Re: Similarity?

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Posted by Wendel Swan on January 18, 1999 at 16:23:01:

In Reply to: Re: Similarity? posted by Saul Yale Barodofsky on January 18, 1999 at 12:58:36:

Saul wrote:

: 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

Dear Saul,

The Orientalists' influence may have reached its zenith in the late 19th Century and seems to have declined progressively as "canvas art" moved away from its representational traditions. When Matisse entered his cutouts period (immediately post-WWII), Orientalism was probably at its nadir.

Artists were for decades fascinated with the Orient and exotic locales (Persia, North Africa, Tahiti, the American West and on and on) but I cannot recall any American or European artists, other than Russian, dealing with the Caucasus. Can you or others? Couldn't the same thing be said of Central Asia?

On the subject of influences, let us not forget the tremendous impact that Western markets had on textile production. Western (particularly American) consumers bought heavily what they, as you have pointed out, imagined was an Oriental look - no matter how far from reality objects such as pastel Kirmans and painted Sarouks were.


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