Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

New Year’s Fireworks in Painting

Helen Frankenthaler, Grey Fireworks, 1982, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

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 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

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 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

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 colours onto the canvas. Over a thousand of his works bears 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


Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) has been considered heir to first-generation Abstract Expressionists who played a pivotal role 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 the 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

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


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 influence of Sam Francis and other drip artists. What do you think?

Learn more:

 

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

  • Aerial view of Beirut Aerial view of Beirut

    20th century

    Beirut’s Art Scene: Before the Blast and Now

    By

    It was only three years ago, after a long civil war, that Beirut’s art scene began to find its feet. Despite ever-present political corruption, an unsteady economy, and rising inflation, the Mediterranean city has recently become a hot-spot for Arab artists that often attracts an international...

  • Art State of Mind

    Online Learning? Back to the Old School in Art

    By

    Certainly 2020 will go down in history as a groundbreaking year in education, forcing millions of students and teachers to switch to online learning and bringing school to a new digital era. Since every year we see more blended teaching and more technology use in school,...

  • DailyArt 8 Birthday DailyArt 8 Birthday

    Special Occasion And News

    It’s DailyArt App’s 8th Birthday – Here Are The 10 Most Liked Paintings We Presented in 2020

    By

    Today is a special date. Exactly 8 years ago, in 2012, everything began for us with the launch of the DailyArt mobile app. It is a very simple app – every day it presents one piece of fine art with a short story about it. The...

  • dailyart

    Khaled al-Asaad — The Hero of Palmyra

    By

    Five years ago on August 18, 2015, the world-renowned Palmyran expert Khaled al-Asaad was brutally murdered by the Islamic State (ISIS) after weeks of torture. Shortly before ISIS took over his hometown of Tadmur, al-Asaad had helped move many priceless artifacts out of Syria to safeguard...

  • Hagia Sophia cover Hagia Sophia cover

    featured

    Hagia Sophia Becomes a Mosque – What You Need to Know

    By

    According to recent news, the President of Turkey has converted Istanbul’s famous Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. His decision is highly controversial, given Hagia Sophia’s reputation as a major monument of human history. Here is the historical, religious, and political background for this charged issue....

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy