Monday, July 15, 2013

Linda's borrowed Klimt Cells


    The CELL challenge brought up thoughts of incarceration, bee hives (I paint in encaustic), nun and priest cells (a lone painter’s studio), the smallest unit of life that divides and multiplies (for me the first patch in a quilt). But I saw a movie on Netflix about Gustav Klimt with his viewing scientist’s slides of cells at salons in Vienna. These images from slides appeared in his paintings as a kaleidoscope of spirals, flowers, and geometric shapes, along with the symbols of birth and death. I chose to copy his well-known tree of life to illustrate the great fun I had with this challenging topic, the CELL, revisiting Klimt!


12" x 12" quilt atop background fabric

      I read books on Klimt’s life and works. I felt emotionally and physically drawn to the paintings which before this Cell Challenge left me cold. In fin-de-siecle Vienna, Austria, these paintings were revolutionary. The odd, exaggerated and distorted evoke emotion. Nerve cells in viewer brains respond strongly. Slowly people recognize the use of biological images (germ cell and ovum, pollen and pistil, bird) to symbolize creation, life sex, and death in Klimt’s work.

        Back then, there was a high level of integration between science and the arts. “Just as the language of embryology (symmetry, formation, rhythm, choreography) was largely borrowed from artistic discourse, science once gave artists metaphorical bulbs from which to blossom.” CultureLab: Gustav Klimt's mysterious embryos (Amy Maxmen’s quoting Scott Gilbert of Swarthmore)

          In expression, Klimt’s sensitive use of space was often two dimensional, patterned, with outlines clear and sumptuously curvilinear. His masterpieces anticipated the use of multi-media of our time with plaster, gesso, gold leaf, paint and mosaics.They are rich in the use of CELLS!  I used Lumiere fabric paints, Rub a Dub Sharpie laundry pen, with black and white fabrics referencing the architecture/fabrics of the Secessionists. (see Drawing Time, June 29, 2013 for my techniques).  Also, check out The Age Of Insight - Wired Science for the importance of art and science to each other.

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You seem to outdo yourself with each quilt. Just as with Rita's, those who read your narrative can learn so very much in so few words. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of art history, Gustav Klimpt, as well as your own vision of how to connect your quilt to this rich and rewarding theme!

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  2. Linda, I LOVE Klimt's work, and you have expressed his work AND interpreted it SO beautifully. This quilt is a wonderful example of your artistry and creativity. Bravo!!!

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  3. Love your "roundabout" method of interpreting the theme! I love his work and your expression of it!! the checkered binding sets it off so nicely too. Lovely piece!

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  4. Such an interesting explanation of Klimt's work - thanks.

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  5. I just went to your blog and see how you did this!! Just wonderful - I hadn't realized the ENTIRE thing was painted and drawn in, binding excluded. Fabulous work!!!!

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  6. I didn't realize that art and science were integrated back then. It does make sense because there is so much beauty in nature. Within the last few years I have been interested in Klimt's work. I love looking at all the designs he incorporated in his paintings. You did a superb job making this quilt! It is beautiful and intriguing.

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  7. Very attractive outcome indeed! Anything nature inspired I'm loving, and the tree theme is just gorgeous. As a Master Gardener I thoroughly appreciate your depiction of cell growth from the ground up. Love this!

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  8. Oh Linda, I got so caught up with reading your Klimt references and your excellent tut on your blog about how you created your quilt, that I forgot to actually comment!
    Klimt's work has fascinated me since high school, but never knew much about him. I love that you decided to "borrow" his cells for your quilt. Your tut makes me want to get out my paint brushes and have a go at what looks to be great fun. I do think that you ( once again ) shine when it comes to using paint as the vehicle to express yourself. Get out your green paint and have some fun!

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  9. I love your interpretation of the theme. I've always been attracted to Klimt's work and now I more clearly understand why - this makes me want to do more research and look at more of your work too!

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  10. Really nice work. Interesting reading how you got there. Just love it.

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