Saturday, October 15, 2011

Orfly

Pleasantly connected to Orphic and Orpheus and seal sounds that actually don't exist, this is from the first page of the comic supplement of The Chicago Tribune of September 16, 1906, exhibited at the Whitney Museum as part of its Lyonel Feininger exhibit. The text of the first panel reads:

This is the way Willie Winkie told it to me: You see, Unkie Fein- / inger, de ole sun was hot and tired, an orfly fretty, and wanted so bad to / have his face washed with a cool sponge and be put to bed, ‘cause he’d got / up early and been shining so hard all day long.

The sun is a bald, baby-old man face of an orb hung in a yellow sky.

As described in Feininger's online biography published by Ohio State University's Cartoon Library & Museum, Wee Willie Winkie’s World was the second strip Feininger wrote for the Tribune. Named after the nursery rhyme character,* "Wee Willie Winkie’s World first appeared . . . in August 19, 1906. The concept of Wee Willie Winkie’s World was similar to Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland. The comic centered on a wandering boy who brings elements in nature to life through his imagination. This strip was also short-lived, with its last appearance on January 20, 1907."




This is Carnival in Gelmeroda II, a 1909 work.

I liked paintings like this the most, something about Feininger's colors.




This is Edge of the Wood, Lobbe 1907.

Wasn't at the Whitney.







Neither was this,
The Proposal
1906.





Or this.

Steam Train 1908.







Feininger spent time in Paris from 1906 to 1908.


Is this a self-portrait?

I was interested to see that Feininger had composed music. Amazingly, three of his organ fugues are going to be played at Carnegie Hall this coming Friday by Leon Botstein's American Symphony Orchestra. It's too bad the Whitney provided so little space for Feininger's musical work. Part of what makes the artist so interesting was his capacity for working in so many mediums.

On a completely different note, I just want to say that although the name Lyonel is winning, the name LĂ©onell (which was his at birth) is as good. I wonder when he began to live as Lyonel.


[Feininger images via the Splog of Michael Sporn Animation, Inc.]

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