Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Black is a Colour (1946)
Before, when I didn’t know what colour to put down, I put down black. Black is a force. I depend on black to simplify the construction. now I’ve given up blacks. The use of Blacks as a colour in the same way as the other colours –yellow, blue, or red is not a new thing.
The Orientals made use of black as a colour, notably the Japanese in their prints. Closer to us all, I recall a painting by Manet in which the velvet Jacket of a young man with a straw hat is painted in a blunt lucid black.
In the portrait of Zacharie Astruc by Manet, a new velvet jacket is also expressed by a blunt luminous black. Doesn’t my painting of the Morocains use a grand Black which is as luminous as the other colours in the painting.
Like all evolution, that of black in painting has been made in jumps. but since the Impressionists it seems to have made continuous progress, taking a more and more important part in colour representation, comparable to that of the double-bass as a solo instrument.
Essay from the book: Matisse On Art - by Jack D. Flam
''Drawing, properly taught, is the best way of developing intelligence and forming judgement, for one learns to see and seeing is knowledge'' - Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc - 1814- 1879
quote from The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice by Deanna Petherbridge
Friday, 11 February 2011
Ananda Coomaraswamys essay on why museums hold works of art and the worth of those artifacts contained there in.
''We have gone so far as to divorce work from culture, and to think of culture as something to be acquired in hours of leisure; but there can be only a hothouse and unreal culture where work itself is not its means; if culture does not show itself in all we make we are not cultured. We ourselves have lost this vocational way of living, the way that Plato made his type of Justice; and there can be no better proof of the depth of our loss than the fact that we have destroyed the cultures of all other peoples whom the withering touch of our civilization has reached.''
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Michelangelo is visited by a client to see David being created and thinks he's got something to offer:
Piero Soderini saw the statue, and it pleased him greatly, but while Michelangelo was giving it the finishing touches, he told Michelangelo that he thought the nose of the figure was to large. Michelangelo, realizing that the Gonfaloniere was standing under the giant and that his viewpoint did not allow him to see it properly, climbed up the scaffolding to satisfy Soderini (who was behind him nearby), and having quickly grabbed his chisel in his left hand along with a little marble dust that he found on the planks in the scaffolding, Michelangelo began to tap lightly with the chisel, allowing the dust fall little by little without retouching the nose from the way it was. Then, looking at the Gonfaloniere who stood there watching, he ordered:
'Look at it now.'
'I like it better.' replied the Gonfaloniere: 'you've made it come alive.'
From: Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics). page: 427
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"Look at the speed, the way he wields that reed pen, drawing very fast, with gestures that are masterly, virtuoso, calling attention not to themselves but rather to the very tender subject at hand, a family teaching its youngest member to walk. Look, for instance at those whisking marks on the head and shoulders of the girl in the center, the older sister, probably made with the other side of the pen, which let you know that she is craning, turning anxiously to look at the baby's face to make sure he's okay. Or how the mother, on the other side, holds him up in a slightly different, more experienced manner. the astonishing double profile of her face, to either side of the mark. the evident roughness of the material of her dress: how this is decidedly not satin. The face of the baby: how even though you can't see it, you can tell he is beaming. this mountain of figures, and then, to balance it all, the passing milkmaid, how you can feel the weight of the bucket she carries in the extension of her opposite arm. Look at the speed, the sheer mastery."