“I have a feeling that in art the need to understand and the need to communicate are one.” Hedda Sterne, an artist best remembered as the only woman in a famous photograph of a group of Abstract Expressionists known as “The Irascibles”, was born on August 4, 1910. In her artistic endeavors she created a body of work known for exhibiting a stubborn independence from styles and trends, including Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, with which she is often associated.
A photograph of 15 of the so-called Irascibles, taken by Nina Leen on November 24, 1950 and published in Life magazine on January 15, 1951. Front row: Theodore Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, and Mark Rothko; middle row: Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, and Bradley Walker Tomlin; back row: Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, and Hedda Sterne.
“I can claim no background except perhaps the woods, running streams, hunting, fishing, camping, the sky…” Arthur Dove, an early American modernist, often considered the first American abstract painter, was born on August 2, 1880.
“The artist expresses only what he has within himself, not what he sees with his eyes.” Alexej von Jawlensky, a Russian expressionist painter active in Germany was a key member of the New Munich Artist’s Association (Neue Künstlervereinigung München), Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group and later the Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four).
“A painter paints the appearance of things, not their objective correctness. In fact, he creates new appearances of things.” Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German painter and printmaker, and a founding member of the group Die Brücke, was born on July 31, 1883. (Personally, I prefer his woodcuts to his paintings but the quote is about ‘a painter’ so I felt a woodcut would not be appropriate.) (It’s Emil Nolde’s birthday next week!)
“It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.” Henry Moore, an Anglo-Irish sculptor and artist, best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art, was born on 30 July 1898.
“A painting that doesn’t shock isn’t worth painting.” Marcel Duchamp, commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century, was born on July 28, 1887.
“All great art is a visual form of prayer.” Sister Wendy Beckett. Today is the birthday of Judith Leyster who was born on July 28, 1609. She was a Dutch Golden Age painter whose entire oeuvre was attributed to Frans Hals until 1893. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a quote from Judith Leyster so I have used a quote from TV art historian Sister Wendy.