For the very first collection of Art to Inspiration posts (organized by Supal of Chevrons & Eclairs), we chose a painting by the contemporary Japanese artist Hiroshi Matsumoto. Each blogger involved in the project will share something about how they have been inspired by this painting, whether they planned a room, put together an outfit, cooked a dish, or created a whole new work of art. I doubt I’ll do this for each Art to Inspiration post, but as I looked carefully at this month’s painting, December 2010-4, it brought to mind a small Mediterranean town in the south of France called Collioure. I was a little puzzled about why that could be – something about the curve of Colloiure’s bay, I figured. Ever since my parents visited it several years ago, I’ve noticed paintings and sketches from many artists who traveled there in the early 20th century. Maybe one of those paintings was buried in my memory, but when I searched for images of Collioure, I was surprised to see how similar the energy and the color palette were. Here’s the Matsumoto painting, followed by Derain and Matisse‘s paintings of Collioure’s bay:
That got me thinking about other paintings with a similar vibrancy. As some of you know, I spend a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working with programs that help people to become more comfortable and confident as they interact with works of art. So it’s become second nature to look for connections between works of art, to try to pinpoint some similarity that will draw out a shared aspect of the works – preferably one that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. While thinking about paintings with some connection to Matsumoto’s bold abstract, Rothko immediately popped into my mind, of course, but so did Mondrian – whose 1930 painting may seem very different in its composition, but I think is related in its sense of balance.
I was surprised to realize that the Matsumoto painting even shares qualities with several paintings of people. These paintings are far more figurative and detailed than the others that I’ve shared so far, but I think there’s a connection that goes beyond similar color choices. For example, Matsumoto’s December 2010-4 echoes the liveliness of Cheret‘s “cherettes” and the warm tones of Gaugin‘s scene of Tahitian women deep in conversation. And finally, it shares a sense of calm and intrigue with Picasso‘s lovers and Lisa Golightly‘s faceless portrait of a ladylike figure.
Does December 2010-4 remind you of a place, work of art, or person that you’ve seen before? What does this painting inspire you to share?
1. Matsumoto, December 2010-4, 2010
2. Derain, Boats in the Port of Collioure, 1905
3. Matisse, View of Collioure, 1906
4. Rothko, Orange and Yellow, 1956
5. Mondrian, Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930
6. Cheret, Redoute des Etudiants, 1894
7. Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), 1892
8. Picasso, The Lovers, 1923
8. Golightly, Woman in the Red Heels, ca. 2010
I'm Kate, and this is where I write about printmaking, art, and interesting things that I do and see... [more]
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