fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

New Year’s Fireworks in Painting

Helen Frankenthaler, Grey Fireworks, 1982, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York, NY, USA.

Special Occasion And News

New Year’s Fireworks in Painting

Bonfires, parties, or reading in bed. Ideas for how one should spend New Year’s Eve are endless, and everyone should spend it the way they like. Probably most of us like to watch fireworks at midnight, but all pet-owners know how stressful the noise of explosions is for many animals. So I thought that instead of making firework shows this year, we can instead admire New Year’s fireworks on canvas.

Futurist Style

Giacomo Balla, Sketch for the ballet by Igor Stravinsky: Fireworks (Feu d'artifice), 1915, Teatro alla Scala Museum, Milan, New Year's Fireworks
Giacomo Balla, Sketch for the ballet by Igor Stravinsky: Fireworks (Feu d’artifice), 1915, Teatro alla Scala Museum, Milan, Italy.

Igor Stravinsky wrote FireworksOp. 4 in 1908 and he described it as a “short orchestral fantasy.” Giacomo Balla designed sets and lighting for its premiere on 12 April 1917, at Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Although the production was commissioned and produced by Sergei Diaghilev, Feu d’Artifice was not, in fact, a ballet, but rather a light show orchestrated on a geometrical set created by Balla.

Drip Style

Sam Francis, Firework, 1963, 2012 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, New Year's Fireworks
Sam Francis, Firework, 1963, Sam Francis Foundation, California, USA / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, USA.

Sam Francis began painting when he was constrained to spend long hours in hospital after being diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis. In his early career, he experimented with Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, to eventually develop a personal style characterized by dripping bright colors onto the canvas. Over a thousand of his works bear references to Chinese and Japanese art, French impressionism, or his own Bay Area roots.

Color Field Style

Helen Frankenthaler, Grey Fireworks, 1982, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New Year's Fireworks
Helen Frankenthaler, Grey Fireworks, 1982, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York, NY, USA.

Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) has been considered the heir to first-generation Abstract Expressionists who played a pivotal role in transitioning Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting. She considered her canvas not only as a formalized field in which to act but also an arena for gestural drawing: “The canvas surface is flat and yet space extends for miles. What a lie, what trickery—how beautiful is the very idea of painting”she once said.

Watteau-inspired Style

Konstantin Somov, Fireworks in the Park, 1907, location unknown, New Year's Fireworks
Konstantin Somov, Fireworks in the Park, 1907, location unknown. WikiArt.

Konstantin Somov also knew Sergei Diaghilev, as he was introduced to him by a friend. Although he studied under the great Russian painter Ilya Repin, he preferred the style of Watteau and Fragonard. For example, in the 1910s he executed a number of rococo harlequin illustrations to the poems by Alexander Blok. After 1917, he emigrated to the United States to avoid the Russian Revolution but he quickly moved to Paris because the States were “absolutely alien to his art”.

Old Style

Joan Miró, Fireworks III, 1974, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, New Year's Fireworks
Joan Miró, Fireworks III, 1974, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain.

In 1974, the 81-year-old artist began a series of paintings by flinging buckets of paint at canvas. Many see them as Pollock-like, but I see here more the influence of Sam Francis and other drip artists. What do you think?


You might enjoy:

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Special Occasion And News

  • dailyart

    Prost! Oktoberfest in Paintings

    By

    Oktoberfest, as the name suggests, is a traditional German beer festival held annually in October. Unfortunately this year, as well as last year, the festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, we will try to make this up to our beer fans by offering...

  • 19th Century

    Gustav Klimt’s Lost and Found Viennese Beauty – Lady with Fan

    By

    Fräuleins (Ladies), step aside! This steaming-hot brunette is back in town! After 100 years of captivity, away from the Viennese public, you can now find her at the Upper Belvedere, showing off her superb skin. Meet one of Gustav Klimt’s last ever subjects: Lady With Fan....

  • dailyart

    Met Gala: When Art Meets High Fashion on the Beige Carpet (2021 Update!)

    By

    You only need type “Fashion” into the search bar on DailyArt Magazine and you will be met with numerous articles on the topic ranging from how fashion and art intersect, to the sculpture-like dresses of various designers. Furthermore, our writers have attempted to answer the age-old...

  • dailyart

    It’s DailyArt App’s Ninth Birthday – Here Are the 10 Most Liked Paintings of the Year

    By

    It’s DailyArt App’s birthday! Well, it is hard to believe but nine years ago, in 2012, everything started for us with launching the DailyArt mobile app. Since then, every single day in the app we present one piece of fine art with a short story about it....

  • dailyart

    See Rare Photographs Taken by Edgar Degas

    By

    Today is World Photography Day. On this day, August 19th, in 1839 the French government bought the patent for the daguerreotype and released it “free to the world.” On this special occasion, we have prepared a special article revealing little known photographs taken by famous French...

To Top