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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 30, 2015
An art dealer friend of mine introduced me to this artist, JIMMY LEE SUDDUTH, and I immediately fell in love with his work. I have always loved folk art and have collected collages from Romare Beardon. So I would like to introduce to you an amazing talent and what is so interesting, the details of his life and how they contributed to what he loved and how he practiced his talent.
Jimmy Lee Sudduth, an African-American folk artist whose evocative, textured paintings made partly from Alabama mud were prized by collectors around the world
A self-taught artist who began painting as a very small child, Mr. Sudduth was renowned for the effects he could produce with his own homemade paint, which consisted of
mud blended with a variety of common substances — soot, axle grease, sugar, coffee grounds and much else — to lend it color and texture.
Applied and worked with his fingers, the mud assumed contour, line and form. Painted on scrap lumber, sheet metal and most commonly on plywood, Mr. Sudduth’s art often depicted everyday life in Alabama
— portraits of houses, people, farm animals and his dog, Toto. But it also ranged over the architecture of faraway places, as in his paintings of Washington landmarks and his geometric scenes of New York City skyscrapers.
First exhibited formally in the late 1960s, Mr. Sudduth’s work gained wide popularity during the folk art boom of the 1980s. Today his paintings sell for anywhere from several hundred dollars to $5,000, said Susan Mitchell Crawley,
the associate curator of folk art at the High Museum in Atlanta.
His art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution, the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. It was the subject of a book,
“The Life and Art of Jimmy Lee Sudduth” (Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2005), by Ms. Crawley.
Jimmy Lee Sudduth was born in Caines Ridge, Ala., on March 10, 1910. (His first name was sometimes spelled Jimmie.) The details of his early life are hazy: he was believed to have been born to a family named Wilson and adopted by the Sudduth family when he was very young,
Mr. Sudduth’s adoptive mother was also a medicine woman, and as a toddler, he accompanied her into the woods to gather plants. On one of those trips, he drew a picture in mud on a tree stump.
When he and his mother returned to the spot a few days later, the picture was still there. She took this as a sign that her son must keep painting
As an adult, Mr. Sudduth did a variety of jobs, including working in a grist mill, in a lumberyard and as a gardener. He continued to paint in mud, but there was a problem: once dry, the mud flaked off the plywood.
Realizing he needed to add something to give the mud staying power, he found that viscous substances like molasses, honey, Coca-Cola and sorghum worked well. So did ordinary sugar. “Sweet mud,” Mr. Sudduth called the result.
Over the years Mr. Sudduth became a connoisseur of dirt; he liked to say that he could locate mud in 36 different shades. Once he became famous, people sent him dirt through the mail
To expand his palette further, Mr. Sudduth colored his work with an astonishing array of available ingredients, either by mixing them into the mud or rubbing them directly onto his wooden canvas.
They included flour, coffee grounds, instant coffee, dye wrung from sodden red crepe paper, ground brick, ground charcoal, colored chalk, crushed coal, turnip greens, flower petals, pokeweed berries,
ivy, soot, axle grease, elderberries, crushed green tree buds, boiled jimson weed, sap, walnut shells, burnt matchsticks, tobacco, egg yolk, grass and leftover house paint donated by neighbors.
The only drawback to these recipes was that some of the finished paintings were supremely attractive to mice, which ate holes in them. In later years, when advancing age made it hard for Mr. Sudduth collect mud, he switched to painting in acrylics.
“I paint with my finger ’cause that’s why I got it, and that brush don’t wear out,” he said in an interview quoted in the catalog of one of his exhibitions. “When I die, the brush dies.”
January 26, 2015
“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!
January 21, 2015
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.
January 16, 2015
I saw the work of Philip Guston in an auction catalog and was immediately drawn to it. The artist had a very difficult childhood, coming to this country at
the early years of the 1900′s,
being Jewish, and having had to face all of the anti-semtitism and re adjustment to a new way of life. His father wound up hanging himself in a shed, and Philip
was the one to find him.
America was going through so many changes and advances and Philip had the benedfit, albeit at the time, he didnt see it that way, of being part of the development
of Abstract Expressionism
and mural painting.
“There is something ridiculous and miserly in the myth we inherit from abstract art. That painting is autonomous, pure and for itself, therefore we habitually
analyze its ingredients
and define its limits. But painting is ‘impure’. It is the adjustment of ‘impurities’ which forces its continuity. We are image-makers and image-ridden.” From 1968
onwards he made
these words his motto. In this body of work he created a lexicon of images such as Klansmen light bulbs, shoes, cigarettes, and clocks. His work, in this manner
caught a lot of attetntion, some good some awful But this work really lead to opening the door to a freedom of expressionism that was not there before.
Often times we have a tendency to look at paintings as so one dimensional and when one puts the reasoning and the hisptory of that artist and what led the artist
to that way of painting, then for me, the art has a much more true meaning.
I hope you enjoy this post and have a chance to read about this incredible artist.
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.
January 5, 2015
I had the pleasure of running across a very whimsical artist named BRUCE McCALL. I love James goodman Gallery and he carries his work. Very light and happy in comparison to many of the artists Ilike to write about.
Sometimes its fun to just appreciate the simplicity of looking at a piece of art work that doesnt need much explanation. which, as you know for me, not needing a lot of explanation in and of itself is highly unusal! HA!
Bruce McCall’s humor writing and art work have been seen regularly in The New Yorker since 1980. Born and raised in Canada, where he was a high-school dropout, McCall is a largely self-taught artist and writer who returned
to his first love, humor and satire, after careers in commercial art, journalism, and advertising. He has published two story collections, “Zany Afternoons” and “All Meat Looks Like South america,” as well as an illustrated humor book, “The Last Dream-O-Rama,” and a memoir about growing up Canadian, “Thin Ice,” and his firstchildren’s book, “Marveltown,”.
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 12, 2014
The first time I was introduced to the work of DIANE ARBUS, it was an exhibit at the Met in New York. The show was mounted in such a way that leant an even more eerie feeling to these photographs. Again, noting that art can be a bit disturbing, and provocative at the same time.
When disturbing subjects are in the hands of artists it is fascinating to see what they do with the images. I hope you enjoy this post and learning about ARBUS!
Born Diane Nemerov on March 14, 1923, in New York, New York. Diane Arbus was one of the most distinctive photographers in the twentieth century, known for her eerie portraits and offbeat subjects. Her artistic talents emerged at a young age; she was created interesting drawings and paintings
while in high school. She married Allan Arbus in 1941 who taught her photography.
Working with her husband, Diane Arbus started out in advertising and fashion photography. They became quite a successful team with photographs appearing in such magazines as Vogue. In the late 1950s, she began to focus on her own photography. To further her art, Arbus studied with photographer Lisette Model
around this time. She began to pursue taking photographs of people she found during her wanderings around New York City. She visited seedy hotels, public parks, a morgue, and other various locales. These unusual images had a raw quality and several of them found their way in the July 1960 issue of Esquire magazine.
These photographs were a spring board for more work for Arbus.
By the mid-1960s, Diane Arbus was a well-established photographer, participating in shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York among other places. She was known for going to great lengths to get the shots she wanted. She became friends with many other famous photographers, such as Richard Avedon and `Walker Evans.
While professionally Arbus continued to thrive in the late 1960s, she had some personal challenges. Her marriage ended in 1969, and she later struggled with depression. She committed suicide in her New York apartment on July 26, 1971. Her work remains a subject of intense interest, and her life was part of the basis of the 2006 film,
Fur, starringNicole Kidman as Arbus.
December 8, 2014
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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.