May 19, 2010

Atelier Voyeur

" Ballad of the Jealous Lover",1934, The Spencer Art Museum, Lawrence, KS
With May in Denver feeling like March weather NEVER left I am going to  reflect a few weeks  back when I was in much warmer Kansas City. I discovered that the Studio of the regional artist Thomas Hart Benton was a few blocks away from my daughter's apartment and open to the public.

So how do artists set up their space, I wonder with much the same interest I have in wanting to know how homeowners store their stuff? Especially since I always seem to create places that are prone to tumbling down.
Boom Town
The studio is left as it was on the last night Mr Benton painted in it in 1978. This studio can be found at 3616 Belleview Ave. Kansas City, MO. When I look at it through the eyes of a colorist I see a quarried limestone home with subdued colors yet a feeling of comfort and ecleticism. He had a window put in the northside of his garage/carriage house and there he painted from 1939 to 1978.
Prior to that time Mr. Benton traveled to Paris where he attended school. He also lived in NYC where he worked with the Art Students League. Some say he was influenced by the work of Bruegel which he saw in Europe. He was influenced by the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. His work was too regionalist for the Parisians and he was not political enough for the New York art scene. Yet he was named after the first state senator from Missouri and his father had high political ambition for him. Instead Benton became an artist who prided himself on knowing the various regions of the USA and the foibles and social difficulties of its inhabitants. He was an artist and a teacher. One of his most famous students was Jackson Pollock. Some say that Benton's circular dynamic compostions which pulled the artists eye in was employed by Pollock in his drip paintings. What do you think?

Mural at the Missouri State Capital


Jackson Pollack

1 comment:

Le Chateau des fleurs said...

following you back, very cool blog. i love Art.
XOXO
Frenchy

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