Paul Cezanne, Dora Carrington & Helen Frankenthaler

I would like to look at the work of the above three artists, focusing on their landscape paintings.

Paul Cezanne

(19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906)

Paul Cezanne was a French Post Impressionistic artist whose work laid the foundations for a new and radically different 20th century world of art! It is said that he formed a bridge between Impressionism and Cubism.

La Mont Sainte Victoire, Paul Cezanne
Le Chateau Noir, (1904), Paul Cezanne, oil on canvas

You can see Cezanne’s bold brush strokes and solid application of colour in both works. La Monte Sainte Victoire seems more Impressionistic in its approach, whereas Le Chateau Noir seems a little more ‘blocky’. There is a flatness of colour, rather than detailed textures, and both images make use of highly contrasting colours.

Dora Carrington

(29 March 1893 – 11 March 1932)

Dora Carrington was an accomplished English painter of portraits and landscapes.

Farm at Watendlath (1921), Dora Carrington, oil on canvas
Spanish Landscape with Mountains (circa 1924), Dora Carrington, oil on canvas

I find Dora Carrington’s paintings very structural. They have a real look of three dimensionality about them. She highlights the top of the hills in both paintings, creating a smooth effect. The grass and foliage have a smooth quality also, although there are elements of subtle detail. I love how she has painted the minimal sky, with the white cloud at the base, and beautiful blue shades above. The shadows between the hills give a real sense of depth and separation.

Helen Frankenthaler

(December 12, 1928 – December 27, 2011) 

Helen Frankenthaler was an American Abstract Expressionist painter. She was a major contributor to American post war painting. She began exhibiting her large scale paintings in the 1950’s and has been exhibiting worldwide since. Her work is notable for its spontaneity, and focuses on fluid shapes and abstract masses.

Riverhead (1963), Helen Frankenthaler, acrylic on canvas
Barometer (1992), Helen Frankenthaler, Acrylic on canvas

I cannot say I particularly like first painting, above. It almost looks like a watercolour, the way the paint has been applied. It is titled Riverhead, and I can see the way the subject is reflected in the choice of colours and shapes. The second painting, Barometer, appeals to me more, as I enjoy the subtle range of tones, and the soothing grey colours. It feels cold and subjective. It reminds me of the weather on a grey, rainy day, or maybe snowdrifts. Or glistening puddles of rain in a barren landscape.

REFERENCES:

La Mont Sainte Victoire, Paul Cezanne, At: https://freeclassicimages.com/images/La-Mont-Sainte-Victoire-by-Paul-Cezanne.jpg (Accessed 24/05/21)

Le Chateau Noir, (1904), Paul Cezanne [Oil on canvas} At: https://artisticjunkie.com/paul-cezanne-paintings/ (Accessed 24/05/21)

Farm at Watendlath (1921), Dora Carrington [oil on canvas] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/carrington-farm-at-watendlath-t04945 (Accessed 24/05/21)

Spanish Landscape with Mountains (circa 1924), Dora Carrington, oil on canvas At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/carrington-spanish-landscape-with-mountains-t11896 (Accessed 24/05/21)

Riverhead (1963), Helen Frankenthaler, acrylic on canvas At: https://awarewomenartists.com/en/magazine/helen-frankenthaler-le-triomphe-de-la-couleur/ (Accessed 24/05/21)

Barometer (1992), Helen Frankenthaler, Acrylic on canvas At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/helen-frankenthaler-barometer-1 (Accessed 24/05/21)

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