Tag Archives: Modern Art

#FineArtFriday: Peter Purves Smith: New York, 1936, and Rickett’s Point, 1937

Usually, in literature, surrealism is shown through the thought processes of the characters rather than in alterations of the environment. On the surface, you believe what they say they think, but their perception of the world is skewed toward a hallucinogenic feel.

In art, the surface, the visual layer is what it is all about. Everything is displayed for you to view and interpret as you will.

Sometimes surrealism asks you to think deeper. Other times, surrealism says “enjoy the moment.” In “New York” Peter Purves Smith asks you to think deeper about our mania for building densely and tall. Skyscrapers grow like weeds, springing from the earth like dandelions in the lawn. What other concepts does he ask us to consider?

Progress and impermanence. Beauty versus utilitarian requirements. He asks us to think deeply.

In Ricketts Point, he asks you to just enjoy a sunny day at the beach.


Credits and Attributions

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Peter Purves Smith – New York, 1936.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Peter_Purves_Smith_-_New_York,_1936.jpg&oldid=149235926 (accessed July 4, 2019).

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Peter Purves Smith – Ricketts Point, 1937.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Peter_Purves_Smith_-_Ricketts_Point,_1937.jpg&oldid=296570789 (accessed July 4, 2019).

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#FineArtFriday: The Kiss, by Bernardien Sternheim

It is a rare treat when we can view modern art as painted by living authors via Wikimedia Commons. Today we are looking at The Kiss, by Bernardien Sternheim. It is dated 2001 and can be found on Wikimedia Commons, in the category Dutch Independent Realism.

What I love about this painting: It is raw, and real, and speaks to the humanity of the throng who are gathered for… what? Are they watching a race? Perhaps they are waiting for a train.

Regardless of what they are waiting for, the crowd faces forward, not watching the man and woman who steal a kiss.

Yet a nod to voyeurism is found here, as one man is reading The Observer, a woman reads over his shoulder, and an elderly man whispers into the ear of a woman.

I love the colors, the detail, and the expressions on each individual in the crowd. This painting is sure and bold, a window showing us a view of… ourselves.

About the artist:

Quote from the artist’s website, Bernardien Sternheim: “Central to the work of Bernardien Sternheim is man, in all his vulnerability and strength.

“Bernardien was born in Amsterdam in 1948. Against the spirit of the age, she opts for realism, figurative art.

“That is how she had to develop herself, with as great examples Pyke Koch, Caravaggio and Rembrandt.”


Credits and Attributions:

The Kiss, by Bernardien Sternheim via Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:WLANL – Marcel Oosterwijk – De Kus.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:WLANL_-_Marcel_Oosterwijk_-_De_Kus.jpg&oldid=282201684 (accessed June 22, 2018).

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