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Pablo Journal
The Louvre Test

1998 Year 1 No. 6 Sep 22
    

Lindner
Tiger Lily

now monthly

Modigliani
Elvire


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Dedication

After World War II, Picasso was asked to donate some works to French museums. As a compensation, he was granted a confrontation of some of his paintings to works of his colleagues in the Louvre, on a day closed to the public. Only very few persons were present. In a kind of ceremony, his works were hung side by side with other works of his choice. Rarely did someone speak. Afterwards, Picasso is to have said: "C'est la même chose!", i.e. it's the same thing: He and the other masters were doing the same, despite of different styles and attitudes. (As I recall the biographical notes of Françoise Gilot, then related with Picasso.) To me, this confrontation of works of different masters was a very interesting experience I would like to share with you. Hence this enterprise is dedicated to

Pablo Picasso.


Preface

This series is not intended to be a university course. I am not an art scholar, I am just a painter and art lover only. As lover I will approach one of the works of art the heritage of all mankind has left us, one by one, week after week, as long as I can. I will keep my investigation personal and simple, meant to open your eyes to see for yourself. Words can be used as a means to that end, but it is rather the space between the words that does the work. A great master of the art of appreciation of art, Kurt Rossacher of Vienna, demanded to see with nose first, eyes, tongue, heart, and only at last with the brain.

Your appreciation will give me the power and strength to endure. It is for you and all the great masters that I do this work, and I hope you will enjoy it. So don't hesitate to send me your feedback in order to help me with that goal! This kind of journal is new to the net, so please tell me if the size is ok (images are great, but big!).

As I am writing in a foreign language, I am not sure to express myself correctly, but I hope you will be able to guess what I mean any time.

Also, I invite you to join in my effort. Send me your articles and comments to be published in this journal.

Yours truly,
joe


Lindner (1901-1978)
Tiger Lily
Modigliani (1884-1919)
Elvire
Lindner, Tiger Lily

 

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Modigliani, Elvire

 

Due to work overload, I have to change from weekly to monthly publishing rhythm. I'm sorry. Maybe I will switch back one day.

Location Size Date Scan

Museum Ludwig Cologne

178*152cm 69x60"

1966

publisher

Richard Lindner is not well known. German born, he began his career as painter at age 50 as US citizen. His paintings are clearly part of Pop Art, but they are not very popular.

Obviously, Tiger Lily is not a portrait. It is an invention, not found anywhere else. Lindner uses proportions, colors, details at will to get to his image. If arms don't fit, get rid of them.

Like ancient Egyptian style, everything is shown in either frontal or profile view. Forms are piled up like cutouts: breasts, belts, hair, legs, tiger coat.

Every form is a new and original design. Look at the eye, the mouth, the nose of Lily. These forms are influenced by illustrative methods and motives. Most popular is the animated cartoon "Yellow Submarine" featuring the Beatles, designed by illustrator Heinz Edelmann, abundant with this kind of invention.

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People have little problems reading the forms. Colors are vivid and primitive. No problem here either. How come these paintings are not popular? It is his subject.

Like Modigliani, Lindner has only one theme: The fear of the sexual power and demand of women. This is a universal fear, showing up in all cultures and all ages. It is not comfortable.

Women are sexually much more powerful than men, once they are experienced. Unfortunately, most will never be, and some societies try hard to fix this state. A hundred years ago, men like Freud showed that sexual suppression of women leads to hysteria and neurosis. We witnessed a great liberation since, and this transition has not come to an end yet.

Lindner uses lots of signals to show this mighty sexual force. His men are cop types, and they are defensive. They can't really cope with these women, they are not on equal terms. I guess this is the reason for the depressive mood of his work.

Location Size Date Scan
Kunstmuseum Bern

100*65cm 39x26"

1918

publisher

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Amedeo Modigliani is very popular. John Berger holds that he is next to van Gogh with respect to postcards. He is most popular among youths. Museums and art scholars didn't encourage this fame.

His personal story is known and moving, but not intermingled with his work like van Gogh's. These paintings impress by themselves. Most are portraits, like this one. The title indicates this fact, too: Elvire.

The forms are greatly simplified, proportions pretty correct, but details omitted. Most famous are his empty eyes. I know of only one modern German children's book illustrator who adopted this stylistic peculiarity (Janosch).

The paintings all speak out the same theme: The magic of first love. We all know, this feeling will pass and fade away. Hence the basic sadness. The relation will not last.

There is no deep passion capable of inducing a transformation to a more mature form of relation. It is the body with its tender grace that is shown, not the soul, only surface, not depth.

The women are shown as portraits, but they are impersonal. They are not shown as individual women with their own fate and soul, but as projections of the longing of a loving romantic.

They are empty forms to be filled up with juvenile enthusiasm. There is no indication of the seriousness and weight of life, of duration, of relation. In this respect they resemble pin-ups. They are all promise, no fulfillment. Kind of innocent.

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Models
   

Tacke, Models

Original Art by
Tina Tacke, Gallery Clay at Art Quarter

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Rubens
Little fur

 

Cranach
Venus and Cupido

Bronzino
Allegory

 

Stuck
Sensuality


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