Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paul Klee pronounced Clay

Ad Parnassum (1932) Paul klee

I studied Art History under Parker Leslie at Old Dominion College in the 1960's.  One of the Modern Artist we studied was Paul Klee (December 18, 1879 –  June 29, 1940).  I remember that he was a fore runner in the mordernism movements, however I had forgotten how utterly charming his works were.  That was until Lewis purchased a wonderful rug made in the 1970's after a painting by Klee.
l-Polyphony 1932 by Paul Klee

Moved by the whimsical quality of the rug and it's palette of colors, I decided to look once more into the works of Klee.  Klee a Swiss artist, who is also considered a German artist, studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich.  He excelled in drawing but felt that he lacked a concept of color at that time.  After finishing his studies he traveled to Italy where he had a great appreciation of the colors that surrounded him there.  He continually felt that he had a lot of work to do to understand colors. Taking an over view of his work you can see how he developed his keen sense of color by continually studying color in his paintings.  He was influenced by the modern movements in art at the time, among these the cubism, expressionism, and surrealism.  He met and worked along side the Russian Artist, Wassily Kandinsky.  They both taught at the German Bauhaus School.  He grew up in a musical family and musical rhythms seemed to be an influence in his art.  He also had an almost child like view of the world in some of his paintings as well as a sense of humor.  After struggling with color he wrote about it.  This was published in English as the " Paul Klee Notebooks."  Those are considered to be as important to modern art as some of the writings of da Vinci were to the Renaissance..

part of charming rug after Paul Klee Painting 1926

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brimfield Show September 2012, Two Trimbles, Double Trouble

Lewis and my eldest son, Chris, both headed out to the September show in Brimfield, Mass., this past Sunday.  The shows opened on Tuesday.  Lewis shopped all the way there.  Chris and his partner for the show, David McDaniel drove all the way non stop.  David has an Antique Shop, 50 East Church, in Kilmarnock, VA.  They are sharing a tent in the Meadows Show, at Brimfield.  They called, saying that they made the front page of the Springfield Republican Newspaper, Springfield, Mass.  There was a great picture of the interior of their tent and David.  They were also filmed by the Crew of "This Old House". 

Lewis rather than trying to sell and buy too, just stuck to buying.  In order to find the type of things that he likes to buy, he had to walk, and cover as much space as possible.  He started as early as he possible could, hitting all the shows that he thought might have the type of items that would catch his fancy.  You never know what or where you might find things.  That evening after walking all day scouring the shows for what he felt was the very best, he got into his van and drove 20 minutes to his motel.  When he got out of the van he said his legs were weak from all the walking and his feet were sore to his knees.  Exhausted he retreated to his room to rest and revive until the next morning and he started all over again.

Monday they experienced some rain showers from tropical storm Issac.  Tuesday the heavens opened up dropping  4" of rain in a very short time.  The rain rushed through low areas, flooding some tents.  Chris realizing what was happening at the time, grabbed a shovel and started digging a ditch in order to save his furniture from getting wet.  Some people were not that lucky.

Last year the find from Brimfield for us was a rare floor lamp by Fontana Arte.  This year I have yet to see the treasures that Lewis found.  After two hard days of walking, shopping, hauling, and rain, Lewis headed home.  Then the fun begins in town as we ready for the reveal.

Chris and David will start the long journey home on Sunday after they pack up and take down the tent.  They will make it back at some point on Monday and by Tuesday or more Wednesday will be back to business as usual.  Stop by their shops as well as ours to see all the new items and hear the stories.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Discoveries in Art

Massey's Portrait in The National Gallery London

Lewis is on the road visiting and buying at the fall Brimfield Mass. Antique Show.  He just purchased three grotesque paintings of heads.  Each one is both curious and unique. Spurred on by his recent purchase, I decided to do a little investigation into paintings of the Grotesque on my own.  I was interested in two of the images that came up on my web search.  One was a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, and the other a portrait by Massey of a grotesque Duchess, that is in the National Gallery in London.  They bear a resemblance to each other and although both are hard to look at they seem to be of real people.  There was no plastic surgery and people had to deal with life as it was dealt.

Leonardo da Vinci's Drawing of a Grotesque

While visiting the National Gallery, London, website I was intrigued by another more tranquil portrait of a refined somewhat modest lady.  The video played on and a discovery was revealed showing changes that had been unvieled as the painting was cleaned.  The modest lady was revealed to be somewhat of a harlot.  You need to visit the site to see this for your selves.

My dad and brother had a similar experience while cleaning a portrait of an 18th century lady.  She also was very demure, but as they cleaned the painting for a customer they found that she had three arms.  two of which lay in her lap and the third was raised and the fingers of this hand were nestled in her cleavage. What to do.  They called the client who had brought the painting in for cleaning and asked them to come into the gallery to decide which arm to keep.  The over painting had changed a famous courtesan into a proper lady.  The clients rightfully decided to go back to the original painting and had quite a conversation piece to hang in their home.  One can only imagine how many risque paintings were changed during the Victorian era.


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