Photographic Portraits of Famous Artist’s Paint Palettes

via Colossal | An art, design, and visual culture blog... by Matthias Schaller

Since 2007 photographer Matthias Schaller has photographed raw, abstract paintings. The paintings however are not found on canvas, but rather smeared onto the tools used to craft each work of art—the palettes. His series, Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece), claims these behind-the-scene objects as portraits of the artist, while also giving a direct insight into the detailed techniques performed by each painter.

Schaller was first inspired to begin his photographic collection during a visit to Cy Twombly’s late studio. During the visit he stumbled upon the artist’s palette, which he discovered to be an accurate reflection of the artist’s paintings. Encouraged to further discover the similarities between palette and painting, Schaller has gone on to photograph over two hundred of these historic portraits. His search has led him to collect palettes from all across Europe and the United States, finding the objects in major museums and private foundations and in the custody of artists’ relatives and collectors. The palettes he’s photographed so far in the series belong to seventy painters from both the 19th and 20th century, and include such artists as Monet, van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. To accurately analyze the details from paint hue to brushstroke, Schaller presents the images in large format, each work existing at approximately 190 x 150 cm.

Through June 8, the Giorgio Cini Foundation will present Schaller’s Das Meisterstück alongside the Venice Biennale, an exhibition that will focus on 20 of Schaller’s palette photographs. (via Hyperallergic)

The Bridge

The Bridge
9″x 12″ Tempera Painting on Cardboard Adapted from Photograph

My Junior year in high school we studied the Post-Impressionists. My favorite was Georges Seurat. I found his Pointillism technique fascinating – laying thousands of colored dots next to each other instead of the typical blending – and letting the observer’s eyes do the work of combining in order to achieve the right colors.

As part of the lesson, we had to research a well-known artist and create a painting in their style. “The Bridge” above was my feeble attempt to copy Seurat and his Pointillism.

In 1987 my mom and I took a trip to Chicago and visited the Art Institute of Chicago. What a wonderful place to see the Impressionist’s paintings! I was especially excited to see Georges Seurat’s paintings up close! When I spotted A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, I just starred in reverie for the longest time. It was incredible! Of course I’d seen pictures in books but nothing could compare to the real thing up close!