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Clairefontaine Courants d'Arts Limited Edition Notebooks

Clairefontaine Courants d'Arts collection of limited edition notebooks were created to honor three distinct styles of modern art: Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Although the artwork on the covers is not attributed to any artists in particular, it is easy to see that it strongly reflects masterpieces from Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson Pollock. Being a fan of modern art I was immediately drawn to the Courants d'Arts notebooks, and a brief review of art history on Wikipedia.org enhanced my appreciation of these major influences in modern art.

(Clairefontaine Courants d'Arts Pop Art Notebook)

With its bold bright colors and graphics the Courants d'Arts Pop Art Notebook was the first one to catch my eye (maybe I’ve been seeing a few too many movies recently). Pop Art originated in Great Britain and the USA in the 1950’s and employs aspects of mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects. Roy Lichtenstein became well known for incorporating elements of comic book art into such popular works such as Whaam! (1963) and Drowning Girl (1963). My favorite bit of information about him from Wikipedia is this story about his work Look Mickey (1961): “This piece came from a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said; ‘I bet you can't paint as good as that, eh, Dad?’ In the same year he produced six other works with recognizable characters from gum wrappers and cartoons.” Kids!

(Clairefontaine Courants d'Arts Abstract Expressionism Notebook)

Abstract Expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. Jackson Pollock is a well-known influential artist of this movement. He moved away from the tradition of painting on an easel and instead dripped and poured paint onto a canvas on the floor. This method made him feel as if he could literally be in the painting as he was working on it. Eventually Pollock discontinued using names as titles for his paintings and started numbering them instead. This way those viewing them would not have any preconceived ideas of what they were supposed to be looking for and could enjoy the artwork as pure painting.

(Clairefontaine Courants d'Arts Cubisme Notebook)

Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque who were living in Montmartre, Paris at the time. Wikipedia describes cubist artists this way: “they represented all the surfaces of depicted objects in a single picture plane, as if the objects had all their faces visible at the same time. This new kind of depiction revolutionized the way in which objects could be visualized in painting and art.” Cubism was particularly influential between 1907 and 1919 and was inspired by the boldness and simplicity of African, Micronesian and Native American art. Famous examples of cubist paintings include Pablo Picasso's Le guitariste (1910) and Violin and Candlestick (1910) by Georges Braque.

If you've had the opportunity to visit one of the many influential art galleries and museums around the world, no doubt you have seen abundant examples of these three influential styles of modern art. What is your favorite? What kind of artwork would you like to see featured on future Clairefontaine limited edition notebooks?

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