Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass (1888)

Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass (1888)
One of my favorite still life subjects of Van Gogh, the cut branch in a glass, I ran across this one with the book behind creating a complicated compositional element. Note also the use of complementary colors, red and green, creating a vibration in the painting.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Richard Neutra

Happy Birthday Richard Neutra!! Born in 1892, in Vienna, this artist went to school at Technische Hochschule and studied architecture. He emigrated to the US in 1923, where he established his architectural practice, after working with Rudolph N. Schindler. Neutra is credited with creating a light airy structure of metal frame with stucco that became a regional signature of Modern architecture in Southern California. His specialty was to extend the architectural space into an immaculate landscape. Neutra mentored Robert Alexander and was partners with his wife Dione.  He believed that architecture should "act as a social force for the betterment of mankind". His son Dion still operates the architectural firm in Los Angeles and, in fact, is celebrating 85 years of practice this week. The Kaufman House that I am including here today was recently sold at auction for 16.5 million. It was discovered in 1992 in near ruin by architectural historian Beth Harris and her husband, Brent, and restored to its original state. The couple is interested in treating architecture like fine art and preserving its original beauty.

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