Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friday Evening Nudes (and Happy Hour)

Tonight's nudes feature contains images I found just today, so I am displaying them with no particular theme, mood or common thread.  There is smattering of Modigliani.

Arthur B. Davies,
Rhythms, ca. 1910
Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum

Robert Henri
 Another of The Eight 
Milwaukee Art Museum

The Eight- A group of American painters who united to oppose various traditions upheld by the National Academy. They exhibited together only once — in 1908, but the effect of their gesture was to strengthen the advance of modernism in the United States. The Eight included five painters associated with the Ashcan school: Robert Henri (1865-1929), George Luks (1867-1933), William Glackens (1870-1938), John Sloan (1871-1951), and Everett Shinn (1876-1953), along with Maurice Prendergast (1859-1924), Ernest Lawson (1873-1939), and Arthur Bowen Davies (1862-1928).

Akseli Valdemar Gallen-Kallela


And there you have it. A melange of nudes. Enjoy your Friday night and be sure to scroll down this post for tonight Happy Hour.

Happy Hour Friday

My favorite American Diva, Emmylou Harris, singing the Neil Young song, Wrecking Ball.


  1. All very cool, but the last one's my favorite - what an interesting amalgam of real and surreal!

    And Emmylou, what an amazing American invention she's become, morphing from that young girl singing Country songs to this beautiful woman creating her own genre of music.

    As usual, Thanks for making me smile on a Friday night! ;)

  2. Nice collection of paintings and Emmylou Harris is the perfect music for happy hour.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. CR - I like the way you put that "American invention". I think the producer Daniel Lanois had a lot to do with her success over the last decade or more. Wrecking Ball is a masterpiece of interpretation of great songs. Thanks for coming by, Luv!

    Yogi - thank, you too!

  4. The return of the nudes - I love them. I look forward to this Friday post .... and to add to it, Emmylou Harris, whom I don't really know but have heard of. She has such a beautiful voice. Thank you for introducing us!

  5. This is a great set - small, but each piece struck me more than usual.

    Except for Modigliani, these painters are all new to me. The Modigliani, as with most of his work, shows the influence of Matisse and Cezanne, both absorbed and formed into something new and uniquely his own. I have a feeling that if I lined up a whole set of his paintings and studied the negative shapes - the spaces and shapes around the figures, that there would be some revelation that would help unlock part of what makes his pieces so different. It's not just his color choices, his particular way of abbreviating the human form, his unusual (almost cubist) way of drawing the face, and his cloisonne (though those things strike one first).

    The Davies is one I'd like to see in person. I think it would unfold into more and more moments of pleasure as you let your eye rove the textures and the stain-glass quality of the colors, and (mostly) the interplay of the shapes and curves that make the title so perfect. Details call for attention, like the almost touching hands of the two middle figures - I can almost feel the motion completing, and the brushing touch and then clasp. Another is the delicately separated fingers of the right hand of the lower figure, second from the left. The dark shape surrounding those fingers calls our attention to them, a rhythm in miniature, illustrating the way our hands are almost an analogue for the entire figure, nearly as complex, and with a language all their own, which mirrors our whole body's expression. Even the color choice for each different flesh tone is something to savor.

    The Henri seems, to me, to be from his academic period - before Ashcan, certainly. The treatment of the softest parts of the model is as warm and touchable as Renoir. And the lips, eyes, and that adorable curl in the middle of her forehead. Oh my. The treatment of figure and background seems particularly appropriate to me after my life drawing session Thursday evening. When a nude is before you, if you are an artist, everything else in the room seems simple and of less interest. All but the figure recedes into shapes and colors with less meaning. At least that's what happens to me. The view of the beauty of the human being becomes everything.

    The Gallen-Kallela is the most startling of these. I love it. I wish I had a larger view. And this ia another I itch to see in person. I want to look at the technique, the spontaneity and immediacy of the strokes. It's interesting that you paired this with the Davies - since both contain lyrical chains of female nudes. But the approaches and the emotions of these are so different. The Gallen-Kallela is wilder, darker, almost a bacchanalia. Horn, figure in the tree, swan, tree limbs intertwined... sensual like Chagall. I particularly need to look into this artist.

    Thanks, as always, for an inspiring boost!

  6. I've spent the past couple of days working on a new Adventure so it's a wonderful break to see these works of a master. Thanks for keeping me inspired.

    Emmylou and Neil are two of our favorites so I was delighted to listen whilst scrolling.


  7. Susan! I'm about to see if you have a new post! I've been wanting to write and I think I will. I am wondering how your first Halifax winter has been treating you and Numb. Sending hugs,

  8. Steve - you found a common thread in describing what the two paintings have in common - a string of nudes. I wonder if it was coincidence or if my eye was seeking out something else similar to the Davies painting, which I love. I know I've seen other paintings by Davies, but this one took my breath away.

  9. I haven't listened to EmmyLou in a while. I love her voice and her candor. Thanks for this video. This is a great rendition of Wrecking Ball.

    I enjoyed these images. I love the honesty of the women in the images. Oh, to be like that!


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