Tag Archives: Modern Art

#FineArtFriday: Utopien 04 by Makis E. Warlamis 2007

Artist: Makis E. Warlamis

Title: Utopien 04

Medium: painting

Collection: Kunstmuseum Waldviertel

Source/Photographer: Own work, Daskunstmuseum, 2007-01-05

About the word “Utopia,” via Wikipedia:

The word utopia was coined from Ancient Greek by Sir Thomas More in 1516. “Utopia” comes from Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) which translates as “no-place” and literally means any non-existent society, when ‘described in considerable detail’. However, in standard usage, the word’s meaning has shifted and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.

In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.

What I love about this painting:

This Utopia is unreachable, as all true Utopias are. It floats high above the mundane world, visible but just out of reach. The colors are intense, vibrantly moody. The landscape above which this perfect island floats is serene, a beautiful place.

Every idea of perfection is different. Warlamis’ Utopia is not the golden city many storytellers and writers of speculative fiction might imagine, but is instead an island of undisturbed landscape, looking almost like the untrammeled headland one might find beside the sea.

His Utopia is a step back to nature, to a simpler time.

In truth, it isn’t too different from the land over which it flies. And, if that is the case, why strive to reach it?

What story lurks within this painting? What a great visual prompt to jumpstart Nation Novel Writing Month.

About the Author via Wikipedia DE:

Efthymios “Makis” Warlamis (also: Efthymis, Efthymios Varlamis; born 1942 in Veria, in Central Macedonia, Greece; died 27 December 2016) was a Greek-Austrian architect, painter, poet, writer, educator and museum founder.

Warlamis was a versatile artist. In addition to his basic profession as an architect, he worked as a sculptor, painter, designer and writer. He had exhibitions in museums and exhibition centres in Europe, USA, Asia and Egypt. His works are represented in international public and private collections such as the Graphic Collection of the Albertina Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst Wien, DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Collection Alexander Jolas, Collection of the State of Austria, Collection Liaunig.

In 1992, together with his wife Heide, he founded the International Center for Art and Design I.DE. A. in Schrems. He planned and built the Kunstmuseum Waldviertel, which opened in Schrems in 2009.


Credits and Attributions:

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:2010 Utopien arche04.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:2010_Utopien_arche04.jpg&oldid=501416249 (accessed October 30, 2020).

Wikipedia contributors, “Utopia,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Utopia&oldid=986041921 (accessed October 30, 2020).

Wikipedia DE Contributors, Efthymios Warlamis, Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efthymios_Warlamis (accessed October 30, 2020).

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#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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