ILLINOIS HISTORICAL ART PROJECT
V. M. S. HANNELL
V. M. S. HANNELL was born in Negaunee, Michigan, on January 22, 1896, and he studied art in Abo, Finland, and in Chicago. He has painted in Finland and in France and, in this country, in Florida and the East. He is a member of the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists and 10 Artists (Chicago), and has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago No-Jury shows. A one-artist exhibition of his work has been held at the Little Gallery in Chicago. His paintings have been commented upon in Chicago newspapers and magazines and in The Arts of New York.
Why does an artist paint? Why do we have this imperative urge to express something that is within ourselves in form and line and color? I hesitate to face a formidable phalanx of leading questions such as a statement, a confession of this kind engenders. Every man's work is an expression of himself. I consider my work as an expression or perhaps as expressing an emotion, as in contrast to a statement of fact or sentimentality. It is the result of any idea or thing interesting to me in any way at the time, whether that interest is kindled by patently ulterior motives, summer sunshine, a yen for red shirts or some high philosophy. It is the spirit of all time or this time, the something which is life, that makes a work of art. Every experience in one's life goes to influence it as a negative or positive factor. Finished painting, good materials, knowledge of theories and technique are part of the palette but do not essentially need to be used to produce a work of art. As to whether the work of an artist is peculiar to his city and his country, it is, as part and parcel of the artist himself. Expression, in the form of art, if it is genuinely expressive, will be peculiar to the artist whose work it is, though not merely as a deviation from other styles of painting, not needing to be justified in the light of any movement or as an operation to uplift the face of beauty. V. M. S. Hannell.