14 August 2011

...obsessed with Ellchen

I'm not sure just when it started.  But I do know it has grown into an obsession just barely in control.  Recently fueled to a full flame again by reading the book Loving Frank.  I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but someone recommended the book so I gave it a go.  It was a pretty well written story following closely the details of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress  for who he had build the glorious Taliesin.  Now, I must note here as well, that I am not a huge fan of FLW either.  I do admire and appreciate his work, but I think because of the proximity to so much FLW that one sort of grows to a "eh, what's the big deal".  But he really was a big deal. 
  Anyways, this book put me to thinking.  It did a fine job in my mind putting personality and real humanness to a very grandiose figure.  I don't know how other people are, but I want to know what these artists were thinking, feeling, dealing with when they set some of their ideas to paper and more.  What was THEIR obsession and drive to create?  Now the Frank book was fiction based on facts.  I know it is just one woman's idea of how it all was.  But it prompted me to track down a book about a couple of artists in a "similar situation"...Gabrielle Münter and Wassily Kandinsky.  The book transcribed letters they wrote to each other around 1905-1911 (dates approx.) giving some insight into what they were feeling at the time they were literally changing the world of art.  They were real people, making good and bad choices, getting angry, depressed, elated, anxious, jealous...all the human emotions. 
  I've been to Murnau and Seehäusen am Stafflesee where they were based during this time.  I've seen a most beautiful collection of their art in a lovely museum in Murnau.  And thanks to Mrs. Harry L. Bradley, we have a MOST fabulous collection of Münter's work (the largest outside of Germany, I am told) only 15 minutes away from my very own home!  We had, a number of years ago, a very thorough exhibit of her work as well, of which I am the proud owner of the book representing it.  I refer to it often.  I visit the Bradley gallery.  I knit there, read there, and sometimes just stare and take it all in.  Mrs. Bradley and I seem to have a very similar taste in art -- and I am so glad for it!
  The paintings I have included here are two of my many favorites.  The first is "In Schwabing" by Münter.  The second, "Fragment I for Composition VII" by Kandinsky.  The Kandinsky painting was one I visited often with my kids and we played a sort of art "where is Waldo" thing, where the kids would pick an element of the painting, draw it in a sketchbook, and I would have to find it in the painting.  Oh, the good times in that gallery!
  But back to the original subject of this post...I'm just continually thinking about the German Expressionist period these days; in particular der Blaue Reiter group; even more specifically Kandinsky & Münter.  I am reading everything I can get my hands on (with in reason -- I DO have other responsibilities...) about this period of art history and these artists.  I am feeling so inspired by their work (yet lacking enough focus to actually DO something...but that will come)  I have been touched by "Ellchen's" way of working, and sometimes not working as it seemed to match my ups and downs in such a familiar way.  I am hoping that her successes will motivate me to create and find success in my arts as well.

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