Posts Tagged ‘Franz Marc’

Like everything genuine, its inner life guarantees its truth. All works of art created by truthful minds without regard for the work’s conventional exterior remain genuine for all times. 

Franz Marc


Franz Marc is not one of my favorite artists but that is not to say I am not a fan of his. I like many of his paintings and some do little for me. And that’s okay.

But I greatly admire the fact that he created an impressive body of work in a short period of time– he was only 36 years old when he was killed in the Battle of Verdun in World War I in 1916— that has survived and prospered during the last hundred years. Under Hitler’s Nazi Third Reich, his work was labeled as degenerate art and was subject to destruction. But his work persisted.

I also admire the fact that he chose to carve out his own niche, creating work that is instantly identifiable as his. His use of bold primary color, the animal subjects that populated many of his pieces and the use of Cubist elements make his work easy to distinguish when you come across one. Many of you are probably familiar with his famous yellow cow or his blue horses.

I also admire and am in agreement with many of his writings about art. We both tend to look at art as having an inner life of its own so long as the artist allows that truth to manifest itself and creates the work with true emotion and feeling.

His desire to create work that remains genuine for all time is mine as well. The idea of connecting and communicating with future generations is deeply appealing. You always hope your work speaks beyond time or language or place.

So, while I may not number Franz Marc among my favorite artists, he is nonetheless a great influence on my work.

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GC Myers- The Veil and the HeartToday we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance… We look for and paint this inner, spiritual side of nature.
-Franz Marc


This is a new painting, a 36″ by 12″ canvas piece that I am calling The Veil and the Heart.  It is a continuation of the patterned sky series that has been occupying me as of late, a group which will no doubt play a large part in my annual June show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.

I see the red sun here as a symbol for the type of truth that can’t be veiled, can’t be covered.  While there are forces and powers beyond our perception, as I have written about concerning the thought behind this series of patterns and veils, there are also certainties and truths that cannot be obscured in any way.

It may be our own truth, who we really are as a person and how that forms the way in which we maintain a relationship with the world in which we exist.  It may be how we come to accept our place as a tiny piece in the puzzle of a universe that seems vast and largely unaware of us.

Maybe that red sun represents the universe, for a brief  moment, being aware of us.

I don’t really know.

I’ve said those words so many times over the years, especially in regard to my work.  You would think after all this time that I would be able to say definitively what is contained in my work.  But I can’t.  Just about every piece has a mystery in it, a veiled thought or meaning that shows just enough of itself to let me know it is there but remains elusive.  Even this painting has a meaning that seems easily within my grasp one moment and has another in the next.

 Like that red sun, you see it and understand it but you’re not sure why.  And maybe that is the way it should be, the way it is meant to be.

I don’t really know…

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Traditions are lovely things- to create traditions, that is, not to live off of them… the great shapers do not search for their form in the fogs of the past.

–Franz Marc


Franz Marc- The Yellow Cow 1911

Franz Marc- The Yellow Cow 1911

I chose today’s quote from German painter Franz Marc because he was an influence for me early on.  Not so much in the style or subject matter that he employed but simply in the fact that he created work that stood out and was identifiable as his from across a gallery space.  This is basically what he is pointing towards in this aphorism–to not toil in the fields planted by earlier artists but to carve out your own space and work it in the way that suits and  best expresses you.

Franz Marc- Large Blue Horses

Franz Marc- Large Blue Horses

He is not downplaying the influences of the past.  Early in his career  Marc copied the works of other artists from before and contemporary to him, using it as a way in which to find an avenue of expression that meshed with his vision.  He did not want to remain a replicator but wanted instead to be a creator.  And that was the attraction for me.

There was safety and security in remaining in this symbolic field with others but it would often be as an anonymous member of a larger group, your furrow always directly compared to the furrow of those alongside you, your harvest compared to their’s.

Breaking away and heading out was risky.   You had to believe that in taking this leap of faith that you would be able to work your little spot in your own way away from others and produce a harvest that is uniquely appetizing to others in some manner.   But you might end up toiling in barren soil, creating crops that appealed to no one but yourself.  It was scary to think that your field might never expand but you were at least nourishing yourself.

This was the type of thinking that drove my work early on, fueled by looking at the work of Marc and others who veered from the traditions of the past in their times.

Unfortunately, Franz Marc only worked his fields for a relatively short time, dying in WW I at the Battle of Verdun.  He was 36 years old.  But his crop still lives on, surviving being labeled as degenerate art in the 1930’s by Hitler and the Nazi regime.

It is unique and his own tradition.

Franz Marc- The Waterfall 1912

Franz Marc- The Waterfall 1912

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