The response was really good to these paintings. The plan is to complete three more for the end of the semester.
Sarah Valdez writes in In the land of make Believe from Art in America, November 2007, “Antin’s, Hershman’s, and Lake’s challenging agendas and high-quality work make their status as lesser known feminist pioneers bewildering. Perhaps their unjustified lack of recognition stems from the fact that each established herself outside of New York City.”
Reading quotes such as this one, make me wonder if a successful art career (what that means is another 500 posts worth of discussion) is to be had while living on a semi-remote-ish island. Except that the world has changed since then. The Internet gives me the opportunity to share work via my web site and share opinions and ideas through two blogs. Even though I don’t post to them nearly enough. Maybe I don’t physically have to be in New York or Berlin or the next great center of the art world.
A few weeks ago I ordered some Windsor and Newton, Artisan, Water Mixable Oil Colour. Eight tubes: Titanium White, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Red Light, and Cadmium Yellow Light. Then they sat there in their nice blue boxes until last night. I set up a pair of scissors and finished a small study in about 30 minutes. It was either paint or study Modernist Visions of Utopia.
I have painted in oils before and these paints were stickier. The result however has the same rich appearance of regular oils. It felt wonderful too to paint into an area and the already laid down paint was still wet. Loved it. Something you just don’t get with acrylics.
Kathë Kollwitz is an inspiration. Through her own suffering, and empathy for those around her, she was able to find expression and a voice through her art-making. Leafing through a book from the library I was very impressed by not only her strength, but the human emotion that she was able to bring to paper.
Particularly outstanding for me are Woman with Dead Child (1903), The Parents (1923), and Call of Death (1934), while her self-portraits record, unashamedly, the progress of age on her face. A striking contrast to the vanity surgeries of our culture. In Woman with Dead Child, which she repeated in several versions, she captures agony and despair. Again in The Parents she does the same, but this time the figures are shrouded and all we really have to gather emotion from is the hands of the grieving parents. She was an amazing artist.
See the Kathë Kollwitz museum:
And more at the Galerie St Etienne: