Yesterday I had the chance to visit the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany, that is currently showing an exhibition of works by Francis Bacon and another one of Impressionism, besides having an impressive permanent collection of modern art works.
It was absolutely beautiful to be able to see some classical modern artworks in reality again. I was very impressed by the amount of key pieces that were on show in this Museum that had not really been on my “radar” as an interesting collection, but rather happened to be on my path as I had other errands in Stuttgart.
The round tour starts with Abstract Expressionism and the first piece upon entering the collection is a painting by Jackson Pollock. I have just recently watched the documentary about Jackson Pollocks life again, and how great to see an original artwork again.
Out of the web nr 7 from 1949. A good reminder to keep scribbling, loosening up and seeing the drawing process itself as the goal 🙂
The same room was dominated by a huge painting by Morris Louis- Beth Mem from 1958.
Pop Art followed over several rooms, with works by Sigmar Polke, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol etc.
This is Zirkus by Sigmar Polke from 1966. I had just been discussing this artist with my friend Ellen who used this technique with dots to recover her paintings that got damaged by bubbly plastic during transport. This gives me the idea of not only drawing on newspaper, but of possibly enlarging newspaper pictures a lot- til these print dots become visible, and then sketch on top.
Andy Warhols Peachhalves from 1962, and Roy Lichtenstein Spray from the same year. Happy commercial colours and the validation of elevating simple consumer goods to art. And here I will just sketch whatever comes my way, accepting every object as a potential subject.
I really like this “drive by” picture of Gerhard Richter, Cow 13, from 1965. I used this drive past unsharp style a lot during my time as a photographer, and am now musing how to incorporate that in drawing. I also want to remember this piece for when I get to “foreground, middleground and background” exercises.
I was delighted to find a room dedicated to Alberto Giacometti. It was called “Absolute Distance”, referring to Sartre’s expression that reality is always maintaining an absolute distance that no physical closeness can erase, which Giacomettis sculptures illustrate. The closer you come , the more the busyness of the surface dissolve the reality.
I love these paintings in very muted greys and browns.
The subjects emerge from the background with just a few criss crossed marks. Here is play between surface and line, between finished and unfinished , between dark and light. The subjects are very still, but the mark-making is with so much movement .
Picasso and Cubism
A wole room is dedicated to Picasso- with a huge installation of wooden sculptures , but also some of his very famous paintings from his various painterly phases- the Blue Period, the pink period, and then moving over Cubism towards Surrealism.
I was particularly happy to find some of the paintings of Cubism that I was writing about for the previous chapter of Still Life- what a treat to suddenly stand in front of those paintings!
George Braque Violin 1912/13
And Picassos Violine Jolie Eva 1912
And here I am standing in front of Modigliani’s Female Nude reclining on a white pillow, a painting I have seen reproduced countless times.
Wishing to get past those trees and perspective exercises and move on to the human body 🙂
Another whole room is dedicated to the British artist Bridget Riley , with her geometrical patterns with just slight deviations.
Welcome shaking hands by Bruce Naumann from 1983…..
and St John the Baptist by Jeff Koons
are works that are maybe not directly relevant to what I want to learn or draw right now, but I felt a jolt of pleasure at seeing them here.
This visit was a very rich experience- I am oversaturated by impressions and buzzing with lots and lots of ideas!