Aquarius is the sign of the avant-garde – and who could be more emblematic of the avant garde than Edouard Manet. Some of his paintings are still kind of shocking when you think about it.
|Dejeuner sur L’Herbe scandalised Paris when it was exhibited in 1863.
You can see why. What’s the naked lady doing with men dressed
in the 19th century equivalent of chinos & sweaters?
Here’s Max Beckmann, 12 Feb (1884-1950), who had an incredibly long and productive career, which followed a similar curve to Manet’s. Except he had to deal with the Nazis, an ordeal which broke most of his fellow avant-gardists.
He did many, many of self-portraits in all kinds of media – not surprising when you see what a great head he had.
|Max Beckman, 12 Feb (1884-1950)|
And here is Duncan Grant, of the Bloomsbury Group: boyfriend of the artist Vanessa Bell, Virginia’s Woolf‘s sister. Since he was really gay and Vanessa was married to the painter Clive Bell, who lived with them, it was all kind of complicated. Then, of course, Bell had his girlfriend, Mary something… you get the picture. He was frightfully, frightfully bohemian darling.
But guess what, he started off shocking the bourgeoisie with his post-impressionist inspired work and kinky private life and ended up part of the core curriculum for art history BAs.
|Duncan Grant 23 Jan (1885-1978)|
Here are some more Aquarian artists who went from outsider to establishment.
Fernand Léger 4 Feb (1881-1955)
Yoko Ono 18 Feb (1933- )
Carlo Carra 11 Feb (1881-1966)
Jackson Pollack 28 Jan (1912-1956)
Robert Motherwell 24 Jan (1915-1991)