Allied Member, ASID
July 27, 2012
I have always loved stripes-and can never get enough of them. I use them a lot in my designing of rooms-a subtle stripe can really offset a pattern fabric beautifully.
Anyway-gene davis is a stripe master!
I hope you enjoy this post!
Davis was born in Washington D.C. in 1920, and spent nearly all his life there. Before he began to paint in 1949, he worked as a sportswriter, covering the Washington Redskins and other local teams.
Working as a journalist in the late 1940s, he covered the Roosevelt and Truman presidential administrations, and was often President Truman’s partner for poker games.
Davis’s first solo exhibition of drawings was at the Dupont Theater Gallery in 1952, and his first of paintings was at Catholic University in 1953. A decade later he participated in the “Washington Color Painters”
exhibit at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, which traveled to other venues around the US, and launched the recognition of the Washington color school as a regional movement in which Davis was a central figure.
The Washington painters were among the most prominent of the mid-century color field painters. Though he worked in a variety of media and styles, including ink, oil, video, acrylic and collage. Davis is best known by
far for his acrylic paintings (mostly on canvas) of colorful vertical stripes, which he began to paint in 1958. The paintings typically repeat particular colors to create a sense of rhythm and repetition with variations.
One of the best-known of his paintings, “Black Grey Beat” (1964), owned by the Smithsonian, reinforces these musical comparisons in its title. The pairs of alternating black and grey stripes are repeated across the canvas,
and recognizable even as other colors are substituted for black and grey, and returned to even as the repetition of dark and light pairs is here and there broken by sharply contrasting colors.
In 1972 Davis created Franklin’s Footpath, which was at the time the world’s largest artwork, by painting colorful stripes on the street in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Artr, and the world’s largest painting,
Niagara (43,680 square feet), in a parking lot in Lewiston, N.Y. His “micro-paintings”, at the other extreme, were as small as 3/8 of an inch square.
July 26, 2012
I always have had a “thing” so to speak for young London artists! For some reason they have an innate sense of instilling their art with a bit of sometimes the macabre. Which, as a good friend of mine, an art dealer just told, me, so does my personality and taste in art!
You’d be forgiven for not realising Idris Khan’s photos were actually photos at all. With their accretions of smudgy black marks, they look more like hand-rendered charcoal drawings than flat
snaps realised at the push of a button. Get up close, though, and the thick black lines dissolve into a spore-like buildup of words or musical notes. His images
are composites built from layered sheets of music, book pages, paintings or other photographs that seem to squeeze journeys in time – like reading or hearing music – into a single picture.
Frederick chopin’s nocturnes for the piano- (2004), for instance, is just what its title claims. The music sheets are photographed and manipulated on a computer by Khan to become a lone image whose blurred hieroglyphs seem to convulse. It’s as if each rendition of Chopin’s music could be seen rather than heard, experienced in one visual
cacophony. In Sigmund Freud-(2006), Khan uses the same technique on the psychoanalyst’s landmark essay on eerie recurrences. In the artist’s image, the crease at the book’s centre is built into a menacing well of darkness, like a trauma waiting to surface.
In fact, although the 31-year-old London-based artist was awarded the Photographer’s Gallery prize in 2004, he doesn’t consider himself a photographer. The camera was simply the tool he turned to as an aspiring art student who longed to paint or play music but couldn’t.
July 25, 2012
A good friend of mine who is very involved in the “ART SCENE” introduced this artist’s work to me and needless to say, my love of installation artists was brought to a new level!
Jennifer Rubell is brilliant to say the least. I am re-printing a review of an installation she did at a museum for you to get the gist of this major talent. Installation art is an art form you either get or think a five year old could do it. A lot like the thoughts of people that don’t understand the contribution of artists like ellsworth kelly for instance. Art is one of my loves and I have studied my whole life, so to see an artist be so brilliant in their medium is amazingly inspirational!
Aside from Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, one of the most famous artworks of all time, food is an under-explored subject in art, especially in comparison with how much of our daily lives it occupies. Artist Wayne Thiebaud is probably the most renowned contemporary painter of food, but the work is predominantly lushly frosted cakes. Claes Oldenburg has done a lot of soft-sculptures—a hamburger, French fries, and ice-cream cones among them—but no one has really made real food into an art form. And aside from a particularly elaborate centerpiece, the catering at museum galas (which are rife in the spring in New York) infrequently ascends to something that qualifies as spectacle.
The Brooklyn Museum’s gala, however, Jennifer Rubell changed all that. She staged a series of “happenings” that elevated her art medium—food and drink—into an interactive bacchanal that was truly lavish. The Harvard University–educated daughter of Don and Mera (the Rubells, of Miami’s renowned art-hoarding dynasty) certainly piled a lot onto her plate in her four-month preparation for the gala. The outcome was a display that referenced seminal artists and artworks. Rubell must have been breast- and spoon-fed a steady diet of art from infancy, as child-like eating rituals were the norm at the museum, with the hands of the 600 participants the predominant utensil.
Drinks were dispensed from large, minimal canvases, each with a spigot, which Rubell calls “Drinking Paintings.” The museum wall labels specified the concoctions each of the “paintings” dispensed and the medium of which they were made. The works were references to “drips” common to Abstract Expressionism, but I found the canvases more akin to leaking unprimed Robert Ryman paintings. Revelers filled their glasses to their hearts’ content—and to their livers’ discontent. I saw no shortage of people topping up Mason jars with dirty martinis, which was one of the first canvases to run dry. Screwdrivers, rum and Coke, and white wine were also on tap.
A massive pile of potato chips became another canvas, as closet painters in the crowd realized their inner Jackson Pollocks by squirting multi-colored dips from 700 blank paint tubes. An instant Pollock-like drip painting would form, only to disappear from the grubby hands that reached in for a bite of the art.
Bio- Jennifer Rubell creates participatory artwork that is a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happenings. The pieces are often staggering in scale and sensually arresting, frequently employing food and drink as media: one ton of ribs with honey dripping on them from the ceiling; 2,000 hard-boiled eggs with a pile of latex gloves nearby to pick them up; 1,521 doughnuts hanging on a free-standing wall; a room-sized cell padded with 1,800 cones of pink cotton candy.
Viewers are encouraged to partake in the work, violating the traditional boundaries of art institutions and engaging senses usually forbidden in or absent from museum and gallery contexts. Rubell’s work explores the intersection of the monumental and the ephemeral, and serves as a counterpoint to the virtual nature of much of contemporary life.
Some of Rubell’s notable previous projects include Old-Fashioned, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The de Pury Diptych at the Saatchi Gallery, London; Icons, at the Brooklyn Museum; Creation, for Performa, the New York performance-art festival; and, since 2001, a yearly breakfast project in the courtyard of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Rubell, 40, received a B.A. from Harvard University in Fine Arts, and subsequently attended the Culinary Institute of America. She wrote about food for over a decade prior to beginning her artistic practice, including columns in the Miami Herald and Domino magazine, and the book Real Life Entertaining (Harper Collins). Rubell lives in New York City.
July 24, 2012
Any of us today, especially those of us who have attained a certain age without withering under the weight of it all, have lived multiple lives — either in tandem or in sequence. We have hyphenated identities that often reveal a colorful collage of karmic convergences.
So it is with Gabriella Crespi, who at 82 can look back on having been a designer, artist, manufacturer, marketing genius, glamorous socialite and, since 1987, ardent follower of Shri Muniraji, an Indian guru with whom she studies for months at a stretch high in the Himalayas, seeking Satya (truth), unity and a feeling of infinity.
Today, her furniture and decorative objects are beginning to bring high prices, as the design world turns its focus from midcentury French to Italian. Suzanne Demisch, a New York dealer in 20th-century furniture who has sold a number of Crespi’s pieces, considers her work ”much more innovative than what other Italians were doing at the time.” It is also more difficult to find, according to Liz O’Brien, another New York dealer, because ”people still treasure it.” O’Brien recently sold an elliptical brass coffee table for $15,000.
The Tavolo 2000 table features retractable leaves and was envisioned by Crespi as furniture of the future. Originally designed as rectangular forms made of stainless steel, the tables were eventually reworked as ovals made of brass, a material the Italians were crazy for in the 60′s. Similarly, a square end table called the Magic Cube later evolved into a brass cylinder. In a taller form, it opened into a bar.
While the furniture looks like sculpture, it moves with the precision of a fine watch, and her mechanisms are patented. This is due, no doubt, to her architectural studies at the Politecnico Institute in Milan. ”I was in love with Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright when I was young,” she said. But it was also familial. Born in Milan in 1922, she was raised in Tuscany near Florence, where she first developed her love of nature. Her father was a mechanical engineer, and her mother taught her ”to be generous with others,” a trait that has been most apparent in her spiritual wanderings. By 1945, she was already on a spiritual path, having spent many months at the end of the war in isolation in the Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. ”The desire for silence and infinity had already been born inside me,” she said. She met her husband, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, at a tennis club in Milan. After their marriage in 1948, she lived with his family, one of the richest in Italy.
July 23, 2012
Happy Monday! For those of you that know me, no, this is not a guy I just met! Actually he WAS one of thee most important furniture makers in American Cabinetmaking.
How I came to write about him-I just bought a set of 6 of his “harp back chairs” which of course for my client’s purpose,
I am lacquering white, but they are a beautiful style and it is taking a more French approach to a Hollywood Regency idea.
Duncan Phyfe immigrated from Scottland and ultimately wound up in New York.
He had an incredible impact on furniture design and actually the idea of a working collective of cabinetmakers, apprentices and journeymen.
At one time, thinking back to the time we are discussing, he had over 100 people working for him.
His style, and why I am writing this today, was very much under the influence of French Directoire. His works are from around the end of the eighteenth century and continued until around 1847.
July 16, 2012
I have always been fascinated with this type of art. Where the artist uses materials found in everyday life, or a certain place, and then brings them into a space and alters the space with these objects, therefore -re-creatignt he space and therby making the art piece.
It is a bit existential in theory i do believe, but I have always admired it. i do hope you enjoy learning about this!
Have a great day!
Carl Andre was one of the founders of the art movement known as Minimal, Systemic, or ABC Art. It is an art that seeks to eliminate everything decorative,
extraneous and additive, reducing all components to art’s purest elements; it is precise, cerebral and austere rather than accessible. Andre once said that what
was beautiful in art was “not that someone is original but that he can find a way of creating in the world the instance of his temperament.” His own temperament
is close to the tranquil philosophy of Taoism, and many critics refer to his work as “pacific.”
He reveals little about himself.
As Minimalism attracted critical attention, he began exhibiting in the city.
For his one-man exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, the artist set out eight
rectangular sculptures deployed on the gallery floor, each made of 120 bricks. “One hundred twenty is the number richest in
factors,” Andre explained,
“Arithmetic is only the scaffolding or armature of my work.” Equivalent VIII, one of the eight works, was made two bricks high, six across, and ten lengthwise
(technically and sometimes referred to as “2 high x 6 header x 10 stretcher”). The titles supposedly were derived from Alfred Stieglitz’s series of photographs of
clouds made in the 1920s and 1930s, called Equivalents.
The sculptor’s works have nothing to do with clouds, but in mathematical theory the Equivalence Relation has to do with the relation of sameness between elements, while in physics, the Principle of Equivalence demonstrates the distinction between inertial and gravitational forces
– the sort of disciplines that concern Andre.
Placement, environment, and relativity are important in all of this artist’s works. “A place is an area within an environment which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous,” he said. “Everything is an environment, but a place is related particularly to both the general qualities of the environment and the particular qualities of the work which has been done.” The bricks in Equivalent VIII are humble materials, basic to building, construction, and manufacture; by treating these cubic, natural -units as sculpture, we begin to view the work’s physical reality as an
esthetic phenomenon. And since placement generates and energizes the piece, Equivalent VIII and its surrounding environment become one work of art.
Carl Andre invariably works within a strict self-imposed modular system, using commercially available materials or objects, almost always in identical units or bar forms,
as timber, Styrofoam, cement blocks, bales of hay, etc., with only one type of material per work. He considers the setting or placement an essential part of the work,
and the form
of each piece is largely determined by the space for which it is constructed. “I don’t think spaces are that singular, I think there are generic classes of spaces.
So it’s not really a problem where a work is going to be in particular. It’s only a problem, in general, of the generic spaces: is it going to be the size of Grand Central Station
or is it going to be the size of a small room?”
July 13, 2012
I am sure you have seen Sam Francis’ paintings before! They are colourful and enthusiastic works of art-modern and playful! I have always been drawn to his work, as I have always admired the use of negative space in paintings. I hope you enjoy this post!
Have a fantastic day!
Sam Francis is an American artist, one of the country’s most important. Francis was born in San Mateo, California, in 1923. He began painting in 1944, while recovering from injuries
sustained from an airplane crash while serving in the US Air Force. He studied under David Park at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
In his early abstract paintings, reminiscent of the work of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock, he used spontaneous painterly gestures, resulting in the typically American, “all-over” structure:
The whole canvas is covered with dots, spots, specks and other traces of the painterly brush. While in Paris from 1950 – 1957, Francis briefly gave up colour and went a new direction, like in “White Painting” (1950), but he returned to red and pink in the following summer in the South of France and later embraced the whole range of colours again. Sometimes he makes use of a full spectrum of
colours and their variations in hue, and other times he allows one colour to dominate, like the blue in “Blue Balls” (1960).
Although Francis has been associated with colour field painting, this may be just a categorization used to come to grips with a highly original pictorial language. Francis’s “fields” hardly ever,
if at all, show themselves to be fields of colour. Rather, they have foreground and background structures and often invoke depth, making the canvas rather a “colour space.”
What is typical of Francis in pictorial strategy is that he often leaves the centre of the image white and void, concentrating on the border of the canvas, the sides, counterbalancing these images
in his work by those that do just the opposite. Sometimes his paintings are interlaced with a central geometrical structure, or merge with an all-over grid or lattice. This can go as far as closing
up the canvas and using it as a ground for abstract pattern brushwork
After his death in 1994, Sam Francis’s works have continued to be exhibited in the most important international museums and galleries.
July 11, 2012
Parker is the maverick ideas woman of British art, who came to fame exhibiting Tilda Swinton in a glass case, and showed the backs of Turner’s paintings as her own work. A bright-eyed 53 year-old, her speech a quicksilver crackle of ideas and images punctuated with gusts of
laughter, she has made a speciality of attacking things: shooting a pearl necklace from a revolver, stretching bullets into wire and making drawings out of them and, most famously, having a shed detonated by the Royal Artillery in her signature piece Cold Dark Matter. Is there some deep-seated anger and frustration behind all this?
“There’s a lot of violence in the making of these things, but a quiet aftermath. I take things that are worn out through overuse, that have become clichés, like the shed, a traditional place of rest and retreat, and I give them a more
incandescent future. Explosions are very familiar from films and the news, but how many of us have seen one or even touched a piece of the debris?”
Parker took the shards of the shed and its contents, reassembling and hanging them in space, with a central light throwing dramatic shadows onto the walls and viewer – “almost as though they were coming back together, so you could experience the damage from a quiet place”. And she wanted it to have cosmic resonance implied in the title: a relation to the Big Bang.
“My work has threads of ideas from all over the place. I try to crystallise them in something simple and direct that the viewer can then take where they want.”
July 10, 2012
Since the beginning of the 1970s, Rebecca Horn has been creating an oeuvre which constitutes an ever-growing flow of performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings and
photographs. The essence of their imagery comes out of the tremendous precision of the physical and technical functionality she uses to stage her works each time within a particular space.
In the first performances, the body-extensions, she explores the equilibrium between body and space. In later works she replaces the human body with kinetic sculptures which take on their own life.
Her new works define and cut through spaces with reflections of mirrors, light and music.
The objects used and specially made for her installations such as violins, suitcases, batons, ladders, pianos, feather fans, metronomes, small metal hammers, black water basins, spiral drawing machines and huge funnels together build the elements for kinetic sculptures that are liberated from their defined materiality and continuously transposed into ever-changing metaphors touching on mythical, historical, literary and spiritual imagery.
Her work is bound together by a consistency in logic; each new work appears to develop stringently from the preceding one. Elements may be readdressed, yet appear in totally different, divergent contexts.
Following the physical experience of her performances with body extensions, masks and feather objects of the 1970s came the first kinetic sculptures featured in her films.
In the 1980s and 1990s huge installations were created out of and dedicated to places charged with political and historical importance. With her kinetic sculptures, the artist releases and re diverts the weight of the past on these physical spaces: as for example in Concert in Reverse (1997) in Münster, where an old municipal tower turns out to be an execution site for the Third Reich: or in Vienna,
with the Tower of the Nameless (1994), where she sets a monument to the refugees from Balkan states in the form of a tower with mechanically playing violins. In Weimar, Europe’s city of culture 1999, the Concert for Buchenwald was composed on the premises of a former tram depot. The artist has layered 40 metre long walls of ashes behind glass, as archives of petrifaction. In Mirror of the Night (1998), at a derelict synagogue in Cologne, she uses the energy of writing, textured to counter historical amnesia.
What is unique and continuously new about the work of this artist is that each single installation is a step towards breaking down completely the boundaries of space and time, opening up crevices to a universe, the existence of which we can only sense.
July 9, 2012
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I came across this piece and I am posting it here for all of you that have always admired Mr. Twomblys work, or those of you that made fun of all the scribbles and wondered why his paintings went for millions of dollars.
I always find an artists life so interesting, to actually have them explain their art is always fascinating and far better then all the times I have listened to someone trying to explain an artist that is pure abstract. Abstract is a really tough art style to explain. It is always much easier for all of us to comprehend actual figurative paints.
but have a read, it is really well said and written.
Gagosian GalleryCy Twombly’s “Untitled” from 2007. He once described his work as “more like I’m having an experience than making a picture.”
Cy Twombly, whose spare childlike scribbles and poetic engagement with antiquity left him stubbornly out of step with the movements of postwar American art even as he became one of the era’s most important painters, died in Rome Tuesday. He was 83.
The cause was not immediately known, although Mr. Twombly had suffered from cancer. His death was announced by the Gagosian Gallery, which represents his work.
Michael Stravato for The New York TimesCy Twombly in 2005.
In a career that slyly subverted Abstract Expressionism, toyed briefly with Minimalism, seemed barely to acknowledge Pop Art and anticipated some of the concerns of Conceptualism, Mr. Twombly was a divisive artist almost from the start. The curator Kirk Varnedoe, on the occasion of a 1994 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote that his work was “influential among artists, discomfiting to many critics and truculently difficult not just for a broad public, but for sophisticated initiates of postwar art as well.” The critic Robert Hughes called him “the Third Man, a shadowy figure, beside that vivid duumvirate of his friends Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.”
Mr. Twombly’s decision to settle permanently in southern Italy in 1957 as the art world shifted decisively in the other direction, from Europe to New York, was only the most symbolic of his idiosyncrasies. He avoided publicity throughout his life and mostly ignored his critics, who questioned constantly whether his work deserved a place at the forefront of 20th-century abstraction, though he lived long enough to see it arrive there. It didn’t help that his paintings, because of their surface complexity and whirlwinds of tiny detail – scratches, erasures, drips, penciled fragments of Italian and classical verse amid scrawled phalluses and buttocks – lost much of their power in reproduction.
But Mr. Twombly, a tall, rangy Virginian who once practiced drawing in the dark to make his lines less purposeful, steadfastly followed his own program and looked to his own muses: often literary ones like Catullus, Rumi, Pound and Rilke. He seemed to welcome the privacy that came with unpopularity.
“I had my freedom and that was nice,” he said in a rare interview, with Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate, before a 2008 survey of his career at the Tate Modern.
The critical low point probably came after a 1964 exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York that was widely panned. The artist and writer Donald Judd, who was hostile toward painting in general, was especially damning even so, calling the show a fiasco. “There are a few drips and splatters and an occasional pencil line,” he wrote in a review. “There isn’t anything to these paintings.”
But by the 1980s, with the rise of neo-Expressionism, a generation of younger artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat found inspiration in Mr. Twombly’s skittery bathroom-graffiti scrawl. Coupled with rising interest in European artists whose work shared unexpected ground with Mr. Twombly’s, like that of Joseph Beuys, the new-found attention brought him a kind of critical favor he had never enjoyed. And by the next decade he was highly sought after not only by European museums and collectors, who had discovered his work early on, but also by those back in his homeland who had not known what to make of him two decades before.
In 1989 the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened permanent rooms dedicated to his monumental 10-painting cycle, “Fifty Days at Iliam,” based on Alexander Pope’s translation of the “Iliad.” (Mr. Twombly said that he had purposely misspelled “Ilium,” a Latin name for Troy, with an “a,” to refer to Achilles.) That same year, Mr. Twombly’s work passed the million-dollar mark at auction. In 1995 the Menil Collection in Houston opened a new gallery dedicated to his work, designed by Renzo Piano after a plan by Mr. Twombly himself. Despite this growing acceptance, Mr. Varnedoe still felt it necessary to include an essay in the Modern’s newsletter at the time of the retrospective, titled “Your Kid Could Not Do This, and Other Reflections on Cy Twombly.”
In the only written statement that Mr. Twombly ever made about his work, a short essay in an Italian art journal in 1957, he tried to make clear that his intentions were not subversive but elementally human. Each line he made, he said, was “the actual experience” of making the line, adding: “It does not illustrate. It is the sensation of its own realization.” Years later he described this more plainly. “It’s more like I’m having an experience than making a picture.” The process stood in stark contrast to the detached, effete image that often clung to Mr. Twombly. After completing a work, in a kind of ecstatic state, it was as if the painting existed and he barely did anymore: “I usually have to go to bed for a couple of days.”