Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider. (Waldo Emerson)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Learning to love Modern Art!

I was doing some studying lastnight on art and I came across a little thing on Theo Van Doesburg (1881 -1931). His art work made me think about something that may have nothing to do with the art itself. I don't know because I do not know enough about him. Just the small bit in the book that I have. So I am just going to tell you about that for now. Then later I can go and learn  little more about him and see what his motives were. If there were in fact any at all. 

I am not a huge fan of Modern Art. As a matter of fact if I had seen the end result of this study from Theo, I would have looked and moved on not thinking anything special about it. I don't "understand" it so I don't care to look at it. How awful is that?? Pretty awful but I admit it. And this thought is what got the ball in my brain rolling. 

First let me show you what I saw: 


Study of a cow 1 for composition


Study of a cow 2 for composition


Study of a cow 3 for composition


Study of a cow 4 for composition (Tempera, oil and charcoal on paper)


Study of a Cow Oil on Canvas 1917. Museum of Modern Art New York Purchase

So here you can see that he went from "natural" to "abstract". I do like to see how he broke it down the way he did. I can actually see the cow now in the last study. It makes perfect sense to me now. 

The end result doesn't really "comply" with what I personally deem to be beautiful art. To me this is nonsensical. But with all the studies in play I see an entire lesson before me. Of course it is that old saying to never judge a book by its cover. 

I started to think deeper than just art though. How easy it is for us to judge things that we don't understand so quickly? We do it to our fellow humans all the time. We don't understand another person so we tend to walk away. They do not comply with our standards so we turn around and ignore them. This painting reminded me of that. 

I have seen so many people just like that painting. No order. No perspective. I can't identify who they are or what they are doing. I am sure that if I could go back to their natural state when they had beautiful curved smiles and beautiful shining eyes with depth and perspective, I would be able to see a hint of that still in their flat shapes and unrecognizable compositions that stood before me now. I wouldn't walk away so fast. I would actually appreciate them for what they are - Humans. Just like me. 

So now for the end result of Study of a Cow. I appreciate what I see before me and see it as it

should be seen - as a work of art. Good Job Theo.

Theo Van Doesburg - Self portrait in a hat. I bet without those composition breakdowns - you would not have guessed he painted like this also! Just goes to show.. we judge way to quickly. I know I did!





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