Strolling through Artopolis 2007: Part Five
Continuing our stroll through the Antiques Fair,
this is a page from the Vollard edition
(that was also just on display at the Art Institute)
A Classical fantasy,
custom made for me.
This is why I love figure drawine, Picasso,
and the ancient Classical world.
( if only Picasso had turned his hand
to making those kinds of statues..
if only Prokoviev had continued to
write classical symphonies...
if only Strauss had continued to write
Mozartean operas... etc etc etc)
Ohara Koson (1877-1945), 1910
What's interesting about Ohara
is that all his work was made for export to the West.
Early 20th C. Japan was so fascinated by Europe,
that their own culture had fallen out of style.
(as related in these Mishima books that I read last year)
Isn't there something lurid about this butterfly ?
As if these insects were
overdressed courtesans ?
Harry Parr, 1939
A rather silly piece,
but still, stuffed away in a glass case with other ceramic falderol,
it caught my attention.
Here's another (inferior) version --
which leads me to conclude
that what I really like is the patina,
all those whacky, tasty colors
that remind me of expensive Italian ice cream.
(or this Meissen treasure,
which admittedly is a bit more sumptuous)
(and I'm feeling that this is me,
at the age of two)
Spain or Italy, 15th C.
(just as I feel that this is me ... at the age of 20)
But what happened to that poor man's right hand ?
I suppose the piece is
part of an emsemble --
maybe he's pointing to a wound
in the Savior's flesh ?
Henri Lebasque (1865-1937) "Le basin aux reflets bleus, Le Pradet , 1923
26 x 32 Inches
Lebasque is an also-ran in the current narrative
of art history.
People still like to put his paintings on their walls
(so the above sells for six figures)
but I'm sure that he's considered
too derivative to merit a place in art history.
And yet --- if the above were treated
like an artifact from ancient Egypt or China,
it would be treasured for its beauty.
(and if I were of the class
that keeps a condo by the beach--
this painting would be in it)
Karl Albert Buehr (1866-1952)
This is the kind of German-born Chicago painter
who joined my art club a century ago...
but for some reason Karl never did,
though he did teach at the Art Institute for many years.
And for some reason,
this photo does not remind me
of why this painting appealed to me at the show.
Maybe it's just my familiarity with this local style.
So similar to this one by a contemporary club member,
Louis Oscar Griffith, who was also found at Artopolis.
..or maybe I'm imagining that it was once much brighter.
Caroll Nichols (1882- ) "BlueIce, Buck's County" , 1934
This is the kind of painting I love to find at the Antiques fair:
i.e. one made by the totally obscure artist
(nothing on the internet - and nobody knows when he/she died)
John Storrs (1885-1956)
"portrait of Monique" (artist's daughter) , 1925
Storrs has become Chicago's official modernist
(in the generation that followed Laredo Taft).
He hung out in Paris -- he was born wealthy -- he did as he pleased.