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June 3, 2014
New introduction to the Fourteenth Street school of art! I had never heard of this school of art, did some digging and found this incredible artist! His work is very reminiscent of Degas and several others.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Raphael Soyer was a prominent American Social Realist painter of the Fourteenth Street school of the 1920s and 1930s, which included Isabel Bishop, Edward Laning, Reginald Marsh and Kenneth Hayes Miller.
Many members of the group worked or maintained studios in the vicinity of Union Square in Manhattan. The son of a liberal Russian Hebrew scholar, Raphael immigrated with his parents and siblings to the United States around 1912;
the family settled in the Bronx. Raphael studied at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design, and the Educational Alliance Art School (1914–1922). He taught at the Art Students League from 1933 to 1942, when American scene
painting was the predominant artistic style. A prolific painter, lithographer, and illustrator, Soyer excelled in social scenes that often featured figures caught in reflective moments of self-absorption, even as they might be immersed in
otherwise bustling cityscapes. In the 1940s he and his twin brother, Moses, were encouraged by the Russian émigré painter David Burliuk to establish seasonal studios in Hampton Bays, where they exhibited and fraternized with a kindred
circle of Social Realist painters.
Regarded as America’s leading advocate of realism, Raphael Soyer devoted his long, productive life to “painting people … in their natural context-who belong to their time.” During the 1930s, Soyer’s poignant portrayals of
New York City’s office workers
and the unemployed secured his reputation as a major Social Realist. There was a shift in Soyer’s work of the 1940sfrom urban environments towards interior scenes. In this work, he has combined two common themes of his oeuvre:
intimate studies of
solitary women, often nudes, and portraits of fellow artists, reflecting his great affection and admiration for them.
May 27, 2014
Al Held (1928-2005) was one of the last and best of the big-impact abstract painters to emerge from the postwar era.
From 1961 to ’67, a transitional period during which Held based compositions on simple, geometric shapes and, more remarkably, letters of the Roman alphabet.
The Yellow X (1965), he anticipated his own future. Made on two conjoined canvases measuring 8 ½ by 12 feet over all, its surface is almost entirely given over to bright yellow, acrylic paint —
Differently colored triangles intruding on each of the four sides define the image as the middle of a huge, slightly irregular X, which seems to be tilting forward in space. The inserts are divided into strips of contrasting color that suggest the depth of the sides of the X, as if it had been cut from a giant, six-inch thick slab. In this respect it prefigures the paintings of Mr. Held’s last three decades: enormous, breathtaking pictures of impossibly complicated structures made from straight and curved, richly colorful girders that implicitly expand into cosmic distances.
May 20, 2014
I love the work of Marie Bovo-her work called ‘Cour Interieure gives new meaning to looking up. Have you ever looked at a snap shot out of daily life and thought how much it can be construed as an art form? This series gives meaning to just that.
Originally from Alicante, Spain, photographer Marie Bovo now lives and works in Marseille.
May 13, 2014
Since the early 1990s, Gibbs (born 1973) has used a unique pictorial language based on knitting and crochet patterns to transform photographs into drawings.
First he makes a black-and-white copy of a photograph, and then he overlays a grid on the copy. Working from unit to unit (bottom to top, left to right),
he transfers the imagery to another gridded sheet of paper by making marks approximating the tonal values.
Gibbs’ work is based on photographs that he selects for their engagement of specific qualities inherent to the medium, including the way that photographs
can capture an instant imperceptible to the naked eye.
May 6, 2014
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!
May 1, 2014
Mat Collishaw’s art envelops us in a twilight world poised between the alluring and the revolting, the familiar and the shocking, the poetic and the morbid. With a visual language embracing diverse media, the beauty of Collishaw’s work draws
us in – seductive, captivating, hypnotic – only to more forcefully repel us as we perceive the darker fantasies within. A repulsion triggered not by what we see, but by our innate response to it.
Pornography, the crucifixion, gleaming fairies, syphilitic child prostitutes, bestiality, bondage, addiction, religion, exaltation and despair, even the final hours of a death-row inmate. There is seemingly no taboo left unbroken, no dark corner Collishaw
is unwilling to explore – and yet, the work is utterly romantic, exquisitely beautiful, an expression of Collishaw’s wish to “create images that are awe-inspiring”.
The forbidden has always fascinated Collishaw: “I am fuelled by things in my past which were suppressed or held at a distance, which have generated some form of hunger to make my work.” Hardly surprising then, that themes such as stifled sexual desire,
brutal and perverse lust, the power of media imagery and the concept of divinity recur throughout his work
April 29, 2014
I thought it a great idea to introduce the work of FRIDA KAHLO, to those of you who are not quite familiar with her. But know her paintings and may know that she and DIEGO RIVERA were a couple, romantically , emotionally, artistically and politically .
It is always a question, that I hear, when I am eavesdropping on a docent tour of Mexican Artists,”why are all of her paintings, or most of them, self portraits”? So, in having written about DIEGO, I thought it only fair to give a written introduction to FRIDA!
“In 1953, when Frida Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico (the only one held in her native country during her lifetime), a local critic wrote: ‘It is impossible to separate the life and work of this extraordinary person.
Her paintings are her biography.’ This observation serves to explain both why her work is so different from that of her contemporaries, the Mexican Muralists, and why she has since become a feminist icon.
“Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907, the third daughter of Guillermo and Matilda Kahlo. Her father was a photographer of Hungarian Jewish descent, who had been born in Germany; her mother was Spanish and Native American. Her life was to be a long series of physical traumas, and the first of these came early. At the age of six she was stricken with polio, which left her with a limp. In childhood, she was nevertheless a fearless tomboy, and this made Frida her father’s favorite. He had advanced ideas about her education, and in 1922 she entered the Preparatory (National Preparatory School), the most prestigious educational institution in Mexico, which had only just begun to admit girls. She was one of only thirty-five girls out of two thousand students.
“It was there that she met her husband-to-be, Diego Rivera , who had recently returned home from France, and who had been commissioned to paint a mural there. Kahlo was attracted to him, and not knowing quite how to
deal with the emotions she felt, expressed them by teasing him, playing practical jokes, and by trying to excite the jealousy of the painter’s wife, Lupe Marin.
“In 1925, Kahlo suffered the serious accident which was to set the pattern for much of the rest of her life. She was travelling in a bus which collided with a tramcar, and suffered serious injuries to her right leg and pelvis. The accident made it impossible for her to have children, though it was to be many years before she accepted this. It also meant that she faced a life-long battle against pain. In 1926, during her convalescence, she painted her first self-portrait, the beginning of a long series in which she charted the events of her life and her emotional reactions to them.
She met Rivera again in 1928, through her friendship with a photographer and revolutionary. Rivera’s marriage had just disintegrated, and the two found that they had much in common, not least from a political
point of view, since both were now communist militants. They married in August 1929. Kahlo was later to say: ‘I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down… The other accident is Diego.’
April 24, 2014
I have always loved photography, landscapes; still life’s and you know it is a recurring theme on my blog. Today I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite German photographers, known for his fantastic approach
I hope you enjoy this post and have a fabulous day! Love, Jamie
Axel is involved with ‘landscape’ on many different levels and is constantly shifting his focus, whether it is to do with the city itself, its outskirts and boundaries and also where the ‘natural landscape’ begins.
The untouched or virgin landscape has provided his main motivation in recent years, requiring long distance journeys to many different continents. Increasingly, Hütte has been drawn to more sparsely populated areas in order to concentrate on
native in its purest form.
The resulting photographs emphatically reveal strong painterly qualities. The absence of any people in his landscapes stresses the sheer grandiosity of nature, and at the same time transforming the viewer into an absent witness.
April 22, 2014
I had the pleasure many years ago of meeting Manuel Neri and getting to spend some time with him His work is tremendous and so inspirational to me.
I hope that you enjoy learning about these amazing talents! And that you find them inspirational!
|Manuel Neri has taken up the existential quest of the beauty of the unfinished, the unfinishable. His sculptures have extremes of surface and texture that relate to their creative birth and their succeeding stages of ‘death’ (and perhaps rebirth) through the artist’s continued re-working of the surfaces and form.It was in Neri’s surprising and substantial body of early paintings and painted papers, figurative as well as nonfigurative, that he developed his special skills for polychromy and brushwork, which he then applied radically to sculpture, his primary sensual and public medium.Neri’s works on paper encompass almost every artistic approach, and show a broadly talented sculptor intelligently, urgently, and creatively probing color, form, materials and the nature of graphic invention.
Manuel Neri (b. 1930) is one of the premier figurative sculptors working today. Born in Sanger, California, Neri began exploring new forms and materials in sculpture and painting in the early 1950s while studying in San Francisco. It was during this period that
such prominent Bay Area artists as David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn began to take a renewed interest in the human figure. Their efforts to combine the human form with abstract expressionist practice had a lasting influence on Neri.
Initially, Neri began sculpting in “junk”—burlap, wire, cardboard—and, soon thereafter, in simple plaster. His lone female figures, often in frankly erotic or naturalistic poses, were lauded immediately not only for their vitality and rawness but also for being simultaneously
contemporary and timeless. From the onset, Neri painted the “skin” of his figures with patches of bright color—a conscious bow, he has said, to the painted sculpture of Marino Marini and to the ceramics of Pablo Picasso, as well as to the visceral expressionism of Willem de Kooning.
Neri’s figures and abstractions on canvas and on paper are equally expressive. Rendered in oil, pastel, tempera, graphite, and charcoal, these works are, in the words of Jack Cowart, former chief curator of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the “record of an artist anxiously,
constantly, experimenting and visualizing his craft.”1 Some of Neri’s most important nonsculptural works include the “Window Series” paintings from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and a series of drawings dating from 1976 onward that feature a monumental figure placed in the center of a painted sheet.
Over the past twenty years, Neri has sculpted in Carrara marble even as he continues working in bronze, in some cases, adding brushstrokes of paint, scratches, and other marks atop the marble surface or bronze patina. Recent unpainted marbles are exceptionally notable for their monumentality
and sharp delineations between rough and polished surfaces, and their clear references to classical sculpture.
By casting, carving, and hand-painting his sculptures, Neri is able to explore the life processes of transformation and disintegration. According to writer Bruce Nixon, this “collision of hand and material is fundamentally existential … [and represents] a literal, physical effort to erase the gap between [artist and model].
Indeed, throughout Neri’s entire career, a lone, archetypal woman has been the vehicle for his most ambitious formal and symbolic goals.
April 17, 2014
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I was in a museum of few weeks ago, I can’t remember which one I was in, but I do remember taking an interest in an exhibit of fluorescent tubular colored lights. This was not the first time I had seen this artists work, but probably the first time i took more then a moment to understand that there had to be more to what I was looking at.
So I decided to look the artist up and ergo, today’s post!
Interesting man with a lot of thought that went into his sculptures.
Have a great day!
For more than three decades, Dan Flavin (1933-1996) vigorously pursued the artistic possibilities of fluorescent light. The artist radically limited his materials to commercially available fluorescent tubing in standard sizes, shapes, and colors, extracting banal hardware from its utilitarian context and inserting it into the world of high art.
The resulting body of work at once possesses a straightforward simplicity and a deep sophistication.
Dan Flavin took an everyday object, found in most stores, homes and offices, and made it extraordinary. He used fluorescent lights of varying lengths and colors and arranged them to create sculptures of light.
DAN FLAVINS career-long exploration of an art of light, situated outside the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture, established him as a progenitor and chief exponent of minimalism. Though Flavin (1933–1996) is one of the most important and influential artists of the late 20th century,
“Dan Flavin’s light sculptures illuminate everything around them,” Stamberg reports. “His fluorescent lights don’t just hang there. They inhabit space. They wash the walls with color, they mix colors so the white walls seem painted. They bathe space — and visitors — in a warm and completely artificial glow.”
Steve Morse helped build some of the pieces. He says Flavin, who died in 1996, didn’t have an interest in the hard physics of lights, but he did have an interest in their blended effects.
Though Flavin’s lights often evoke a cheerful response from visitors, he does have darker pieces.
One (monument 4 for those who have been killed in ambush), created in response to the Vietnam War, is made from blood-colored tubes that jut off the wall aggressively — invading the viewer’s space.
“Even though the work is entirely abstract, it has an incredible range of emotion, from elation to tragic to ironic to playful, with a single medium.”