Dubuffet and Nan Hass Feldman


"The Cow with the Subtle Nose", 1954, by Dubuffet.

In a series of occasional blog posts, we've asked a member artist to talk briefly about an artist who's profoundly influenced their work. Artist Nan Hass Feldman tells us about two artists who've profoundly influenced her.

I was introduced to art at a very young age.  My mother signed up for mother and daughter art classes weekly at the Brooklyn Museum when I was ages 3 though 10 years old.  When I turned 12 years old, my closest friend from middle school and I would meet at the subway station at Kings Highway in Brooklyn and travel to Manhattan where we would get off at 8th St. in Greenwich Village and walk up 5th Avenue to 53rd St. where we would visit the Museum of Modern Art.  Then we would walk over to Madison Avenue and visit the Whitney Museum, and on upwards to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We did this almost every Saturday until we were 18 years old and off to college. During these years, I had a few favorite paintings I would visit each week.

 "The Goldfish", by Matisse
Ultimately, Dubuffet's and his painting "The Cow with a Subtle Nose" was my alter-ego and had the qualities I admired that I wanted more to have in my own work.  At the time I was writing my thesis, and my own work involved large mixed-media paintings which  were realistic (though made-up) of architecture, people inside and out, and lots of fantasy.  The works were representaional, though fictional, and took me months to create.  After writing this thesis about the cow, my work totally changed and indeed, the paper did end up being about me after all. 

The second artist I fell head-over-heels about was Matisse.  Of course, he is immensely loved world-wide, but I fell for him also as a very young child.  One painting I remember along with others of his is, "The Goldfish". Matisse's colors, shapes, and subjects are all about color and design without the baggage of correct perspective or true colors and I have been influenced whether consciously or otherwise by him all my life. 


Nan Hass Feldman, The Yellow Tablecloth
 I've attached my painting of "The Yellow Tablecloth" of my dining room which everyone mentions it reminds them of Matisse.  I am sure I did not think of Matisse while I painted this, but I too paint as I see, am focused on my subject as a vehicle for a love of subjective color, patterns, details, and a communication of a more interesting world.

Nan Hass Feldman