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10 Painters’ Lives Chronicled as Infographics

Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Detail of “Visualising Painter’s” Lives by Accurat (all images courtesy Accurat)

At about the same time Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock was losing himself to depression, Matisse’s longterm relationship with his wife was unwinding, and when Mondrian was discovering Cubism, Miró was delving into Surrealism. All these little landmarks of 10 abstract painters’ lives have been charted into infographic form, so you can contrast the timelines of what it takes to be an artist.

The infographics, part of a project called “Visualising Painters’ Lives,” were made by the Milan-based design agency Accurat under the direction of Giorgia Lupi and Michela Buttignol. They’ve also mapped “geographies of time” by social media use and created a visual data column for La Lettura.

“The painters’ selection was arbitrary,” the creators explained to Hyperallergic. “We selected 10 we found more materials about, almost contemporary as a time span, and sharing the same influences. We selected abstract painters because our attempt was to ‘abstract’ shapes and elements we could re-use as symbols to build the visualization with.”

All 10 timelines together
All 10 timelines together (click to view larger)

On each of the painter’s individual charts these begin with a sort of logo compiled from their iconic shapes, as well as their hand usage and zodiac sign, and then sprawl out into travels, acquaintances with the influential, awards, important exhibitions, and color charts of their styles, major works, and controversies, making it more than just a timeline, although like a timeline it does culminate in their ultimate death with a tiny black cross. Each of the 10 artists has their own symbolism used to mark acquaintances or other details, such as some crossed gold mobile lines for Miró and black splatters of paint for Pollock, and their color palette shifts as the years and art periods tick by.

Where they are all layered together on a “visual index page,” you can really see the breadth of their careers, with Pollock’s shockingly short in comparison to Picasso, or the wealth of love affairs, where Picasso again wins and Mondrian goes forward unattached. A woman named Lily Stumpf also appears as a love interest for both Klee and Kandinsky, and you can even compare traveling and see Matisse rambling from all over from Paris to London to Morocco to Russia to the United States.

Here are excerpts from each of the 10 artist’s infographic lives:

Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Pollock’s infographic (click to view larger)
Detail of Pollock's timeline
Pollock’s early life troubles, including the death of his father and battles with depression, although then he gets to meet Lee Krasner
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Picasso’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Picasso's timeline
Picasso’s numerous love affairs
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Miró’s life (click here to view larger)
Detail of Miro's timeline
Miro’s impressive acquaintances
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Mondrian’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Mondrian's timeline
Mondrian getting his start, along with his influences
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Klee’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Klee's timeline
Chronicle of Klee’s art periods, major works, and color palette
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Boccioni’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Boccioni's timeline
Boccioni’s art career, cut short by his death in WWI
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Kandinsky’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Kandinsky's timeline
Kandinsky was right handed, and a Sagittarius
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Klimt’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Klimt's timeline
Detail of Klimt’s life, where his works were criticized as pornographic
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Dalí’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Dalí's timeline
Dalí tries out all the art movements
Visualising Painter's Lives by Accurat
Matisse’s life (click to view larger)
Detail of Matisse's timeline
Matisse’s busy travels and crossing love affairs

View all of Accurat’s “Visualising Painters’ Lives” infographics on their Flickr.

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