Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Yellow Scale

The entire canvas of this delicious self portrait is completely swathed in a zillion shades of yellow. It's called The Yellow Scale, and was painted by Czech artist Franz Kupka (1871–1957). Kupka was an eccentric avant-garde painter who lived in Paris... and what a time to be an artist living in Paris!

I love Kupka’s confident gaze, the subtle tinges of green—similar to those used in Lucien Freud's portraits—and I especially love the hand gesture with the ciggy. His quirky personality comes through, don't you think? Veering from the wave, and from his customary naturalistic representation, Kupka was one of the pioneers in developing abstract painting early in the 20th century. He truly explored the use and range of colors, which resulted in luminous paintings such as this one, filled with the kind of spirituality he was fascinated by.

"Atmosphere in a painting is achieved through bathing the canvas in a single scale of colors, thus one achieves an état d'âme (state of being) exteriorized in luminous form."
                                — Franz Kupka 

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