ART SCHOOL: From Gustav Klimt to Nebiur Arellano
"I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I'm not certain of whether it's true."- Gustav Klimt
Five things to know about Gustav Klimt:
1. Obviously from his quote, Gustav Klimt suffered from time to time from lack of confidence.
2. He is the father of 14 children! "The Kiss" is considered a depiction of himself and his life companion Emilie Louise Flöge as lovers, although he had relationships with other women.
3. Klimt was a founding member in 1897 and first president of Vienna Succession, a union of artistic members. His participation with Josef Hoffmann, also a member of the Vienna Succession, on the famous Palais Stoclet where Klimt painted a mural in the dining room is one of his most important works.
4. Klimt's public commission to decorate the ceiling of the University of Vienna with three paintings was criticized as pornographic. Known as the "Faculty Paintings", and entitled Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, they were never displayed on the ceiling and were destroyed in 1945 by retreating SS forces. Klimt never again accepted a public commission.
5. Klimt entered into what is known as his "Golden Phase" in the early 1900's where he achieved critical acclaim. Many of his paintings during this time incorporated gold leaf. "The Kiss" and the portrait of "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" are the paintings most closely associated with this period.
While I choose to pair Klimt's work with the paintings by Nebiur Arellano, she proclaims that her inspiration for her paintings comes pre-Columbian art. Nebiur, who was born in Peru, does acknowledge that her work often reminds others of Klimt. Certainly the mosaics are very similar. Do you see it?
While Arellano's works may remind one of Klimt, her technique is all her own. Arellano paints on a silk canvas with silk, acrylic and metallic paints, capitalizing on the natural iridescence of the silk fabric canvas. I first saw her work at the 2014 Architectural Digest Show and the canvases simply glow--something that is not easily seen in photographs.
Arellano explained that there is typically up to 7 layers of a paint on her canvas. “When I remove a work from the stretch bars, the work is very rigid,” says Arellano. “People mistake my works for weavings, for glass, enamel or paper. They’re really not sure what they’re looking at, and I love that.”
The idea behind my column, Art School, is to give people more confidence when purchasing art. It’s true that you really can’t go wrong, if you buy what you love. Still, studying famous artists and works of art from the past does help you recognize emerging talent. With Art School, I will feature 5 things to know about an artist or work of art in art history and suggest a contemporary artist whose work is complimentary.