Thursday, December 8, 2011

Josef Albers - Homage to the Square

Only with the Homage to the Square series did Albers finally arrive at a brillant way of demonstrating color phenomena. Besides, the quadrangle is a form codified by Malevich, an intellectual form. The quadrangle expresses new thoughts. Albers transforms it into a physical-psychic reality full of suspense. He offers us hundreds of variations. He uses different schemata. He uses either three or four colors. The visual fusion of three or four quadrangles reminds us of graphic exercises (Graphic Tectonic) and of exercises which originated in the preliminary course at the Bauhaus. At one point the small middle form seems to step out of the picture, and then again it seems to withdraw into its very depth. This back-and-forth on which the plastic perception of these interlaced color zones is dependent, is modified by illumination. In clear daylight a blue zone remains dark and deeply hidden in the picture frame, while in the twilight (or waning light) the complete opposite is true: the red loses brightness, the blue assumes an increasingly powerful glow.
There is no particular reason for any of the different schemata; they serve only to solve various problems of quantity. There are certain schemata which balance the participation of colors more strongly than others. They all have one thing in common: the horizontal symmetry is in sharp contrast to the vertical, asymmetric seriation. Thus zones are created of different chromatic activity. In the ribbon-shaped small strips which lie in the lower half of the picture, the picture produces ar more colorific effect than in the other more broadly planned zones. Everywhere, however, the important point is the alternating modification of colors. A color which lies between two others is influenced by them; the color of the panel on the right is being repeated along the border line on the left, and on the right border line it is the color of the panel on the left. Over and above the actually used colors, new optical mixtures are created.

Josef Albers (born March 19, 1888, Bottrop, Ger.—died March 25, 1976, New Haven, Conn., U.S.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Salt land

The wetland and saltmarshes of Guérande photographed by Paul Morin.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Poe in black, white and green

Poe's tales illustrated with black, white and green lithographs by Edmond-Maurice Pérot (1940).

1. The Cask of Amontillado.

2, 3. The Black Cat.

4, 5, 6. The Gold-Bug.

7, 8. A Descent into the Maelström

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rural tools

Old italian rural tools
1. Old weeding hoe (Val d'Ossola)
2. Billhooks (Val d'Ossola and Puglia)
3. Beet fork (Emilia and Po Delta, 19th century)
4. Stable Candlesticks (Northern Italy)
5. Hemp-scutching machine (San Marino di Bentivoglio, Emilia)
6. Antique wrought iron broiler (Lombardy, 17th or 18th century)
7. Fire forks ( Emilia and Lombardy)
8. Double edged billhook (Puglia)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pierre Bonnard - Nature stories

Nature Stories
Written by Jules Renard.
Illustrated by Pierre Bonnard.

1. The Magpie
2. Grasshoppers
3. The Worm
4. Swallows
5. The Cricket
6. The Mouse
7. The Butterfly
8. The Dragonfly
9. The Goby
10. The Frog
11. Ants
12. The Toad
13. A Family of Trees
14. The Cow
15. The Donkey
16. The Dog
17. The Turkey
18. The Cat

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies.