"A painting is not about an experience. It is an experience." -Mark Rothko, born on this day in 1903. 

[Mark Rothko. White Center. 1957]


Artist Georgette Seabrooke in 1930s documentary, A Study of Negro Artists.

(via camillessketchbook)

"I, too, felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I’d been happy, and that I was happy still."

Albert Camus,The Stranger (via thebeathotel)

(via tierradentro)

Wols, Champigny Blue, 1950

When Tapié coined the term “art informel” in 1950, his primary inspiration for the classification came from the work of Alfred Otto Wolfgang Shulze, more commonly known as Wols. The traumatized German ex-pat found solace expressing his darker side with an innovative form of expression that abandoned the formalist tradition and instead found inspiration in Surrealist automatism. “L’Art informel” focused on the artist’s unfiltered emotions and, like Surrealism, encouraged the artist to allow their subconscious to guide them in their work. Though the informel was mainly about the individualism and meditation of the artist, the pieces were very popular because they evoked an anti-authoritarian, empowering attitude which was both liberating and cathartic in the post-war period.  In “Champigny Blue” (1950), Wols captured his raw subconscious by disregarding order, composition, balance and rhythm and allowing his emotions to guide his expressive brushwork. "Autumn Rhythm" was a piece completed by the American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock the same year as Wols’s "Champigny Blue" and exhibited a similar gestural painting style. The anti-aesthetic style was spreading  worldwide and seemed to be a direct response to the events of the second world war. 

Art Informel

Brief tangent on “l’art informel” today as I work on a paper for my Modern Art class. 

"Art informel" definition from Artsy

Coined by the French critic Michel Tapié in 1950 to refer to an influential European movement that during the 1950s paralleled Abstract Expressionism in the U.S. Like its American counterpart, Art Informel is basically expressive, artist-oriented abstraction rooted in the works of Vassily Kandsinky, Paul KleeJean Dubuffet, and Surrealist automatism.

The Guggenheim and the Tate have great art informel collections if you’d like to see more! 


Pierre Soulages, Walnut Stain, 1948


Large Black Landscape

Jean Dubuffet


"The direction of art now presents itself as the mystery appeared to St John of the Cross; sheer and without solace. Since Nietzsche and Dada art has seemed the most inhuman of adventures, from beginning to end. Only work which would justify such a description justifies the current pioneers. And what it earns has little to do with pleasure, but rather with the most vertiginous test which it is given to man to confront, which is to lean over the depths of himself without the protection of a railing. With this much at stake, ideas which seem unchangeable are questioned, if not swept away, once and for all."

Michael Tapié (1909-1987) from L’Art Autre


Jean Fautrier (French, 1898 - 1964)

Naked black nude (Petit nu noir), N/D


Hans Hartung (1904-1989), ‘T1937-33’, 1937, oil, charcoal and pastel on canvas, 97 x 130 cm.

Pierre Soulages (b 1919), ‘Brou de noix sur papier’, 1946, brou de noix sur papier, 48 x 62,5 cm.

Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), ‘Sans titre’, 1948, oil on canvas, 97.5 x 130 cm.


Jean Dubuffet,
Dhôtel nuancé d’abricot (1947)
oil on canvas


Pierre Soulages, Painting, 1959

"Our interest is not in movements, but in something much rarer, authentic Individuals. Movements have only ever existed because the majority of people follow the group in which they find security from their own cowardice. The only free person is the leader, if there really is a group, not just the little lifeless coteries so dear to the hearts of our modern intellectual milieux."

Michael Tapié (1909-1987) from L’Art Autre


[suh-ree-uh-liz-uh m]

noun, ( sometimes initial capital letter)

1. a style of art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions, etc.