15 November 2009

MAGNOLIA the New Work of Agnes de Bethune

I am in awe of Agnes de Bethune, and not because of that fabulous name! It is her work that amazes, inspires-fills me with remembrance.

Her words:

"Realism" in painting, at this stage in history is practically meaningless. All paintings are realistic. Any references, however finely depicted, to objects, persons and places are completely incidental to the act of painting, and in my opinion, to the result of that act. As much as a painting may resemble a photograph, or be derived from photographic sources or informed by photographic references, it cannot be a photograph. Painting represents the distillation of emotional responses to the artist's experience of the universe both within and without. It is a physical act of love and of ambition, at once kinesthetic and spiritual.

 Her work:

Magnolia III
(30 x 22)

 Magnolia IV

Her site here 
 another little augury post about Agnes here


  1. These are exquisite paintings. Thank you for sending us to her website. She's a remarkable painter.

  2. Beautiful! I love her work! I wonder if Agnes could be a relative of the Belgian family de Bethune.


  3. Didn't know her and the paintings. Awesome. Now I'm into the Karl Blossfeldt pictures. They are also a realistic/arquitectural approach to nature. Very intriguing ;-)

  4. Lovely quote. I am in the midst of autumn cleanup and marvel at my magnolias planted in remembrance of my childhood. I have gambled planting these trees in my zone, but they continue to survive the sometimes brutal weather here. Everything about these trees, and a I have three different kinds, are unique. With such beautiful flower and leaf, this is the first I have seen an artist focus on the seed pods. Complex, shining red like a pinecone, with the insides furling open, they are unique and treasured by me. O'Keefe would be proud! Magnolias are ancient trees, once medicinal, now simply staggering with beauty. Enough for me.

  5. Remarkable name .... .
    remarkable renderings
    of one of my favorite flowers (pods!)

    Thanks for the introduction -
    I'll look forward to investigating
    a bit more .


  6. Oh my G____d! How generous of you to pay such an extravagant compliment. Thank you for featuring my work.

    And to Greet, may I say, "mais oui," My grandparents came to New York with my 9-year old father between the wars (he is now 90, the last of his generation). My de Béthune cousins still live mostly in Belgium and some in Switzerland.

    Agnes de Bethune
    (I don't use the accent in this country, and I confess, my French is appalling).

  7. Wonderful post, great quote, and the images of the magnolias are so inspiring! Thanks for sharing her with us!




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