In the feedback from my tutor from Part Two, I decided to look into the artists she suggested and my findings are as follows:
Juan Gris (1887 to 1927)
Juan Gris’s actual full name is José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pére. He was a Spanish painter who specialised in Cubism.
Combining Drawing and Subtle Mixed Media
Whilst Gris was influenced by such artists as Picasso and Braque, he distinguished himself by providing his pieces with crisp and precise details, where as the others were much more expressive within their work, not so much relying on a ‘realistic’ appearance.
My tutor advised me to look into Gris’s combining of drawing and mixed media and I can see why from the pieces chosen. Whilst I do struggle somewhat to understand the concept of Cubism correctly (something which I hope to work on in the future), I can appreciate its beauty and do think Gris’s work my favourite by far of the three Cubists mentioned. I really like his crisp lines, shadows, muted colours – even the orange of Fig. 3. is rather soothing as it is balanced out by the checkered squares and the general lightness of the lightness to the bottom of the piece.
I can see that compared to Picasso and Braque, Gris’s work has a much more delicate and controlled touch. I like how his work also appears rather cartoon-like with its black outlines as this is quite contradictory to normal as they still look rather realistic. I think this is perhaps because detail contained within the lines is very delicate and controlled, combining realistic with cartoon-like. This is definitely something I think I need to consider when creating my own pieces. I think I will experiment with a few pieces of mixed media to create a similar piece as a reference point for the future.
Georgio Morandi (1890 to 1964)
Whilst I have already done some research into the artist, Georgio Morandi and focussing on his still life work, I decided to look at his landscape pieces when considering my tutor’s suggestions.
Economical use of Space and Subdued Colours
Looking at the pieces shown below, I can really see what my tutor has tried to express to me regarding how few colours the artist uses in these pieces. All are kept practically to three or four colours at most, with only minimal and subtle changes to the shades to create depth and texture within the objects in the pieces.
The clouds are not pure white, merely a lighter shade of the blue which is used. The leaves only two or three different shades once again. In Fig. 6., there is purely just green which has been used in differing layers (again, as suggested I attempt by my tutor and reminding me somewhat of my potatoes in a bowl piece where I applied the same technique).
Whilst the pieces seem almost childish on first appearance to me, when I look at them closely, I can see the very delicate detail within – almost minute and indistinguishable. It is really impressive! I really like the detail in the tree in Fig. 4. and think I will bear this piece in mind when progressing within my course.
Avigdor Arikha (1929 to 2010)
Arikha was a Jewish painter, printmaker, art historian and draughtsman, who was born in Romania. Having endured and survived the horrors which occurred in a war-time concentration camp during his youth, he became quite the master of several different styles and in using different media.
Arikha moves through different methods during his lifetime, including abstract work, representation, figurative black and white drawings and included a wide range of subject matter.
Omitting Detail and Giving Attention to Tone and Objects
I really do like the first two pieces (Fig. 7. and Fig. 8.) as they are purely black and white. The first piece (Fig. 7.) is extremely expressive and I absolutely love it! I can feel the intensity felt by the artist at the time of creation and his eagerness to complete the piece.
The second piece (Fig. 8.) is much more controlled, however, there are still many parts which hold expressive mark-making. I really like how he has created a sense of foreground (the tree’s trunk and foliage), background (the whiteness representing the sky) and middle-ground (the lighter tones and spacing of detail to create more foliage) within just this black and white piece!
Whilst I am not overly fond of Fig. 9., I really like Arikha’s use of strong angles and minimal colouring. Again, Arikha has been able to create a sense of the three grounds. The background holds a blue sky which, with no clouds and against the almost desert-coloured foreground, really shows the heat the artist must have been surrounded with and adds a sense of atmosphere to the piece. Again, similar to Morandi’s piece (Fig. 4.), the piece does look somewhat childish in how minimal its detail is upon first appearance, but then when you look closer, there are a multitude of colours, hues and shades to be found, ranging from grey, pink, blue, brown and so on. All of these colours are very, very subtle and do not try to dominate the piece. Again, I think this is something I need to try and master. Sometimes less really is more!
Charlotte Verity (1954 to Present)
Charlotte Verity is a German observational painter whose passion is recreating the beauty found within her garden at her home in London. Her works are created as soon as she finds her muse, either in situ or in her studio. Whilst she works ‘from the moment’, she takes time and delicacy over her pieces and the details within.
Sensitive and Subtle use of Media and Limited Palette
From the pieces below, I can see how delicately Verity’s work is. She has a very gentle hand and uses the layers of colour very delicately. There is a strong use of positive and negative space to assist in creating depth, for instance, in Fig. 10., the bend in the wall behind the plant is very apparent and the inverting of the colours of the leaves assists with this depth creation.
I really enjoy how, considering she uses a limited palette, Verity’s pieces hold so many different shades of the same colour and also seem to hold different hues in parts, but extremely subtly.
I think going forward I will bear these pieces in mind and try to recreate them when delicacy is needed, as opposed to always using a heavy hand. I think I have felt for a while that the deeper and more intense the colour, the better result, whereas these pieces completely contradict this theory. This is definitely something I want to bear in mind when completing my assignment piece.
List of Illustrations
Fig. 1. Gris, J (1913) Glasses. Newspaper and Bottle of Wine [Mixed media] At: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/full.php?ID=7787# (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 2. Gris, J (1914) Glasses and Newspaper [Collage] At: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/full.php?ID=7791# (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 3. Gris, J Fruit Dish with Bottle (c.1914) [Mixed Media] At: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=7793 (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 4. Morandi, G (1927) Paesaggio [Painting] At: http://www.italianways.com/giorgio-morandi-the-landscape-painter-with-a-telescope/ (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 5. Morandi, G (1943) Landscape [Painting] At: http://www.italianways.com/giorgio-morandi-the-landscape-painter-with-a-telescope/ (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 6. Morandi, G (1957) Landscape [Painting] At: http://www.italianways.com/giorgio-morandi-the-landscape-painter-with-a-telescope/ (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 7. Arikha, A (Unknown) Landscape [Charcoal] At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/avigdor-arikha/landscape-k5Eun2aZP4s-Ej8Y-KHFVA2 (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 8. Arikha, A (1975) [Lithograph] At: https://il.bidspirit.com/ui/lotPage/source/catalog/auction/2871/lot/68623/Avigdor-Arikha-1929-2010-Tree-in?lang=en (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 9. Arikha, A (1976) Jerusalem Landscape [Watercolour on paper] At: https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/tiroche-auction-house/catalogue-id-srtir10004/lot-2a5f38c3-df88-440c-ab3a-a4b100eb464c (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Fig. 10. Verity, C (2015) Birch Leaves [Watercolour] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 8 July 2019)
Fig. 11. Verity, C (c. 2016 – 2017) Rosehips [Watercolour] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 8 July 2019)
Fig. 12. Verity, C (2017) Vine and Window [Watercolour] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 8 July 2019)
Art Practical. (2006) ‘Giorgio Morandi’ [Online] At: https://www.artpractical.com/review/giorgio_morandi/ (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Blain Southern. (Unknown) ‘Avigdor Arikha’ [Online] At: https://www.blainsouthern.com/artists/avigdor-arikha (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Charlotte Verity. (Unknown) ‘Biography’ [Online] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/biography (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Galleries Now. (2019) ‘Charlotte Verity: The Seasons Ebb’ [Online] At: https://www.galleriesnow.net/shows/charlotte-verity-the-seasons-ebb/ (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Guggenheim. (Unknown) ‘Juan Gris’ [Online] At: https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/juan-gris (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
The Art Story Foundation. (Unknown) ‘Juan Gris: Spanish Painter, Illustrator and Sculptor'[Online] At: https://www.theartstory.org/artist-gris-juan.htm (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
The Wall Street Journal. (2015) ”Giorgio Morandi’ Review: Still Lifes that Find the Sublime’ [Online] At: https://www.wsj.com/articles/giorgio-morandi-review-still-lifes-that-find-the-sublime-1447107116 (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Avigdor Arikha’ [Online] At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avigdor_Arikha (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Giorgio Morandi’ [Online] At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_Morandi (Accessed on 21 June 2019)
Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Juan Gris’ [Online] At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Gris (Accessed on 5 July 2019)