31 July, 2009

My Matisse Book Report

"Seek the strongest color effect possible...the content is of no importance," Henri Matisse.

Reading Hilary Spurling's giant two volume biography on the great French Modernist, Henri Matisse, has been a blessing and a burden. Quite readable, they are, well...long. And, to quote someone on Twitter, "I hate finishing biographies; they always end the same!" I had the same problem with the van Gogh Yellow House book. I couldn't bring myself to face the old boy's demise.

Everything Henri Matisse.

Color photos of Matisse in his studio from LIFE magazine.

Matisse was not only the "King of the Fauves" - he was the master of all Modernism. Equaled only by Pablo Picasso of Spain, our Matisse brushed, sculpted, cut, designed and lived five decades ahead of his time. He was a luminary artist whose colors and lines are his signature, but whose life, until now, has not been well revealed. I cannot recommend Spurling's excellent and authoritative books more.

I want to keep my reactions to the long books concise. How about a painting done in the style of Matisse? Although Matisse himself was très original, it is not uncommon for an artist such as myself to copy a past master to internalize his methods. I was doing a painting as a copy from one of my numerous instruction books, and it reminded me slightly of HM's muse. I ran with that.

After Matisse
9.25" x 12.25"
Casey Klahn

The instruction book image was "Erick," by artist Sally Stride. I'll be out of town until Monday - enjoy your weekend!


Adam Cope said...

How funny that you should have found Sally Stride!

Jeff & Sally Stride are long-standing artist friends in the Lot (about two hours from me).

Google Jeff's work as well :-)

loriann signori said...

Thanks for all your Matisse book report.I will be certain to get that one. I LOVE your Casey Klahn/ Matisse original. It feels Matisse, yet is clearly Casey. Have a wonderful weekend away!

Kelly M. said...

Casey -- great entry about Matisse and to see his work chronologically is so cool -- how he pared down to the essense of the thing itself in later years to just masses and shapes. Thought you might enjoy this photo of him (towards the end of my entry), painting and smoking a cigar!


Casey Klahn said...

I knew SS was from the Uk, but didn't know she was in Fr. Say hello for me, Adam.

Thanks, Loriann and also Kelly.

Jala Pfaff said...

Wow, this is fantastic, Casey. Super cool!!

Just found out recently that my neighbor/friend/artist dated Matisse's grandson. I immediately thought of you and how much you'd love her comment that he was "horribly verbose...probably trying to explain the old man's simplicity." !! :D

Casey Klahn said...

I certainly saw pictures of his grand children, whom he really doted on.

I once dated a great grand daughter of HW Longfellow. But, the one that takes the cake is my former roommate, whose father stole a girlfriend in Jr High School. The girlfriend of...Elvis.

Can't beat that.

Thanks for looking at the Matisse effort. It didn't start out as a Matisse rip, but in the early stages, I just turned that way. Guess I'd seen plenty of his works about then.

Some day I'd like to start with the intention of doing an "After Matisse."

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