Chip Taylor Communications



Subject: Arts: Art & Artists

Art: Transatlantic Modernism Series

Art historian and author Wanda Corn (The Color of Mood; The Art of Andrew Wyeth; Grant Wood) examines the cultural dynamics that linked art circles in Paris and New York in the opening decades of the 20th century, focusing on painting, sculpture, art films, literature and the decorative arts. Produced Click for more

16. On the Margins: Stettheimer and Demuth 2

16. On the Margins: Stettheimer and Demuth 2

"'Charles Demuth Amid the Silos' - Luckily or not, Charles Demuth painted one picture so famous that practically every American who looks at art knows it. 'The Figure 5 in Gold, 1928,' is a prediction of pop art." -Time Magazine
Charles Demuth is best known as a precisionist artist, creating Cubist Realist paintings similar to those of Charles Sheeler, the best known being My Egypt. He also worked in watercolors, creating traditional still lifes that are very fine technically and have a delicacy of composition very different from his paintings. Another body of work never seen publicly in his lifetime are his watercolor depictions of the night life and gay culture of New York in the early 20th century. These watercolors were too revealing for society at that time but are important now both for their artistic and cultural significance. In the last years of his life (1923-1930), Demuth did a series of eight works entitled Poster Portraits. These were billboards of people he admired, and he used a secret language to identify each person, suggesting his own closet life. These messages are fun to read and decipher and each is sensitive to the artist's works and their themes. This series was an attempt to merge high and popular art and has a pop quality that influenced such contemporary artists as Robert Indiana. Demuth's masterpiece from this series, I Saw the Figure Five in Gold, is inspired by William Carlos Williams' poem The Great Figure, and in its references to street culture the work hints at the actual New York. Its verbal imagery and the ripple effect indicating movement suggest Cubist elements very similar to the objectiveness of Williams' poetry. This type of poster promoted the avant-garde culture as their high art could never do. 98/09DE SCA 60 min.
Also See:
Also See: On the Margins: Stettheimer and Demuth 2; Enjambment: William Carlos Williams and the Imagists





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