Inspired by and written for Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Review – thank you Sue and GC
Sue and GC are trialling the idea of a monthly review – and I hope they do it. It gives this old hack an excuse to write about my favourite artists and the art I love. Professionally I have to be neutral but this can be personal. These writes can be the art I have or would put on my wall. So there will be no Acconci and not a lot of Duchamp. Today’s write, following a convo with a friend yesterday, will be the artist Franz Marc and some of my favourite pieces of his work.
8 February 1880 – 4 March 1916
Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc was a German artist, painter, and printmaker. He was a key figure of German Expressionism (Der Blaue Reiter). Marc’s mature works predominantly feature animals and are best known for their bright and vivid palettes. In 1914 Marc was drafted into the German Army to serve in WW1. He died two years later, in 1916 at the Battle of Verdun.
As part of the Nazi suppression of modern art, Marc and his work were declared degenerate in the 1930s, however, most of his work survived securing his legacy. Marc’s work is now exhibited in many prestigious galleries and museums across the globe. His major works such as Die Füchse (The Foxes) have set record sums at auction.
It is my mum who introduced me to the work of Franz Marc a few years ago. My love affair with his art was instant, especially Marc’s horses. The artist’s use of colour in these works is vibrant and alive, even though it isn’t natural horse colour, and it is his palettes that strike deep into my art heart.
“The Tower of Blue Horses” is suggestive of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and is one of his works that went missing in 1945. A print currently sits on my bedroom wall and when I look at it I wonder if Marc could sense or feel the on-coming events of WW1. As an artist I know I put things I sense or feel into a piece, was this piece Marc’s expression of portent of things to come? I believe so.
“Tiger”, is more than the whimsical choice of a man who loves all things pussy-cat, both large and small. No doubt there is an element of that, of course, but this painting has a sense of restlessness and tension created by the bold black outline that seemingly restrains the strength of the tiger. Marc’s palette in this piece electrifies the area surrounding the tiger giving a feeling of foreboding as the animal is about to attack. It is that powerful.
I know this choice will make someone smile, and if that isn’t a worthwhile cause to include it, what is? I do have my reasons for including “Fluttering in the Wind” and the fact it is in my print collection. It is that sense of everyday life, my everyday life. Marc captures the movement of garments pegged out to dry. I can feel and smell it as if I am in my own backyard, sitting by my pond trying to think of something to write with yesterday’s jeans and t-shirts flapping about in the breeze. This painting allows me to feel the soul of a man I could never have known as I was born some 50 years after his death. And I love that feeling, perhaps as close as I can get to knowing Franz Marc himself.
From the author: Well, GC and Sue, I hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse at Franz Marc – and mayhaps into this lover of art too – I do hope you run with this idea as I want to do more.
In Love and light