slightly abstracted image of two girls with greenish skin blowing blue bubbles through straws; bright colors; girl in LRC seen in profile from PL with bobbed brown hair, wearing a green blouse and holding a blue cup; girl in URC wears a black and red striped blouse and has long reddish brown hair; received attached with masking tape to faded dark rose-colored mat

%C2%A9 Estate Karl Schmidt-Rottluff %2F Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York %2F VG Bild-Kunst%2C Bonn

Girls Blowing Bubbles, 1925

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Two girls concentrate as they blow soap bubbles from straws. Though they are of tender age, angular black outlines define their facial features, hands, and clothing. While the artist captures the iridescence of the bubbles with a superbly refined gradient of blue wash against white paper, he gives the girls chartreuse skin. Decisive, sharp-edged patches of color set off watery patches that seemingly leave much of their effect up to chance. In this moment of silent concentration, the scene radiates energy. The artist, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff balances opposites: the charming and the grotesque; control and abandon. In the early 20th century, Schmidt-Rottluff was one of the leaders of the German Expressionist art movement. He and his peers believed their purpose was not to create images of objects but to convey inner concepts. They transformed visible reality and reduced their creations to what is essential. What are we to make of this image' Schmidt-Rottluff leaves that up to the viewer. Is their pallor tied to the traditional momento mori connotation of bubble blowing' Are they simply two children at play' In any case, he presents us with a humble, nearly universal experience and allows us to explore it through fresh eyes. Conservation of this watercolor was made possible by a generous contribution from Dena and Al Naylor.

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Details
Title
Girls Blowing Bubbles
Artist Life
1884–1976
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2014.122
Provenance
Georg and Dorothy Tillmann, (1882-1941 and d. 1944) Hamburg and Amsterdam; by descent to their son, Wolf G.Tillman (1912-1995) Hamburg, New York, London, and Guernsey; by descent to his wife Charlotte Tillman (nee Gebert); by descent to the present owner (consigned to Thullier); [William Thullier, London, until 2014; sold to MIA]
Curator Approved

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slightly abstracted image of two girls with greenish skin blowing blue bubbles through straws; bright colors; girl in LRC seen in profile from PL with bobbed brown hair, wearing a green blouse and holding a blue cup; girl in URC wears a black and red striped blouse and has long reddish brown hair; received attached with masking tape to faded dark rose-colored mat

© Estate Karl Schmidt-Rottluff / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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