Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hockney/Klimt Hmm... --- Day 2/297

Walk: Mindful Body, Depot Mill Valley
Distance: 20 blocks and teach yoga class

K Libbey Nash checked in to say she wondered if Hockney's trees are a little reminiscent of Gustave Klimt's tree paintings.  Because I have Klimt so associated with his more erotic, intensely gold paintings such as The Kiss, I'd forgotten he was also a nature painter as well as a portraitist.

Der Kuss (The Kiss), 1908, o/c, 45"x45"

The tree paintings (and other landscapes) began in the late 1890's when Klimt took annual summer holidays in Litzberg on Lake Attersee.  There he was known among the locals as Waldschrat (Forest Demon) because he began his days at 6 a.m. with long walks in the woods.  It is said that the landscapes are the only genre aside from figure painting that seriously interested him and he certainly brought (and refined) the best of his neo-impressionist and pointillistic techniques to them.

In talking with Nash, we touched on the way artists can be sponges for other artists' work. They can absorb the essence or what they deem valuable and instructive in an artist's solution to certain aesthetic challenges.  Then, possibly without realizing it, the work of another (admired) artist can show up in their own work.  In this manner, absolutely, Hockney could have been influenced by Klimt in his on-going endeavor to capture the reality of the English woods. Certainly, Hockney is a great, self-taught scholar of a vast number of historical artists, Klimt no doubt one of them, and you often see passages from other artists' styles embedded in his art.

Interesting stuff for ciwt...

                                  Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)

Tannenwald I (Pine Forest), 1902, o/c, 20"x20"

Gustav Klimt Forest I 1901
Buchenwald I (Beech Forest), 1902, o/c, 25" x 25"

Klimt, Forest of Birch Trees 1902.jpg
Forest of Birch Trees, 1902

Farmhouses with Birch Trees - Gustav Klimt

Farmhouses with Birch Trees, 1900, 0/c, 20" x 20"


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