Sunday, 11 January 2015

#599: Throw on another log . . . the influence of Bugatti

Throw on another log is a commentary and opinion about art.
It is directed toward students, artists, collectors, galleries,
museums, and those interested in the visual arts.
I welcome your comments on this blog and on Facebook.

I've learned through my association with painters over the years and by engaging in social media such as Facebook and artist's blogs that without a doubt, the two non-living painters who have had the greatest influence on representational painters are
John Singer Sargent and Joquim Sorolla.  Among the living painters, the most influential is certainly, Richard Schmid.

Among anamaliers - or sculptors of animals - one name prevails:  Rembrandt Bugatti (1884 - 1916).  
He was Italian, came from the famous Bugatti family, designers of art nouveau furniture and automobiles, 
and lived and worked in Paris and Antwerp.  He worked from zoo animals.

 Bugatti has, by far, had the most influence on today's animal sculptors . . . even more than Barye.
Bugatti was fairly obscure when I directed my attention toward sculpture in the late 1970s'
 and early 1980s'.  I had seen and remembered his work from an early trip to Paris but it 
was my friend and fellow sculptor, Ken Bunn who turned me on to his incredible work early on.  
Many sculptors were certainly aware of Bugatti's work back then and were influenced by his loose, 
juicy, thumby, and impressionistic surfaces coupled with his heightened sense of form and structure.  

The enormous amount of time he spent at the zoo facilitated his understanding of the animals he modeled
 and his great ability to find the pose and gesture, captured his subject's essence.   
Below, are images of Bugatti's sculpture.

Today, every sculptor I know is aware of Rembrandt Bugatti.  Books have been written about him and his works 
are coveted by museums and sell in the millions.  He produced over 300 works in his short life,
 before committing suicide at age 31.  Much more can be learned about him online.  

To me,  Bugatti is style, simplicity, and elegance . . . the subject, beautifully observed.
I read that he would tear down and start over if he could not complete a study in a day at the zoo.
Incredibly, some of Bugatti's works are mannered, tight, and art nouveau in concept and execution.  
His work is usually based on a perfectly flat plate like the zoo cage surfaces he knew so well.

Below, are images of Bugatti's plasters in the Musee d'Orsay.  Note the careful modeling of the lion.
Bugatti's "Pelicans" are located in the Petit Palais Museum.

   The good sculptors, like Bunn and others, developed their own statements under Bugatti's influence. 
Sadly, there are those who continue to misunderstand anatomy and structure and misinterpret what they
 are seeing when they look at spontaneous, active surfaces such as Bugattis' or Rodins' for that matter.

 Misunderstood form and sloppy, meaningless surface continues to be put out there in the name of "loose".

Below, is an image of Ken Bunn's "Drinking Lion" and "Jackie" by Richard Schmid 
from my collection.

I'm concluding each art blog about our trip to Paris last month with a glimpse of life in the beautiful city.

Below, crepes are being made in a little open- air kitchen in Montmartre.  The batter is ladled onto the
hot cooking surface and after the crepe is cooked, it is fill with Nutella, or the sweet filling of your choice.
We stayed in Monmartre and I eventually had to avoid this place.  As I emerged from the metro, the aroma filled the air . . .  they're too good and eating one meant no supper for me.
The skinny guy cooking them obviously doesn't eat them.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information. 

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


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