Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
J is for…
Jugendstil Pink – a traditional pink shade that’s been heavily muted or tempered with a strong gray undertone in order to obtain a mysterious shade of dark pink.
Jugendstil literally means “youth style,” and it was an artistic movement in Germany primary, although it also extended to other parts of Europe. Considered the German counterpart of the Art Nouveau movement, it began in 1895 and continued until about 1910. It was founded as a reaction against the official art and architecture academies whose support of the more formal neo-classicism and historicism styles was deemed stifling.
I’m always curious about and interested in art movements – and what winds of change are blowing, and what shifts are made or not). Visioning with fresh eyes can be so exciting and expansive.
This particular movement was founded in Munich by a group of visual artists who created an association they called Munich Secession. As the movement grew, other groups founded their own associations.
The most visible showcase of the work that helped popularize it was the art journal Jugend, hence the name of the movement.
This image of the cover of Jugend from 1896 is in the public domain.
While I certainly believe I could benefit from some serious art history education, it’s fair to say I think quite a bit about why people create art. I think we all have our own ideas and beliefs about this, but I especially like the following three opinions, which I find myself playing with in my mind quite a bit.
Alan Moore said: “Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness.”
I believe this to be true, not only in a temporary and limited sense, such as being moved in the moment, or even an individual personal transformation, but the idea of a lasting societal/cultural shift is deeply interesting to me. We certainly see how art movements can shape our perceptions and introduce new ways of seeing and thinking about things, but do these shifts devolve because we’ve commercialized art, and then it becomes something else entirely? Or are we at a point where art is often quite literally so disrespected that messages aren’t even impactful enough to create lasting change? And yet still, I believe art is a serious pathway to consciousness change, and wish I had understood this earlier in my life.
The second thought I like is Robert Henri’s admonition: “The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” Yes, yes, yes, is all I can say to that. To be in that state where your heart is on fire is truly magical.
And finally, I have to agree with Theodore Dreiser’s proclamation: “Art is the stored honey of the human soul.” Now that’s a state of consciousness I’d love us all to hold.
What about you? Were you aware of the Jugendstil movement? What sets your heart on fire, and are you finding ways to express it? I’m a bit obsessed at the moment with colors that are grayed – finding that sweet spot of balance that allows other colors to pop without dragging everything down is an experiment I’m enjoying tinkering with. Is there a color you’re particularly interested in right now? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.