John Berger on Rembrandt

If you’ve gone through any kind of arts education, you’ve read (or at least heard of) John Berger’s Ways of Seeing – a book detailing with how we look at paintings and what this gaze reveals. Berger is a prolific writer and I am always amazed to see the titles attributed to his name. While at residency, my Graduate Seminar professor leant me his copy of The Shape of a Pocket, a book full of vignette’s about artists that is his call of resistance against the New World Economic Order.

I plan to read the book in full, but for now I’ve been picking through the various essays. The very first one I read was on Rembrandt and how painting and drawing played very different roles in his life. As Berger puts it, “painting – particularly in the second half of his life – was… for him a search for an exit from the darkness.”  Drawing was a way to record the world around him. While he was a careful draughtsman in his drawings, he approached the canvas in a completely different way. He painted with no preparatory drawings, and there seems to be no real consideration for physical space. He tried to paint people in the most intimate and compassionate ways. Berger sees this as stemming from the time period – Rembrandt’s feelings about the plague that was continuing to sweep through Europe.

I have always loved Rembrandt’s work. For the first year I lived in London, I used to go to the National Gallery and draw Hendrickje Bathing in the river. 

Rembrandt van Rijn "Hendrickje Bathing in a River" 1654 ; Oil on panel, 61.8 x 47 cm; National Gallery, London

Rembrandt van Rijn “Hendrickje Bathing in a River” 1654 ; Oil on panel, 61.8 x 47 cm; National Gallery, London

I can see what Berger is getting at when I look at this image. It really is an exit from the darkness through a touching, intimate moment.

Here are some other paintings that are either mentioned by Berger, or I believe contain a similar sentiment.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. circa 1659. oil on canvas. 137 × 116 cm (53.9 × 45.7 in). Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel. circa 1659. oil on canvas. 137 × 116 cm (53.9 × 45.7 in). Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.

Rembrandt. A Girl with a Broom. 1651. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

Rembrandt. A Girl with a Broom. 1651. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

 

 

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Pat de Groot

I love coincidences. They make situations feel special and bring that little layer of magic into my life. I had a day long graduate seminar yesterday that ended with a nice gallery stroll down Commercial St in Provincetown, MA to Albert Merola Gallery, The Schoolhouse Gallery, ArtSTRAND, and Berta Walker Gallery. While in Albert Merola we were lucky enough to meet Pat de Groot and have her talk to us about her painting on view. This was not a planned visit, so it was gracious of her to be put on the spot and say a few words.

Pat de Groot "Snowing on Water" 2003. Oil paint on panel. 12 x 11 inches

Pat de Groot “Snowing on Water” 2003. Oil paint on panel. 12 x 11 inches

She’s a tiny woman in her 80s and she talked about how she paints what she sees every day from her window. Her paintings are all finished within one day because her aim is to capture the mood and the scene looking out on the bay. Her paintings are smaller in size for that reason and she applies her paint with a palette knife. What you can’t see in the reproduction above are the beautiful scratch marks made by the palette knife in the top half of the image.

The coincidence came in later that afternoon when I finally checked my email for the first time all weekend – residency will do that to you – and saw Pat de Groot’s name in one of the the subject lines. A contributor to Hyperallergic created a piece titled “Beer with a Painter: Pat de Groot” where she detailed a visit to the artist’s house and discussed de Groot’s fascinating history. It was so enjoyable to read about the woman I had met only hours earlier and I marveled at what a lovely and magical place Provincetown really is. If ever I had the chance to sit and have a beer with Pat de Groot, I would definitely jump at it.

Pat de Groot "April-Pink Moon" 2004.  Oil paint on panel, 12 x 11 inches

Pat de Groot “April-Pink Moon” 2004. Oil paint on panel, 12 x 11 inches

Pat de Groot "Snow at Night", 2005. Oil paint on panel. 12 x 11 inches

Pat de Groot “Snow at Night”, 2005. Oil paint on panel. 12 x 11 inches

 

Residency Roll Call

I arrived last night in beautiful Provincetown for my 3.5 week residency, so I thought it would be fitting to highlight Cape Cod for this week’s Residency Roll Call.

Fine Arts Work Center

My studio at the work center

Print room and some studios at FAWC (my photo)

Every year the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown hosts visual artists and writers during the winter months. This place is family friendly and is open to artists and writers in the early, emerging parts of their career. Fellows are awarded an apartment as well as a separate studio to work in. They have a print shop with multiple presses and a basic wood shop. I am personally fond of this place as it is where I am doing my low residency MFA program. Visual Arts applications are due Febuary 1.

HERE are the application guidelines.

Margo-Gelb Shack

Provincetown_Dune_Shack

The residency is open to six artists that represent a mix of different media and occupy the shacks from mid-May to mid-October. Each artist is awarded a two-week residency and the cost depends on the weeks chosen from $175-$350 per week. Priority is given to Alumni fellows of FAWC, members of PAAM, and members of Castle Hill.

HERE is more information on how to apply.

Gallery Ehva

This gallery is located in Provincetown, MA and offers two-week long residencies to artists during the winter months (October – May). This offer is only for work space, so you would have to find housing or be a local Cape Cod resident.

More information HERE

 

Barney and Pérez

The fantasy exhibition continues. Today I’m looking at two artists who explore the human condition through restraint and constraint: Matthew Barney and Javier Pérez.

At this point, Matthew Barney more or less has the status of an “art star” but I am not so interested in his current high budget films. What initially drew me to his work was his Drawing Restraint series (I’m going to ignore the DR 9 film that he made with Björk). In an interview he did for SF MoMA he discusses how the series began through a desire to insert his own body into his work. An ex-football player, he understands how athletes train by constraining their body to complete obstacles (think about those people who throw a harness around themselves to drag a tire around a race track). It is through resistance training that muscles grow and develop. He uses this physicality to explore the psychology behind art making and test the limits of himself as the artist. Ultimately it is an exploration of the human body in space. What it means to use and occupy such a body.

Matthew Barney "Drawing Restraint I" 1987

Matthew Barney “Drawing Restraint I” 1987

barney_dw10I came across Javier Pérez only today (thanks to Juxtapoz Magazine) and immediately was taken with his work. He was born in Bilbao and still works primarily in Spain. The film, En Puntas, is both beautiful and grotesque. We witness a ballerina struggle to dance in Pointe shoes that have been elongated with sharp knives.

In his own words:

“I like dealing with points of encounter between spirit and flesh, between purity and impurity, between beauty and horror, between attraction and repulsion. I frequently use these swinging movements to offer onlookers different degrees of appreciation of my works. My works seek to reconcile all these aspects. I am interested in revealing how ambiguous these concepts are, and how reversible they can be. The idea is to confront humanity with its own condition, and for everything that humanity find frightening to take an irresistible charm. The idea is for humanity to be attracted by its own viscera.”

The result is haunting, intense, excruciating, and telling. I found myself drawn to it and repelled from it over and over again. Watch the film HERE

Javier Perez

Javier Pérez Still from “En Puntas” 2013

Javier Perez_2

Thomas and Bloch

Continuing from my post on Monday, I’m looking at two more artists that would be part of my fantasy exhibition: Mickalene Thomas and Maya Bloch. Thomas is an American artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Bloch is an Israeli artist who splits her time between Tel Aviv and New York City. This fantasy exhibition centers around the existential question of being. How the body exists in space and the psychology of identity. Both Thomas and Bloch have a wide ranging artistic vocabulary that they employ in their paintings. The viewer’s relationship to the work is equally as important as the figure represented in the image.

MIckalene Thomas "Tell Her it's Over" 2006 Acrylic paint, oil and acrylic enamel, and rhinestones on wood panel, 72 x 72 inches

MIckalene Thomas “Tell Her it’s Over” 2006. Acrylic paint, oil and acrylic enamel, and rhinestones on wood panel, 72 x 72 inches

Thomas’ use of rhinestones both highlights the sensuality of the figure and creates a sort of barrier that blocks the viewer from getting too intimate with the image. I saw her work at the Brooklyn Museum last year and was struck by the exquisite quality of the paintings. The rhinestones did create a kind of barrier, though, a sort of bedazzled shield from the viewer’s gaze.

Her images explore African American female notions of beauty, sexuality, and femininity. All of her figures have a strong personality and feel in control even if depicted in a vulnerable position.

Her solo show at the Brooklyn Museum was titled Origin of the Universe and the first painting was a re-interpretation of Courbet’s famous work Origin of the World.

Mickalen Thomas "Origin of the Universe I" 2012.  Rhinestone, acrylic paint and oil enamel on wood panel, 152.4 x 121.9 cm

Mickalen Thomas “Origin of the Universe I” 2012. Rhinestone, acrylic paint and oil enamel on wood panel, 152.4 x 121.9 cm

Like Thomas, Maya Bloch is experimental with the way she creates her paintings. She pushes the medium so that the meaning of the work is connected to both the application of paint and the composition of the image.  The figures blur and blend in and out of the background, which creates a distortion left for the viewer’s eyes to piece together. In this way she heightens the viewer’s involvement, making the viewer extremely self aware of his/her act of looking. Her figures also contain strong personalities so that the viewer simultaneously senses that his/her gaze is being met by these figures.

Bloch plays with the traditional portrayal of the female nude in Art History and creates a psychological and somewhat violent atmosphere. Her work certainly questions ideals of beauty and desire, and they have an introspective quality about them while also being quite aggressive in their handling.

Maya Bloch "Untitled (Bella)" 2012. Acrylic and oil on canvas.

Maya Bloch “Untitled (Bella)” 2012. Acrylic and oil on canvas.

Maya Bloch "Untitled" Acrylic and oil on canvas

Maya Bloch “Untitled” Acrylic and oil on canvas

Maya Bloch  "Untitled" Acrylic and oil on canvas

Maya Bloch “Untitled” Acrylic and oil on canvas

Woodman and Mendieta

For my final project of the Art History course I’m taking, I have to put together an exhibition of Contemporary Artists – including myself. It’s a way to link your own work into the framework of art in our modern era. I have to include ten artists in total, so over the next week I will present pairs of artists I plan to include in this fantasy exhibition. The first two artists that came to mind were Ana Mendieta and Francesca Woodman.

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

Ana Mendieta "Arbol de la Vida" 1976. C-Print

Ana Mendieta “Arbol de la Vida” 1976. C-Print

I’ve loved both of these artists for a long time now. They use the female body – primarily their own body – as metaphor and way to explore ideas of identity and history. They are interested in the way their bodies occupy space and their work has a strong psychological element with how the body is transformed to blur and blend into the environment. There are strong religious undertones in each artist’s work as well. In her Silueta series, Mendieta explores isolation and displacement by creating impressions of her body on the earth and then filling them with material such as rocks, twigs, gunpowder, and blood.

Ana Mendieta, "Silueta Works in Mexico", 1973–77, details Color photographs 19 3/8 x 26 9/16 in. each The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Ana Mendieta, “Silueta Works in Mexico”, 1973–77, details
Color photographs
19 3/8 x 26 9/16 in. each
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Woodman fills her images with feelings of tragedy and loss. Her style relates both to surrealism and Victorian gothic. Her work has a sense of searching for an understanding of self and hints at her depression. Her body is often covered or presented as overexposed and blurry, creating a ghostly image.

Francesca Woodman "Unttitled"

Francesca Woodman “Unttitled”

Francesca Woodman  "Self Deceit 7" 1978

Francesca Woodman “Self Deceit 7” 1978

There is another connection between these artists that I did not realize until I looked up their biographies for this post. Both women died young in Manhattan by falling out of a window. Francesca Woodman killed herself in 1981 at the age of 22. Ana Mendieta died in 1985 at 37. It is unclear whether or not her death was suicide or an accident. Her husband, artist Carl Andre, was tried and acquitted for her murder. Both the breadth and sophistication in their work is remarkable considering how young they were.

Residency Roll Call – Down South

This week I’m highlighting five residency from the Southland. I’ve been thinking about home a lot lately (born and raised in Atlanta, GA). A delicious Southern eatery opened down the street from me and those flavors made me so happy I’ve been craving parts of the South ever since. I limited my scope to the areas of the South that mean the most to me: Georgia and the Carolinas. So here they are in no particular order.

Hambidge Art Residency (website)

Hambidge

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Rabun Gap, Georgia, this 600 acre retreat promises a space for artists to work surrounded by a natural environment. The residency is open to visual artists of all media (though there’s no darkroom or printshop), writers, scientists, dancers, choreographers, musicians, chefs, and the list goes on.

Residencies last 2-8 weeks from mid-February through late-December and applications are open to anyone around the world. The residency costs $1,250 per week, but there are plenty of scholarships and fellowships to offset that cost.

There is space for 9 artists at a time and dinners are prepared each Tuesday – Friday by an in-house chef.

Apply here

The Creative Project (website)

The Creative Project is a long-term (2 year) residency in Atlanta, Georgia. Six artists will get free studio space with exhibition opportunities at The Goat Farm Arts Center. In exchange, the artist must be able to mentor a youth or teach a class one night a week.

Sadly the deadline for applications has just passed, so mark your calendars for August 2015 for the next cycle of residencies.

Go Elsewhere (website)

Elsewhere_library

The Elsewhere Residency is a unique experience in Greensboro, North Carolina where artists create site specific projects in this living museum. The museum is a collection of artifacts that belonged to Sylvia Gray, who used to have a store in the location. The residency was created by her grandson, George Scheer. (Full story: here) Residencies last for 2 – 6 weeks from April – November, and they also have internships and fellowships available.

In their words:

“Elsewhere residencies invite artists, curators, scholars, makers, storytellers, archivists, and educators to contribute to and interpret Elsewhere’s concepts, collections, and communities utilizing the museum’s immense 58-year collection of second-hand surplus as resource and inspiration for site-specific projects.”

McColl Center for Visual Art (website)

The McColl Center is an urban residency located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Facilities include a darkroom, printmaking studio, woodshop, and media lab. Residents are awarded a $3,300 stipend, materials budget of $2,000, plus travel allowance and housing if not a local Charlotte resident. There are two sessions of 11-12 weeks during the fall and winter (September-November; January-March). Aritsts-in-Residence participate in 1-2 exhibitions and the center is open to the public for studio visits every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

If you’re a local Charlotte artist, you can also become an affiliate artist with some pretty rad benefits.

HUB-BUB (website)

Hubbub_Showroom_exterior 2(1)

HUB-BUB is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This residency selects three emerging artists and one writer to live above The Showroom (pictured above) for 6 months (January – June). They receive a stipend along with free housing and are asked in return to dedicate 15-20 hours a week toward helping with HUB-BUB projects and events.

 

 

Rauschenberg Project Space

This past weekend I found myself randomly in Chelsea and wandered into the Rauschenberg Foundation Project Space on 19th st. It turns out I caught the show, “Rauschenberg Residency: Fruits of Captivaworks from the pilot year of artists at Rauschenberg’s home and studio” just before it closed on August 18.

A quick look into this residency held at Rauschenberg’s house and studio in Captiva, Florida and I found that these artists were invited to participate in the inaugural residency, which is “inspired by Rauschenberg’s early years at Black Mountain College where an artistic community brought out elements central to his legacy, collaboration and exploration, learning from and working with others to break new ground.” (taken from the website).

Here are some artists that stood out from the group. 

LeBrie Rich (website)

LeBrie Rich is an artist living in Portland, Oregon. On display were two of her collages that I found really compelling. Some of her forms remind me of Carrie Moyer’s paintings, and I’m impressed with the depth Rich achieves with the collaged materials. Below are other works from the series taken from her website.

LeBrie Rich, Collage, 2012 - present Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5" x 7" - 14" x 20"  An ongoing series.

LeBrie Rich, Collage, 2012 – present
Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5″x7″ – 14″x20″
An ongoing series.

Collage, 2012 - present Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5" x 7" - 14" x 20"  An ongoing series.

LeBrie Rich, Collage, 2012 – present
Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5″x7″ – 14″x20″
An ongoing series.

Collage, 2012 - present Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5" x 7" - 14" x 20"  An ongoing series.

LeBrie Rich, Collage, 2012 – present
Found and handmade Japanese papers, advertisements and junk mail. 5″x7″ – 14″x20″
An ongoing series.

Will Cotton (website)

I didn’t immediately put it together that this was the artist who painted Katy Perry in various candy dreamland images, but then again, how could it not be. On display was his “Frosting Basket Dress” he created based on Dolce & Gabana that was featured in a NY Mag spread worn by Elle Fanning.

Corset and earrings, Will Cotton, based on Dolce & Gabbana. Headpiece, Will Cotton. Bodysuit, Dolce & Gabbana, available at 825 Madison Ave.; 212-249-4100.

Corset and earrings, Will Cotton, based on Dolce & Gabbana. Headpiece, Will Cotton. Bodysuit, Dolce & Gabbana, available at 825 Madison Ave.; 212-249-4100.

I liked seeing the corset in person. It plays with the ideas of hard and soft, and brings forth ideas of consumption and pleasure, especially as they relate to the female body. His paintings go a little too Jeff Koons “Made in Heaven” for me, but they certainly speak of the haunting reality of the male gaze and female eye candy – quite literally. I can’t decide if he loves or hates women or just sees them as toys and props.

 

Residency Roll Call

As an artist, residencies can be important in shaping your career. They offer dedicated time to work on your practice and link you to a greater artistic community. Many bring in visiting critics and guest artists to give feedback and push your work forward. There are so many residencies out there, yet it often feels impossible to find ones that will be a good fit for you and your practice. I often find myself bookmarking ones that I stumble across only to have that become a deep abyss that I rarely venture into.

To help keep myself organized, and perhaps help out others looking for rad opportunities, I’m going to highlight 5 residencies each week and try to group them together in a meaningful way.

This week we’ll take a look at residencies that take place on islands. Sounds romantic!

Rabbit Island  (website)

Photo taken from their website

Photos taken from their website

Rabbit2

Last week my husband sent me a NY Times article about Rabbit Island, a remote island in Lake Superior that offers a 3-6 week residency during the Summer. It’s a rugged, no-frills kind of environment and they recommend you have experience with camping and first aid. 1-3 residents will be awarded support grants to pay for travel to and from the island. All residents will have an exhibition at the DeVos Art Museum in Marquette, Michigan. They also are in collaboration with Loveland, a sweet community based project in Detroit aimed at reshaping the urban landscape.

This is what founders Robert Gorski (island owner) and Andrew Ranville have to say about this experience:

“The Rabbit Island Residency is a platform to investigate, expand, and challenge creative practices in a remote environment. By living and working on Rabbit Island residents engage directly with the landscape, responding to notions of conservation, ecology, sustainability, and resilience. With a frontier spirit informed by the idea that wilderness is civilization, the residency reflects on the insights provided by the hundreds of years of settlement and division of land. The island – itself an unsettled and undivided space – enables residents to present commentary on these ideas, creating interpretations and even solutions.”

You must be at least 21 to apply. Application deadline for Summer 2014: Aug 23, 2013. Apply here

The Lighthouse Works (website)

A sculpture by Jaques Vidal, Summer Fellow 2012, takes shape in the Fishers Island Sound

A sculpture by Jaques Vidal, Summer Fellow 2012,
takes shape in the Fishers Island Sound

Lighthouse Works offers 6 week fellowships that run year round on Fishers Island, NY. They provide fellows with studio space, housing, food, $250 travel allowance, and a $1,500 stipend to offset costs of buying/shipping art supplies to and from the island. Their aim is to make it as easy as possible for their fellows to accept the opportunity to create work in their community. As of now, the fellowship is only open to US residents.

In their own words:

“The Lighthouse Works’ primary purpose is to provide artists with the space and time, free from material concerns, to do their best creative work. We bring artists on fellowship to beautiful Fishers Island, where they are provided with room, board and studio space, giving them ample opportunity for quiet productivity in a serene, supportive environment.”

2014 application deadline has not been posted, but you can join their mailing list for updates or follow them on tumblr or twitter

Fogo Island Arts (website)

Tower Studio, designed by Saunders Architecture

Tower Studio, designed by Saunders Architecture

Fogo Island is located off the coast in Newfoundland, Canada. The residency was founded in 2008 and is open to applicants in any media from around the world. The residents will have solo exhibitions at the Fogo Island gallery housed at the Fogo Island Inn. Residencies range from 3-6 months and they have a strong focus on education as residents participate with the local community offering classes and workshops.

In their own words:

“Fogo Island Arts works to create meaningful partnerships — locally, nationally and internationally. Collaboration enhances knowledge through the sharing of resources, strengthening capacities and stimulating creative thought. By facilitating collaborations between emerging and established artists, curators, scholars and the public at large, we are building a growing national and international network of associates that help to support the institute and its programs.”

Their website is still in progress, but you can find the application here.

Fire Island Artist Residency (website)

Image taken from their website

Image taken from their website

Fire Island Artist Residency is the first U.S. residency program to be open exclusively to the LBGTQ community.  Fire Island has a long history with the LBGTQ community, so this residency is aimed at bringing 5 emerging artists to the island to engage with this rich history. The residency provides free live/work space and they bring in visiting artists to engage with the residents. The residencies are a month long from mid July to mid August.

In their own words:

 “FIAR hopes to bring both new creative perspectives and prestigious art professionals together in this extraordinary location to foster the creation — and preservation — of LGBTQ art-making in contemporary art.”

Follow them on twitter for 2014 application information.

Norton Island Residency (website)

Images taken from their website

Images taken from their website

norton2007-257

Located off the coast of Maine about 50 miles up the coast from Bar Harbor, this remote residency offers artists a chance to have uninterrupted time to create. Their cabins have no running water and artists are responsible for hauling their own fire wood. During the Summer there are two ten-day sessions which accomodate 16 writers, 4 visual artists, and 2 musicians. The only access to Norton Island is by boat which runs from Beal’s Island connected to Jonesport on the mainland by bridge. Meals are eaten together prepared by a full-time professional chef.

In their own words:

“The nature of this program is straightforward, even rudimentary: this is a remote, rustic wilderness with facilities to accommodate a select group of artists who sometimes share their work after dinner but are otherwise there to work uninterrupted. The environment is beautiful, extreme, and unadorned. Each resident is required to work with their fellow residents to conserve water and electricity, to help clean up after dinner, and to tote their own share of firewood. Norton Island is an outdoorsy experience that may come as a shock at first to residents who have spent time at other artist residencies.” 

Deadline for Summer 2014 is in March. You can find the application here

**I’m sure that there are many more residencies out there on islands, so if you know of a good one, please leave some info about it in the comments section!**

Lessons from the Metropolitan Museum

Last week I went with my mentor to the Metropolitan Museum. Since moving to New York last year, this has become my favorite museums to visit, and not just because it’s free. I don’t recommend tackling the Met in a day because there’s too much to see. That’s the beauty of it being free (don’t let them fool you with the listed ticket prices as those are only suggested donations) because there is no pressure to get to everything in a single visit.

This visit started in the modernist wing and ended with the heavy hitters: Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Velasquez. With every painting we looked at, my mentor pushed me to talk about why it worked. We dissected the formal elements of the painting — composition, color, light, brushstroke — to understand what made the painting successful. It was amazing how the psychological meaning of the painting came out of us discussing these formal aspects of the work. This really helped me think about my own compositions and that I need to put more thought into how each painting is laid out.

Last night I watched the Art21 on Kerry James Marshall and he echoed my above sentiment by saying each painting he makes references classical works in the structure. He is constantly looking at images while working on his piece. At some point it probably becomes second nature, but for now I know that I need to be more purposeful in the ways I put my images together.

Amedeo Modigliani "Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne" 1918. Oil on canvas

Amedeo Modigliani “Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne” 1918. Oil on canvas

Amedeo Modigliani, "Reclining Nude" 1917. Oil on canvas

Amedeo Modigliani, “Reclining Nude” 1917. Oil on canvas

What’s amazing about the above painting “Reclining Nude” by Modigliani is how when you’re standing in front of this work, the focus of your gaze rests on the crease at her waist which highlights the movement of her twist. The face is secondary making this a work – unlike the one above it – one in which the figure is a symbol rather than an individual. In painting, the figure is one or the other. The first image is clearly a representative of the individual and her psychology.

Looking at the formal elements of “Reclining Nude” you can see the the entire painting is working on the diagonal axis. He highlights the beginning and end of her body with a white sheet and pillow. These also work to reinforce the diagonal. That diagonal line is then repeated through the edge of the bed and the dresser behind it. Modigliani slightly throws off the perspective of the dresser in order to mimic that diagonal line and draw the eye around the canvas. The other shape that’s echoed in the work is the curve of her body. You find it in the pattern of the comforter.

I’m not going to analyze all the works we looked at, but here are some of them so you can pick them apart yourself. Nothing like seeing them in person, though, so get yourself to the Met!

Pablo Picasso "Girl in Profile" 1901. Oil on masonite.

Pablo Picasso “Girl in Profile” 1901. Oil on masonite.

Pierre Bonnard, After the Bath (1910) Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum, New York

Pierre Bonnard, After the Bath (1910) Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum, New York

 

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632-1675). Woman with a Lute, early 1660s. Oil on canvas. 20 1/4 x 18 in. (51.4 x 45.7 cm). Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900. (25.110.24). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632-1675). Woman with a Lute, early 1660s. Oil on canvas. 20 1/4 x 18 in. (51.4 x 45.7 cm). Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900. (25.110.24). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Amerighi da Caravaggio "The Musicians" c.1595. Oil on canvas

Amerighi da Caravaggio “The Musicians” c.1595. Oil on canvas