Des Visages Familiers

Henri Matisse, Interior with Egyptian Curtain, 1948. Oil on canvas

Henri Matisse, Interior with Egyptian Curtain, 1948. Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 35 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1950.

When lawyers go on vacation, they likely avoid courthouses. When teachers take a holiday, they don’t tour the local schools. But when museum folks go globe-trotting, well, we just can’t help ourselves. And it was just that inescapable magnetism of an art-filled gallery that caused a serendipitous and delightful run-in, in Paris, between two vacationing Brookes (Brooke Horne of the director’s office and Brooke Rosenblatt of the education department) at the Centre Pompidou last week. Mere footsteps away, another traveling Phillips resident, Matisse’s Interior with Egyptian Curtain (1948), was also there on loan as part of their exhibition, Matisse: Pairs and Sets, which closed on Monday.

The Artist Sees Differently: Kurtis Ceppetelli

Kurtis Ceppetelli, Museum Assistant

Kurtis Ceppetelli. Photo by Claire Norman

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I learned about the Phillips about six years or so ago. I came to see a Milton Avery show. I remember it only being in the original house.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

I am very much inspired by the Phillips art. Since I’ve worked here, my work has changed to a stronger, more contemporary feel. I guess the art surrounding me at the Phillips has influenced me to make paintings that are new and fresh to help continue the evolution of art.

Do you listen to anything as you do your artwork?

I do listen to music, all types depending on the mood I want to create within the piece. Sometimes I watch/listen to movies, or I will turn on a basketball game or some other game. I use this to obtain outside substance that is transferred into the painting in some way. Continue reading “The Artist Sees Differently: Kurtis Ceppetelli” »

Bonnard’s Experience of Twilight

See Karen’s previous post on Kandinsky and twilight here.

Pierre Bonnard is another artist in the collection who loved twilight, which he called l’heure bleue. Like Kandinsky, his work approached abstraction but did not let go of the visible world.

Bonnard’s sensitivity to the ways in which colors changed throughout the day was manifest in a letter to Matisse, in which he wrote about Matisse’s painting L’Asie (Asia), which the artist had lent him, “the red there is wonderful late in the afternoon. By day it is the blue that takes the lead. What an intense life the colors have, and how they vary with the light.”

Pierre Bonnard, The Palm, 1926, Oil on canvas; 45 x 57 7/8 in.; 114.3 x 147.0025 cm.. Acquired 1928.

The Palm and Twilight: Purkinje shift

Under conditions of reduced light, the violet figure in The Palm (above) has a spectral appearance and seems to come forward in the space. As light fades, vision shifts from the foveal cones, which are responsive to long wave yellows and reds that compose the daylight, to the peripheral rods. In twilight, short wave colors like mauve and blue increase in brightness and visibility relative to long wave colors. This phenomenon is called the Purkinje shift.

-Karen Schneider, Librarian