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What Biz Books Are You Reading? Color and Pierre Bonnard

Bonnard-dining-room-country-minneapolis-institute-art
Pierre Bonnard, “Dining Room in the Country,” Minneapolis Institute of Art

It’s really vital to read business, marketing, books about social media, tech and more. Been there, done that! I’ve read tons and tons of business and marketing books. I highly recommend doing that. I dove into dozens of books, which become repetitive. Those books really changed my life. Now I read tons online, cos info updated more frequently and accurate than many books.

I must read ART books. I need to be inside the head of artists I love. To remind me artists are thoughtful and challenge themselves. I am never bored nor reading same old same old while reading Art History and/or Art Theory. I learn so much!

I’m fascinated by “Interpreting Bonnard: Color and Light.” I’ve been reading art history since … the 60s! Since I was a kid, then high school, and especially college. Sadly, my art history classes skimped on any art beyond the Impressionists, or stopped about 1880s. Ouch. Like art ended with Van Gogh.

I have always loved reading bios and writing from my fave artists. I only discovered Pierre Bonnard a few years ago. I was meeting a pal at LACMA. Whenever I have to meet up with someone, I always suggest the nearest bookstore. I was delighted to the LA Museum set up a sale table outside the bookstore.

I discovered “Bonnard Among Friends: Matisse, Monet, Vuillard,” a wonderful book from the Bonnard Museum in France. Pierre Bonnard has a museum? Yet I never heard of him. I was stunned to realize some of my fave graphic, poster and book images are indeed by him.

Plus I’m using one of his most famous images as an icon on my desktop for one of my external hard drives! I found a tiny image online. I was stunned to realize it’s a Pierre Bonnard painting, one of many, of his wife Marthe in the bath. To me, it’s a lot of gorgeous color, not a woman and her dog.

I’m not alone finding him, because he’s being re-discovered. He was a very private artist whose work is timeless and classic. He was overlooked because Picasso’s Cubism was the new hot, early 20th Century thing, while colorists like Bonnard were regarded as old 19th Century.

The downside of this book: the author is a British professor who loves using big words. Worse, he makes statements without any substantiation. It’s a skinny little book, and a few more words would help! I can understand some of it. Mostly, I stare at and study the few images.

Pierre Bonnard was a brilliant colorist, whose friends included the elderly Impressionist Claude Monet and contemporary Fauve Henri Matisse. You could say Bonnard was a bit of both. His use of color is stunning.

Yet so many are now creating tons of social media and marketing images. Yet most have never had ONE art class. No idea about fine art or graphics (two different things). No idea about color, composition, type, layouts, design. That’s why we see SO MANY BORING images online.

More should be reading and studying ART so their images stand out and are memorable. Unique and truly stunning.

Compelling Visual Storytelling is as vital as any other component online. Balance some good art books with marketing books. Win-win.

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