Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Putting on the Ritz" Inspired by Klimpt

"Puttin on the Ritz"
36" x 48" 
Torn Magazine
On Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Contact the Artist for Purchase

After returning from Vienna, where we saw some of Gustav Klimpt's work in the Belvedere Museum and at The Secession, I was inspired to do a very large collage using gold. You will recall that Klimpt's painting of Adele Block Bauer, a Jewish woman, was ironically confiscated by Hitler's art team from her husband's home some year's after Adele's death. After the war, it was returned to Austria where the Belvedere believed they had a claim to the painting. You may have seen the movie, "Woman in Gold" which tells the story of Maria Block Bauer suing for the return of the painting and others to the family. Bob and I had the good fortune to see the painting when it was displayed briefly  in the LA County Museum in 2006 before being sold to the Neue Gallery in NYC where it remains on permanent display. 

My material of choice was not gold leaf, but simple magazine papers. I saw an opulent evening coat, which my imaginary woman wears in my collage. I finished the initial image about a week ago, and then came the really fun part, modifying and integrating the painting. We have a dreary Sunday here, so it was a good afternoon to do art. I decided that the bottom of her dress needed enhancing with more black and the red background. I also added touches of red throughout the painting, including the woman's earrings, headband, and choker. She already had that incongruous red vertical line on her throat, which I decided I liked.

Since visiting Klimpt's work, I have read three books related to Klimpt and "Woman in Gold." Though an admirable artist, Klimpt's personal life was not to be emulated. The book that inspired the movie has much more information about Vienna art and high society, and the Block Bauers who suffered tremendously at the hands of the Third Reich.

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