Tag Archives: Cubism

Robert Delaunay, Blazing a Colorful Trail

There once lived an artistic trailblazer named Robert Delaunay. He had a unique perspective, a countercultural technique, and a desire that drove him to be different.

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Parisian born Delaunay greatly influenced abstract art. He was one of the first nonrepresentational painters who advanced the style of cubism. The cubist painter added bright and bold shades of color to his work and was on the front lines of a style called Orphism.

In fact, the name Orphism didn’t exist until 1912 when a French poet by the name of Guillaume Apolliniare declared that work of this style (and especially work by Robert Delaunay) had musical qualities and ought to be named after Orpheus, the singer from Greek mythology who was often inspired by magic and ideals that were anything but ordinary.

Receiving great recognition for his innovative art style juxtaposed Delaunay’s early life. He was born in 1885 and very little information was published about his early training. However, it has been reported that his uncle, who became his primary caregiver after Delaunay’s parents divorced, sent him to art school after he failed an important school exam. As a result, Delaunay was able to influence the development of abstract art in France and throughout the world.

As Delaunay blazed a trail with his knack for colorful cubism, he was mimicked and challenged by his contemporaries. He and Jean Metzinger often painted together and hosted joint exhibits. In 1907, while in his early 20’s, Delaunay and Metzinger shared an exhibit where they were dubbed as “divisonists.” Divisionism is another word for pointillism. Calling them divisionists was the best way critics could describe their foreign use of “mosaic-like ‘cubes’ to construct small but highly symbolic compositions.”

With such recognition, a new branch of Neoimpressionism was born. The very style Delaunay and Metzinger were thought to originate went onto appear in works of Piet Mondrain, The Futurists and Gino Serverini.

Some people say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which might have been so for Robert Delaunay too. However, he probably would have appreciated some financial attributes during the early rise of his career. At the time, he was not able to support himself on his artwork alone so he designed theatre sets full-time and painted in his spare hours.

In 1908 he met a woman by the name of Sonia Trek. Sonia, an artist, would become his wife and influence Orphism alongside him. They would work on many projects throughout their relationship, but before they got to producing joint works of art, Delaunay would go onto create some of his most famous pieces.

Delaunay began painting colorful, cubist inspired cathedrals and the Eiffel Tower in 1910. He painted several series that are still discussed today for their dynamism and bold coloring. These series include the Saint-Sévrin series (1909–10); the City series (1909–11); the Eiffel Tower series (1909–12); the City of Paris series (1911–12); the Window series (1912–14); the Cardiff Team series (1913); the Circular Forms series (1913); and The First Disk (1913).

As his style evolved, he separated himself from other abstract painters with an interpretation of cubism that was anything but traditional. In fact, by the time he moved onto his “Windows” series, he was solely creating nonobjective paintings. Still, many contemporaries and artists of his time, like the group of Expressionist painters from Munich by the name “The Blue Rider,” gravitated to his style and adopted some of its traits.

Throughout his remaining years, Delaunay and his wife worked together on theatre designs as well as a large mural for the Paris Exposition of 1937. These years were checkered with war and financial struggle. For instance, when Delaunay did not fight in World War I he was labeled a deserter. Then, when the Russian Revolution took place, the Delaunay’s were severed from the financial support they received from Sonia’s family.

By the time World War II broke out, Robert Delaunay had cancer. He and his wife tried to avoid German forces by moving to Auvergne, but Robert’s health deteriorated quickly after the move. In 1941, at the age of 56, he died in Montpellier France.

A lot can be said about Robert Delaunay, but rarely do people discuss his desertion from the military or tragic death. Robert Delaunay is known for infusing color into cubism. In doing so, he created a nonobjective approach that would influence art and aspiring artists for years to come.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Robert Delaunay’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=DEL. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 25 digital Thomas Delaunay patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

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Sources:

Robert Delaunay Wikipedia

Robert Delaunay

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Paul Cézanne – Post Impressionist

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Paul Cézanne was a French artist whose combined use of color, abstraction and geometric precision provided a link between nineteenth century Impressionism and twentieth century Cubism.

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Born in Provence in 1839, the son of a wealthy banker, Cézanne studied law in Aix before moving to Paris in 1861 with his childhood friend, Emile Zola. While Zola was to become one of France’s most renowned writers, Cézanne was to become one of the country’s most feted painters.

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Paris in the nineteenth century was a center for artistic innovation, and it was there that Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro, an artist who would guide Cézanne away from his initial dark palette and towards colors that reflected a brighter, more natural light.

Although Cézanne knew and mixed with the Impressionists in Paris, including Manet and Degas, he was not particularly sociable. His shyness, short temper and bouts of depression made it difficult for him to form friendships and influenced his early works. His Dark Period (1861-1870), which dates from this time, is characterized by a focus on figures and above all by a use of somber colors, especially black.

Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Cézanne left the French capital with his mistress, Marie-Hortense Fiquet, moving eventually to Pontoise. Painting alongside Pissarro, Cézanne began creating more landscapes and switched to brighter colors to created works that would lead critics to refer this stage of his life as The Impressionist Period (1870-1878). Indeed, Cézanne’s works were shown in both the first and third Impressionist exhibitions, which took place in Paris in 1874 and 1877. In neither of those exhibitions did Cézanne receive warm reviews from the critics.

By the early 1880s Cézanne’s life had become more stable. The family, which now included a son also called Paul, moved back to Provence and in 1886, Cézanne married Hortense and inherited his father’s estate. Impressed by Mount St. Victoire near the house of Hortense’s brother, Cézanne was able to combine his Impressionist techniques with a subject containing the solidity and permanence which he felt Impressionist art lacked, and which would later be felt in Cubism. www.segmation.com

The Final Period (1890-1905) of Cézanne’s life was not a happy one. He had broken off relations with his lifelong friend, Zola, after the writer had based a character on Cézanne’s life, and diabetes affected his personality to the extent that his marriage became strained. Just as acclaim for his work grew, Cézanne himself became increasingly reclusive, repainting the subjects of his old works in different ways. His masterpiece, The Great Bathers, for example, with its geometric lines and focused composition clearly shows his progression from a painting of the same subject made more than thirty years before which focused solely on the figures themselves.

Cézanne died of pneumonia in 1906 leaving a large oeuvre that include, The Murder, The Bather and Rideau, Crichon et Compotier, which became the world’s most expensive still-life painting when it sold for $60.5m in 1999.

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Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_C%C3%A9zanne

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Juan Gris Spanish Cubist Artist Testifies to the Power of Novelty

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José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez, known as Juan Gris, was born on March 23, 1887, in Madrid, Spain. At his birth, neither Gris’ Andalusian mother nor his Castlian father knew he would mature to become a highly influential leader in the art world. However, when Gris was between six and seven years old, his sister noticed his artistic abilities.

Juan Gris was educated at the School of Arts and Crafts in Madrid after receiving a “general education” earlier in life. Around this time Gris’ family experienced severe financial hardship. This was a blessing in disguise to Gris, who was catapulted into being a working artist as he sold his artwork to provide for his family. Soon after this, Gris began painting professionally.

Spanish painter Moreno Carbonero later became Gris’ primary teacher in painting. While in Carbonero’s studio, Gris immersed himself in artistic culture by actually living in community with writers and painters. This atmosphere was perfect for Gris’ maturation as an artist. Such Complementary Colors.

During the time that Juan Gris was in Moreno Carbonero’s studio, modern art began to become more prevalent in Spain. This was due in part to the infiltration of German art reviews and publications. Gris would later become a leader in “Modern-Style” art, namely Cubism.

In 1906 Juan Gris relocated to Paris to further pursue art. Magazines and newspapers bought Gris’ satirical drawings, enabling him to reside in Paris. While living in Paris, Gris befriended Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Fernand Léger.

Gris developed his personal style for several years, and then exhibited his work for the first time at Salon des Indépendants in 1912. Later that year he exhibited in Rouen, Barcelona, and Section d’Or (Paris). Growing in his personal cubist style and public popularity, Juan Gris sold works to individuals such as Gertrude Stein, Alfred Flechtheim, and Léonce Rosenberg.

As is the case with most artists, Juan Gris’ style evolved over time. Analytic cubism was the first style Gris acquired, but synthetic cubism became his focus around 1913. He created much collage art during this phase of his career.

Like Matisse, Gris used bright colors in his paintings. Though bold, Juan Gris’ paintings were and are clear and orderly. This order and clarity of style can be seen in the art of Amédée Ozenfan and Charles Edouard Jeanneret, whose works were inspired by Gris.

Gris demonstrated the breadth of his artistic abilities when he began designing sets and costumes for ballets under the watch of Sergei Diaghilev in 1924. Between 1924 and 1925, Gris gave a notable lecture, Des possibilités de la peinture, which expounded on his personal style. Around this time major art galleries in Berlin, Paris, and Düsseldorf exhibited Gris’ works. Without a doubt, Juan Gris had made his mark on the art world as a cubist painter.

Illness became a regular occurrence in Juan Gris’ life after the year 1925. Gris often suffered uremia and had cardiac problems. On May 11, 1927, Gris died in Paris. Renal failure was the cause of Gris’ death at the relatively young age of 40. Gris was survived by his wife, Josette, and his son, Georges.

Juan Gris was a man of extraordinary talent. The world took notice of Gris’ talent and embraced it, which moved Gris forward into fame and artistic prestige. With Gris’ art pieces selling for tens of millions of dollars, the art world is still acknowledging today the value of his work.

Cubist artist Juan Gris got a chance to live out what most artists only dream of. His life is one that continues to speak to generations about the power art holds when it is presented in a unique, organic form.

Sources:
http:// http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Gris
http://serdar-hizli-art.com/modern_painting/gris_juan.htm

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Leonardo and Picasso: Artists of Their Times www.segmation.com

Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso are two of the most famous painters in history (if not the most famous); one a Renaissance genius renowned for his skillful realism, the other a modern legend and co-founder of Cubism.

Did you know that even though Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, he only produced less than 30 paintings in total? Even then, many of them were left unfinished. Picasso, on the other hand, created nearly 2000 paintings – plus sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and hand-pulled prints that combine to over 50,000 works of art! (To be fair though, Leonardo also left behind a substantial number of drawings, sketches, and pages full of notes.)

One reason for this vast difference in the number of paintings produced is that both artists were products of the times in which they lived. When Leonardo was alive, artists didn’t have the luxury of creating art for art’s sake. Instead they were commissioned by the church, guilds and wealthy patrons to create paintings and sculptures that were expected to depict certain themes. For this reason, Leonardo needed to find work where he could. During times of war, he had to work as a military architect and engineer, designing methods of defense. Making art took a backseat to the work necessary for survival.

By the time Picasso was born 362 years after Leonardo’s death, the world was a different place. Artists had more freedom than ever to paint what they wanted. Self-expression in art was more widely accepted and expected. Instead of being commission-based, most artwork was sold in galleries to private collectors, as money flowed more abundantly through society than it did during the Renaissance. By the 20th century, successful artists such as Picasso were able to sustain themselves from the sale of their artworks alone, and did not need to seek alternate forms of employment to make ends meet.

These factors may contribute to the reason why Picasso created so many more artworks than Leonardo, even though Leonardo is the creator of the most famous painting in the world. Who knows what more Leonardo could have accomplished if he’d been alive in modern times?

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