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Lecture Illuminates the Playful World of Artist Raoul Dufy

By Béa Aaronson, PhD

I chose to share with you the art of Raoul Dufy (1877–1953) because of my sadness facing today’s frighteningly chaotic world and its lack of harmony. Dufy will cheer you with a poetical, lyrical, happy perception of life. He will warm you up with his contagious enthusiasm, unfolding a floating dreamlike world that breathes impressionistic freshness and the ephemeral beauty of what he chose to see and paint.

With your eyes, mind, and soul, you will be able to caress his work, the way he caressed his canvases like a playful, tip-toeing dancer, always preferring the medium of watercolor to convey the fleeting essence of life. His colors are purposefully not realistically descriptive. The direct imitation of nature did not interest him at all. He wished to project the happy feelings nature and people awakened in him, the feelings of joy and its simple pleasures. Meeting his art, you will be able to actually feel a most bearable and sought-after lightness of being, far removed from the ugliness he witnessed. Through his use of color and line, Dufy created a world where pain does not exist, a world where color is light, where light is color.

Be ready for a total illumination of your spirits that pervades all of his work, through what he called his theory of “couleur-lumière.” His blues are quite astonishing.

Dufy did not limit himself to just painting. His aesthetic sensitivity flew him into the realms of etching, aquatint, woodcut, ceramics, wallpaper, fabric, fashion—Peggy Guggenheim loved his dresses and wore them. He was also mesmerized by the technology of electricity, and created in its honor a huge fresco, the biggest painting of its epoch, three-tennis-courts large, that will astonish you.

Despite all the beauty Raoul Dufy gave us, which never reeks of self-conscious technique, he was alas criticized for being a decorative society painter within an art world that was radically changing. Nonetheless, his delicate and charming world enthralled collectors who appreciated simple beauty without the aggressive edge of pioneering, progressive art engagé.

Come and enjoy Dufy’s immense love of life, his boundless creative energy, and his sincere belief in a better world, which all of his works project in a bright, smiling, enchanting vision. I invite you to discover the magical work of Dufy, where our inner child will come alive again, where our dreams of simplicity and joy will sing forever.



“Raoul Dufy: The Joy of Painting, The Colors Of Happiness”

Béa Aaronson, PhD

Wed, Dec 12, 4pm

JC3 Jewish Cultural and Community Center

Calle de Las Moras 47, col Guadiana

(Corner Cinco de Mayo)

200 pesos per person



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