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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Art, Ink and Edits

First, to all who celebrate, HAPPY 4/20!

In case I haven't mentioned this before, I am forever editing as I read. E.g., in a book I’m reading now, the author refers to Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian as Cubists. I was stunned. NO, they were most def not! I may have been a crap student in college but I remember my 19th and 20th century art history…or I think I generally do. I looked it up to be certain—it’s been a lot of years since art school, ya know.

What did I find out? While Klee was influenced by cubism, his work falls way more in line with Expressionism, Bauhaus and Surrealism

Paul Klee (1879-1940) has been called many things: a father of abstract art, a Bauhaus master, the progenitor of Surrealism, and—by many an art historian…a very hard man to pin down….

Klee’s body of work isn’t easily bucketed into a single category, thanks in large part to the system of throbbing forms, mystical hieroglyphs, and otherworldly creatures that he developed to populate his compositions. (source)

Mondrian? He was a founder of the art movement called De Stijl which was related to Neo-Plasticism (in Dutch—Nieuwe Beelding i.e., New Visualization).

By the unification of architecture, sculpture and painting a new plastic reality will be created.
~ Piet Mondrian

Sounds kinda sci-fi, no?

An artistic philosophy that called for the renunciation of naturalistic representation in favor of a stripped-down formal vocabulary principally consisting of straight lines, rectangular planes, and primary colors. First articulated by Piet Mondrian in the journal De Stijl (The Style),  (source)

Most def NOT cubist—neither of them.

Why didn’t the author’s editor catch and correct this? I mean, isn’t this basic, recent (as in just this past century!) Art History? I can understand the writer, who was relatively young and probably majored in English, being confused about artists and genres but the editor? The majority of book editors are well past 30 years of age and, with all their experience, should know better.

I’m also assuming here that because I know what styles and movements these painters were a part of, well, simply everyone must! I think, as usual, I’m guilty of underestimating my knowledge levels. I’ve always done this.

At least I’m consistent, eh?

By the by, who were the Cubists? Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and George Braques to name a few.

By the by Take 2: Back in my carnie days I thought I'd get inked. I was the only one on the lot sans skin art (the horror!) AND there were tattoo "artists" on almost all the midways. This was well before tattoos became the art form they are today so I wanted to keep it really simple—no Hygieia from Klimt’s Medicine for me. *sigh* I figured I'd get Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie (seen above, right) on my ass. Did I? Heavens no. I knew myself well enough to understand that I'd be unhappy about my choice moments after the last ink was inked.

Also, what if I gained weight? The art would be nastily distorted. More reason to nope out.

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