From October 27 to November 29, the Reginald J.P. Dawson Library hosts an exhibition by members of the Table Ronde sur l'Art de Mont-Royal (ARTTRAM) entitled Le bleu dans tous ses états. Among the over 30 participating artists there are also three painters of Romanian origin: Tatiana Șragăr, Doina Falcon and Eva Halus.
As the exhibition space is not very large, each artist participates with a single work, maximum 38"x38". Along with the proposed theme, which makes blue the king of colors, this constraint motivated exhibiting artists to show the public exceptional works, in which blue "breathes" from Earth to clouds.
Tatiana Șragăr exhibits the painting Revelstoke Heights – Rocky Mountains (24"x28"), executed in oil and worked after a view from the plane over Revelstoke."All my artistic effort would be limited to rendering the beauty of nature, on the water, on the mountains, on the plain and on all meridians of the world, from the flowers in the glade to the blue sky of the Rocky Mountains, from the green grass in the garden, to the view of the burnt forests of western Canada. Everything in nature amazes and inspires me", says painter Tatiana Șragăr.
Doina Falcon participates with the painting Tristesse, a large work (37"x24"), executed in acrylic. Here's what she confessed: "I worked enormously on this painting. It was like a confrontation with myself. I tried to portray a woman with her arms raised in a gesture of abandonment. I wanted her slim dress to guess her body. The applied techniques were new to me and required the effort of many days to achieve the expected effect. And the most difficult to reproduce was the woman's face, with the expression of the head tilted and the gaze lost. The blue color could only perfectly complement the mood of the character, a state that I hope I conveyed to the viewer", concludes the artist.
Eva Halus exhibits a watercolor study (40x30cm) based on the famous painting The Birth of Aphrodite by Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)."Blue for me has multiple dimensions and creates multiple universes even. Blue is above all the coordinate of dreams and aspirations, but also of depths and mystery. It's the sea, the ocean in all shades of blue-gray and blue-green," says the artist. "I chose this painting for the exhibition Le bleu dans tous ses états because it incorporates a lot of bright blue-green shades, which announce the birth of Venus and which for me also means favorable times, the rebirth of nature. Botticelli himself said of his painting that he wanted to pay homage to all that nature has most precious."
The opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, November 2nd, between 18:00 and 20:00. Reginald J.P. Dawson Library address is 1967 Boul. Graham, H3R 1G9, VMR.
The history of the color blue in art
The theme of this exhibition is a good opportunity to make a brief foray into the world of art and the symbolism associated with the color blue. Throughout history, blue has had a multitude of connotations. In the ancient world it was associated with mystical powers, centuries later it was associated with royalty, and then, in modernity, it became the color of navy uniforms, hospitals or factories. Today, psychologists argue that blue is intrinsic to the human psyche and that it contributed to our evolutionary development as hunter-gatherers, who learned to survive in nature, between the sky and blue waters. The power of this color is so widely accepted that many designers choose blue to decorate workspaces, based on research suggesting it would increase productivity and a sense of calm.
Blue is a very popular pigment among artists, Picasso, Kadinsky, Yves Klein and many others choosing to base many of their works on this color.
The earliest forms of blue pigment were extracted from lapis lazuli, a semiprecious stone native to the Middle East, particularly Afghanistan. For millennia, until the seventeenth century, this pigment was imported from Asia via the Silk Road. Another very old shade of blue is Egyptian blue. Unlike lapis lazuli, this is a synthetic pigment, slightly lighter, developed about 4500 years ago. From Egypt this pigment spread to Greece and the Roman Empire. When the latter declined, color temporarily disappeared from cultural use.
Going by history, the blue pigment known as ultramarine became very popular during the Italian Renaissance. Widely used in Europe since the twelfth century, ultramarine is one of the most widespread colors in Western art history. Once more expensive than gold, this deep blue pigment was obtained by grinding lapis lazuli stone.
Artists such as Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto were among the first to regularly use ultramarine, which they often juxtaposed with gold leaf. In the following centuries, Raphael, Botticelli and Titian continued to use ultramarine in abundance in their large-scale works. In Christian iconography, blue became one of the most sacred colors, which was also due to the fact that it was very expensive.
Indigo, another shade of blue, became an important dye and color in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. So important that it triggered trade wars between European countries and colonized territories in the Americas, fueled the African slave trade, and became part of Sir Isaac Newton's "color spectrum," which he first published in 1672.Derived from the indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria), the color was imported from India and Egypt via the Silk Road. The first synthetic indigo dye was invented by German chemist Adolf von Baeyer in 1878, but in 1913 it was replaced by the natural version. The latter was also used when dyeing jeans.
Prussian blue appeared in Germany in the XVIII century, when the Swiss paint manufacturer Johann Jacob Diesbach invented this synthesized pigment, much cheaper and easier to create than ultramarine. The pigment has been widely used by Japanese artists, especially Katsushika Hokusai, and is associated with wood prints such as his famous Great Wave at Kanagawa. During his Blue Period (1901–1904), Picasso concentrated on using many shades of this color, especially Prussian blue. This period of the Spanish artist helped to strengthen the association of the color blue with feelings of despair and sadness. Another artist who had a strong connection with blue was Marc Chagall, of whom Picasso said, "when Matisse dies... Chagall will be the only painter who understands what color is."
The artist with the most famous and lasting association with the color blue, however, was Yves Klein, who wanted to capture the majesty of the sky through painting, calling himself a painter of space. Using ultramarine, the conceptual artist of French origin made about 200 monochromatic works in various shades of blue. In 1960, he created his own version of the blue pigment, known as International Klein Blue (IKB).
"Blue is the invisible that becomes visible," Klein said. "Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond the dimensions that characterize the other colors."
Where else will the three painters exhibit
In addition to Le bleu dans tous ses états, the three painters will participate in several other exhibitions in the following months.
As an ARTTRAM member, Tatiana Șragăr returns this winter with a new solo exhibition at Dupond & Dupont restaurant in Ville Mont-Royal.
Early next month (3-5 November), Doina Falcon joins other painters members of the Association des artistes de Beaconsfield in an exhibition hosted by Centennial Hall (288 ox. Beaconsfield). Another collective exhibition that includes Doina Falcon's works is at Maison Trestler (85 chemin de la Commune, Vaudreuil-Dorion), which runs from October 26 to December 19. More details can be found at www.doina.ca.
Eva Halus will have an exhibition of Japanese paper collages, which will be scheduled by Maison de Culture Côte-des-Neiges from winter to spring 2024.