29 May, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 - The Inner Meaning


"There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books," Charlie Chaplin.

Some readers know that I have been bottle feeding a litter of kittens whose mother was killed by a coyote. Two different times, I've had the experience of bringing a kitten back from
 the threshold of death. These limp, comatose pets fit easily in one hand, and I bathed them, forced Pedialyte by soft syringe and just held them.

What is it that 
animates the body just moments before death, and yet vanishes at the point of expiration?

Käthe KollwitzWoman with Dead Child, 1903

We are considering The Artist's Ideas, a series on the things that are understood in art but not stated outright. Tired of words and heavy thinking? Here is a visual way to understand this subject. The drawings of German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) are easily understood just by looking. I queried her images on Google, and was immediately struck by her poignant meanings. Ugly truths, but tender beauty is revealed by the hand of this master. I understand there are about forty schools named after Kollwitz in Germany.

Käthe Kollwitz
Blogger view.

Käthe Kollwitz
SP, 1898

This post originally dated October, 2010.


Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Kollwitz's drawings and etchings strike at the heart and soul. I can never turn away from them when I come face to face with them in books and in museums. Good feature!

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you, Katherine.

Kim Rempel said...

I have long been a fan of Kollwitz since studying her in my college days. In my opinion her work stands alone. No other work makes me as emotional as hers.

Celeste Bergin said...

When I was about 15 I saw Käthe Kollwitz's "Death grabbing at a group of children" printed in the newspaper. It was so chilling and beautiful I tore it out of the paper and kept it. She made me see the difference between decoration and "ideas". Thanks for the great post that reminds me that once there was a time when Memorial Day had nothing whatever to do with 3 day sales at Macys. :)

vivien said...

I love her work - so powerfully emotional without ever being sentimental or sickly.

I raised our cat from a 2 week old orphan. Live yogurt saved her life when she had a tummy upset at about 3 weeks old and was going down fast - maybe something to keep in for your brood?

And ouch the scratches from the excited windmilling paws when i fed her with the syringe! She's a big spoilt tiger now :>)

good luck with yours

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for comments, Kim, Celeste and Vivien. Vivien, since Lorie took an excellent cat photo the other day, it may make it on the blog soon.

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