The Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring
oil on canvas
36 x 60"

Composer Igor Stravinsky's ballet, "The Rite of Spring" premiered in 1913 at the newly opened Paris Theater des Champs Elysée. The ballet and especially the music was a raucous departure from the classic forms known, beloved, and expected at the time, it was a threshold moment. It was such a transformative event that it caused an uproar, a revolt by the audience, as some described, a riot. It was the birth of modern music. Stravinsky created new music from Russian folk traditions as a rejection of sophisticated European influences just as the Russian nation itself was struggling for its identity.

This painting expresses that notion of dynamism, of change, a transition from Winter to Spring and the complex relationship between blue and orange - color opposites that both contrast and complement one another. In some fashion, the painting evokes Stravinsky’s departure from Western music as it represents a break from traditional Western painting that is typically organized around a single point of focus. The image was created to be viewed holistically – the soft background and the harsh branches - as a single interdependent harmonic.