Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.Edvard Munch
Early 20th-century expressionist painters like Edvard Munch turned away from depicting nature to express human subjectivity through exaggerated gestures, vivid color, and distorted forms. If you appreciate expressionist paintings, I’d encourage you to get familiar with Anita Clearfield, a contemporary artist who creates compelling (and gorgeous) expressionist paintings for today’s collector.
Not familiar with expressionist art movements like Die Brucke and Die Blaue Reiter? You probably know The Scream by Edvard Munch, one of the most famous works of modern art and an icon of the expressionist style. The Scream’s angst is so relatable that it is often parodied in popular culture. In fact, I’m sure the first time the work of Edvard Munch came to my attention, it was in the form of a large inflatable or a greeting card. And because of that, I assumed Munch was a bit of a one-hit-wonder.
My opinion changed, though, when I was lucky to be visiting New York City in 2006 when MoMA was hosting a major retrospective on Munch’s work. And I saw the breadth of his work. I was moved by nearly every piece in that show. I came away from that exhibit with a profound respect for Munch as a master at conveying emotion – particularly human vulnerability, alienation, loss, loneliness, grief, and love.
Clearfield’s gorgeous expressionist paintings of nudes and nature highlight the vulnerability of the human condition and convey a range of emotions. Her work, like Munch, tends to employ moody blue fields. These blues are expertly combined into dynamic palettes of red/yellow/blue or blue/orange. Her brushwork is quite dynamic and her use of line is highly expressive but doesn’t interfere with the composition of her paintings.
Anita Clearfield has long explored the themes of femininity and the body, not only in painting but through film and installation as well. We especially love her expressionist paintings like this one which is available on Saatchi Art or these that are for sale on Zatista.