Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Rachels, Music for Egon Schiele

[Video: a song by Rachel's from the CD "Music for Egon Schiele." Shows a still image of the CD cover while music plays, a black & white sepia-purple-toned Schiele painting of three small winter trees or saplings on a hill in front of a cloudy sky that is drawn as a series of horizontal lines, framed in dark mustard yellow.]

Drawing of houses by Egon Schiele; detailed description follows in caption.
A piece by Egon Schiele, I couldn't find the title of this one. [Image: a black & white line drawing on white paper of older European village-style town-houses on a hillside. The shapes in the top middle houses are filled in with scratchy yellow and brown paint and small areas of red. The linework begins in the top right and the groups of right angles tumble downward across the horizontal page. The final effect is of an unfinished sketch or possibly an unfinished quilt made of burlap.]

Kleinstadt, by Egon Schiele. Detailed description follows in caption.
Kleinstadt, by Egon Schiele. 1912-1913. [Image: dark square-shaped composition of houses in city blocks. The bottom third is solid black; the middle third is several rows of houses; the top third is another row of houses behind a street or canal which forms a horizontal line then veers off diagonally to the top left and is the same black as the bottom. All the shapes are outlined in black, with many lines appearing hasty or crooked. The shapes of the houses are filled in with blocks of muddy brownish colors-- red, green, ochre, thin white paint--and all roofs are black. The effect is of a quilt or collage.]

Sunflowers, by Egon Schiele. Detailed description follows in caption.
Sunflowers, by Egon Schiele. [Image: color painting done without black outlines showing a column of sunflower plants in front of a bluish-putty-colored sky. The plants, mostly large greenish brown leaves with a few flowers sagging over the top, are so visually packed into a rectangular area which takes up most of the picture plane that they seem to be a figure or monolith rather than a group of plants.]

Suburb, by Egon Schiele. Detailed description follows in caption.
Suburb, by Egon Schiele, 1914. The date of this piece, the beginning of WWI, makes the rows and red posts look like trenches and barbed wire to me. Hard to look past that, but worth it, as it's a beautiful composition. [Image: Squarish horizontal composition of houses and horizontal stripes of pale smoky blue and charcoal grey, possibly roads, bodies of water or rows of plants. The style is similar to the two house pieces above but completely colored in. As with the other two the lack or confusion of a horizon flattens the piece into a quilt-like arrangement. The houses themselves are muddy white, yellow and red, and the fields in front are dotted with thin bright-red posts.]

The Bridge, by Egon Schiele.
Egon Schiele, "The Bridge." [Image: A square composition of a bridge that stretches from the horizon toward and slightly left of the viewer where it exits the frame. To its left are empty spaces, maybe fields or river banks. All the shapes are outlined in black but filled in with monochrome icy wheat colors, making this piece less like a quilt, more like a Japanese woodblock print or old sepia photograph. The bridge is made of repeated gridded pylons and a a repeated grid of guard rails, topped with broad, flat linear rectangular structures that repeat four times into the distance and are echoed by a few telephone poles to the right. The top third and right half of the piece are simple flat shapes that balance out the busy criss-crosses and diagonals of the left.]

Boats on Ruffled Water, by Egon Schiele.
Egon Scheile, "Boats on Ruffled Water." [Image: vertical color painting of boats on water. Though linework is involved it isn't the quilted technique of the house pieces above. It looks much more like a straightforward Impressionist Monet or Whistler painting of boats at dusk, except that the reflections of masts and rigging on rippling water turn the bottom two thirds into an abstract pattern that Schiele emphasizes by keeping the linework sharp and even, creating what looks like texture by dragging a pencil through thick paint, but I can't be sure of that from the 2-D image. The boats are arranged to create a line cutting from the middle left to the horizon at the top right. The water is pale turquoise, the sky is soft sunset-pink,and the boat hulls are pinkish white, jade green and reddish brown.]

1 comment:

JC said...

This is a beautiful piece of music. I love Schiele's figures but hadn't really seen the cityscapes--so good, so rich, so much to learn. Thanks for both introductions. --Joyce