Only Red in arts.
Only Red in arts.

Only Red in arts.

                                                                          Here’s the art series on the theme of Red.

Red, with its warm vibrancy, is at home in many works of art. Red has always fascinated because of its ability to catch the eye of the artist and the public, to stand out from other colours and to highlight juxtaposed colours.


                                                                                     Yu Miyazaki, Japanese artist

“Red”, I write, “is the colour of life. It’s blood, passion, rage. It is the menstrual flow and after birth. Violent beginnings and violent endings. Red is the colour of love. Beating hearts and hungry lips. Roses, Valentine’s Day, cherries. Red is the colour of shame. Crimson cheeks and spilt blood. Broken hearts, open veins. A burning desire to return to white.

Mary Hogan, “Pretty face”

   Yayoi Kusama, “Kusama Dots obsession”, 2012, mixed media installation.

This is a perfect illustration of Kusama’s production, based on polka dots, inflatable balloons and mirrors.

                                                                                      Nicolas de Stael, “Red Sky”, 1954

You have to go to Sicily, to Agrigento, which inspired de Staël so much, and experience the overwhelming visual shock of this perched village, like a wall overlooking ancient sites in ochre and red. Imagine a Greek temple, but with red columns! Fabulous. De Staël destroys the boundaries between abstraction and figuration, using the subject as a pretext – and what is the subject, a languid woman, a landscape?

Nicolas de Stael, “Red Flowers”, 1953

The art of red and colour in Nicolas de Staël, with flamboyant results!

Frantisek Kupka, “The Form of Vermilion”, 1923

What joy emanates from colour, a jubilant lyricism in which colour becomes the essential element, at the origin of forms and movement.


Esther Sarto, gouache “Butchershop bliss”, 2019, Copenhague.


Anish Kapoor, “Monumenta/Le Leviathan”, 2011, Grand Palais, Paris

Striking, spellbinding, impressive… this monumental sculpture left no spectator indifferent. An unforgettable physical and artistic experience.


Picasso, “Lino”, 1962

This is an example of the linocut technique used by the Master, which involves gouging a sheet of linoleum, inking it, then placing it on a support (paper) and passing the whole thing through an intaglio press.

                                                                   Miki Katoh, “Demonic flame with a hundred flowers”, 2013

Miki Katoh is a Japanese artist who has made the kimono, the traditional garment so fantasised about, her subject of study.
For over 10 years, she has been creating portraits of modern women dressed in Japanese style. Her illustrations, known and appreciated the world over, depict highly contemporary characters against sometimes traditional backdrops, all in perfect harmony of colours, sometimes pastel, sometimes explosive.

Tony Cragg, sculpture

Tony Cragg develops the deep red in this form composed of curves and counter-curves.


Luciano Fontana, “Concetto spaziale”, 1960

The tearing of the canvas adds depth to the flatness of the red.

Chiharu Shiota, “Dialogue from DNA”, installation, Krakow, 2004

These red threads linking different shoes in the same place are a symbol of the link!

Alexander Calder, “L’araignée rouge”, steel sculpture, 1976, Parvis de la Défense, Paris

Sculpture and red break the cold uniformity of concrete and glass.


Yves Klein, monochrome red


Franck Gerard

The Madonna reading by Carpaccio


“L’atelier rouge”, Matisse, 1911.


“La plage rouge”, Matisse, oil on canvas painted in the small port of Collioure in July-August 1905.
This canvas is part of the collection of The Courtauld Art Gallery in London.


                                                                Red Winter, Dirk Fleischmann (also known as niphisi).

With a sense for the small miracles of everyday life, he likes to show minimalism in its purest form. His search for silence and serenity is reflected in most of his work. Dreams, beautiful moments full of melancholy and sensual perception are important parts of his life in an increasingly hectic world.

“La drosera”, Otto Pienne, 
German painter, co-founder with Heinz Mack of the ZERO group.


Luis Carlos Carrera, contemporary Brazilian painter

                                 “The key in the hand”, a work by Chiharu Shiota, for the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

It’s immersive, dreamlike and magnificent. Especially with this somewhat disturbing soundtrack.
Thousands of keys suspended from red wires that cover the ceiling as if in a cave, with two boats floating in the middle.
A message with strong symbols: the keys (happiness?), the boats (freedom for migrants?)…
What do you see?

Dice by Gilles Barbier 


Piotr Unklanski


Rita Kernn-Larsen, Self-portrait (Connais-toi toi-même), 1937, oil on canvas

                                                                                   Georgia O’Keeffe, Sunrise, 1916.

In New York in 1908, Georgia O’Keeffe discovered an exhibition of drawings by Rodin in the avant-garde gallery 291. Little did she know that 10 years later it would be her paintings that would be exhibited there by Alfred Stieglitz, the brilliant photographer she would marry a few years later. From then on, her life was divided between the skyscrapers of New York and the vastness of Lake George and New Mexico, where she settled in 1940. Wherever she went, she drew inspiration from nature to paint, from the petals of a flower to the starry sky, and above all, she transformed her perceptions into visions bordering on abstraction. Under her brush, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, Georgia O’Keeffe tells us all about the dreams of freedom, space and silence that drive her.

Throughout her 60 years of creative work, the painter accompanied and often stimulated the great artistic currents of North America: the modernism of the 1920s, the search for identity in the 1930s and the advances in abstract painting in the 1960s.


                                                 La japonaise, Claude Monnet, 1876, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

This work, also entitled “Japonerie”, was exhibited at the second Impressionist painters’ exhibition, and the large painting aroused passionate reactions.
Taking on a human-sized model was an exercise in style and a clear test of virtuosity.
For this painting, the artist forgot the Impressionist codes and preferred a marked realism with a figure with defined contours, unlike his landscape paintings.
Here, Monet flirts with the exotic, putting Japan in the foreground.

The painting shows a European woman wearing a Japanese kimono.

The model is Camille Doncieux, the master’s first wife, who poses as a Parisian dressed as a Japanese woman and wears a blond wig to emphasise her European origins.
Monet showed great mastery of colour, using warm, vivid tones, and was largely inspired by Japanese prints, of which he was a fervent collector. The kimono is said to have been imported from the Kabuki theatre.

The model looks at the viewer with connivance, fanning herself with a Japanese fan or “ôgi”.
The theme of the work reflects the painter’s attraction to the Land of the Rising Sun, as evidenced by the water garden at his house in Giverny.

The painting was not sold immediately because of its sexual ambiguity (the drawings on the kimono in front of the model’s private parts), which was denounced by the critics of the time.
Although it is one of the masterpieces of art history, Monet himself disowned the painting, believing that the depiction of his beloved wife lacked naturalness and did not pay homage to her.


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