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June 10, 2014
Chilean-born artist Roberto Matta was an international figure whose worldview represented a synthesis of European, American and Latin American cultures. As a member of the Surrealist movement and an early mentor to several Abstract Expressionists, Matta broke with both groups to pursue a highly personal artistic vision. His mature work blended abstraction, figuration and multi-dimensional spaces into complex, cosmic landscapes. Matta’s long and prolific career was defined by a strong social conscience and an intense exploration of the his internal and external worlds.
I have always been a fan of MATTA’S work. It is a bit phantom and very, sometimes eerie, but i love his sense of style and where the thoughts came from. I do hope you enjoy this post!
Matta’s earliest works were abstract crayon drawings produced using the Surrealist practice of automatism. In these drawings, he referenced organic growth patterns, microscopic views of plants and the non-Euclidean geometry described by mathematician Jules Henri Poincare. Matta transitioned from drawing to oil painting in 1938, while working in Brittany with the British artist Gordon Onslow Ford. The works that Matta created around this time were the first of what he called his “Psychological Morphologies”. In these paintings, Mata explored his subconscious mind through a language of abstract forms and constantly evolving,
multi-dimensional spaces. Matta also referred to these works as “Inscapes”, with the implication that they depicted the interior landscape of the artist’s mind, interconnected with his external reality.
Matta was well established within the Surrealist group by the time that he was forced to flee Europe for America in the fall of 1939. When Matta arrived in New York City, he was the youngest and most outgoing of Surrealist emigres. These traits, combined with a shared interest in automatist
art-making techniques, allowed Matta to quickly form relationships with several of the young New York School artists. Throughout the first half of the 1940s, Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, William Baziotes, Peter Busa, Robert Motherwell and others met frequently with Matta to learn about
his personal ideas about Surrealism.
In the mid-1940s, Matta’s work changed dramatically. Responding to the continuing horrors of the Second World War, Matta expanded his artistic interests beyond his exploration of the subconscious mind. He moved towards a more active engagement with the world in a series of works that he called
“Social Morphologies”. Many of Matta’s paintings from this period incorporate strangely menacing, machine-like contraptions and totemic human forms. He pitted these elements against each other in seemingly constant battle within a landscape of amorphous spaces and vaguely architectural planes.
These works have a new emotional immediacy, reverberating with a formal tension created by the often violently oppositional forms.
June 5, 2014
You know by now that I love Frank Stella and Robert Indiana’s work and all of the color pop art of the 60′s. well, a new addition to my love list is CHARLES HINMAN, whose work I just saw at a museum recently and decided to find out about
his work. Ergo, today’s post!
Enjoy today’s post! Much Love,
Charles Hinman was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. Hinman developed carpentry and engineering skills that gave him the ability to construct his own shaped canvases with complex three dimensional curves.
Hinman worked at Coenties Slip, in a studio shared with James Rosenquist whom he had met when they were students at the Art students League. Hinman created his first shaped canvases in his studio in 1965.
Charles Hinman first received critical attention in the exhibition 7 in 1964 where he exhibited flat canvases cut at angles and suspended by cords.
Hinman went on to add the third dimension to his shaped canvases while examining the subtle boundary between the picture plane and the space in front of it, as well as playing with the idea of literal versus illusionistic depth.
Hinman’s work examined three-dimensionallyity, exploring a fusion of the real space of sculpture and the illusory space of painting in his shaped canvases. His aim is to create “two separate entities that play against each other, to make the piece work with real and illusory
space, thus combining two separate realms that come together and play with one another.”
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
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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.