Monday, August 14, 2006
Back in the wayback I hardly gave a wink at Raoul Dufy's paintings. I'd take a peripheral glance and decide that they were just naive, superficial cottony fluff that must have dashed off his brush while he was mincing about in his pajamas and munching on a pink ice cream bon-bon.
Some time later, in the early 80's I saw quirky movie shot in black and white with some surrealistic premise. Now I don't remember the name of it but I do recall Bill Murray had a cameo role as a bus driver who(don't ask me how) took tourists on a jaunt to the moon. One of the main characters was a young artist who was obsessed with Raoul Dufy. Somehow this got me round to looking a little closer at Dufy's work and i wasn't displeased. But, I didn't pursue it further.
(By the way, if anyone out there has seen this movie and knows the name, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know because I've scoured cinephile brains in vain)
Then about 4 years ago I saw a major collection of diverse painters at the Phoenix Art Museum - when I came into the room with the large Raoul Dufy painting of his studio, I was transfixed and had to continually return and bathe in the holy light of it.
Then and there he finally reached me - the lines and colors were so simple but filled with grace and light like a breeze from another planet.
So what does Jean Dufy have to do with it? Well, I kind of blundered across some of Jean's paintings while looking through a catalog of Raoul's. Of course Jean was a younger brother of Raoul and he revered him as a master teacher - among others - and, at first glance there is little to distinguish Jean's paintings from Raoul's. After awhile, a subtle difference can be seen.
Interestingly, though Raoul's paintings were often musically inspired Jean actually was a musician; he played classical guitar and jazz bass.
So in honor, of guitarists, jazz bassists, painters, and - perhaps - lovers of pink ice cream bon-bons, I dedicate this blog to the littler-known Jean Dufy.
Jean and one of his paintings above....