Jan Matulka's Indian Festival in Arizona, leapt out at me from the wall it was hung.To me it was the most stand-out painting of this particular exhibit.The title of the painting helps the understanding of its particular setting.The subjects in the painting are Native Americans dressed in traditional attire as well as elaborate, ornamental costumes.The painting was done from 1917-18 and is considered to be a contribution to the cubist movement.The forms of the subjects have been broken down to simplistic shapes as was popular with cubism.
Indian Festival in Arizona is a vibrant piece.The persons involved have no clear definition.The entire composition is satiated with geometric shapes made to look organic and a strong sense of color and value to define the subjects.Color is the most important element utilized in this piece.He ( I am guessing that it is a he) uses bright, warm colors such as reds and oranges right next to darker, cooler colors such as purples and blues to create contrast and develop value throughout the piece and appears to direct your attention to the vivid, flashy, warm colors.That is to say even though the darker colors seem to be in the majority, it is the brighter colors that catch your eye with their flamboyance.He uses repetition with many of the colors and combinations thereof to carry your eye all throughout the painting.How the shape and color of the woman's bowl and its intense gold contents are recurring throughout the painting is an excellent example of this technique.
The line in this piece is next in importance.The line really impacts the movement of the piece.It seems to help distinguish the characters while at the same time making the painting more abstract and cubistic.He uses some curvilinear lines that are very dynamic throughout the piece and seem to bring the attention down.These lines look to be at a diagonal tilt and curve in different directions a…


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