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Highlights from the Stedelijk Museum

Marc Chagall, Self Portrait with 7 Fingers, 1912-1913. Oil on canvas.
     The Stedelijk Museum is one of the leading modern and contemporary art museums in the world. Since its inception in 1874, the Stedelijk’s collection has steadily grown and evolved. A new wing completed in 2012 added another 10,000 square meters of space which the museum needed to display its vast and distinguished collection.
     The museum also has an impressive number of forty Marc Chagall paintings, six of which it owns and three are on extended loan from the State. These nine paintings span a period of 35 years and provides a comprehensive look at Chagall’s works over three and a half decades. The Marc Chagall Research Project was undertaken by the museum to study the technique and materials used by the artist and the state of conservation of the paintings. The research found, among other things, that Chagall painted with tiny brushes at a fast pace, used pigments like cadmium yellow and cobalt blue which were expensive to buy during his time and used a tablecloth to paint The Fiddler in 1965. For more interesting revelations about Chagall’s technique, check this video of the research:

Marc Chagall, The Pregnant Woman, 1913. Oil on canvas.
     This painting of a pregnant woman was neither “intensively treated” nor lined for protection and therefore shows the actual colors that Chagall used, according to researchers at the Stedelijk Museum. 
     The exhibition, Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian and Others, Migrant Artists in Paris, is currently on view at the Stedelijk Museum through February 2, 2020.

Roy Lichtenstein, As I Opened Fire, 1964. Acrylic (Magna) and oil on cotton.
Lichtenstein is one of the most important artists of the Pop Art movement. Known for his painted Benday dots, his canvases convey the look of pulp comics. 

Willem de Kooning,  North Atlantic Light, 1977
In North Atlantic Light, we can observe the diverse brushstrokes of the artist, the thick texture of the painting, the variety of hues, the shape of a sailboat reflected on the water, suggesting a seascape. 

Barnett Newman, Cathedra, 1951. Oil and acrylic (magna) on canvas.
Newman’s painting is a layered texture of “zips”, lines that connect the upper and lower edges of the painting. Learn more about his technique in this video from the Khan Academy.  

Wassily Kandinsky, Improvisation 33, 1913. Oil on canvas.
Kandinsky equated color to sound, even using musical terminology to name his works like Improvisation or Composition. According to Kandinsky, “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposely, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

 Martial Raysse, High Voltage Painting, 1965
For Martial Raysse, the goal of painting is “to express the beauty of life”. In High Voltage, he combines screen painting and neon, an influence of the advertising industry of the postwar era. 

Karel Appel, Mural Former Restaurant Stedelijk Museum, 1956.
Mineral paint on plaster.
Karel Appel is a Dutch painter who established the COBRA movement with painters from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. Their style is inspired by folk and children’s art and by the artists, Joan Miró and Paul Klee. 

Jan Schoonhaven, Relief of Squares with Interior Surfaces Slanted 
Toward the Midline of the Squares, 1967. 
Jan Schoonhaven founded the Nul Group in The Netherlands with the same style ideas as the Zero Group of Düsseldorf. The Zero concept predicates that when you start at zero, there are “pure possibilities for a new beginning”. The Zero movement was also a reaction to the bold and expressive style of the art informel movement. To this end, Schoonhaven’s works are monochromatic and he uses materials like cardboard, wood and papier maché. Relief of Squares above is made from cardboard, newsprint, latex paint and wood.

Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein, Amsterdam

*This is a late post.


Images by TravelswithCharie


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