Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The MAN Podcast: Painters & their 1888 Kodaks

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Elizabeth Easton, the curator of “Snapshot: Painters and Photography: Bonnard to Vuillard.” The exhibition, organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, is on view at the Phillips through May 6. The Yale University Press-published catalogue is top-notch.

The exhibition spotlights six artists – Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Henri Evenepoel, Henri Riviere and George Hendrik  Breitner – and examines how their use of the hand-held Kodak camera, which was introduced in 1888, informed their work. Even more interesting: The exhibitions shows how their painting informed the pictures they took.

Easton was the first elected president of the Association of Art Museum Curators, the co-founder and director of the Center for Curatorial Leadership and the former chair of European painting and sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum.

To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To download the program directly, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. You can stream the program through the player below.

Easton and I discuss:

  • How the Kodak worked and how that impacted the pictures the artists took with it;
  • How rarely the artists seemed to use their cameras to explore one of the most traditional subjects in art: the nude;
  • Whether the Kodak helped artists explore new pictoral territory, or whether it simply reinforced extant interests; and
  • Why, despite taking thousands and thousands of photographs, none of the six artists in the show ever exhibited a single photograph during their lifetimes.

In the program’s second segment, I talk with painter Anne Appleby, one of the top colorists in American art. An exhibition of Appleby’s most recent paintings is on view at New York’s Danese gallery through March 10. Appleby’s work is in the collections of many museums, including SFMOMA, the Albright-Knox and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is released under this Creative Commons license. This week’s program was edited by Wilson Butterworth. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.

Pierre Bonnard, Ker‐Xavier Roussel and Edouard Vuillard, Venice, 1899.

Maurice Denis, Marthe offering Bernadette a bunch of grapes, Le Pouldu, September 15, 1890.

Maurice Denis, Noële and Her Mother, 1896.

Maurice Denis, Two girls, paddling in the sea, swinging little Madeleine, Perros‐Guirec, 1909.

Maurice Denis, On the Beach (Two Girls against the Light), 1892.

Henri Rivière, The Eiffel Tower: Painter on a knotted rope along a vertical girder, below an intersection of girders, 1889.

Henri Rivière, Plate 36, The Painter in the Tower, from “Thirty‐Six Views of the Eiffel Tower,” 1888–1902.

Edouard Vuillard, The Newspaper, c. 1896−98.

Edouard Vuillard, Thadée and Misia Natanson in the salon, rue St. Florentin, 1898

Edouard Vuillard, Interior, Mother and Sister of the Artist, 1893.

Edouard Vuillard, Madame Vuillard and Romain Coolus, c. 1905.

Pierre Bonnard, Intimacy, 1891.

Edouard Vuillard, Garden at Vaucresson, 1920-1936. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Edouard Vuillard, Place Vintimille, 1911. Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Anne Appleby, Highline Cottonwood, 2008.

Anne Appleby, Faded Sweet Pea, 2008.

Anne Appleby, Sweet Pea, 2008.

Anne Appleby, Oaks, 2012.

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  1. […] Reflecting vision rather than shaping it: Conventional wisdom has long been that late 19th-century and early 20th-century French painters used photography to help inform their paintings. Often this was true — witness Manet. But “Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard,” edited by Elizabeth Easton, revealed that artists just as often migrated ideas from canvas to photograph. (Amazon: $35. MAN Podcast.) […]

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