Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spain (part 3)

tasty tapas!

some blind drawing from the masters at the fantastic Museo Thyssen Bornemisza

It might be hard to tell, but for the part of the drawing on the left I was looking at Rembrant's "Self Portrait" (1642-3), below. Standing in a room full of portraits from the same era Rembrant's painting really jumped out as it seemed to overflow with life and luminosity captured with incredibly sensitive, and in many places merely suggestive, brushwork.

© Rembrant, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation, Madrid

I loved that the Thyssen collection spanned a broad range of time periods and artistic movements from medieval to modern allowing me to consider all sorts of different approaches and ideas in the one day. In much of my recent work I have been interested in finding the surreal and otherworldly within natural forms so it was really intriguing to look at Ernst who sees natural forms within the abstract and haphazard textures of paint created with a decalcomania/monoprint technique.

© Max Ernst, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation, Madrid

study of Schiele's self portrait

I went back for a second day to spend time with a couple of great temporary exhibitions at the Thyssen. I really enjoyed Heroines which pulled together historical and contemporary artists working in a range of mediums who all portrayed women as strong, active individuals:

John William Waterhouse, "The Magic Circle"

Frida Kahlo, "Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird"

Also on display was a retrospective of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) a French academic painter, with a great eye for light and colour, who tended to portray slightly unusual narrative scenes often focusing on the moment after an event had occurred. 

Jean-Léon Gérôme, "Moorish Bath"

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