Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Something on Art
These two postcards "fell on me", while my little son was digging in my drawers. They are actually invitations for an opening and the exhibition they invite to showed pieces of this amazing and one of the better known naive painter in this country, Natalie Maslikova-Schmidtová.
I am trying to think why I have been attracted by this uneducated style in the past few years. Perhaps it is my job in the contemporary art museum that drives me away from all the conceptual, academic and completely cryptic attempts at art to something less demanding. Perhaps I like it for the same simplicity that appealed to modern painters. The eye of a savage. Figures easy to draw and no perspective, at least not the one, that we are used to. It resembles archaic art and it proves something fundamental in art, I am not sure what to call it.
Anyway, here are more paintings by her. She started painting in her 50s and painted her every day life, seems like the life from her past, when she still lived in a village somewhere in Siberia in Russia or on the coast of the Black Sea. They look like memories of once happier times. She probably worked hard but the life like that was essential for her, so she depicted it as if all that labor and joy was an every day ritual.
She was Russian and married a Czech (Moravian) soldier, a prisoner of WWI in Russia. They left for Czechoslovakia where she spent 60 years of her life. She never learned to read or write. But she had exhibitions in Paris and Prague already at the beginning of her career in 1946. She was amazing. She lived 1895 - 1981.
There is a book on her, it is in English as well.