Monthly Archives: November 2011

Edvard Munch a controversial artist of the 20th century

15 November 2011

Edvard Munch was born on December 12th, 1863, in Løten, Norway, the son of Christian Munch, a military doctor. His childhood artist spent in Kristiania, now better known as Oslo, the capital of Norway. At the age of 17 he started to study the arts. His tutor was quite famous in Norway naturalist painter Christian Krohg. Edvard’s talent was evident by his early realist paintings. Tragic events that Edvard faced in his youth (his mother, brother, and one of his sisters died of tuberculosis) had very deep impact on his artistic vision.

In 1886, Munch began working on his first truly personal piece – “The Sick Child“. Death, illness and mental anguish were the themes that Edvard Munch explored. The painting was based on memories of his favorite sister Sophie’s fight with tuberculosis. At the age of 26, Edvard Munch had his first exhibition (show) at The Norwegian Students’ Association in Kristiania. The show was a successful one due to the fact that he presented his lighter, less anguished artworks. He was awarded a travel grant which allowed him to return to Paris for the next three years. At that time Munch’s father died. Edvard Munch returned to Paris to study. His next show (in at the Artists’ Association in Berlin) wasn’t so successful as a previous one as critics denounced his work as that of an anarchist, and closed the exhibit. Despite this fact Munch following works were included in several exhibits. The artist lived and worked in Berlin and Paris for many years.

The Scream” is considered to be the most famous Munch masterpiece. He began working on sketches for this painting in 1891. There were several versions of “The Scream”, from black and white illustrations to several paintings, using several different techniques. In 1893, in an exhibit on Unter den Linden Munch presents some of the paintings from his Frieze of Life series. The next year, such artworks as the Madonna and Ashes were born.

In 1902, fighting with alcoholism and sadness over an ill-fated romance, Munch tried to commit suicide, but failed. , wounding his hand instead. After these tragic events Munch made several paintings which featured representations of his love lost. In 1908, he moved to a psychiatric hospital where he spent several months recovering from a nervous breakdown.

In 1909, Munch returned to Norway. There he was commissioned to create murals for the Aula of the University of Kristiania. He was given a permanent gallery at the Sonderbund Internationale Ausstellung in Cologne, while his paintings were sought by many galleries world-wide. The artist always aimed to paint the impressions of his soul, and not his eyes. And it was appreciated.

This talented artist has created hundreds of paintings, etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs. His art is controversial, but still catches attention of millions. This prolific artist died on the 23rd of January 1944 in his sleep at the age of 81.

William Morris Hunt – great American painter

11 November 2011

“Follow your own individual taste, and somebody will appreciate it.” (William Morris Hunt) Hunt, William Morris, (March 31, 1824 – September 8, 1879), American painter, was born at Brattleboro, Vermont. Hunt attended Harvard but withdrew. His mother decided to give him an opportunity to study the arts in the best academies in Europe. He studied in Düsseldorf and Paris.

He established art schools at Newport, Rhode Island, Brattleboro, Vermont, Faial Island in the Azores, and finally at Boston, where he introduced the ideals and methods of the Barbizon school. Hunt was among the biggest proponents of the Barbizon school in America. One interesting fact is that Hunt is considered to be the first American master to admit female students into his classes. In 1855 Hunt was married in Paris to Louise Dumaresq Perkins. They had five children.

His earliest works were usually figure pieces; he then painted portraits. In 1878, the year before his death, Hunt turned to landscapes. Hunt painted a series of lovely views of Niagara Falls. His later works also include the “Bathers” and “The Allegories” for the Senate chamber of the State Capitol at Albany, New York.

Among his best-known paintings are Girl at a Fountain, and a landscape (Metropolitan Mus.); a portrait of Chief Justice Shaw (courthouse, Salem, Mass.); and The Flight of Night (Pennsylvania Acad. of the Fine Arts). Hunt was a popular portrait painter. From 1850 to 1877 he was Boston’s leading portrait and landscape painter. Among his best paintings of this genre are those of William M. Evarts, Mrs Charles Francis Adams, the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, Senator Charles Sumner, William H. Gardner, and Judge Horace Gray. Unfortunately, many of Hunt’s paintings and sketches were destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

J. F. Millet had a lasting influence on Hunt’s style and manner of painting. After Millet’s death, Hunt went to the New Hampshire shore to recover from a depression. Despite health problems, he continued to create, and was working on his last sketch three days before his death in 1879. William Morris Hunt was buried beside other family members at Weathersfield, Vermont. The Library of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is named in honor of the great painter William Morris Hunt.

Never give up – become who you want to be

9 November 2011

There are not so many restrictions in the world of art. On the contrary, sometimes there is too much freedom. Artist can produce everything they perceive as an art. But still, even when the artists claim they are making an art, it does not mean they are making a good art. Sometimes people can make something that is obviously not art, but refer to it as art. Some people disagree with the statement that anyone can be an artist, because it takes away the value of art. They (in most cases these people are artists) refer to the fact that even non-art people like the professional art than the amateur one. Maybe it’s true, but still like with the music, we all have different interests. Not everyone likes the same songs or singers. The same goes to the painting. Some people enjoy classic art while others prefer abstract or modern art. It’s all a question of taste.

So, if you want to become an artist and create beauty, do it. Painting can be an exciting and rewarding hobby. It can be the way you live and perceive the world around you. Creating things of beauty with your own hands is more than exiting. You won’t believe your own eyes at what you can create using the simplest materials, tools and your imagination.

If you don’t know where to take the first step, start by exploring your imagination. Let your imagination take you on a journey. You will be amazed at what you can admire within yourself. You can share your insights and ideas with someone you love and trust. It really helps to move forward if someone encourages and supports you. Be sure your part time hobby could turn into something more. Believe in yourself and work hard to achieve the wanted results. Make a positive impact in your life by inviting the things that make you happy. If you like painting, don’t give up if something goes wrong. Try your best to become skillful, then move forward by improving yours skills. With time you will definitely find yourself skillful enough to bring beauty to this world. Every painting has its goal. Decide what you are aiming for and just follow you objective. Be yourself and be proud of who you are and what you make with your own hands. It’s the most important in our life.

Along the way, you will learn many useful things (interesting facts, different techniques, etc.). Find things that inspire you to create. Wait a little and in some couple of years you may have an exhibition in your favorite art gallery. Art galleries are inviting young, talented good artists. Those that make pleasing art, no matter are they amateurs or professionals, will end up in a gallery. The art that gets selected for galleries, etc. has qualities that lots of people like. Who knows maybe exactly your artworks will be an object of enjoyment. Everything is possible, all you need is confidence in yourself, desire and will power to work in spite of everything.

Salvador Dali – one of the most prominent Spanish artists

1 November 2011

Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres close to the French border in Catalonia, Spain. Dalí’s older brother, also named Salvador (born October 12, 1901), had died of gastroenteritis nine months earlier. When Dalí was five, his parents took him to his brother’s grave and told that he was his brother’s reincarnation. And Dalí belived in that concept. Of his brother, Dalí said, “…[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections.” Dalí also had a sister, Ana María, who was three years younger. When Dalí was sixteen years old his mother died of breast cancer. After mother’s death his father, Salvador Dalí i Cusí, who was a middle-class lawyer and notary, married again with his deceased wife’s sister.

Dalí attended drawing school. He had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theater in Figueres in 1919. In 1922, Dalí moved into the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Residence) in Madrid and studied at the Academia de San Fernando (School of Fine Arts). There he became close friends with (among others) Pepín Bello, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca. The friendship with Lorca had a strong element of mutual passion, but Dalí rejected the poet’s sexual advances. In 1926 Dalí was expelled from the Academia in 1926, because he was accused of starting an unrest. That same year, he made his first visit to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso. Dalí created a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso.

His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. It introduced a surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches. The general interpretation of the work is that the soft watches are a rejection of the assumption that time is rigid or deterministic. Art dealer Julian Levy introduced Dalí to America in 1934. The exhibition in New York of Dalí’s works, including Persistence of Memory, created an immediate excitement.

Dalí was a versatile artist. He used both classical and modernist techniques, sometimes in separate works, and sometimes combined. He was skilled enough to work in different styles of art, ranging from the most academically classic, to the most cutting-edge avant garde. He worked in cubism style. Dalí experimented with many unusual or novel media and processes. He was among the first artists to employ holography in an artistic manner.

Dalí was a skilled and talented draftsman. He successfully worked in other fields: film, sculpture, and photography. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing behavior sometimes drew more attention than his work. Salvador Dali’s manner of expression and famous moustache have made him one of a kind unique artist and person. During his life Dalí produced over 1,500 paintings in addition to producing illustrations for books, designs for theatre sets and costumes, a plenty of drawings, dozens of sculptures, an animated short film for Disney, and many other projects. The largest collections of Dalí’s work are at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, followed by the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California, Espace Dalí in Montmartre, Paris, France, as well as the Dalí Universe in London, England.

In November 1988, Dalí entered the hospital with heart failure. On December 5, 1988 King Juan Carlos visited him and confessed that he had always been a serious devotee of Dalí. It was a big honor for the artist. On January 23, 1989, while his favorite record of Tristan and Isolde played, he died of heart failure at Figueres at the age of 84.