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Menno Bauer (1949)

Schermafbeelding 2019-12-28 om 10.42.54

Here is the text that can be found on the Menno Bauer web site. It explains the works and methods Bauer uses.

Menno Bauer is interested in the movements of dancers. “In my paintings”, says Bauer, ‘I set everything in motion. I want the figures in the painting to dance. I want to show that everything is alive and infused with tension. In fact, I am also dusting off images that already exist. He is not only inspired by Van Maanen’s ballets, but also by famous historic paintings. They too contain scenes into which Bauer breathes new life. His reasoning is simple. In a painting, everything is still, motionless, because it is all painted. Nonetheless, you can in stil the suggestion of motion. The challenge is to make that illusion convincing.
It should be said that Menno Bauer does not work in a realistic style. Against a background of broad planes of colour- an agressive red versus a friendly green -, his figures, loosely contoured in black, dance, walk and fall, imprisoned in a world of their own. Here, just as in a filmclip of Johan Cruyff slowly flying past, its utterly unclear just what these people are doing or where they are.
In Menno Bauer’s eyes, the figures inhabiting the sometimes renowned paintings that he uses as his starting points are the theatrical performers acting out their roles. The undefined space in wich they find themselves is hence their stage, a place that can be altered into all manner of environments by way of changing the decors. The actors that Bauer employs in his paintings are professionals in the art of overstatement. Cheer or drama are applied in thick layers, out to persuade their audience. Moreover, what these characters are acting out is not real. Bauer finds excitement in making use of this exaggeration, these emphatic, acted-out gestures, in order to approach the illusion of real gesture or movement.

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There is one Bauer publication available at www.ftn-books.com

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Eadward Muybridge (1830-1904)

The importance of Muybridge is not the artistic way he made his photographs, but because he recognized that he could catalogue motion and movement by placing photographs in sequence. This find was important because in detail one could study all movements. From athletes to birds….everything was photographed ,recorded and placed in sequence, making this in the 19th century the reference guide for all movement. The quality of his studies and photographs is shown in this excellent animation

Conclusion must be that not only serious art lovers, but also directors and animators are tributary to Eadward Muybridge.

And of course www.ftn-books.com has some nice books available on the subject.