The Sensual Line in Henri Matisse and Gary Komarin

The use of line in drawing can function in many ways. It can be diagrammatic, choppy, tonal, or work in ways that can be defined as sensual or even erotic. The use of line that is erotic or sensual can describe a form, whether human or not, as the drawing could well of a bowl of apples or pears, but more often we think of the use of a sensual line in regards to human form, as human form particularly the female form has curves and hollows that lend themselves to a sensual line.

Komarin “Vessel” 30×23″, 2016, gouache on paper (Left) and Matisse (Right)

When we look at a very lean and elemental drawing of a woman by Matisse we see how very spare he is in his use of line. Picasso did many sensual drawings of the human form as well. Line describes volume and still asserts itself on the page in an abstract fashion, in that the viewer can appreciate the quality of the line in the same way that a singer can appreciate and adore the quality of a musical line apart from the meaning that it conveys.

When Komarin does a vessel drawing or painting, there is often an erotic or sensual aspect. Komarin vessels are entirely made up, though they stem from observing vessels from antiquity, whether Greek, Roman or Egyptian, for many years. A Komarin vessel, like a Matisse drawing, describes the forms involved, but carries with a certain grace like a song beautifully sung under a starry sky.


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