Allied Member, ASID
Licensed General Contractor
AZ ROC 287314
March 18, 2015
Richard Pettibone’s small construction/paintings of the 1960s — appropriations of work by Warhol, Stella, and Lichtenstein — were a defining aspect of a peculiarly West Coast current of “Conceptual Pop.”
His earliest works were shadow-box assemblages addressing his interest in model making, especially toy trains and airplanes. In the 1960s he found his voice in diminutive “copies” of newly famous New York pop artists.
Always framed and constructed upon miniature stretcher bars, they are usually presented in single-image replication.
By the 1970s, Pettibone was combining and juxtaposing different images, introducing monochrome areas and gestural scribbles into these combinations, and experimenting with the simulation of photo-realist techniques.
The Brancusi sculptures from the 1980s are various sized versions of such iconic works as Bird in Space and Endless Column. In a conflation of modernism and modernist “taste,” the Brancusi simulations are often presented in
combination with his beautifully crafted homages to the pared-down forms of Shaker furniture. Pettibone’s visual punning and aesthetic elegance is evident in his simple juxtaposition of an elegant Shaker table with a minimalist,
In the late 1980s to the present, Pettibone pursued an obsession for the poetry and criticism of modernist Ezra Pound (another great appropriator) and created a group of paintings based upon the original covers of Pound’s publications.
In the 1990s, he engaged the work of Piet Mondrian, whose paintings he both replicated and “reduced” in sculptural constructions. But without doubt, his most insistent andunifying theme has been his ever-expanding colloquy with
two paradoxical giants of 20th-century art, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol
March 9, 2015
February 9, 2015
An artist, can’t get much more successful than Kerry James Marshall! Museums everywhere own his work. (The Corcoran was one of his first buyers. And the Baltimore Museum of
Art is displaying his “Ladder of Success,” a recent purchase.) In 1997, he won the $500,000 MacArthur “genius” award, an ultra-prestigious invitation to Germany’s twice-a-decade
Documenta show and a place in the Whitney Museum’s biennial.
Success, after success, after success, such as few Black American artists have ever had. And not nearly good enough. Marshall says that he has yet to measure up to certain of his
best-known rivals: “Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. . . . They represent the core of the historical pantheon of great artists, recognized worldwide. And a big part of my objective
is to be listed in the history among those artists.”
It’s about “a longing to be fully a part of the story of some system you are deeply in love with,” says Marshall
And it’s about the certain knowledge that, in art at least, no black person has ever truly reached that goal.
Until quite recently, Afro American people have barely even been the subjects of pictures.
Marshall has set out to correct that imbalance. Some of his pictures portray the living rooms of the black middle class. There are also paintings of street toughs, dead before their time.
Marshall has painted inner-city housing projects and black lovers by the sea. He’s also worked a bit in installation art, photography, video and even puppetry. But whatever the subject,
or the medium, his works balance celebration and critique of Black America; it’s impossible to come to any simple reading of his pictures’ point of view. Marshall may be today’s most
eloquent artistic chronicler, and most compelling analyst, of the African American experience. His success beyond the black community means that he’s also opened mainstream eyes to it.
February 4, 2015
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.
January 12, 2015
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.
December 17, 2014
You gotta love an artist that can make art, truly out of anything he sees. I saw a piece by Vik Muniz and was insanely curious about this artist. I enjoyed the fact that he could see he way though
what is, into what could be-so an existential view almost.
He incorporates a multiplicity of unlikely materials into this photographic process. Often working in series, Vik has used dirt, diamonds, sugar, string, chocolate syrup and
garbage to create bold, witty and often deceiving images drawn from the pages of photojournalism and art history. His work has been
His work is based on different levels of perception. Primarily, he is a sculptor who documents his work with the photography medium. After the project execution it does not matter
if the objects are destroyed, as long as the idea is captured in the photographs.
An example of how Muniz experiences perception in his work can be seen in his series ‘Equivalents’ (1993) – simulations of cloud formations, made with lumps of cotton, inspired by
Alfred Stieglitz’ cloud studies. In this piece the visitor can see once at a time lumps of cotton, clouds or an image that he sees in these clouds. But he will never see these 3 phenomena at the same time.
Muniz photographs all kind of everyday materials and creates illusionary visualizations. Material he uses are i.e. chocolate, sugar, wire, dirt, confetti, objects, thread or jam.
December 8, 2014
A friend of mine who owns a gallery is in love with Braco Dimitrijevic’s art and his whole raison d’etre! So, I did some research and found him to be fascinating in his philosophy and reasoning.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Braco Dimitrijevic, one of the pioneers of conceptual art, had his first one-man exhibition at the age of 10. In 1963 he made his first conceptual work, The Flag of the World,
in which he replaced a national flag with an alternative sign. It marked the beginning of his artistic interventions into urban landscapes.
Over the past forty years he has exhibited extensively all over the world.
Dimitrijevic gained an international reputation in the seventies with his Casual passer-by series, in which gigantic photo portraits of anonymous people were displayed
on prominent facades and billboards in European and American cities. The artist also mimicked other ways of glorifying important persons by building monuments to
passers-by and installing memorial plaques in honour of anonymous citizens.
December 1, 2014
I am in love with the work of Shepard Fairey! His , what is now, iconic political campaign poster for Obama, is one of the most amazing examples of his work. There is a fabulous movie called, Exit Through The Gift Shop, a must see! All about graffiti artists, many of whom you will recognize.
Fairey created the “Andre the Giant as a Possee” sticker campaign in 1989, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD).This later evolved into the “Obey Giant” campaign, which has grown via an international network of collaborators
replicating Fairey’s original designs. As with most street artists, the Obey Giant was intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings.
The Obey Giant website says: “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker.” The website later goes on to contradict this statement however by saying that those who are familiar with the sticker simply find humor and enjoyment from its presence. Those who actually try to look deeper into its meaning only burden themselves and often end up condemning the art as an act of vandalism from an evil, underground cult.
Originally intended to garner fame amongst his classmates and college peers, Fairey states, “At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but also investigate, the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated. When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon.”
October 15, 2014
When I was in Paris, my favorite gallery visit is always GALLERIE PERROTIN. This is where I first came across the work of AYA TAKANO. I have always enjoyed anime and was interested in the thoughts behind it. Sometimes, one could look at it and consider it too much a cartoon,
but for me, I find it inspiring. The images, the colors and the subjects.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Perhaps more than any other Kaikai Kiki artist, Takano’s work is the exemplification of Japan’s post-war cultural affluence, and its overwhelmingly diverse, yet aesthetic unification of information.
With inspirations varying from 14th Century Italian religious painting to alien evidence to MTV, Takano’s worlds are shiny and futuristic, yet soft and full of traditional and sensual imagery. Her drawings and paintings in which lively, female characters float and contort their waiflike bodies, convey a passionate drive toward creation.
In Japan, Takano is prolific as a manga artist, illustrator, and science fiction essayist. She has several serialized publications, and is regularly featured in subculture articles. In the art markets of Europe and America, her paintings and drawings are enthusiastically received.
Takano spent her childhood rummaging through her father’s library which consisted of many books on the natural sciences, but also science fiction. Ever present in her work are exotic animals and landforms combined with an urban city to show the juxtaposition between future and fantasy. Takano cited in a documentary made by
the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin that she was always fascinated by the unusual forms of nature and animal life, and desires to have such shapes represented in her work.
Another early influence for her was manga writer Osamu Tezuka’s science fiction, which had a lasting impact on her dreamy perception of the world. She cites in the book Drop Dead Cute by Joan Vartanian how she really believed everything she read was true till she was nineteen. Takano states even sometimes now she imagines possessing
the ability to fly, uninterested in the constrictions of being grounded.
When it was time for her to start thinking about college Takano told her parents she wouldn’t attend unless she was allowed to enter an art program. She received a B.A. from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 2000. Soon after she became an assistant for leading Japanese Contemporary Artist Takashi Murakami. He would become
Takano’s first mentor and jump start her career.
Murakami was looking to exhibit the work of young artists and wanted to help create an artistic community for like minded artists who did the Superflat style. The Superflat movement, popularized by Murakami himself is about emphasizing the two dimensionality of figures, which is influenced by Japanses manga and anime,
while dually exposing the fetishes of Japanese consumerism. Through the basic ideas of this movement he created the Kaikai Kiki Co., a group where five out of the seven members are women.
In the 1980s the look of pre-pubescent girls became the target of consumer culture in Japanese society. This infantilization and objectification of the female was seen most heavily in Japan’s otaku, or geek culture.
Japanese female artists like Takano seek to reinvent the otaku culture through a feminine perspective. Takano in particular is interested in depicting how the future will impact the role of the female heroine in society. Her figures, often androgynous float through her alternate realities partially clothed or sometimes fully nude. Yet,
Takano denies that she is trying to reveal anything specific about sex. Rather with the slim bodies, bulbous heads, and large eyes she is trying to emphasize that her figures temporary suspension from adulthood. The red paint in the crevices of the figures’ elbows, knees, and shoulders is supposed to convey that they are still engaged in
the growing process mentally and physically. Takano’s playful and ambiguous visions of the future, especially one which revolves around the feminine serves as a way for her to create her own mythology, free from the chains of reality.
October 10, 2014
Older Posts »
You know, as of late, I have been writing a lot about women artists. Photographers, painters, I love them all. I am so intrigued by peoples lives and their choices. We all take roads that sometimes we have no idea as to where they are going to lead, but something tells us we should be going down these paths that present themselves.
So I find myself drawn for whatever reason to seeking out these souls. Grace is one of them. When you read her lifestory and see her paintings you will see why I find them so fabulous. Or , I should say, I hope you do!
Enjoy this post,
Grace Hartigan, was a second-generation Abstract Expressionist whose gestural, intensely colored paintings often incorporated images drawn from popular culture, leading some critics to see in them prefigurings of Pop Art.
Ms. Hartigan, a friend and disciple of Jackson Pollack and William de Kooning , subscribed to the Abstract Expressionist notion of the painterly brushstroke as existential act and cri de coeur but, like de Kooning, she never broke entirely with the figurative tradition. Determined to stake out her own artistic ground,
she turned outward from the interior world sanctified by the Abstract Expressionists and embraced the visual swirl of contemporary American life.
In “Grand Street Brides” (1954), one of several early paintings that attracted the immediate attention of critics and curators, she depicted bridal-shop window mannequins in a composition based on Goya’s “Royal Family.” Later paintings incorporated images taken from coloring books, film, traditional paintings, store windows
and advertising, all in the service of art that one critic described as “tensely personal.”
“Her art was marked by a willingness to employ a variety of styles in a modernist idiom, to go back and forth from art-historical references to pop-culture references to autobiographical material.” Grace Hartigan was born in Newark in 1922 and grew up in rural New Jersey, the oldest of four children. Unable to afford college,
she married early and, in a flight of romantic fancy, she and her husband, Bob Jachens, struck out for Alaska to live as pioneers. They made it no farther than California, where, with her husband’s encouragement, she took up painting.
“I didn’t choose painting,” she later told an interviewer. “It chose me. I didn’t have any talent. I just had genius.”
In the mid-1940’s she left her husband, placed their son, Jeffrey, in the care of his parents and moved back to Newark, where she trained in mechanical drafting and took painting lessons with Isaac Lane Muse. After moving to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1945, she became part of the postwar New York artistic scene,
forming alliances with the Abstract Expressionist painters — although de Kooning reduced her to tears by telling her she completely misunderstood modern art —
Ms. Hartigan won fame early. In 1950, the critic Clement Greenberg and the art historian Meyer Schapiro included her in their “New Talent” show at the Kootz Gallery, and a one-woman exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery soon followed. “Persian Jacket,” an early painting, was bought for the Museum of Modern Art by Alfred Barr.
After starting out as a purely abstract painter, Ms. Hartigan gradually introduced images into her work. It was O’Hara’s blending of high art and low art in his poetry that influenced her to cast far and wide for sources.
Ms. Hartigan’s move to Baltimore coincided with a drastic shift in artistic fashion, as Pop Art and Minimalism eclipsed Abstract Expressionism. Out of the spotlight, Ms. Hartigan embarked on what she later recalled as “an isolated creative life.” For decades she painted in a loft in a former department store and taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
As historians and curators reassessed the history of postwar art, she experienced a resurgence of sorts. Her use of commercial imagery led her to be included in “Hand-Painted Pop,” a 1993 exhibition at the Whitney Museum despite her loathing for the movement.
“Pop Art is not painting because painting must have content and emotion,” she said in the 1960’s. On the other hand, she reflected at the time of the Whitney show, “I’d much rather be a pioneer of a movement that I hate than the second generation of a movement that I love.”
On an artistic path marked by twists and turns and restless experimentation, she maintained a fierce commitment to the modernist agenda and a belief in art’s near-magical powers.
“Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity.”