'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Franz Marc

Just a little addition to my last post - this is the painting of Franz Marc's with which I am most familiar, and the reason I immediately recognised the little print in Te Papa.

Franz Marc, along with Kandinsky, founded the "Der Blaue Reiter" group.
Marc had a theory of colour that involved ideas of the spiritual. He used bright colours, and often depicted animals, especially horses, in his works. He was influenced by the impressionists, moved toward expressionism, and later began to incorporate elements of cubism into his paintings, until finally his last works became very abstract, foreshadowing that movement.

He was killed in action in 1916, at the age of 36 years. Pity.

In a nutshell, in this painting you can see the forest animals on the left, and on the right the trees are being chopped down and the animal's habitat being destroyed. At the time Marc worked, the railways were being extended throughout Europe, and industrialisation was encroaching upon and profoundly changing the landscape.

If you want to know more, this is where I got this image and there is more information in: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/marc/overview.php


  1. Apart from the fact that I actually find the painting aesthetically pleasing I can understand the explanation too.

    For many years I had The Metamorphosis of Narcissus on my office wall and when I was trying to solve a work issue and needed to clear what passes for my brain, I would look at that painting. After 10 years I was still seeing new things in it. I often wondered whether Dali saw the same things. I rather hope not!

  2. Hm. I need to look that one up Geeb. In general Dali makes me uncomfortable. I suspect that was one of his aims. Well, not me personally, obviously :-)

  3. Marc was a consummate artist. His blue Horse and wonderful tiger paintings have left a permanent impression on me. As for Dali, I just read today in his New York Times obituary, that George Orwell said, his works''are diseased and disgusting, and any investigation ought to start out from that fact.'' Coincidence works in interesting ways.

  4. I think Marcs paintings are expressive, complex, vibrant, colourful and original.

    Great stuff indeed.

  5. Joseph, belatedly, welcome to TLVD. Hm. Dali was a very important artist in terms of helping us to 'see' differently. But I don't relate well to his work, for the most part. But each to his or her, own.

    Orland and Bayles, in their book 'Art and Fear' say "In art, it's been a tough century for modesty, craftsmanship, and tenderness."

    To make my own sweeping statement: I think the last hundred years have been characterised, in art, by outspoken individualism, good concepts (but rough work) and abrasive angst and anger. As I don't 'do' any of these things much, I'm hoping things are changing; Bring back the art of quiet beauty!

    Alden. Yes indeed. All of that!