The Post-Impressionists emerged in the 1880s and lasted primarily throughout the 1910s. Can rebels rebel from the rebels? Of course! They do all the time and such was the case with the Post-Impressionists.
The Post-Impressionists reacted against the “en plein air” naturalism of Impressionism, and wanted to explore the use of abstract form and pattern – relying less on nature and more on the personal experiences of the self. A style emerged from this unofficial group of painters showcasing more saturated, simple colors and more abstract forms.
The popularity of the camera was a participating factor in the push towards abstract art. In 1900 Kodak created the Brownie, an affordable box camera that could be easily operated. Now many people could own a camera and quickly create accurate portraits with a snapshot, but a painter had the infinity of imagination to represent personal emotions.
See the works of: Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh
Looking at this painting, I definitely see a Modern Quilt. The colors are more isolated from each other, there is space to breathe in the composition, and in a sense it appears to be just a glimpse of what we can imagine is a never-ending vision. This painting goes beyond the canvas borders.
Is there a sense within the Modern Quilting community that, when looking at the precision of traditional quilts, there‘s a bit of “I can’t do that” or maybe “I could, but I don’t want to!” That’s what comes to mind when I think of the inundation of portrait photography versus abstract art. Maybe there’s a part of “I can’t compete, so why play” that leads to abandoning elaborately pieced, meticulously joined traditional quilts in favor or pursuing the loose nature of improvisational piecing, or large-scale piecing. Moreover, I believe there’s a grander sense of “that’s been done – let’s try something new!”
Key Sources: theartstory.org, metmuseum.org, kodak.com