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August 31, 2015
For me, when I think of Cy Twombly, I always think of his paintings. But he was a fantastic sculptor and I wanted to share his work with you in this post! The sculpture is as abstract as his paintings. Abstract expressionism is not always so clearly “acceptable” as the forms are not always as identifiable as say looking at an impressionist painting.
Emerging from the New York art world of the early 1950s, Cy Twombly brought a distinctive approach to painting and sculpture that evaded precise affiliation with the predominant movements of the twentieth century, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Minimalism. Inspired by ancient Mediterranean history and geography,
Greek and Roman mythology, and epic poetry, Twombly created—sometimes on a grand scale, in multiple-panel works—a sometimes-inscrutable world of iconography, metaphor, and myth. The breadth of Twombly’s imagination and his interdisciplinary approach to subjects traverse vast distances,
resulting in works that are at once baroque and spare, modern and ancient
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928, Edwin Parker Twombly Jr. (known by his father’s nickname, Cy) grew up as a quiet child with artistic inclinations. As a boy he was a voracious reader, checking out books from the Washington and Lee University library; he also ordered art kits from the Sears & Roebuck catalogue.
At 12 he began to take
private art lessons with the Spanish modern master Pierre Daura, who had moved to the U.S. following the outbreak of World War II.
In 1948 Twombly attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, developing an interest in aspects of Dada and Surrealism, especially the art of Kurt Schwitters and Alberto Giacometti. After a year at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students’ League,
where he first met Robert Rauschenberg. Encouraged by his fellow artist, Twombly enrolled in Black Mountain College near Ashville, North Carolina, where he studied under Franz Kline, Ben Shahn, and Robert Motherwell (who soon came to consider Twombly “the most accomplished young painter and one of the most ‘natural’ artists of his generation”).
That same year, Twombly had his first solo show in New York, at the Kootz Gallery; some saw in Twombly’s work an affinity with Kline’s black-and-white gestural expressionism and with Paul Klee’s innocent, childlike imagery.
Seeking to “experience European cultural climates both intellectual and aesthetic,” as he wrote in his grant application, Twombly was awarded a travel fellowship by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 1952, and, with Rauschenberg, set off for North African, Spain and Italy. Twombly would later write of his journeys that the experience was “like finding many wonderful rooms in a house that you never knew existed.” For the rest of the 1950s, Twombly traveled back and forth between New York and Italy, making art; he also served in the U.S. Army as a cryptologist.
Twombly settled in Rome at the end of the decade and began exhibiting his paintings and sculptures throughout Europe, where he achieved the degree of renown accorded his closest contemporaries back in the U.S., Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. He has passed this year.
So when you see one of his scribble paintings, also remember his talent for sculpture!
August 26, 2015
While in San Francisco, I caught a of fabulous exhibit of FRANCESCA WOODMAN. The photographs remind me a lot of Man Ray for some reasons and I really loved the etherial quality. I hope you enjoy her work. Some, at once disturbing and difficult to define. Some, I found myself just staring out for a while.
This is the write up from the museum,
“Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) was an artist decisively of her time, yet her photographs retain an undeniable immediacy. Thirty years after her death, they continue to inspire audiences with their dazzling ambiguities and their remarkably rich explorations of self-portraiture
and the body in architectural space. This retrospective, the first in the United States in more than two decades, explores the complex body of work produced by the young artist until her suicide at age 22. Together with Woodman’s artist books and videos, the photographs on view form
a portrait of an artist engaged with major concerns of her era — femininity and female subjectivity, the nature of photography — but devoted to a distinctive, deeply personal vision.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
It’s difficult at times to find the proper words to describe certain works. You just want to slip the images right under the viewer’s nose, feeling certain he will understand and share the feeling that, yes, nothing need be said. It’s also demands a great effort to evaluate as photographs, pictures that look like rehearsals,
the act of practicing in preparation for being an angel.
The photographs that Francesca Woodman took between 1975 and 1981 belong to this category. They cause the same kind of confusion that’s so common when we speak about love: the ambiguity only increases with the strength of the feelings involved. In these pictures ambiguity reigns sovereign, fruit of the artist’s respect for her
inner world and her curiosity concerning a fragmentary but strong-felt reality.
The influence of surrealism must also be considered for its interpretations of the female body, which represented a break with traditional models of representation. But even in this case, it would be risky to look for influences which, in the long run, might not hold much water. If surrealism sublimated the chance events, Woodman’s
photographs seem to be a complex of combinations, a space for the transitory, for change, but her work has little or nothing to do with the idea of improvisation.
Woodman was photographer and model, subject and object, at the same time. She utilized the female body to develop her own self-knowledge and not some representative but generic model of the world. The images of the body that this young American was experimenting with suggest a diffuse intimacy while tending to dissuade a
voyeuristic approach. Unlike most of the images we are faced with on a daily basis, where the body is treated like a commodity to be used and consumed, or an icon to adore at safe distance, Francesca Woodman employs her body to initiate a dialog with herself. She places her body in familiar settings, though at the limits of our experience,
presenting it as a symbol of receptivity, a meeting place between herself and the rest of the world, a communicative model in which information about her experience is presented and reflected upon. She uses her own body as a model to investigate her own vision and not another’s vision of her body. Woodman projects images and symbols,
hopes and fears onto the female body. She uses it like a gesticulative vector not fully known to her, communicating to the viewer the novelty of her encounter.
On the one hand, this attitude was motivated by the artist’ s own youth, since these pictures were taken when Woodman was in her late teens and early twenties, in the years before she committed suicide. Art critic Kathryn Hixon wrote in her essay “Essential Magic” (Zurich, 1992): “Woodman’s pictures are not de-constructive, but constructive.
She added layers of reflection and mimicry within the photograph to confound the transparent recording of the real. The images become psychological portraits of the identity of the body, rather than identifying physical portraits that reveal the psyche.” To mention the psychological component is very important in the analysis of Woodman’s oeuvre.
The symbolic reconstruction of reality, without doubt, can be considered as a mechanism in the recognition/awareness of reality itself. It’s as though the artist were researching into the formation of her own personality by exhibiting— sometimes even in the photographs themselves — her impulses, reflections, vulnerability, her awareness of the moment,
and the horror of sudden absence. These are psychological portraits: not the visual records of daily existence but episodes in which the expressive capability of the artist’s imagination is intertwined with the richness and intimacy of her own life. Yes, we know, it takes a great effort to become an angel, and yet her pictures are still fluttering somewhere around our minds.
Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) was an artist decisively of her time, yet her photographs retain an undeniable immediacy. Thirty years after her death, they continue to inspire audiences with their dazzling ambiguities and their remarkably rich explorations of self-portraiture and the body in architectural space. This retrospective, the first in the
United States in more than two decades, explores the complex body of work produced by the young artist until her suicide at age 22. Together with Woodman’s artist books and videos, the photographs on view form a portrait of an artist engaged with major concerns of her era — femininity and female subjectivity, the nature of photography —
but devoted to a distinctive, deeply personal vision.
August 19, 2015
I have been on a kick in blogging about my favorites from the 1940′s, especially recently Maison Jensen.
In keeping with my theme, that I didn’t realize I was on, I am bringing you one of thee all time greats! SERGE ROCHE!
Now, you may not know his name, but I am positive you all know his work. It has been an inspiration to many current designers and is very much sought after and collected.
Just a quick note, it is great to have people be inspired by others designs.
I always find it funny when the ignorant insist that something is a copy. My dears, as is always said, there is nothing new. So let’s not and never take the time to waste on trying to find origins, but yet lets celebrate the design.
Where this comes from, I got into an argument about Frank Stella vs. Josef Albers. So, just enjoy! and celebrate talent-now, on to the good stuff!
Roche’s designs definielty rank amongst my favorites. right around 1930, Roche produced furniture and objets d’art that had a very fluid feminine feel to them. He used stucco and mirrors to crete the
most outstanding examples of fireplaces and obelisks, and my total favorite-MIRRORS!. Roche’s ornate white plaster creations, notably floor lamps, mires and sconces epitomize Hollywood Regency and pre-war interior glamour.
Roche was an artist with an eclectic personality, he became very famous not only because of his “objects of mirror” and eery original pieces of furniture, but also because of his capabilities as an art dealer.
August 12, 2015
I have always been intrigued with installation art, as I have mentioned on many occasions. So I thought with this blog I would bring to you a world renowned installation artist. Robert Therrien’s work is above all comical and when you look at installations art, the first thought is that anyone could pull it off.
That’s what they say about boho chic also- And we all know what bad and missed opportunities look like.
Installation art takes a lot of thought to convey to the viewer without words necessarily what they are viewing. It is definitely a medium that demands attention and will most certainly evoke an emotion.
Therrien is known as an object maker who transforms elements from everyday life into works of art that evoke mythic archetypes. Working both two- and three-dimensionally, he has created a deceptively simple oeuvre that lends itself to psychological interpretation with its evident fascination with
childhood, its anxieties and fantasies. While his mentors would seem to include a generation of Pop artists, his work also attests to the impact of Conceptualism as well as folk culture, cartoons, and everyday objects.
In 1993, Therrien made a significant breakthrough that influenced all his ensuing work. . The work – Under the Table (1994), a colossal wooden kitchen table and chair set measuring ten
feet by twenty-six feet — marked a new direction for Therrien. He found that by recreating everyday objects true to their original material and color, but on a greatly enlarged scale, the viewer’s relationship to them changed dramatically. In an exhibition there were four gigantic sculptures, each of which
relates to the acts of stacking and folding. No Title (Folding Table and Chairs) comprises four sets of card tables and chairs in authentic ‘institutional’ tones of beige, brown, and green. The monumentality of these objects invites the viewer to walk around and beneath them, altering perspective and
experience to render a formerly familiar situation strange. In No Title (Stacked Plates) andNo Title (Pots and Pans II), Therrien similarly remakes everyday domestic accoutrements in new and uncannily large proportions, then assembles them into precariously balanced towers standing almost eight feet tall.
No Title (Red Room) (2000-2007) took Therrien seven years to realize, gathering and arranging 888 red objects inside a custom-made closet with Dutch doors. His meticulous assembly of objects both found and made–red shoes, red laces, red lanterns, red sweaters, red bricks, red canisters, and so on—prompts
various associations, for example, from the object/group relationship in Matisse’s Red Studio (1911), to the total environment of Cildo Meireles’ Red Shift (1967-1984), or Louise Bourgeois’ The Red Room—Parents (1994) and The Red Room–Child (1994). In Therrien’s work, however, the red items are subsumed
into the background, the seemingly disparate objects becoming a unified, monochromatic whole.
Robert Therrien was born in Chicago in 1947. His work has been exhibited throughout the world since the 1970s, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.
August 7, 2015
I seem to be on a Washington Color School kick at the moment. Today’s post is another one of these fabulous artists!
Believe it or not, Paris and New York don’t hold the monopoly on influential visual art movements; D.C. is the home of theWashington Color School, a group of painters deeply attuned to the Color Field Movement, who brought their
own twist to the burgeoning genre in the early 1960s. The Color Field painters wanted to rid their art of unnecessary subtext and context, letting their bold abstract works speak to the nature and psychology of the colors they used.
Artists like Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still helped define the movement as it created an entirely new form of abstract expressionism;
Washington Color School painters like Paul Reed took the bold colors but left behind the expressionism, creating intense works with strong movement that each stood as its own piece, without the emotion.
I love his work and hope you enjoy this post!
August 3, 2015
I was in the Guggenheim the other week, and was so adoring the Kandinskys, that I thought it would be great to learn more about him. I never understood the references to the musical instruments, I just always knew his work and style. so in learning about him, was fascinating.
I hope you like the post!
“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” — Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky is considered to be the originator of abstract art, and believed that art could visually express musical compositions. Merry Structure by Wassily Kandinsky,
Kandinsky, himself an accomplished musician, once said “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” The concept that color and musical harmony are linked has a long history,
intriguing scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton. Kandinsky used color in a highly theoretical way associating tone with timbre (the sound’s character), hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. He even claimed that when he saw color he heard music.
July 29, 2015
As “everybody knows”, a dear friend of mine always likes to say! I have a love of the group of British artists that are considered like the “rat pack”. Forward thinking, edgy, no boundaries
Sardonic, mis-behaved and wildly talented! TRACEY EMIN is that gal!
I hope you enjoy this post!
Tracey Emin is one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists.
Her work features painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video, neon and sculpture. Works that are by turns tough, romantic, desperate, angry, funny and full of longing.
Since the early 1990s, Emin (b.1963) has used her own life as the starting point for her art, exposing the most harrowing and intimate details of her personal history.
Sometimes confrontational or sexually provocative, her work resonates with the ‘personal political’ legacy of feminist art while at the same time speaking to relationships in general. Disarmingly frank and yet often profoundly private, much of Emin’s art –– is also animated by her playful and ironic wit.
July 24, 2015
I recently came across an article on YAYOI KUSAMA and I thought what a great artist to bring to you! She is one of the female artists garnering the highest prices for her work! Millions of dollars. I love art like this, as, no, can one say this on the caliber of a Modigliani?
Well, that is an interesting debate. You can compare lots of interesting art and try to make sense. I love art like this because I believe it is more about the artists life and the experiences you need to see. Abstract is hard. Especially if you are used to figural. But this is a recurring theme. I
love it, and I hope you enjoy this post!
She was the first Japanese woman ever to recieve the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan’s most prestigous awards for international artists.
She has exhibited her work with Andy Warhol, the most iconic pop-art figure, ever.
She protested war.
She has voluntarily lived in a mental hospital since 1974, and art has saved her life.
Yayoi Kusama was a grew up in a world of hallucinations and severe obsessions, comforted (yet at the same time, frightened) only by the endless patterns of the universe:
“One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space,
and be reduced to nothingness. As I realized it was actually happening and not just in my imagination, I was frightened…”
Of all of the patterns that show up in her work, dots (infinity nets) overwhelm all others.
“…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm.
Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity.”
By painting people with dots, she feels she gives them innocence, and obliterates their adult status. She associates the dots with endlessness and nothingness – and they are her obsession.
“Since my childhood, I have loved the round image of dots. Over several decades, dots have created, working together with net patterns, various types of paintings, sculptures, events and installations. They have indeed been moving freely about in the heaven of forms and shapes. Dots have taught me the proof of my existence. They scatter proliferating love in the universe and raise my mind to the height of the sky. This mysterious dots obsession. Dots even enter my dreams with art playing a trick on them, art which I love so deeply.” -2006
Yayoi Kusama lives only blocks away from a studio, where she is still producing art at an astonishing rate – Japanese was her second language…
Art was her first.
Yayoi Kusama arrived in New York in 1958 and quickly became known as an artist there. Her work includes sculptures, books, performance art, installations and photo collages. Although Kusama showed with influential artists in New York, she never
achieved long term critical or financial support and returned to Tokyo in the mid-seventies.
Kusama began her career by showing paintings in New York. These “net paintings” were large works with circular repetitive patterns. Her first sculpture (probably 1961) was an armchair covered with stuffed fabric phallic shapes and painted white.
More objects covered with these phalluses followed. Kusama has also covered objects such as suitcases, coats and mannequins with macaroni and paint. Her installations often feature mirrors and polka dotted objects. The installation Narcissus Garden
is comprised of 1500 mirror balls floating in water.
Yayoi Kusama’s mental illness began in childhood when she began hallucinating the dots, nets and flowers which subsequently appear in her paintings and sculptures. Kusama’s most noted work was created between 1958-1968 in New York City.
In 1998, she had a retrospective called Love Forever at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The example here, My Flower Bed (1965-66), is made of painted, covered mattress springs and stuffed gloves. This piece shows her frequent use of repetition and every day objects. The work suggests, as do the sculptures pictured in the background,
a fragmented biomorphism and a lush and out of control blooming.
July 20, 2015
I now find myself onto Color Field Painters. so at the top of my list is MORIS LOUIS! I am sure that you have seen his work in many museums. He is one of, or shall I say another of my all time greats!
Morris Louis (born Morris Louis Bernstein, 28 November 1912 – 7 September 1962) was an American Abstract expressionist Painter. During the 1950s he became one of the earliest exponents of Color Field painting. Living in Washington D.C. Louis,
along with Kenneth Noland and other Washington painters formed an art movement that is known today as the Washington Color School
The basic point about Louis’s work and that of other Color Field painters, sometimes known as the Washington color School in contrast to most of the other new approaches of the late 1950s and early 1960s, is that they greatly simplified the idea of what constitutes
the look of a finished painting. They continued in a tradition of painting exemplified by Jackson Pollack, Clyford Still, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell. Eliminating gestural, compositional drawing in favor of large areas of raw canvas, solid planes of thinned
and fluid paint, utilizing an expressive and psychological use of flat, and intense color and allover, repetitive composition. One of Louis’s most important series of Color field Paintings were his Unfurleds
July 15, 2015
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I think growing up in the garment center in Manhattan is really to blame! All the crap games and three card monty while waiting for my grandfather to finish up for the day!
Less, I digress! So, I walk into the TATE MODERN and arriving at the top of the stairs to see thee most stunning HENRY MOORE sculpture I had ever seen! I immediately thought,”now I know where they all are”
and then I thought how I could get it out of the museum! Way too many espionage novels as a kid when my father wasn’t looking! But really, if you are not familiar with HENRY MOORE read on! And if you are then enjoy the images!
I have put some of my favorite images of his work, and I am positive you will immediately know his work and all of those artists that are current that have been very inspired by his work, lets just say.
HENRY SPENCER MOORE 1898-1986 was an English sculptor and artist. His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-adn-child or reclining figures. Moore’s works are usually suggestive of the female body apart from a phase in the ’50′s when he sculpted family groups. Moore became very well known for his larger scale abstract sculptures that were carved in marble or cast in bronze.
I could keep writing but the most important thing is to just see if he strikes your fancy. He was a genius and the start of all of this modern interpretation, at a time when they were still copying the classics in sculpture.