Allied Member, ASID
November 30, 2012
I stumbled upon MARK GROTJAHN’S work just a bit ago. And, in a simple form, it reminded me of the art I used to do using string and nails. Obviously his is far more complex, but none the less I found myself very drawn to it. He is represented at The Gagosian Gallery in New York.
I love his use of color and I love the ideas of nature in his work.
While at first glance, Mark Grotjahn’s oeuvre appears to be bound to purely aesthetic in modernist discourse, references to nature and movement are plentiful. His butterfly motif, one of several recurring connections to the natural world along with flowers and water,
has yielded extensive possibilities
in both painting and drawing. His ongoing Butterfly series focuses on perspectival investigations, such as dual and multiple vanishing points, techniques used since the Renaissance to create the illusion of depth and volume on a two-dimensional surface.
These iconic compositions of complex,
skewed angles and radiant, tonal color allude to the multiple narratives coursing through the history of modernist painting, from the utopian vision of Russian Constructivism to the hallucinatory images of Op Art. The extreme elegance of Grotjahn’s works is often
tempered by visible scuffs and
markings that attest to the contingencies of process in his otherwise highly controlled compositions.
November 29, 2012
Today’s post is on one of my favorite Cubist Artists. I have always been in love with Cubism as I am interested in the philosophy of deconstruction. When you take
a whole, and instead of bringing all the parts together, you start to take them apart. and then, what does an object actually look like once you start to take the pieces apart.
I am sure this thought is akin to how to process what happens in all of our lives. It makes much sense to me, maybe its the new train of thought for the day.
The artists definition of Cubism is as follows:
A nonobjective school of painting and sculpture developed in Paris in the early 20th century, characterized by the reduction and fragmentation of natural forms into abstract, often geometric structures
usually rendered as a set of discrete planes.
a style of art that stresses abstract structure at the expense of other pictorial elements especially by displaying several aspects of the same object simultaneously and by fragmenting the form of depicted objects
Czechoslovakian-born artist Jan Matulka is one of the pioneers of early American Modernism. He spent several years working alongside Stuart Davis, developing a new style of Cubism oriented around the distortion of form.
He exhibited in many major museums and galleries, including the Whitney Museum’s first three biennial exhibitions of contemporary American painting. His work was also strongly affected by his encounters with
Surrealism in New York and Paris during the 1930s. Matulka taught at the Art Students League and influenced several important modernists, including David Smith, Dorothy Dehner,
and Irene Rice Pereira.
After 1940, Matulka slipped into obscurity until a major retrospective of his work was mounted at the Whitney Museum in 1979.
November 28, 2012
|I got peace of mind, only through the study of rules nobody could change.
In my love of amazingly talented renown women, I have decided to bring to you a series of insanely fabulous female artists who are my all time favorites! LOUISE BOURGEOIS will be the first in our series. What is always of interest to me, is when you read the bit of biography on these women’s lives, although, some privileged, was not the stuff made of an Ozzie and Harriet life. And how one’s childhood, plays into our daily lives as adults.
I assume that what Louise Bourgeois (born 1911) meant when she explained that color wasn’t the first thing that we saw when we looked at a work of art was that at first, we encounter form. We then translate the form into a species or a gender, but not before we feel an emotional sensation.
The rules of the game with modern art is that if it is abstract, whether or not a form reminds us of something or not, that becomes irrelevant. Modernism spells emotion and a primal response to the initial formation of an idea. “Avenza,” 1968-69, latex, 21 x 30 x 46 inches may allude to phallic symbols clustered together, but our response to this sculpture may be to circle it and gage as to whether it is predatory or safe. Only after our initial hesitation, do we begin to relate to it as a work of art.
The artist may be creating a modern sculpture or a painting and subconscious symbols and pictorial thoughts may invade, but color only registers after a form takes on human attributes. Then, a personality and a sensitivity to an assertion of form occurs. We are a long way from that during the initial creation of a modern work of art and there is a reason for it.
Modern art is an attempt to expand our consciousness in order to re-introduce us to the process of creating a painting or making a sculpture in the classic, figurative sense. Louise Bourgeois has sacrificed her life in order to liberate us from the confines of the progenators of the art of the past when humanity was oppressed by the egoism of its oppressors. The cost, let’s say, during the reign of Louis XIV, of producing the tapestries of Gobelins, “The History of the King,” celebrating the glory of the Sun King, may have been equivalent to producing one of our nuclear submarines.
Louise bourgeois was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled MAMAN, which resulted in her being nicknamed the SPiderwoman. She is recognized today as the founder of confessional art.
In the late 1940′s after moving to New york City with her American husband, she turned to sculpture. though her works are abstract, they are suggestive of the human figure and
express themes of betrayal, anxiety and loneliness. Her work was wholly autobiographical, inspired by her childhood trauma of discovering her English governess was also her father’s mistress.
Bourgeois was born on december 25 1911 in paris. She was the middle child of three. her parents owned a gallery that dealt primarily in antique tapestries.
A lovely father, NOT, was a tyrannical philanderer and was exceedingly hard on her, as Bourgeois did not meet her father’s expectations due to her lack of ability. ability to what his ideals were. Not because she was slow. Bourgeis, as a child, found solace in writing in her diary, as emotions were difficult to express as her mother turned a blind eye to all that was going on with her father.
Bourgeois grew to hate her father, and his explosive temper and how he dominated her mother.
Bourgeois attended the Sorbonne, where she studied mathematics and geometry, subjects she valued for their stability.
Her mother died in 1932 while she was studying mathematics. this traumatic event made her realize she wanted to study art.
Bourgeois turned to her diaries for inspiration, odd really, and quite interesting. she drew upon her hatred of her father, his tyranny and all of his infidelities, she used these raw emotions to inspire her sculptures. The first time i saw a retrospective of hers, was at The Guggenheim in New York, I remember reading her biography and looking at these fantastic sculptures and feeling the emotions.
I do hope you enjoyed the first of my series of my favorite women artists!
November 27, 2012
I was looking at a review about a book about the “behind the scenes” at Hermes and low and behold!
One of the world’s most talented photographers! Koto Bolofo a South African Artist born in Lesotho in 1959 and was raised in Great Britain.
Koto has shot short films for Vogue and Vanity Fair and GQ.
He has created insane advertising campaigns for Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Dom Perignon. His eye for mis en scene coupled with his talent is very exciting.
Think to the Louis Vuitton campaigns recently, featuring very famous iconic artistis featured in very daily life.
There is a wonderful youtube video from june 15 2010 take a look.
Koto is a talent you should know if you enjoy photography.
November 26, 2012
“There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art.”
I love photography. So I am bringing you today, one of the world’s greatest photographers! His city scenes of new York are so striking and always
remind me of when I was a child and my Paternal Grandfather’s love of his work. His wife was extraordinary and I will bring you a post on her next.
Photography has not always been considered an art. In early days, photographs were considered an advance of science, not art. Cameras were machines, and everyone knew that machines didn’t make art;
people made art. But when Alfred Stieglitz made this picture he was leading a movement called Pictorialism, which promoted the photograph as art, the same kind of art as a drawing or painting. Stieglitz and other
Pictorialists understood that a photograph was created when the camera was used as a tool, like a paintbrush was a tool. And they tried to show that they were a part of the art tradition by manipulating their photos in the darkroom,
using tricks and techniques that were evidence of the human hand in the process.
There are other references to the world of art in this photograph. Stieglitz was very involved in the modern art scene and had closely followed the Impressionist movement in Europe. Impressionists were some of the first artists to look to the
city as a worthy subject for their paintings, and it was a new city they looked at. Machines and all things modern in the city were desirable subjects. At the same time, Impressionists represented these modern scenes in stop-motion glimpses,
with plenty of atmosphere. European painters chose the steam engine as a subject and a symbol of the modern city. Stieglitz would embrace the city as his subject too, but he would use photography as his medium.
Stieglitz was very concerned that photographs not look like paintings and this idea fueled his pursuit of images. Images of everyday life became the main subject for Stieglitz, thus not allowing the viewer to escape into romantic images.
There is so much to know about him and his work, I do hope that this brief introduction or re-aquaintence leads you to pursue more about him!
Have a wonderful day!
November 20, 2012
I was driving with my daughters and we passed some very austere and brutal looking buildings. My daughters asked me why the architecture and the buildings are so ugly? So I thought I would explain the ugliness in this architecture.
When I think of brutalism in architecture, I think of the movies that are filmed in Russia, of the urban communities that if one goes through certain parts of London, you will see these giant looking apartment buildings that are very sad and scary!
BRUTALISM as an architectural philosophy , rather than a style, was often also associated with a a socialist utopian ideology, which tended to be supported by its designers. Brutalism makes the style unfriendly and uncommunicative, instead of being integrating and protective, as its proponents intended. Brutalism also is criticized as disregarding the social and historic and architectural environment of its surroundings, making the introduction of such structures in existing developed areas appear starkly out of place and alien. The failure of positive communities to form early on in some Brutalist structures, possibly due to the larger processes of urban decay that set in after World War II, led to the combined unpopularity of both the ideology and the architectural style.
There are many campuses in North america that have examples of Brutalist architecture. Paul Rudolph’s 1958 Yale art and architecture Building. the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is an example of an entire campus designed from scratch in the Brutalist style.
There are a lot of criticisms of the Brutalist style that are not only of the aesthetic, but also from the fact that concrete facades do not age well in damp, cloudy maritime climates such as those of northwestern Europe.
Brutalism today is experiencing a revival! OH NO! The 1950′s are back? The truth of the matter is that Brutalism was largely dead by the mid 1980′s, having largely given way to Strucutal Expressionism and Deconstructivism, it has experienced an updating of sorts in recent years. many of the rougher aspects of the style have been softened in newer buildings, withconcrete facades often being sandblasted to create a stone-like surface, covered in stucco, or composed of patterned, pre-cast elements. Modernist architects taking this approach in recent projects include even one of my favorites, LEGORRETA!
So the next time you see this ugly architecture you will have a better understanding and maybe an appreciation!
Have a wonderful day!
November 19, 2012
I have always loved cecil Beaton’s work and the iconic images he created. His portraits have stayed in our minds when we think of the images of certain people. Much like Madonna’s song that she sings Vogue, all of these characters were Cecil Beaton’s images.
Photography, and what I am hoping to show you, is as important a medium as a pint brush and a canvas. A lens in the hands of an artist is so stunning. Have you ever taken a bad picture? or heard the expression that the camera loves a certain person?
I love the medium, and I hope you enjoy this art form.
The man described by his on-off friend Truman Capote as a “total self-creation”, he knew that the business of being Cecil was no laughing matter, but something that needed serious application for the success he had always craved.
And the proof of that success is the influence he has had over so many younger photographers since his death 29 years ago. Mario Testino, who has captured modern society and fashion as variously as Beaton did, speaks for many when he says:
“He marked his period as if he were the only photographer around.”Another of today’s most celebrated fashion photographers, Nick Knight, praises his work “for its grace and elegance. From the touching and funny pictures of his sisters and the delicately
fragile poses of his photographs of society beauties, as if they were made of porcelain, to the memorable wartime images, he was always sensitive and poetic.”
So, what was the essence of Beatonism? He was a born outsider; posh but not quite posh enough – his family’s wealth was based on trade. Well educated – but at Harrow, not Eton. Cambridge, not Oxford. Clever but not intellectual. Good-looking but not quite handsome.
He just failed to make the grade in those things that he considered mattered. Vain – he had his clothes made one size too small to flatter his already slim figure – but never glamorous, despite an international lifestyle that brought him into contact with everyone who “mattered” for more than 50 years.
But he had a burning desire to leap the fence and browse the green fields of aristocratic privilege, still going strong in the Twenties and Thirties. Beaton was what was known at the time as a pansy. With eyes trained on the British upper classes and American plutocrats, his tendencies could have
been a disadvantage, but he capitalised on them by aiming not at the men, but at their wives.
Beaton was a very clever photographer whose early portraits reflected continental art movements in his use of mirrors, torn paper, fragments of classical sculpture and even Cellophane to create a surreal fantasy that would automatically make his sitters look much more interesting
than they usually were. They were as flattered culturally as they were physically, even if they had no idea that the original ideas were taken from the work of Cocteau, Bakst or Dalí.
November 16, 2012
Anish Kapoor for me, is an amazing artist, and I am sure a lot of you have seen his work and maybe don’t know who he is. So I thought I would introduce you to him. My pursuit,
with my blog is to bring you artists in all realms. Whether it is art, music, time periods and their pieces. Great Chefs and all those that contribute to making culture what it is for us to enjoy!
The Indian-born, London-based sculptor Anish Kapoor has always been a kind of magician, which cuts two ways. Whether with blazingly reflective metal
surfaces or dark, plush, seemingly infinite interiors, his pieces dispense multiple visual thrills and mysteries. But the same effects can make his work appear tricky, decorative and shallow.
It hasn’t helped that they seem to have been concocted by playing fast and slick with the innovations of his Minimalist and Post-Minimalist predecessors.
Mr. Kapoor, who is 54, did not begin life in a Western culture. He was born and grew up in Mumbai when it was still called Bombay, and in 1973 moved to London, where he studied art and
then took up residence. He is a decade or so older than most of the Young British Artists, who took the art world by storm in the early 1990s, and his sensibility is markedly different:
he greatly prefers gentle seduction to shock tactics.
His sculpture is in many ways one long ode to the modernist monochrome and its emphasis on purity and perception, enacted in three-dimensional space. It carves, colors and complicates space in different ways,
adding interactive aspects and pushing that purity back and forth between votive and technological, East and West.
Despite the high degree of abstraction in his art, living form, if only the viewer’s body, is always implied. — Excerpted from “Sculptor as Magician,” by Roberta Smith, The New York Times, May 30, 2008.
Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor‘s first public outdoor work installed in the United States.
The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above.
A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.
Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high.
Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, aka The Bean, has become a Chicago icon. It is mandatory that all tourists have a picture taken pressed up against it, lying underneath it, or some such other myriad
configuration of tourist and sculpture.
Cloud Gate is a rare success in public art: it is attractive, it is sufficiently art-like, and the people almost uniformly dig it. It is also kind of fawning. If it were a Jeff Koons it would be a puppy dog.
But if anything were a Jeff Koons it would be a puppy dog, so maybe that’s not the best comparison. Perhaps it’s like a Rothko, rooted in the canon of art history, conceptually sound,
imbued with its creator’s spirit, yet makes one helluva pretty postcard.
My Daughters and I, caught this exhibit at the Guggenheim, and we were really disturbed by it.
The most startling thing about Memory is that, by virtue of the installation, it is impossible to ever see in its entirety. The room, like the Grinch’s heart, is two sizes too small making
Memory impossible to “take in” and thereby leaving the viewer unsure, unsettled, and, in my case, slightly terrified by the possibilities of the creepily amorphous sculpture living inside the Guggenheim’s twisting tower.
It is difficult to describe the piece because it can only be taken in piecemeal and then reassembled in one’s mind. As a result, every viewer is likely to have a completely different perception of Memory—tricky title, eh?
Anish Kapoor “Memory” (NYC)
Of the material, Memory is made of raw oxidized steel. According to the press release 24 tons of it. The red and orange rust giving the mass an organic warmth, but one cut with
the unforgiving corners of raw metal and industrial weight. It is womb-like, or egg-sac-like in its presumed shape, though almost certainly the coming birth will be one of alien origin.
It is a pod descended from above, filled with malignant beings with mouths brimming the sharpest teeth.
A viewer has four angles to work from, and must traverse at least two levels of the museum to do so. One view is down a long corridor, others from the side, and, perhaps most disturbingly, a hole cut into the work’s pitch-black interior.
A fellow patron with whom I shared this view muttered, “I would love to go in.” I thought, “You’ll never come out.” But instead fall into the unknown depths within.
Anish Kapoor “Memory” (NYC)
The inability to approach the sculpture in a traditional fashion most raises the question of scale: how big is this thing? What does it hope to achieve in its undefined immensity? Is it friendly?
The not knowing is what makes this piece, the wily invitation to imagination, surprise and fear. In contrast to the Bean’s happy snapshot secure in time. As Memory attests and Cloud Gate reflects,
truth is ever-pedestrian compared to the fiction of an active mind. Like a good novel, Memory allows the viewer to build on and amplify the story in a way the more static Bean never could. Fiction however, doesn’t make for much of a profile pic.
November 15, 2012
My love of art mixed with fashion brings us to another of the worlds top 10 photographers. IRVING PENN-I know you will recognize some of the photographs, he was insanely talented. I hope you enjoy this post!
Irving Penn is perhaps best known for his fashion photographs that, beginning with his notable 1950s series of the Paris collections, defined a new look for magazines. By placing models against plain backdrops, Penn removed the familiar indicators of space or scale and allowed fashion to stand alone as the subject of his images. Many fashion photographs point to changes in aesthetic sensibilities as well as to changes in fashion itself, and Penn’s routine use of minimal, flat backgrounds can be viewed as the introduction of the modern age of fashion photography. Penn frequently stresses the ephemeral nature of life by bringing out interesting flaws and impurities in his subjects, such as wrinkles, hairs, or dirt, which would have gone unnoticed on cluttered, distractive, or ornate backgrounds. He additionally renders beautiful seemingly unattractive or mundane items including cigarette butts retrieved from the gutter and frozen vegetables. Penn’s attention to detail and his technical excellence are two traits fundamental to his entire range of work that includes fashion, still life, ethnographic portraiture and nudes.
In the 1960s and early 1970s Penn turned his attention to so-called “primitive” cultures, those untouched by industrialization. Traveling with a canvas tent for a studio and using his characteristic simple backdrops, Penn revealed an interest not ethnographic or anthropological. Instead, Two New Guinea Men Holding Hands illustrates how Penn’s experience as a fashion photographer informed his ethno-aesthetic projects, as he focuses on the formal qualities of his subjects’ dress, pose and adornment rather than their individual identities, customs and surroundings.
Irving Penn’s images have defined several generations of fashion and portrait photography. Penn, who was born in 1917 in New Jersey, worked in New York as a graphic artist in the 1930s, and spent a year painting in Mexico before starting work atVogue magazine in the early 1940s. His photographs have been widely exhibited, included in major retrospective exhibitions, and are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, among many other museums.
November 14, 2012
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You know, its a funny thing when I hear writers talk about writers block. Designers, whether it be a fashion designer or an interior designer, get design block. Why I bring this up? I was on a project, that for the life of me I could not get a vibe on nor get started. At the time, my eldest daughter, who was three then,was in love with a book called,
Swami on Rye! and Ohh-la-la-so, that is where Maria Kalman comes in. I just caught her exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, and it is fabulous!
I am grateful, as my inspiration for this clients entire house was because of her colored illustrations. Just to fill you in, the client wanted her entire home in shades of purple! I hope you have the opportunity to view this fabulous exhibit!
Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities.
She has written and illustrated twelve children’s books including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye. She often illustrates for The New Yorker magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the NewYorkistan cover in 2001.
Recent projects include The Elements of Style (illustrated), and a monthly on-line column entitled Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2008-09) for The New York Times.
According to Maria Kalman, ”it’s wonderful to wash dishes when you’re trying to write a story.” Trying to live in an unordered house would make her nervous, she says.
But Kalman, an artist whose humor and candid sensitivity have made her a fixture in American illustration, lives, like the rest of us, in a very unordered and chaotic world. In fact, she’s built an artistic career out of making sense of, and editing, and even celebrating, the chaos. An exhibit of her work,
“Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),”
is currently on show at the Jewish Museum in New York.
Like many cartoonists, Kalman straddles high and low art, her unique writing voice and drawing style adept at addressing a wide audience across a range of forms. Her illustrations appear steadily in prominent newspapers and magazines. She has published many children’s books and an illustrated edition of Strunk & White’s classic composition guide,
“The Elements of Style.” She created two ongoing visual blogs, for the New York Times’ website, later published as books. And her work has graced many a cover of the New Yorker, including a famous image that mapped the various tribal areas of the city (Pashmina on the Upper East Side, Taxistan in Queens,
Khandibar in Brooklyn) a few months
after September 11th, while the city was still shaken up, but intact in its diversity.
Kalman’s first blog for the New York Times, “The Principles of Uncertainty,” was a meditation on questions of happiness, purpose, loss and her own personal history. Photographs, paintings, and loopy, handwritten text interrogate legacies of the past. Kalman moves from an illustration of an older
woman with three bobby pins directly
to a painting of a library flattened during the London blitz, with the following caption:
Then the all-clear sounded. And people returned, hope undiminished. They returned, so elegant and purposeful to the books. What does this have to do with bobby pins and radiators and Kokoshniks? One thing leads to another.
Kalman’s second series for the Times also explored history and philosophy, but she focused intentionally on a topic she knew less about: American democracy.
“I was sent on this assignment because I didn’t know anything about politics, so I would bring a naivete, but also a sense of optimism and a sense of curiosity to the subject,” she says.
Kalman handles large questions about leadership and patriotism by focusing on the daily routines of the Founding Fathers and the objects that gave texture to their lives. She becomes fascinated by Abraham Lincoln and asks Ruth Bader Ginsburg about where she gets her robes
and lace collars (some are from Paris). The result is a deeply empathetic
treatment of justice, citizenship and American politicians past and present.
This past year saw the first major museum survey, which showcases the range of her illustrations. In addition to 100 works on paper, the exhibit features embroideries and photographs, as well as an installation of belongings that have been immortalized in her work.