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Posts tagged ‘Interpretation’

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise

There are some art exhibitions that you go to that simply have the capacity to strike deep. Many shows are pleasing, others interesting, but then there are those which you remember for ever. I’ll never forget for example Frida Kahlo or Henri Rousseau at Tate Modern, Tamara de Lempicka at the Royal Academy, Dali at the Centre Pompidou or Da Vinci at the National Gallery London. Now to that list I add the Kandinsky retrospective at CentroCentro in Madrid, not because it was any better than the Kandinsky I saw many years before at Tate, but simply because the combination of time and energy and who know’s what combined to leave me utterly inspired.

When, the next day, I walked into the Prado and saw Velázquez’s Las Meninas once again, something shifted in my head, and I left an artist converted.

I started my reinterpretations of Las Meninas shortly after the whirl of the Christmas season was over, and my first, Las Meninas (In Our Time) I shared with you a few weeks ago. But my new project was far from over, and this painting, shared today, was the one which leapt into life before my eyes that day in the Prado Gallery when Kandinsky was still very much on my mind.

Las Meninas 2 FINAL

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise (2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Las Meninas: Second Interpretative Exercise borrows from Velázquez’s composition, but otherwise radically simplifies the forms of his dramatic personæ, and swaps the dark browns and neutral shades of his painting with a vibrant almost pop-art palette. The result is an image which pleases me incredibly. It is at once abstract but recognisable, tidy but surreal. I had great fun in reimagining each piece of the painting – for example painting the dog’s stretched out arm as a bone, and the nun’s head like a piece of sushi – and best of all, I know that this is only the beginning. Abstraction and simplified forms are spinning around my head. Ideas are overflowing, and I can’t sit still for a need to paint.

It’s why I’ll always remember that Kandinsky show, because it switched on a light in my head which has long remained dormant.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Interpretation No. 19: Venice, the Dorsoduro from above

It’s hard to believe that my series of landscape interpretations are now entering their third year. Started back in Positano on the Amalfi Coast when I was inspired by the cubic contrast of urban development against rugged natural scenery, the collection has morphed and developed, now reaching its 19th in number. While traditional landscape painting seems to be too often looked down on by the so called “experts” in today’s contemporary art world, these simplified landscapes allow me the opportunity to relive a landscape, to simplify it into the basic forms which make the view so beautiful, and most importantly to relax and enjoy the process of creation.

As my little Venice seasons comes to an end here on The Daily Norm, and we travel together, to cities further afield, there could have been no more appropriate final curtain to the collection than to share this, my latest in the interpretations series. Inspired by the stunning views over the city which I photographed from the top of St Mark’s campanile and shared on The Daily Norm last week, this view for me was compositionally just too tempting not to paint.

Interpretation No. 19: Venice, the Dorsoduro from above (2016 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Interpretation No. 19: Venice, the Dorsoduro from above (2016 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

With its waves of terracotta rooftops covering Venetian red, cream and ochre buildings, all leading to the magnificence of the church of Santa Maria della Salute at its centre,  and with its intersection of creamy turquoise canals and a view of the Giudecca island in the foggy distance, this is a view of the Dorsoduro region at its best. And it makes for a fine addition to the urban wing (Paris, London & Palma and counting…) of my continuing collection gouache landscapes.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com