July 26, 2011

Favorite Paintings: Sonia Delaunay

After I shared some of my all-time favorite paintings a few friends told me about theirs. Catherine’s pick happens to be by a thoroughly modern dame Sonia Delaunay.

Rythme Coloré (Colored Rhythm) Sonia Delaunay 1946
Private collection © L & M SERVICES B.V. The Hague 20100623; Photo: © private collection

Sonia Delaunay
Sonia Delaunay is a fine choice and I cannot resist to share just a bit about her. The artist was born Sarah Stern in Ukraine (or Russia, depending on what year the map was published). At a young age, Sonia moved to St. Petersburg and became Sonia Terk after her affluent uncle and aunt adopted her and encouraged her talent.

Eventually Sonia went where all artists flocked – Paris – where she met her husband, a fellow artist Robert Delaunay (there was also a first marriage to a gallery owner but it was largely assumed to be a union of convenience on both sides).

Though both Sonia and Robert Delaunay are known for colorful abstract spheres, Sonia was prolific in other, perhaps more commercial, areas. She designed costumes, textiles, clothing, murals, and even dabbled with interior design.

a lithograph - costume design by Sonia Delaunay
Unnamed Lithography by Sonia Delaunay (source: ArtNet.com)

More Favorite Painting picks to come – and send me yours!

July 17, 2011

Favorite Paintings

Speaking of art, if you could own, that is see every day on your wall, one painting, which one would you choose? I pondered that question while flipping through an old House Beautiful and surprised myself with the choices that came to mind.

In contemplating living with a painting I moved past the old masters and settled for the less grand canvasses that I would tire of looking at but would still be filled with warmth and harmony with each glance. These choices all hover somewhere between modern and traditional, spanning about the same era as my World Fair poster picks.

I’ve always loved this painting, from the moment I saw it on a poster, before I ever knew who Edward Hopper was, and seeing the original in the gallery did not dispel its magic for me. Perhaps because I first saw this piece as a child, I do not feel the alienation often attributed to Hopper, I see the shapes in vibrant colors and one can always supply a story as to why these two women are lunching here.

Painting by Edward Hopper Chop Suey 1929
Edward Hopper, Chop Suey (1929) - in Barney A. Ebsworth collecton

As for runners up, these three choices were really about the artist, not the specific paintings. Joseph Mallord William Turner’s paintings at times look almost abstract. The combination of blues with siennas and ochres is fresh and rich.

Painting by Joseph Mallord William Thurner Rain Steam Speed
J.M.W. Turner Rain, Steam and Speed (1844) National Gallery, London

Undoubtedly portraits are my favorite genre and I am yet to see a portrait by
Modigliani and not fall for it. One wonders what masterpieces the artist would have produced if not for his demise at 35.

portrait by Amadeo Modigliani Paul Guillaume
Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota (1915)

In Vuillard’s paintings the flat shapes overlap and create a very complete work. His works have a certain coziness about them.

French artists Edouard Vuillard The Yellow Curtain
Edouard Vuillard, The Yellow Curtain (c. 1893) Alisa Mellon Bruce Collection

July 14, 2011

Textile Designs with a Flair

Speaking of artists, decades later Josef Frank’s designs are thoroughly modern. While quick search showed many of Frank’s designs, there was surprisingly little information about Josef Frank’s life. To learn more I went the old-fashioned research route, perusing Google eBooks library. Some interesting contradictions emerged.

Though Josef Frank is synonymous with Swedish design, he was born and lived much of his life in Austria in the heyday of worldly thinkers and artists. Frank came to Scandinavia only in his 50s, fleeing Nazis. While it is Josef Frank textile designs that have a cultish following today, he was also an architect with a penchant for function (hard to believe looking at the exuberant prints).

There is much said about Josef Frank’s design influences but looking at his patterns I think of Art Noveau and Medieval tapestries. This leafy one is one of my favorites!

Josef Frank Botanical

The ripe vegetables and sea creatures look like a gourmet mise en place.

Josef Frank Floral

This print makes me thing of the Tree of Life!

Josef Frank fruit
Swatches from JustScandinavia

Josef Frank originals do not come cheap so I settled for the next best thing for the playroom’s curtains – this Scandinavian print from Ikea. Photos in another klatch!

IKEA Annamoa
Swatch IKEA

July 8, 2011

Cheeky, Ridiculous, and Absurd Wines

Speaking of delicious wines, it is Friday night and I am sitting with a glass of Cupcake Wine Red Velvet blend in hand (I admit, it is indeed velvety). Do creative wine names make you cringe? Or do wines with catchy labels make it right into your shopping basket?

There is certainly a range, from clever to cheeky to naughty to downright gross. Zinfandels seem especially prone to creative, somewhat subversive names (I have it on good authority that 7 Deadly Zins - or any red zin from Cali - will do ample justice to grilled meat.)

7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel

Cardinal Zin Zinfandel

Zin Your Face – I imagine this one isn’t about subtle flavors.

Zin Your Face California Zinfandel

These two next here both Chards, California Mad Housewife and French Fat Bastard, together would make a terrific wedding gift, no?

Mad Housewife California Chardonnay
I am digging the retro vibe of the label, she really looks deranged!

Fat Bastard French Chardonnay

Whoever thought that bodily fluids are just the thing to sell beverages? Amazingly, Cat’s Pee on Gooseberry Bush is a very accurate description of a Sauvignon Blanc.
Have you ever?  Even the frog seems puzzled by his fate of gracing the bottle.

Yep, that's Sauvingnon Blanc all right.

Photo sources - 7 Deadly Zins: Winelog.net, Zin Your Face: Odee.com, Mad Housewife & Frog’s Piss: www.myhumors99.com, Cardinal Zin & Fat Bastard: Winelabels.org.

July 3, 2011

Another Nightstand: Ashley's Picks

Speaking of nightstands, my college chum Ashley was always a great reader. Here is a photo of her nightstand shared by the family:

kid's books the little engine that could
1. The Little Engine that Could and Time for Bed

Little Sofie's books are obvious - The Little Engine that Could is her current favorite. Ashley says she especially loves Time for Bed, but Sofie is confident in her reading choices and already disagrees with mom on that one.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larssen

2. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
This is only second nightstand featured on Modern Klatch and it too has Stieg Larsson, which belongs to Ashley’s husband, Tom. “He is finally getting through the Millennium series and can't put down the third one.”

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo

3. The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø 
Ashley has always had affinity for all things Scandinavian and detective stories are no exception. "Since I was going through Scandinavian, murder mystery withdrawal after that series, I found Jo Nesbø and highly recommend his detective stories starring Harry Hole." While looking up his books on Ashley’s recommendation, I also discovered that Jo Nesbø wrote Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder. Very intriguing indeed.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

4. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
"My Mom sent me Love in the Time of Cholera. There must be something very wrong with me, because everyone loves Gabriel García Márquez's books but me. I'm trying, though." As someone who is still trying to make it through One Hundred Years of Solitude, I can relate.

In the next installment I will share a photo of my nightstand and please send along photos of yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...