Raphael Rubinstein considers the influence of Henri Matisse - whose work "under the best conditions, gives considerable space to other artists to construct something new" - on a group of American painters in post-war Paris, including: Sam Francis, Shirley Jaffe, Norman Bluhm, Joan Mitchell and Kimber Smith.
Rubinstein argues that these painters shared a connection to Matisse through French art historian Georges Duthuit: "All these painters were marked by their years in Paris in ways that set them apart from their U.S.-bound contemporaries, but the importance of their encounter with the work of Matisse, and with Duthuit’s interpretation of it, can’t be underestimated."
In her most recent post on the 2013 Miami Art Fairs, Joanne Mattera photoblogs a fascinating selection of mid-century geometric abstraction on view at the fairs. The post includes works by Lygia Clark, Geraldo de Barros, Willys de Castro, Hercules Barsotti, Samson Flexner, Ana Sacerdote, Maria Friere, Alice Trumbull Mason, Julie Knifer, Shirley Jaffe, Leon Polk Smith, Gene Davis, Kenneth Noland, Charmion von Weigand, and Thomas Downing.
Yau writes that "Jaffe uses different palettes and combinations of color throughout each painting. These distinct combinations infuse each of the painting’s sections with its own individuality. Something different is found in each section, a self-contained color or graphic sign. The fact that Jaffe can lash them all together without resorting to any obvious visual device is nothing short of remarkable. Jaffe carefully calibrates the dissonance running through her best paintings. Every image is distinct and part of something larger; and the larger parts are prevented from subjugating other sections."
Raphael Rubinstein blogs about the work of painter Shirley Jaffe.
Rubinstein writes: "Shirley Jaffe emerged from the crucible of gestural abstraction with an approach to painting that has given her maximum formal freedom within fairly constant material conditions. A smooth-edge (rather than hard-edge) painter, she fills each one of her canvases with arrays of flat, discontinuous shapes (geometric, biomorphic, linear, allusive, ideal, familiar, eccentric, graceful, clunky) in which the color experiments of classic 20th century abstraction are pushed to new levels of creative discord and strange harmony. Frequently inspired by momentary glimpses of urban landscapes, or visual memories, her paintings undergo a long process of correction and adjustment as shapes change contour and color, or disappear completely, until absolute autonomy and tight choreography coincide."
Paul Behnke photoblogs the recent exhibition The Lure of Paris at Loretta Howard Gallery, New York. The show highlights the lesser known influence of Paris on mid-century American artists and features work by Biala, Norman Bluhm, Ed Clark, Harold Cousins, Beauford Delaney, Sam Francis, Shirley Goldfarb, Cleve Gray, Al Held, Shirley Jaffe, Conrad Marca-Relli, Joan Mitchell, Jules Olitski, Milton Resnick, Jean-Paul Riopelle, George Sugarman, and Jack Youngerman.
Sol Ostrow writes in the catalogue: "In the 1950s, with the triumph of the New York School, the United States for the first time in history had produced visual art of international consequence. Yet, artists from the United States and from all over Europe continued to flock to Paris just as the center of the western art world was shifting to New York... Their reasons varied. Some saw it as an opportunity to be cosmopolitan or to satisfy their wanderlust; others may have imagined the Paris of Le Jazz Hot, café society, and the romance of the pre-war avant-garde, or the chance to see works by Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, etc., that they knew only from black and white reproductions. In most cases the women artists had accompanied their significant others, while like the generation before them, the Afro-American artists, sought to escape the racism that was endemic in the States."
Kalm notes that this is "a prime group of painters dealing with the contemporary challenges of formalist abstraction. This walking tour includes views of works by: Andrea Belag, Shirley Jaffe, Alix Le Méléder, Sylvan Lionni, Julia Rommel, Patricia Treib, Stephen Westfall, Stanley Whitney."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.