The Daily Iowan

Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

UI Theater Department and UI Stanley Museum of Art partner to present a lecture about pointillism painter Georges Seurat.

Attendees+observe+artwork+during+a+Pointillism+workshop+at+the+Stanley+Art+Museum+on+Saturday+March+9.+The+event+was+a+collaboration+between+the+art+and+theater+department.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

Attendees observe artwork during a Pointillism workshop at the Stanley Art Museum on Saturday March 9. The event was a collaboration between the art and theater department.

Attendees observe artwork during a Pointillism workshop at the Stanley Art Museum on Saturday March 9. The event was a collaboration between the art and theater department.

Ryan Adams

Attendees observe artwork during a Pointillism workshop at the Stanley Art Museum on Saturday March 9. The event was a collaboration between the art and theater department.

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Attendees observe artwork during a Pointillism workshop at the Stanley Art Museum on Saturday March 9. The event was a collaboration between the art and theater department.

Haley Triem, Arts Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A group of people stands in a small room, studying a painting. From far away, the painting seems to be of nothing in particular — just a solid purple-black canvas with a spotlight shown on it. But as the people step in closer, they notice that the painting consists of thousands of little colored dots, and the “spotlight” effect is created not by an actual light, but from the corona of colors spreading out from the center.

The technique is called pointillism, and it was made famous by artist Georges Seurat.

At 3 p.m. March 9, the University of Iowa Theater Department and UI Stanley Museum of Art partnered to present a lecture regarding Seurat’s short career and his profound impact on other artists. The lecture was designed to correspond with the UI theater production Sunday in the Park with George, which was performed this past weekend in Mabie Theater.

“Today, I’m going to talk to you about some of the works in our collection that have to do with Seurat’s technique, artists who were looking at similar subject matters and how they approached them,” Visiting Assistant Professor Kimberly Datchuk said. “His influence on thinking about color and how that creates a composition.”

She pointed to the purple corona painting as she said this and explained that Seaurat’s work and his pointillism technique inspired the artist of the piece, Sally Drummond.

RELATED: DITV: Staging the Painting

“Seurat was a neoimpressionist artist in France in the late-19th century,” Datchuk said. “He was interested in the way colors worked together. He didn’t use large parts of color, but instead used little dots of color and the juxtaposition of these dots to create an image. These polar colors, or complementary colors, and the juxtaposition of the colors created a really rich palette — a really luminous canvas.”

Sally Drummond’s Reinhardt, although seemingly simple, is a mastery of light and color.

“Subtle changes in gradation are used to create a luminosity in the canvas that makes it seem like there’s a bright spotlight in the canvas that it glows from within,” Datchuk said. “In the work that we have here, it has a subtle transition between blacks. She’s really playing with the idea of light and shadow and the meditative qualities what they can produce.”

Drummond’s mastery of color and light uses the pointillistic technique of placing colors next to each other to trick the eye into blending them together. The technique, most famous in Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, is what inspires the production Sunday in the Park with George

.

“Seurat’s painting is a large scene of people relaxing and enjoying their Sunday afternoon,” Datchuk said. “They’re enjoying the water, being in the sunlight, being in the shade. We have all different classes of people out there enjoying this.”

RELATED: A musical painted across time: Sunday in the Park with George

Seurat’s technique, made most famous with this piece, has paved the way for future pointillistic artists to harness light and luminosity through minuscule dots.

“This really unusual and wonderful tension between the clear distinction of all the figures creates a static scene,” Datchuk said. “The light, the way it plays off the colors makes the canvas shimmer. The way he uses whites is very unique. Seurat is really able to capture that luminosity, and the changes that happens in life. That fleeting beauty in the color white.”

Seurat’s work, as well as the play Sunday in the Park with George, invites viewers to step back and enjoy the subtleties — the little things in life — that can make a normal Sunday afternoon shimmer and glow with beauty.

“When you step back, there is a shadowed, volume effect within the people,” Datchuk said. “Seurat used peachy tones in the skin tones. He made realistic colored people. He’s trying to have a close relationship with what he’s seeing.”

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Haley Triem, Arts Reporter

Haley Triem is an arts reporter and cartoonist with The Daily Iowan. She is a sophomore at the University of Iowa and is studying English, creative writing,...

Navigate Left
  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Fur of the moment: The Furry community in Iowa City

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    In a dialogue with art, UI graduate student gives her perspective on woodworking

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    UI alum to read from first novel, “Lucy, go see”

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Wild Prairie Winds breezes through unique music

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Undergraduate filmmakers to present thesis films to the public

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Hancher announces 2019-20 season lineup, including 3 broadway shows

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Tallest Man on Earth blows the roof off Englert

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Photos: The Tallest Man On Earth (5/2/2019)

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Finding therapy in a few lines

  • Saturday at the Stanley: A practice in pointillism

    Arts

    Hip-Hop from the Heartland

Navigate Right