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Artist Astrology: Aries

April 8, 2014

This month we are celebrating our assertive Aries artists (March 21 – April 20)! The first sign of the zodiac, Aries individuals are born leaders. They are characterized by fearlessness, persistence, and energy. Aries crave adventure, reveling in challenging situations where they can test their passion and determination. This high-energy and enthusiasm often lends itself best to individual, rather than group work. Aries exude a confidence and self-assurance that can be difficult for others to understand. Their confidence encourages them to explore their ideas and they are happy to pave their own path. Aries set their own rules and do not let anything stand in the way of reaching their goals!

Three of our favorite Aries artists in the DMA Collection include Vincent van Gogh (March 30), Victor Vasarely (April 19), and Joán Miró (April 20).

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Vincent van Gogh – March 30

Now one of the most well-known artists in the world, Vincent van Gogh achieved very little recognition during his lifetime. In fact, in the ten years that he worked as a painter, he only sold one work (Irises). Van Gogh’s painting style was primarily influenced by two movements, the Pointillist techniques of Georges Seurat and the Japanese ukigo-e woodcut practice. He combined these distinct practices to create a style uniquely his own. His use of bold brush strokes and thickly applied paint is often referred to as Expressionistic. This suggestion also refers to van Gogh’s unique ability to empathize with his subject, as demonstrated in the joyous, almost comical way he depicted the wheat above. Unfortunately, van Gogh was known to set impossibly high standards for himself. He also battled mental illness and depression, a disease that ultimately took his life in 1890. Sheaves of Wheat (above) belongs to van Gogh’s last series of paintings, completed in Auvers-sur-Oise between June-July 1890. While he did not exude an Aries’ confidence and self-assurance, Van Gogh’s artistic originality and independence have made him one of the most significant artists of the 19th century.

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Victor Vasarely – April 19

Victor Vasarely is considered one of the primary leaders of the Op art movement of the 1960s. He expanded upon the geometric language of the Bauhaus movement and artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee (both in the DMA’s collection) in order to produce a “dynamized” effect. He believed that this new language transformed relatively stable structures into more vibrant, optical configurations. Vaserely’s designs are a treat for the eye and a challenge for the mind.

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Joán Miró – April 20

Joán Miró’s artistic style is characteristic of an Aries artist. Throughout his prolific career, Miró resisted joining any art movements, preferring to explore and develop a style that was uniquely his own. While frequently equated with the Dada and Surrealist movements of the 1920’s, he never officially joined either group. His style, however, shares some commonalities with these movements, namely his interest in automatic drawings and childlike sensibilities. Miró’s art remained largely consistent throughout his life as he continued to explore these themes and ideas. He is especially noted for his loose, free-flowing shapes, known as “biomorphic” forms. In the 1940s and 1950s, Miró continued to defy traditional artistic traditions by expanding his techniques to new mediums, including etching (as seen above).

And the list of Aries artists goes on! Including such masters as Jean-Honoré Fragonard (April 5), Raphael (April 6), and Leonardo da Vinci (April 15).

Come back next month to learn about our tenacious Taurus artists!

Artworks shown:

  • Vincent van Gogh, Sheaves of Wheat, July 1890, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Victor Vasarely, Meride, 1961-1963, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, Contemporary Arts Council Fund
  • Joán Miró, Woman and Bird in Front of the Moon (Femme et oiseau devant la lune), 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Frances Pratt

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

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