Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Artwork of the Day

This is my new favourite painting, by German artist Gustav Klimt. The dusky hues of blue, yellow and reddish-brown imbue it with a mysterious mood. It almost resembles a piece of dyed fabric because of the flatness of the elements. The most prominent feature in Modernist painting is the idea of a canvas as an inherently flat surface, rather than a window to the world. This idea freed painters to explore the qualities of the surface itself, precipitating some of the greatest advancements in painting style and technique such as Cubism. To represent a table, painters need not use minute shading to create a realistic, three-dimensional image, but can simply suggest it by rendering a wood-effect, for example. I think this is what's happening in the painting above. By doing so, forms retain some of their ambiguity, adding to the sense of mystery and making the painting that much more interesting to look at.

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