Re: Similarity?

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Posted by Saul Yale Barodofsky on January 18, 1999 at 12:58:36:

In Reply to: Re: Similarity? posted by Michael Wendorf on January 18, 1999 at 08:45:40:

: : :
: : : : Dear Yon (and Everyone Else),

: : : : I have no idea why, but the image of the Kaitag comes up very much darker and with much less contrast between colors than the original or the images from which it is derived. As a result, the small scale motifs are not very obvious, and your reaction to them is exactly what I feared it would be.

: : : : Try this, and see if it helps. Pay attention to the small motifs in the Kaitag. Perhaps the easiest one to see is in gold, just to the left of the outermost of the big ovals. There are many others throughout the piece ouside the ovals; the red ones are especially hard to recognize. Next, look at the small motifs in the Matisse print. Do you see the striking similarities in style of drawing that I think I see? If you go to the Matisse link, you'll find a collection of Matisse prints from his "Jazz" portfolio, all done in this style. These were done fairly late in his life, and appear to be of a quite different genre than most of what preceded it.

: : : : I'm not suggesting any sort of visual trickery, just tha the low contrast and dark colors that come out in the images make it hard to see the minor motifs.

: : : : Regards,

: : : : Steve Price

: : : Dear Steve:
: : : I also am unable to clearly see any especially striking similarities, though I understand your point.
: : : I have been struck with similar motifs appearing in weavings from very different eras and places, even continents and hemispheres. I think perhaps what is at play are the structural imperatives of any fabric and a finite number of ways to interpret those imperatives. It is interesting here, if in fact the similarities exist, that they appear in different media. Matisse did not have to deal with the same issues that the embroidery maker did, or maybe they are not that different. Perhaps a more ripe topic of discussion would be to compare early South American weavings with later middle eastern or central asian weavings where a weaver had to deal with issues of warp and weft.
: : : One other point, it is my understanding that many impressionist painters were deeply moved by so-called primitive sculpture, mostly masks and other carvings, and the forms of that work. There may be a resonance in the work of Matisse of some of these themes that you are picking up on.
: : : Michael

: : I don't think that reference to primitive art applies to the impressionists. It applies to the modern painters - foremost among whom is Picasso. Marvin

: Dear Marvin:

: Of course, you are correct to mention Picasso as a modern painter who was influenced by primitive art. That influence is well documented. However, after having had the opportunity to see the simply incredible Barnes collection in several different environments (my wife and I were so taken that we followed the travelling exhibit and went to Philadelphia) and the juxtaposition of African sculptures interspersed with the works of Matisse (Seated Odalisque, 1922, for example), Modigliani where the linear elongation and distortions are emphasized I still make a connection. Now the lines between Impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern are a little blurred in my mind. Perhaps the connection is only with early moderns, but when I see these Kaitag things I see elongation and distortions in addition to color that raises connections in the some of the same ways Doctor Barnes saw and displayed items. Take a look at Great French Paintings from the Barnes Collection for more information.
: Hope the drifts are melting. Michael

Dear all,
Seems we have all passed on the influence of the Orientalists. They were fascinated by the East - sometimes real, sometimes imaginary. Still and all, some of them did visit the East: Matisse went to Morocco, Delacroix went North Africa, Gerome went all over Asia Minor and the Levant, and if I recall correctly Gaugin also went to Morocco.
One of the impressions they of course brought back with them is/was the patterns and bold colors of the areas they visited. I propose that there is a visual connection between Tribal textiles and the spreading influence of the art of the Orientalist era.
Although , I must state, I am not as sure about these Dagistani embroideries called Kaitag, as I am about carpet & kilim patterns.
all best - saul

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