Izabella Godlewska de Aranda (Creative Arts Today: Introduction)

Creative Arts Today – Ex. 4

Find the image below in the Bridgeman Education Library.

Make a note of the artist and title.

Say what you think of the piece in four or five words.

rothko

Fig. 1 (See below)

I decided to approach the task in three stages:

  1. Give four or five words before researching the artist and their work
  2. Research (albeit superficially) the artist and their work
  3. Reconsider what the four or five words would be, with the benefit of some knowledge and, possibly, context

1. INITIAL WORDS

Rothko, Subtle, Sea, Sky, Sun

 

2. THE ARTIST AND THEIR WORK

The Bridgeman Education Library tells us that the artist is Izabella Godlewska de Aranda. The work is entitled Space, Time, Motion, Green and is described as homage to Mark Rothko (1903- 1970).

The collection of her work on display on the Bridgeman Education Library website shows an artist with a mastery of her materials, who has produced a diverse collection of work. Both the style and subject matter is very wide-ranging. Her style varies from figurative to entirely abstract whilst her subjects include flowers, landscapes, townscapes and people.

The website describes the artist as an architect, painter and sculptor. Born in Poland, the family escaped in 1939 eventually settling in the UK, where Izabella was educated and studied architecture (at Oxford). She studied painting whilst working in London but ultimately moved and settled in Spain.

A Google search yielded just one other biography, a polish entry in Wikipedia.

Her work

Three aspects of the work on display on the Bridgeman website particularly interested me. The first was the sculpture, Woman (fig. 2 below).

GOD345380

Fig. 2. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2001) Woman

I think this is a tremendous sculpture and would like the opportunity to see it first-hand. The photograph gives the impression of a piece focused on the form of the torso. The cuts and gaps in the structure seem to emphasise muscle and hence power and strength. The raising of the right leg also injects a sense of movement into the work.

cosmic-joy

Fig. 3. Godlewska de Aranda,I (2009) Cosmic Joy!

The second is the painting, Cosmic Joy! to the right. My immediate response was Sonia Delaunay. The use of the circles is reminiscent of Delaunay’s Simultaneity. Here, however, the circles are complete and any circles within circles are concentric. I would also suggest that the use of colour here is to convey the joy of the title. Bright and pastel shades abound, with a particular emphasis on warmer colours. Movement is conveyed more by composition. The placing of many, and generally smaller, circles in the bottom right hints at movement towards the top left corner.

The third aspect of de Aranda’s work I wish to examine is her series, Kensington Gardens. Three selections of paintings are shown below.

First selection

Kensington Gardens Series: Dazzle, 2007 (mixed media on paper)

Fig. 4. Godlewska de Aranda, I.  (2007) Dazzle

Kensington Gardens Series: Trunk (oil on canvas)

Fig. 5. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Trunk

Kensington Gardens Serise: Canopy Shadows, 2007 (mixed media on paper)

Fig. 6. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2007) Canopy Shadows

I have chosen these three so that I can examine de Aranda’s treatment of the tree trunks. In figure 4, they are figurative in nature and, essentially realistic. In figure 5, the trunk is simplified. The green background to the upper half of the work has been painted in front of the trunk. This acts in opposition to the placement of the foot of the trunk. By figure 6, the trunks, perhaps their shadows, are rendered more abstract by being presented in just about one shade of colour. Whist the three paintings show a developing abstraction, the subject matter is still essentially recognisable. It is interesting t contrast this with the next selection.

Second selection

green

Fig. 7 to 10. Godlewska  de Aranda, I. (no date given) My World of  Green 1 to 4                    

I have chosen these four partly because I like them so much, but also because the process of abstraction discussed above (in my first selection) has now been completed. By this I mean that the pieces are entirely abstract. The fact that they are part of the Kensington Garden Series may suggest greenery in the form of flora, grass, etc, but nothing is presented with any sense of realism in relation to its form. The emphasis is on colour, texture and composition.

Third selection

Kensington Gardens Series: Green on Green (oil on canvas)

Fig. 11. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Green on Green

The abstraction is taken in a slightly different direction with Green on Green. The larger shapes are more geometric in form and outside of these shapes, the brush strokes display less fluidity. The placing of the large shapes, one above the other, hints at Rothko.

Looking at these selections of paintings then, the original piece now appears to represent an almost logical conclusion to the abstraction present in the Kensington Gardens Series. The figurative and realistic have become entirely abstract. The colours, of course, have been reduced to shades of green.

 

 

3. FIVE WORDS

My choice of words would now be:

Rothko, Subtle, Light, Water, Shade

 

List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2010) Space, Time, Motion, Green [Mixed media] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+rothko (Accessed on 23 February 2017)

Figure 2. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2001) Woman [Bronze] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+woman+bronze (Accessed on 23 February 2017)

Figure 3. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2009) Cosmic Joy! [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+cosmic+joy (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 4. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2007) Kensington Garden Series: Dazzle [Mixed media on paper] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 5. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: Trunk [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 6. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: Canopy Shadows [Mixed media on paper] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 7. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (2007) Kensington Garden Series: My World of Green 1 [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 8. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: My World of Green 2 [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 9. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: My World of Green 3 [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 10. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: My World of Green 4 [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

Figure 11. Godlewska de Aranda, I. (no date given) Kensington Garden Series: Green on Green [Oil on canvas] At:

https://www.bridgemaneducation.com/en/search?filter_text=de+aranda+kensington+gardens (Accessed on 25 February 2017)

 

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