I was fortunate to have a couple of hours before catching a train in Hamburg and was able to visit the Kunsthalle Art Museum. Whilst it was a very short visit, it was enough time to find some truly inspirational artworks. I have listed those that struck me most (in that order) but could have added heaps more:
EMILE NOLDE. Tugboat on the Elbe (1910) Oil on canvas
A real inspiration for me and a subject that I love (from my days as a Merchant Navy Seaman). I love the coloursused by Nolde in his oils (and also in his watercolours). His brushwork is wonderful and expressive – I will use this as a challenge in future work.
ALBERTO GIACOMETTI. Annette in the studio (1961) Oil on canvas
Effectively a drawing made with oils…in this portrait the face is almost lost in the background and the lines of her legs and the studio details take over the composition. I really like the style of this painting and the furious use of line (brushmarks) and will use this as a reference in my future figurative work.
KARL HOFER. Friends (1923/24) Oil on canvas
In this beautifully sensitive and to me very emotional/sensual work, the artist has painted the hands and the friend’s embrace in a manner that demonstrates a very close and loving relationship between the female couple.
JEAN FRANCOIS MILLET. Sweeping countrywoman (1867) Pastel
A real treat to see such a beautifully drawing (painting) in pastel by a master of his art – inspirational mark making, modeling using line and form, and a very modest use of colour.
PABLO PICASSO. The art dealer Clovis Sagot (1909) Oil on canvas
I liked the almost drawing-like quality of this oil painting’s brushstrokes – Picasso has painted a mask-like face and used some abstraction. In this work he is also exploring 2/3 dimensional form and leading towards cubism.
CLAUDE MONET. Pears and grapes (1880) Oil on canvas
A masterclass on how to model form using just colour – no line! (see featured image above)
ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER. Painter and model (1910 – reworked 1926) Oil on canvas
There was a separate gallery devoted to Kirchner and fellow students (Dresden 1905): Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff and Bleyl who formed what was known as the Bridge Artists Association.
I singled out this painting because of its bright colours and what to me was an awkward relationship between the model and the artist (still in bed clothes). The very messy and almost crude use of brushwork/clour all works together.
KARL SCHMIDT-ROTTLUFF. Taking a break in the studio (1911) Oil on canvas
Here we see the artist with two nude models taking a break – apparently in this painting nudity feels very natural .