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Artist Astrology: Sagittarius

December 10, 2013

This month, we turn our attention to the adventurous, free-spirited Sagittarius! Sagittarius individuals, born November 23 – December 21, are known for their “larger than life” personalities. They view life as a challenge and embrace opportunities for personal growth and development. The ultimate goal for a Sagittarius is to discover the meaning of life, which results in a desire to make the most of every situation. At times, their ambition is equated with recklessness or inconsistency but, in reality, their pursuits are often thoughtful and purposeful. Sagittariuses have a contagious enthusiasm and passion for life and believe nothing is out of reach!

The DMA’s collection features a handful of splendid Sagittarius artists, including Winston Churchill (November 30), Georges Seurat (December 2), Gilbert Stuart (December 3), Stuart Davis (December 7), Helen Frankenthaler (December 12), Wassily Kandinsky (December 16), and Paul Klee (December 18).

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Winston Churchill – November 30

Sir Winston Churchill is not often known for his artistry but for his profound impact and contributions as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. His strength and pride guided the British public through the Battle of Britain in 1940 and his speech “We Shall Never Surrender” remains an emblem of British courage today. Yet, through his art, the softer, introspective side of this prominent figure is revealed. As referenced by his daughter Mary Soames in the book Sir Winston Churchill’s Life Through his Paintings, Churchill’s paintings demonstrate a profound sensitivity and keen interest in the therapeutic qualities of art. In fact, in his essay Painting as a Pastime, Churchill raises questions about the relationship between memory and the act of painting. Thus, in his art as in his political policies, Churchill reveals a Sagittarius’ interest in explaining and justifying the world around him.

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Wassily Kandinsky – December 16

Wassily Kandinsky traveled extensively between 1903 and 1908, visiting the Netherlands, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Germany. The painting above was created en plein air during his stay in Murnau, Germany, where he eventually settled from 1908 – 1914. His life in Murnau and nearby Munich marked a critical period in his artistic development, beginning his transition from realistic depictions to more abstract and representational forms. The artwork above is indicative of this slow shift as the street begins to dissolve into a field of thick brush-strokes and areas of blocked colors. Ultimately, Kandinsky sought to invest his paintings with spiritual imagery without using representational subjects. In this way, he was operating according to the Sagittarius desire to create a meaningful and purposeful life.

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Paul Klee – December 18

Paul Klee aspired to develop an artistic language that “synthesized the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ worlds into a pictorial whole,” viewing artistic production as a spiritual experience of equal importance to the final product. As such, he was extremely interested in the art produced by tribal cultures, children, and the insane. His art reflects this curiosity and is intended to appear naïve and untutored. Because of his dedication to exploring art production as a spiritual and natural process, Klee is often recognized as a theoretician. He famously stated, “Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible.”

Thank you for catching up on a few of our favorite DMA Sagittarius artists! Don’t forget to read next month’s blog for information about our caring Capricorns.

Artworks shown:

  • Winston Churchill, View of Menton, 1957, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, 1908, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Paul Klee, Around the Core (Um den Kern), 1935, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift in appreciation for Dr. Dorothy Kosinski, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

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