24 January, 2007

Content, Subject and Modern Art

Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers, 1888, 93 x 73cm. Vincent van Gogh.
I find much of my Yellow House book very interesting. I am happy to know, for some reason, what I will find if I follow the stairs down from the famous bedroom, and enter the little studio in the front. Will I exit the house, turn right and buy some vegetables at the grocery next door? Or, will I turn left, left again at the corner and walk the few hundred yards to the railway trestle? I will spare you the sordid details of what I pass on the left before I get to the railway!

But, I find it tedious to know what people think are the symbols behind the subjects of our artists' works. If VVG wrote the meanings in a letter to Theo, fine - then that is the meaning.

Otherwise, I am more interested in the formal elements of these wonderful paintings. Look at the yellow on yellow color composition! The palette knife impastos of paint upon paint! VVG said that he chose color as his motive in art, and that is a big clue.

Now, we descend into the darker times of van Gogh's days in Arles with Gauguin. Will I be able to face the dementia that poor VVG exhibited, and that Paul Gauguin tolerated only for so long? What will it say to me? Will we discover a key to his genius, or will we simply "cross the street" to avoid the old boy?

Stay tuned, art fans. Same van Gogh channel; same van Gogh time...


Anonymous said...

The meanings of his paintings I think only he can truely know them. I may be wrong....I don't know. Anyhoo...thanks for all the info. you give! I find it wonderful to visit here!

Elizabeth Love (née Acheson) said...

Hi Casey. I've left some images for you on my blog post dated 26 Jan. (No meanings for the symbols are given!) javascript:void(0)
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Casey Klahn said...

Angela, thanks and trust yourself. Your opinions are very, very valid.
Elizabeth, good to know my comment caused some inspiration. That makes my day. These images on your post are awesome and true Colorism at it's best. For some reason, I also am drawn by your Common Prayer by Sunlight series. Maybe it is because texture is so much a part of your work. Your photos really grace your work. Do you take them yourself?

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism