Monday, April 2, 2012

The Modernist Bird








HERE IS A CARVING OF A BIRD IN OUR COLLECTION. IT WAS IDENTIFIED by a reader as a European Great Spotted Woodpecker. I think it may be 75+ years old. This bird, painted with broad shapes and squiggles to define various areas, is more akin to modernist painting than it’s more realistically painted counterparts of the day. When I see this bird, I think of modernist painters like Arthur Dove (no pun intended), Georgia O’Keefee and others.

Thanks to reader Harry, for the ID.

6 comments:

Harry said...

It's a great spotted woodpecker.

which suggests it may be a European object rather than an American one. Though it could have been an American artist working from a picture, or whatever.

Harry said...

And incidentally, you say 'not in a style that attempts to hit the exact detail of the actual bird', but actually the plumage is very accurate (if roughly painted), which is why I can be confident it's a GSW rather than any of that bird's similar-looking relatives. I don't know if that changes the way you feel about the piece...

John Foster said...

Thanks harry, I appreciate your insight. I looked it up and you are right. Especially that it could be European. I will amend my post a bit.

Angela Riechers said...

This is fantastic, I just had to *Twitter* it. Sorry for the pun. Great find!

Jackie said...

It's a grand bird, love the folky quality.

xoxoxoBruce said...

Could be an American decoy, to make a native try to defend his turf.

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