Tag Archives: Henri Matisse

Art on Color is No Joke

Question: What do two architects have in common with a
French artist and an English painter?

Answer: An irrefutable interest in color.

Chelsea is a Manhattan, New York neighborhood. While the people who live there may be colorful and lively, the art galleries tend to steer clear of the vibrant hues found in other parts of the city.

This summer, however, an art exhibit has moved in and is brightening up this subculture of New York. Entitled, “Art on Color,” the exhibit is anything but chromatic. In fact, the two men responsible for this three month showcase made it their mission to paint every wall of Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl a different color, leaving only one wall white.

“It’s always important to know where to start and where to stop with color,” said Peter Stamberg, partner at Stamberg Aferiat and Associates, an architectural design firm based in New York City. Together with Paul Aferiat, the two architects designed some profound establishments, like the Saguaro hotel in Palm Springs and Shelter Island Pavilion, which are known for their bold color and architectural designs.

In addition to designing buildings, they are also the masterminds behind the exhibit “Art on Color.” Although, it can be said that more than two great minds engineered this idea.

Stamberg and Aferiat invited great artists like John Baldessari, Ann Hamilton, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Brice Marden, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Joel Shapiro to feature their work in Chelsea this summer.

 

However, even Hockney is hesitant to claim his title as a color authority. He advises the men behind “Art on Color” to go to Matisse when they are “having trouble with color.” After all, the colorful works of art created by the French artist display the magnificent qualities art takes on when it is infused with bold color.

Stamberg and Aferiat are bathing New York with color this year, but with designs popping up all over the United States, who knows where their touch of color will land next.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Pantone’s World of Color

The Importance of Color Vision and Art

Liza Amor Shows Las Vegas What Happens in the Art Room

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Easiest Art Heist in Paris

Is theft of over $124 million worth of art from the Musee d’Art Modern (Museum of Modern Art) in Paris part of a movie plot, chances are it wouldn’t have had any exciting action scenes. Art thieves managed to steal 5 priceless paintings while 3 security guards were on duty, completely oblivious to the art heist taking place. Despite the art thieves breaking a back window to enter the museum, the building’s alarm systems were not triggered.

In fact, the theft was not discovered until the museum opened the following day and someone noticed the five empty frames.

Usually when a painting is stolen, time is of the essence, so art thieves carefully slice the paintings out of the frame (which damages the priceless work of art). In this case, the thieves had enough time to actually dismantle the frames and manually remove the paintings. Police are now examining the empty frames for forensic evidence.

The five stolen paintings were modern art masterpieces by renowned artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Fernand Leger and Georges Braque.

Although the criminals knew what they were doing, they were aided by the fact that the museum’s alarm system had been broken for nearly two months – despite the museum’s security system having been upgraded at the cost of $19 million just four years earlier.

Luckily, stolen art is usually recovered, although it may take several years. Do you like to paint? Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Introduction to Fauvism (www.segmation.com)

Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905, Oil on Canvas

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How would you describe Henri Matisse’s painting, shown above? First you will probably note that it is a portrait of a woman – however, it is an unusual portrait because of its strange use of color and its choppy, energetic brushstrokes.

This painting by Matisse was part of the Fauvist movement, which lasted only a few years in the early 20th century in France. The French word “Fauve” means “wild beast”. When you look at this painting, can you figure out why the word for “wild beast” came to symbolize this art movement?

The Fauvists interpreted the world around them through color, but they did not seek to represent the world using real-life colors. Instead they utilized bright, bold colors in unexpected places. For instance, take a close look at the woman’s face in the painting above and notice all the different greens that Matisse used to shape her face. Matisse’s composition is so masterful that the greens don’t seem out of place, even though in real life her face wouldn’t normally appear green.

Due to Matisse’s balanced use of bold color and his strong, painterly brushstrokes, he is able to depict the energy, or essence of the people and places around him. These two visual characteristics defined the Fauvist movement, which evolved from a combination of Post-Impressionism and Pointillism.

The most well-known painters of Fauvism are Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, and Maurice de Vlaminck. They created landscapes and portraits that can be described as “simplified” to the point where they are almost abstract – yet they are still recognizable as landscapes and portraits. Even though the movement was short-lived, the Fauvist artists left behind a body of work that is both visually and mentally stimulating.

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Maurice de Vlaminck, The River Seine at Chatou, 1906, Oil on Canvas

A Closer Look at Complementary Colors www.segmation.com

"The Dance" by Matisse

Take a close look at Matisse’s painting The Dance, shown above. What is it about this painting that makes it “pop”? The dancers seem like they’re almost floating on top of the background. Why is that?

Matisse was a master colorist, so he chose his colors carefully. He knew that when orange and blue are placed next to each other, they each appear brighter and more intense. Here’s why:

Orange and blue are complementary colors. Complementary colors have a special relationship because they are opposites on the color wheel. Take a look at the color wheel below:

You’ll notice that yellow and blue are also complementary colors. Red and green make up another complementary pair.

When complementary colors are placed next to each other in a painting or drawing, the artwork seems to vibrate. Complementary pairs can make an artwork more eye-catching and dynamic. For this reasons, many artists (like Matisse) make the conscious choice to use complementary colors in their compositions.

If you look closely at the color wheel, you’ll notice that the complement of each primary color is the combination of the other two primary colors. This means that:

  • Yellow + Red = Orange, which is the complement of Blue.
  • Red + Blue = Purple, which is the complement of Yellow.
  • Blue + Yellow = Green, which is the complement of Red.

When you examine these colors on the color wheel, you can see how they are related. You will also note that the complements of the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) are all secondary colors (green, purple and orange).

The next time you make art, keep the complementary colors in mind to see if you can make your painting more dynamic.
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