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July 6, 2015
OK! THIS is my kind of art! Yes, I do love Botticelli, and Ansel Adams, and Sargent, and everyone I write about!
Childhood, memory, loss, and sexuality–these are some of the issues that Robert Gober has explored in his work since the 1980s. Considered one of the most important American artists of his generation, Gober has developed a unique sculptural practice that links many of the issues
underlying Surrealism, Minimalism, and Conceptualism to psychological questions concerning the body and our domestic environment.
Gober’s sculptural works address a variety of formal and humanistic concerns by juxtaposing functionality and dysfunction, and the familiar and the strange. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the series of sink sculptures for which Gober has become well known, such as his right-angle sink .
The sink carries a psychological charge
that is at once idiosyncratic and common, mysterious and humorous. The power of this imagery lies in the paradox of the nonfunctional aspect of his sinks; these sculptures suggest the ritual of cleansing while their lack of plumbing frustrates this possibility.
Mr. Gober stands at the forefront of a generation that emerged in the 1980s and devised new ways to fuse the personal and the political, the accessible and the mysterious. His art is a sometimes subtle, sometimes furious protest against what might be called delusions of normalcy;
the sexual, racial and religious prejudices these delusions engender are examined at their point of origin, the childhood home.
He has communicated these themes in shifting ratios of folk art, Surrealism, Pop Art, Magic Realism and Social Realism, leavened by doses of the body and performance art of the 1970s. There are moments of eerie trompe l’oeil, as in his cast wax legs or torsos with individually applied hairs,
which jut startlingly from walls and corners, like phantom limbs or parts of bodies otherwise crushed by buildings.
Rather than using existing objects or having them copied by fabricators, as many appropriation artists do, Mr. Gober makes all his pieces in the studio, working alone or with assistants. (Even that white plastic crate and those green apples.) There may be countless little imperfections or a
breathtaking sense of perfection, but either way the almost devotional artisanship imbues common objects with an uncommon gravity, along with the sense of energy, growth and vulnerability that defines real bodies.
Mr. Gober has woven baskets, carved wood doors and playpens, and fashioned his signature sinks out of plaster painted with enamel. He has reiterated these forms in deviant versions: slanting and squeezing the playpens into child-unfriendly cages; twisting the doors into knots or doubling
them into cruciforms. Here, one wraps itself around a corner, like a splayed body. He has doubled or truncated his sinks to resemble tombstones, chests or awkwardly joined torsos.
His art includes things as seemingly innocuous as hand-laminated sheets of plywood, as monstrous as a hand-painted cereal box 80 inches tall and as quietly incendiary as wallpaper whose patterns alternate images of a lynched black man and a sleeping white man.
A recent hybrid is a sink with horrifically stretched wax children’s legs looping through the drain and faucet holes: a child deformed by the parental need for purity.
Other symbols of repressive cleanliness include bags of cat litter and rat poison in painted plaster, and cast bronze or pewter sink drains, sewer drains and culverts. A huge culvert penetrates the abdomen of a nearly life-size concrete Madonna that was in his controversial installation unveiled at the
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 1997.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
July 1, 2015
Disillusionment in living is finding that no one can really ever be agreeing with you completely in anything.
Today’s post on GERTRUDE STEIN comes about by way of Woody Allen’s latest movie, Midnight in Paris. The movie spends so much time with Gertrude Stein that I thought I would spend a bit of time on her today.
If you haven’t seen it, it is a classic, regardless if you like his style of movie. It is not a “New York” movie, for those of you who are not big fans of his genre.
The objective of these patrons of the arts, is to bring to the forefront, so much talent, that without them, would never be seen! So think, if Gertrude Stein and her brothers had not taken such a keen interest!
BRONZE OF GERTRUDE STEIN IN BRYANT PARK
Gertrude Stein (1980) acrylic and ink on canvas by Andy Warhol – “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” – Jewish Museum, New York.
Writer and art patron. Born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Gertude Stein was an imaginative, influential writer in the twentieth century. The daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant, she spent her early years in
Europe with her family. The Steins later settled in Oakland, California. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1898 with a bachelor’s degree. While at the college,
Stein studied psychology under William James (and would
remain greatly influenced by his ideas). She went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School.
PORTRAIT OF GERTRUDE STEIN BY PICASSO
In 1903, Gertrude Stein moved to Paris to be with her brother, Leo, where they began collecting HENRI MATISSE Postimpressionist paintings, thereby helping several leading artists such as CEZANNE
Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
She and Leo established a famous literary and artistic salon at 27 rue de Fleurus. Leo moved to Florence, Italy, in 1912, taking many of the paintings with him. Gertrude remained
in Paris with her assistant Alice B. Toklas, who she met in 1909.
Toklas and Stein would become lifelong companions.
Much of Gertrude Stein’s fame derives from a private modern art gallery she assembled, from 1904 to 1913, with her brother Leo Stein.
Of the art collection at 27 Rue de Fleurus, McBride commented: “in proportion to its size and quality … [it is] just about the most potent of any that I have ever heard of in history.” commented one of many famous art historians.
McBride also made the observation that Gertrude “collected geniuses rather than masterpieces. She recognized them a long way off.” The collection soon had a worldwide reputation.
Leo Stein’s acquaintances and study of modern art eventually resulted in the famous Stein art collections. Bernard Berenson hosted Gertrude and Leo in his English country house in 1902, and suggested they visit
Paul Cézanne and Ambroise Vollard‘s art gallery.
The joint collection of Gertrude and Leo Stein began in late 1904, when Michael Stein announced that their trust account had accumulated a balance of 8,000 francs. They spent this at Vollard‘s Gallery,
buying Gauguin‘s Sunflowers and Three Tahitians, Cézanne’sBathers, and two Renoirs.
The art collection increased and the walls at Rue de Fleurus were rearranged continuously to make way for new acquisitions. In “the first half of 1905″ the Steins acquired Cézanne‘s Portrait of Mme Cézanne
and Delacroix‘s Perseus and Andromeda. Shortly after the opening of the Paris Autumn Salon of 1905 (on October 18, 1905), the Steins acquired Matisse’s Woman with a Hat and Picasso’s Young Girl with Basket of Flowers.
By early 1906, Leo and Gertrude Stein’s studio had many paintings by Henri Manguin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Honoré Daumier, Henri Matisse, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Their collection was representative of two famous art exhibitions that took place during their residence together in Paris, and to which they contributed, either by lending their art, or by patronizing the featured artists.
The Steins’ elder brother, Michael, and sister-in-law Sarah (Sally) acquired a large number of Henri Matissepaintings; Gertrude’s friends from Baltimore, Claribel and Etta Cone, collected similarly, eventually
donating their art collection, virtually intact, to the Baltimore Museum of Art
While numerous artists visited the Stein salon, many of these artists were not represented among the paintings on the walls at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Where Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso’s works dominated
Leo and Gertrude’s collection, the collection of Michael andSarah Stein emphasized Matisse.
PORTRAIT OF VOLLARD
June 26, 2015
When I was out on the Eastern Shore of Long Island last summer, I ran across the work of Dorothea Rockburne. Her work is fantastic and will remind you of some very well known artists with similar pathos. i hope you enjoy this post!
Born in Montreal, Canada (1932). Lives and works in New York, NY. Attended the Montreal Museum School, Montreal, Canada (1948-1950). Attended Black Mountain College, Ashville, NC (1950-1952) where she studied with
Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg among other contemporaries. While at Black Mountain College, the teachings of Max Dehn, a renowned
German mathematician and close friend of Albert Einstein,
made arguably the largest impact on Rockburne’s work. Dehn educated Rockburne about Pythagorean and Euclidean geometry, group theory and topology, and
the concepts of harmonic intervals. Dehn’s teachings often merged the
mathematical world and the natural world providing Rockburne with new and complex approaches to her work. Rockburne’s studies with Dehn, along with her interests in the Golden Mean,
astronomy, cosmology and lifelong
fascination with Egyptians’ use of proportion and light, invariably shaped her oeuvre. Working with varied materials including industrial wrinkle-finish paint, tar, carbon paper and metal as well as natural materials such as canvas, paper, and
chipboard, Rockburne paints, cuts, draws, folds and calculates to create complex works of art built upon mathematical foundations.
June 22, 2015
I saw a painting of Suling Wang’s and thought it had wonderful movement-fluid and graceful and it makes you smile-for me it made me feel like I could see the wind. I hope you enjoy this post and have a fantastic day!L
Suling Wang’s large-scale paintings and works on paper are influenced by the changing landscape and rapid industrialization of her native Taiwan and its divergent cultural and artistic traditions. Wang’s compositions
are characterised by sweeping strokes of bold colour that flow in and out of the visual field,
resulting in a dynamic synthesis of painting and drawing. Employing an expansive vocabulary of gestural marks and layers,
the forms are organised and defined on multiple planes allowing the paintings to be read in terms of both time and space. Her fluid and calligraphic forms are suggestive of trees, stems and rock-like structures.
Disparate visual elements such as imaginary mountains and submerged islands all overlap in planes that impart depth and create rhythmic, but occasionally disharmonious, patterns.Ultimately, the works speak of the
idea of a reality that is continually in a state of flux or dissolution.
June 17, 2015
I guess my love of all the abstract Color Field art leads me to today’s post on PAUL FEELEY- and amazing artist, whose forms and shapes are really great to look at. It is amazing for me to be learning about all of these artists, as I truly had no idea that this school was as respected and regarded as any other, however so many of these artists are not well known.
Feeley, alongside Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, worked against the grain of the prevailing Abstract Expressionists in the 1950s and his work is most often associated with the Color Field painters. Feeley’s distinct body of work,
however, reflects a wide range of influences, including ancient Greek and Cycladic sculptures, Moorish decorative tiles and contemporary American subjects, like his motif derived from the children’s game of jacks.
Although his work is not as well known today, during his lifetime Feeley was at the center of the New York art world. His first one-person exhibition was at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1955. Starting in 1960, and continuing
until his untimely death in 1966, he had yearly one-person exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. In 1968, he was given a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Feeley was fundamental in establishing the celebrated art department at Bennington College, where he taught for over twenty years. At Bennington, he organized many historic exhibitions including the first retrospectives of his friends
Jackson Pollock, David Smith, and Hans Hoffmann, exposing his students—Helen Frankenthaler among them—to many of the most significant artists of the time.
June 12, 2015
I am always on the hunt for artists I am not familiar with and schools of thought that I don’t know. So my interest lead me to THE WASHINGTON COLOR SCHOOL. Some of America’s top artists have emerged from this school, totally un-benounced to me. So today’s post is a bit about the school and about one of it’s artists.
I have always loved this type of painting, as those of you that read my blogs, have come to learn. So once again, we could say that a child is capable, but really not.
Enjoy! Much Love,
People often portray Washington, D.C., as a city full of straight-laced politicos bustling from Capitol Hill to the Beltway and back again. As true as that stereotype might be, the District played the stage for one of the greatest post-World War II art movements in the U.S.
Oversize vibrant canvases characterize the work of the Washington Color School,
an offshoot of the nationwide Color Field movement. Color field painting is defined by expanses of color close in tonal value and intensity, large presentations and simple compositions. Color is the subject matter, and simple colors, geometric forms and compositions are arranged to make the viewer feel implied emotions without them being explicitly
displayed, according to art historian David Anfam in Oxford Art Online.
The movement began in 1965 when the “Washington Color Painters” exhibit opened at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art and continued to flourish through the early ‘70s. The painters featured in this exhibit, and those considered to be the heart of the Washington Color School, included Morris Louis, Tom Downing, Gene Davis,
Paul Reed, Howard Mehring and Kenneth Noland.
Though the heyday of the Washington Color School has come and gone, the movement left an indelible mark on the D.C. art scene. Noland taught at Catholic University’s art department, and Gilliam actually taught art in the D.C. public school system. Much of the art coming from D.C. since the 1960s has felt the Color School’s influence,
and the movement maintains its status as the only school to come out of Washington.
Tom Downing’s paintings to a large extent consisted of circles arranged in precise patterns on the canvas, with colors often chosen according to ideas of symmetry. Downing’s Spot Paintings are his best known works. There is however, not much written about this artist in the context of his own work, however you will recognize the images.
June 8, 2015
Robert Irwin, is one of the America’s great aesthetic radicals: a MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner and a standout among the 1960s Light and Space artists (who are seeing renewed interest at the moment),
he is arguably the most influential artist that California has ever produced.
He started out as an Abstract Expressionist painter in the 1950s, but made increasingly minimal work—paintings with only lines, then only dots, then simply discs that hover in space, their edges indistinguishable
from the wall. He banished painterly marks, then the frame, then the painting itself.
By the 1970s, he was producing installations composed only of light and subtle alterations to spaces. He also began venturing outdoors. For a show at the Whitney in 1977, he repainted the intersection of 44th Street
and Fifth Avenue and strung a wire between the two World Trade Center buildings—artworks that few probably noticed.
“I was always asking myself, what is the actual goal of art, the actual subject of art? What justifies its high standing?” he said. “We’re building these cathedrals to art today, really almost to the level of absurdity,
so you ask yourself, what does it contribute?”
June 3, 2015
I have always been a fan, as you know of abstract expressionism and my love for FRANKENTHALER’S work has been for quite some time! If you are not familiar with her work you are in for a treat, as she is truly one of the world’s greatest women artists! Her freedom of expression, the use of the colors and the muted tones, the romance and reflection! I aspire to have one of her paintings on day!
I hope you enjoy this post! Have a great day!
Born in New York in 1928, Helen Frankenthaler first studied withRuffino Tamayo at the Dalton School. At Bennington College, Vermont, 1945-49, she received a disciplined grounding in Cubism from Paul Feeley, though her own instincts lay closer to the linear freedom
of Arshile Gorky and the color improvisations of Wassily Kadinsky early work.
In 1950 the critic Clement Greenberg introduced her to contemporary painting. During that summer, she studied with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 1951 Adolph Gottlieb selected her for an important New Talent exhibition, and she had her first one
person show in New York later that year.
The work of Jackson Pollack proved the decisive catalyst to the development of her style. Immediately appreciating the potential, not fully developed by Pollock, of pouring paint directly onto raw unprimed canvas, she thinned her paint with turpentine to allow the diluted color to penetrate quickly into the fabric,
rather than build up on the surface.
This revolutionary soak-stain approach not only permitted the spontaneous generation of complex forms but also made any separation of figure from background impossible since the two became virtually fused a technique that was an important influence on the work of other painters, particularly
Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.
May 27, 2015
I would have to say that MAN RAY has been one of my favorite photographers for many years. And any chance I have to see some of his work I run to it! His life history is really wonderful and the influences he experienced quite fascinating. I hope you enjoy his work, as I am sure many of you have seen it before.
Man Ray is foremost known as a fashion photographer, but he actually had a successful career as an artist as well. His politely avant-garde photographs for Vogue and other magazines make up the brunt of his notoriety in within the mainstream world. Yet, in the overall chronology of his artistic career the commissioned
photography of his later career seems like a second (much less important) career.
Man Ray first came on to the radar when he began to associate with Marcel Duchamp in New York. A Jewish-American, he was born in Brooklyn in 1890. They met in 1915, when Duchamp made one of his many visits there from his stomping ground, Paris. The young artist’s first introduction to the art of the moment came in 1913 in the
form of the Armory show, at which the most subversive European artists including Duchamp and Francis Picabia (and less impressive American) exhibited their work. Two years, Man Ray became Duchamp’s right-hand man in launching the short-lived Dada movement in New York.
Duchamp’s influence became key in Man Ray’s development as an artist. Man Ray became Duchamp’s first (and only, until the Post-Modernist movement) follower when he produced his own readymade sculpture in the vein of Duchamp’s Fountain. In 1921 Man Ray came to Paris to officially become part of the European Dadaists.
He settled in Montparnasse, and was introduced to the Paris collective by Duchamp.
Perhaps Man Ray’s most enduring photograph, a visual analogy likening the shape of a woman’s backside to that of a violin.
Man Ray slowly made the transition from sculpture and painting to photography. It began to emerge as his true passion even in the 1910s, but Man Ray did not make it his sole pursuit until the late 1930s. In the transition he made several decidedly-Surrealist works.
Man Ray gained repertoire quickly, and was unceremoniously accepted by the Paris Dadaists/Surrealists, a group with exorbitant admission standards. His notoriety allowed him the privilege to photograph many of the key artists of the time, such as Marcel Duchamp and Andre Beton (the leader of the Surrealist movement).
In 1934 he had a liaison with Meret Oppenheim of the fur tea-cup fame, and photographed her nude in a classic artist-and-muse scenario.
From the time he began attracting attention as an artist until his death more than sixty years later, Man Ray allowed little of his early life or family background to be known to the public, even refusing to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray.
Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radnitzky in South Philadelphia,Pennsylvania USA in 1890, the eldest child of recent Russian Jewish immigrants. The family would eventually include another son and two daughters, the youngest born shortly after they settled in the Willaimsburg section of Brooklyn, New York in 1897. In early 1912,
the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray, a name selected by Man Ray’s brother, in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and anti-Semitism prevalent at that time. Emmanuel, who was called “Manny” as a nickname, changed his first name to Man at this time, and gradually began to use Man Ray as his combined single name.
Man Ray’s father was a garment factory worker who also ran a small tailoring business out of the family home, enlisting his children from an early age. Man Ray’s mother enjoyed making the family’s clothes from her own designs and inventing patchwork items from scraps of fabric.[ Despite Man Ray’s desire to disassociate himself from his family background,
this experience left an enduring mark on his art. Tailor’s dummies, flat irons, sewing machines, needles, pins, threads, swatches of fabric, and other items related to clothing and sewing appear at every stage of his work and in almost every medium. Art historians have also noted similarity in his collage and painting techniques to those used in making clothing.
May 25, 2015
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I was introduced to Andrew Lords work about a year ago. He is a British artist, super well respected for his craft, with a very unique take on ceramics. Ceramics has always been for me, memories of art in high school, and really not good at it.
So I am always interested in well known ceramicists, as this medium is a lot harder to judge and assess and actually do, then one might think.
Lord usually makes ceramics. Clay — the “dust of the ground” — is his primary material. He breathes remarkable life into the human qualities that, since ancient times, have been attached to ceramic vessels.
Most any clay vessel has a mouth, lip, neck, body and foot, and the use of bodily terminology is not accidental. Lord regards those body parts quite literally — not by making forms that necessarily describe them but through
highlighting the sense of touch. He even uses his body, as well as his hands, to push, squeeze and mold the vessels. The forms can appear crude on initial encounter, but they grow sophisticated, even elegant, the longer you linger.
There are bite marks all over a trio of vessels aptly titled “biting.” The oversize cup, urn and three-footed bowl of the group titled “tasting” feature surfaces that are lumpy but smoothly licked. A pair of tall, differently shaped vases called “swallowing,
” which may be the most beautiful objects ever , appear to have taken shape by physical manipulation in the crook of the artist’s neck, formed between jaw, shoulder and collarbone. Lord’s body was employed as a tool.
As in Lord’s 1980s work, those evanescent golden highlights take shape as material substance in the clay sculptures. Rips, tears and breaks that occur as the vessels are being made, glazed and fired in a kiln are patched
with epoxy, covered in gold leaf. The pots’ white crackle glaze is like a pore-flecked skin; gold sanctifies the vessels’ bodily wounds.
I told you, this is not just any ceramicist!