Last week we looked at the work of an important early expressionist artist, Paula Moderson Becker. Her achievement, like that of Munch or van Gogh, constitutes one of the isolated, idiosyncratic landmarks along the road to early modernism. Her use of the female nude in her paintings and particularly nude self portraits were unprecedented at the time for a female artist.
In the last two years of her life, (she died aged 30 of an embolism) she began to fully establish her artistic identity. During a 1906 visit to Paris, she opened herself completely to the possibilities presented by French art. On previous visits, she had come to terms with certain French formal precepts--simplifying and honing the contours of her drawings to a minimum of expressive line--but had remained timid in her use of color. Now, influenced to some extent by Cézanne, Gauguin and van Gogh, she adopted a brighter palette. This change lent her formal solutions far greater tonal weight, rendering some of her work nearly cubistic.
We recreated some of the poses from her paintings and drawings and looked at how we can use the combination of line and tone to create three dimensional form and perspective in our drawings.