Monday, September 19, 2011

Cartoonist turned Cubist - Lyonel Feininger

As the name suggests, Cubism is an avant-garde art movement which includes artworks comprised of broken-up object planes interpermeating one another. To understand Cubism on a deeper level, one must first find out what 'avant-garde' actually means.

Avant-garde, in the adjective form, refers to works that are innovative or experimental with particular regard to art, culture, and politics. It represents a radical move towards what is perceived as typical and customary.

Cubism revolutionized European painting and sculpture, its ability to depict objects from one viewpoint to multiple viewpoints has inspired movements in the music, literature, and architecture realm.

One particular artist whose works I find inspiring and exquisite is a cartoonist turned cubist - Lyonel Feininger. He was a well known and highly admired German-American artist who made huge contributions to the expressionist and cubist schools of art in the 20th century.

Lyonel Feininger

Feininger was one of the founders of the Bauhaus school of art and architecture and was associated to the famous expressionist group - Blue Four. He used to work as an illustrator and cartoonist for 20 years before he began his career as a paint artist.

Feininger's paintings have a significant and distinctive progression which starts from colourful, lively, and cartoon-like drawings to his characteristic muted, sombre and abstract style. He infused angular planes of different shades of light into his paintings, intersecting and overlapping these planes until an object is made perceptible.

Longeuil, Normandie, 1909

 Carnival in Arcueil, 1911

Gross Kromsdorf I, 1915

 Hopfgarten, 1920

 Barfusserkirche, 1924

Sail Boats, 1929

 Lunar Web, 1951

Based on Feininger's later artworks, it is apparent that he utilized a common set of elements of design. They consist mostly of visible, multi-directional lines, geometric form of shapes which are predominantly triangular, and strong colours in multiple shades of light. The visual texture in his oil paintings seem dry and grainy.

The principles of design typically used in Feininger's paintings comprise of a harmony of repetitive shapes with numerous variations, light-dark contrasting colours, and dominance of different shape sizes. As most of his artworks do not have a linear link between shapes, Feininger tends to utilize the placement and size relationship to create a virtual link between the elements in his paintings.

On a personal note, I am particularly interested in Feininger's works of genius due to their somewhat subliminal yet expressive portrayal of a sense of alienation felt in modern society. His works also include many architectural elements which I am very fond of.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Masterpiece of I

'I define passion. Passion defines me.'

A bold statement for a guy 23 years of age?

Passion to me is the inner urge and desire that propel me into doing things that gratifies my interests.

I for one, have many interests. Event management, expressive writing, reading, just to name a few.

Dance, however, is where my deepest passion lies in.

In dance, every artistic body movement is a swift stroke of art painted on a blank canvas.

A masterpiece only which the dancer can truly appreciate.

In dance, is where a person's deep seated feelings and thoughts truly show.

A masterpiece which sometimes if we're lucky, we can relate to.

I've been dancing through life, and I have no intention of stopping.

I dream to be better at dancing, to be able to connect better with I.

Because just like everyone else, I am a masterpiece, of which pieces I alone can muster, of which I alone can put together.

Dance with me, connect with me.

Picture courtesy of The Passion of Dance by Richard Young.