1890 Girl in a Japanese Costume 
oil 63 x 41 cm

1892 Alice

1892 Hall at Shinnecock 
pastel on canvas 82 x 104 cm

1892 The Fairy Tale 
oil on canvas 42 x 61 cm

c1892-3 In the Studio 
pastel 56 x 71 cm

c1892 At the Seaside 
oil on canvas  51 x 86 cm

c1892 Lydia Field Emmet 
oil on canvas

1893 Reflections 
oil on canvas 63 x 46

c1893 The Old Road to the Sea 
oil on canvas 101 x 127 cm

1894 Idle Hours

1894 Wind-Swept Sands

1895 A Friendly Call 
oil on canvas 76 x 122 cm

c1895 Harbour Scene 
oil on canvas 106 x 120 cm

c1895 Portrait of Artist's Daughter 
oil on canvas 82 x 65 cm

c1895 Portrait of My Daughter Alice 
oil on canvas 183 x 121 cm

c1895 Seventeenth Century Lady 
oil on canvas 93 x 60 cm

c1895 The Bayberry Bush 
oil on canvas 64 x 84 cm

c1896 For the Little One 
oil on canvas 102 x 90 cm

Thursday 24 November 2011

William Merritt Chase - part 1

This is part 1of a 3-part post on the life and works of American artist William Merritt Chase.

Chase was born in Williamsburg (later Ninevah), Indiana, in 1849, the oldest of six children. When he was twelve, the family moved to Indianapolis. His father hoped that he would follow him into the women's shoe business, but Chase, who said "the desire to draw was born in me," resisted his father's commercial ambitions for his own artistic ones. In 1867 he began his training with Barton S. Hays, followed two years later with study at the National Academy of Design in New York under Lemuel P. Wilmarth.

In 1871 Chase moved to Saint Louis, where he painted still-lifes professionally. He attracted the attention of local patrons, who, in the autumn of 1872, offered to send him abroad. At the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he received his most decisive training, Chase was one of the many Americans, including Frank Duveneck and later John Twachtman, studying there. After an extended visit to Venice with Duveneck and Twachtman in 1878, Chase returned to New York, where he began teaching at the Art Students League. He devoted much of his time and energy to teaching, not only at the League, but also the Brooklyn Art Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Shinnecock Summer School of Art, and the New York School of Art the last two of which he founded and was the most celebrated teacher of his time. As a leader of the insurgent younger painters who challenged the authority of the National Academy of Design, he was a founding member of the Society of American Artists and, in 1880, was elected its president. His large, sumptuously decorated studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building, which he took soon after his return to New York, was the most famous artist's studio in America and a virtual manifesto of his and his generation's artistic practices and beliefs, and of the dignity of the artist's calling.

In 1886 he married Alice Gerson, who was frequently his model, as were their many children. Chase painted a wide range of subjects, including figures, landscapes and cityscapes, studio interiors, still lifes, and, increasingly later in life, portraits, and he worked with equal brilliance in oil and pastel. Chase died in New York City in 1916.

(undated) Florence 
oil on panel 16 x 20 cm

c1869 The Family Cow 
oil on canvas 51 x 41 cm

1875 'Keying Up' - The Court Jester 
oil on canvas 101 x 63 cm

c1875 The Leader 
oil on canvas 67 x 40 cm

c1880-90 Pink Azalea—Chinese Vase 
oil on wood 60 x 42 cm

c1880 Mrs Chase in Pink

c1881 In the Studio Corner 
oil on canvas

1882 In the Studio

1883 Garden of the Orphanage, Haarlem, Holland 
oil on canvas 170 x 201 cm

1883 Portrait of Miss Dora Wheeler

c1885-9 After the Shower 
oil on canvas 39 x 59 cm

c1885 Still Life, Cod and Mackerel 
oil on canvas 64 x 76 cm

1886 Mrs. Chase in Prospect Park 
oil on panel 35 x 50 cm

1886 Portrait of James Rapelje Howard

c1886 Grey Day on the Bay 
oil on wood 24 x 34 cm

1887 Tompkins Park, Brooklyn 
oil on canvas 43 x 56 cm

c1887 A City Park

1888 Hide and Seek 
oil on canvas 71 x 91 cm

1888 Lady in Black 
oil on canvas 187 x 92 cm

1888 Study of Flesh Colour and Gold 
pastel 46 x 33 cm

c1888 Marine 
oil on wood 23 x 31 cm

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Pierre Soulages

Ok, I’m blowing a ‘half-time’ whistle on the Nabis series (a couple more to come, including a big piece on Félix Vallotton). A little breather to look at one or two other artists, starting with French artist Pierre Soulages.

Soulage is known as "the painter of black" because of his interest in the colour, "...both a colour and a non-colour. When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own". He sees light as a matter to work with; striations of the black surface of his paintings enables him to make the light reflect, allowing the black to come out from darkness and into brightness, thereby becoming a luminous colour.

Pierre Soulages was born in Rodez, Aveyron in the South of France in 1919. At the age of eighteen he travelled to Paris, where he visited museums and was fascinated by the artists Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne. In 1941 he was drafted into the army; his regiment was located in Montpellier, where he attended the École des Beaux-Arts. There he also became acquainted with the abstract artist Sonia Delaunay. As of 1946 he maintained a studio in Courbevoie near Paris and established contact with artists such as Domela, Picabia, Hartung and Léger. In the following year his pictures were exhibited publicly for the first time in the Salon des Surindépendants and thus made accessible to a wider public. Already living in Paris he designed several stage sets between 1949 and 1952.

Along with trips to Mexico and the USA, his visit to Japan in 1958 took on special significance. Early impressions of his country's austere Romanesque architecture and Celtic monuments as well as the later influence of East Asian calligraphy dominated his gestural, yet compositional well-balanced paintings with their black and brown beam fonts on light coloured bases. In his later works Pierre Soulages used flat rubber spatulas or roll brushes as painting utensils, which influenced the aesthetic effect of his bulky works. As an important representative of the Ecole de Paris and informel art, Soulages was repeatedly represented at the "documenta" in the 50s and 60s; his first great retrospective took place in Hanover, Essen and The Haag as early as 1960-61.

In the following years he received numerous international art awards, including the Rembrandt Award in Germany in 1976 and the Great National Award for Painting in Paris in 1987. In 1994 he was honoured in Japan with the Praemium Imperiale for painting. The execution of the 104 stained-glass windows for Conques abbey, the designs for which he had already begun in 1987, was completed in 1994.

Pierre Soulages lives and works in Sète and Paris. He is the first living artist invited to exhibit at the state Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg and later with the Tretyakov Gallery of Moscow (2001). A composition he created in 1959 sold for 1.200.000 euros at Sotheby's in 2006. In 2007, the Musée Fabre of Montpellier devoted an entire room to Soulages, presenting his donation to the city. This donation includes twenty paintings dating from 1951 to 2006, among which are major works from the 1960s, two large plus-black works from the 1970s, and several large polyptychs. A retrospective of his art was held at the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou from October 2009 to March 2010.

1952 Etching No.2

1956 Untitled intaglio

1957 Eau forte XII aquatint

1957 Lithographie No. 5

1958 Peinture 21 Juillet 1958 
oil on canvas

1959 [lithogaph]

1962 3 Mai 1962

1963 Peinture 23 Avril 1963 
oil on canvas

1969 Lithographie No. 22

1969 Peinture 23 Mai 1969 
oil on canvas

1974 Composition rouille et noire XXV 

1974 Peinture 8 Août 1974 
oil on canvas

1982 Peinture 19 Mai 1982 
oil on canvas

1987 Peinture 11 Juillet 1987 
acrylic on canvas

1991 Untitled [relief print]

1998 B-Walnut Stain 
acrylic and charcoal on canvas

2004 A-Walnut Stain 
acrylic on canvas

2004 B-Walnut Stain 
walnut stain on paper

2004 Gouache 2004 B-7

2008 Peinture (diptyque) 12 November 2008 

2008 Peinture 12 Novembre 2008

2008 Peinture 24 Février 2008

2010 Peinture (diptych) 17 Février 2010

2010 Peinture (triptych) 18 Mars 2010