2019 Vincent sunflowers 14x11  L de Valm

Vincent's sunflowers, 2019, 

Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)

2019 Joan sunflowers 14x11  L de Valmy .

Joan's sunflowers, 2019, 

Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)

#story.behind.the.art

Vincent Van Gogh

In August 1888, Vincent Van Gogh is happy at the prospect of welcoming Paul Gauguin in Arles, south of France, where he hopes to create an artist colony. In order to decorate their studio, he creates 4 paintings with sunflowers in a vase. On this post, Vincent share a detail of Sunflowers (3rd version) which he believed would be the best one. 
Although he was hopeful, he wrote on August 24, “we live in times when there’s no market for what we do; (…)And I fear that it will scarcely change during our lifetime. As long as we were preparing the way for richer lives for the painters who will walk in our footsteps, that would already be something. Life is short, though, and especially the number of years when one feels strong enough to brave everything. And in the end, there’s the fear that as soon as the new painting is appreciated, the painters will weaken.”
Paul Gauguin shared the same frustrations and wrote to him “the artist’s life is one long calvary to go through! And that’s perhaps what makes us live. Passion enlivens us, and we die when it has nothing more to feed on.” 
The emoji of shaking hands represents how they both signed their letters by "a good handshake" and the partnership they hoped to create. The artist Emile Bernard, a frequent correspondent of Van Gogh at that time, likes the post as well.

Joan Mitchell

In 1968, the American abstract expressionist artist Joan Mitchell, moved from Paris to Normandy where she settled. In that new studio, she started to work on a new body of works inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers, a theme she will explore until the end of her career. 
As for Van Gogh, the series was created in the context of a move from Paris to the French countryside and with a sense of promise. 
In this Post dated on the day of the anniversary of Van Gogh death, Mitchell shares a detail of Sunflowers. Her comment is based on her quotes « Sunflowers are something I feel very intensely. They look so wonderful when young and they are so very moving when they are dying. I don’t like fields of sunflowers. I like them alone or, of course, painted by Van Gogh.” and “It's a yellow painting. There's hope.”
Her partner, the artist Jean Paul Riopelle, refers to that move and the mood of renewal.
Her friend Williem de Kooning declared “What fascinates me about Van Gogh is that his sun dries up everything. Maybe he was melodramatic but my point really is...if you are a painter you have to face that self-consciousness“. Her life long friend Grace Hartigan also likes the post.

 

Sources: Van Gogh letters
Joan Mitchell foundation, Cheim & Read Gallery
Ninth Street Women, Mary Gabriel, 2018
 

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