Tag Archive | 1950

Golden Barbie Street Art Shrine Celebrates Barbie’s 60th Birthday!

Golden Barbie
Photos By Gail

Today March 9th, 2019, marks the 60th Anniversary of the introduction of the world’s most famous fashion doll, known to us simply as Barbie. In honor of this lovely icon of pop culture, I dug up a set of photos I took earlier this year that I have dubbed the Golden Barbie Street Art Shrine, even thought it has less to do with Barbie than it does with the mission of NYC street artist Hispano Man (@hispanoman). Check out his Instagram for more art and information!

Golden Barbie Street Shrine

Golden Barbie Street Shrine was Spotted on Elizabeth Street Near the Corner of Prince Street in the Nolita Neighborhood of NYC!

Modern Art Monday Presents: John Wilde’s Work Reconsidered #1

Work Reconsidered #1
Photo By Gail

The “Work Reconsidered” in the title is John Wilde’s own drawing. This painting from 1950 is based on a “bridal” portrait that Wilde had made of his wife, Helen, in 1943. Its exacting realism and compressed perspective, as well as the subject’s pose and inscrutable expression, recall the Northern and Italian Renaissance portraits that inspired Wilde. He added surrealist details to these traditions: the butterflies on the woman’s body and head, the isolated food items on the table, and the moody landscape background create and otherworldly effect.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Shadow By Stephen Greene

The Shadow
Photo By Gail

Stephen Greene (September 19, 1917 – November 18, 1999) was an American artist known for his abstract paintings and, in the 1940s, his social realist figure paintings.  Greene studied with Philip Guston with whom he remained friends until Guston’s death in 1980. During his career, Greene taught at Princeton University, where he was teacher to many well-known figures in the art world including Frank Stella and art critic / historian Michael Fried. In honor of this being Halloween, I wanted to find an appropriately-themed work of art, and I think that Greene’s painting, The Shadow (1950), suits perfectly.

Below is an excerpt from an in-depth interview with Greene conducted by Dorothy Seckler on June 8, 1968, found Here, in which he describes his state of mind at the time of painting The Shadow, and reveals his feelings about the painting:

“In Europe I just sort of went crazy. I didn’t sleep much. I wander around till 5 o’clock in the morning. I had worked very hard to become a painter and to show. I suddenly found myself in a foreign place. And I bought canvas there and it was the wrong canvas and the paint went through. Everything seemed to go wrong. I had sort of loss of nerve. And so when I got a little better, the doctor asked me if I would prefer to go home rather than staying there. Well then I came home. I had taken leave from my job. So I had no job. The Gallery gave me around $150 a month for 2 or 3 months: no, it was a little more than that. But in a very scary way. The Whitney bought The Burial just about that time. And the Gallery was so peculiar about giving me the money sometimes I’d have to call 4 or 5 times for the check. And I needed it. I didn’t live sensibly enough so I could live on $150 a month. So I finally said give me $100 a month. I tried to teach privately. And then I got a one-day job back at Parsons. And I think that psychologically I had undergone a very bad experience. And so suddenly from someone who had been known I became unknown. It was like everything I had sort of worked for for a long time was rather difficult. I was very depressed. And so I had to start off like an invalid almost. I’d put something in front and almost trace it, fill it in. I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever be able to paint. So I painted this picture. It’s called The Shadow.

It’s a setup. But it’s a very simple form easel with an actual skeleton on it, and a bone on the floor and then the shadow of the skeleton on the thing. And in retrospect I certainly am not very happy about it. You know, it’s very morbid and I think subject matter can be murderous because no painting is worth anything unless it’s formally exciting in some kind of very different way. So I think this is just some sort of – you see when anything gets so straightly autobiographical and not much else, no matter what anybody else might see, I just don’t like the picture. That is never with me, too. And I find it’s just a curio out of my existence.”

Photographed in the Whitey Museum of American Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jean Arp, Configuration in Serpentine Movements

Configuration in Serpentine Movements
Photo By Gail

In his later years, Jean Arp produced three-dimensional sculptures that he modeled in plaster and translated into stone and bronze. Plaster enabled Arp to experiments with new, unique forms, such as the amoeba-like shapes in Configuration in Serpentine Movements (1950). Referring to his biomorphic art as “l’art concret” (concrete art), Arp emphasized how this style evoked natural forms without imitation or specific definition, as if the sculpture had been created by natural forces rather than his own hand.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: George Tooker, The Subway

The Subway George Tooker
Photo By Gail

For The Subway (1950), George Tooker used a claustrophobic, labyrinthine subway station to portray the alienation and the isolation of contemporary urban life.  These urban dwellers — all of whom seem to have the same face — seem frozen, trapped by the architecture of the subway station. Tooker rendered this distinctly modern subject in egg tempera, a medium associated almost exclusively with the Renaissance. The technique creates a smooth, matte surface and is ideal for making sharp, clear lines, which together lend the anxious scene an eerie placidity. The artist said that he attempted to paint reality in a way that would impress it  “on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream.” I love this painting.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, now in its new home at 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014, in the Meatpacking District, adjacent to the Highline.

 

 

 

Happy 65th Birthday, David Cassidy!

David Cassidy Young
Image Source

Musician and Actor David Cassidy was born on this day, April 12th in 1950, and we wish him a very Happy Birthday! As an aside, when I was 19 years old I had a boyfriend named Mark, who everyone called “Mark Popstar,” because he so closely resembled David Cassidy. That relationship, now decades in the past, was largely inconsequential, but it’s still a nice memory to know that I was once cute enough to get a boy as cute as David Cassidy.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Oval with Color Planes I

Mondrian Composition in Oval
Photo By Gail

Although he painted in both realist and abstract styles during his career, Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is best known for his grid paintings of vertical and horizontal black lines with the three primary colors. Composition in Oval With Color Planes I (1914) follows a grid pattern but is somewhat unique in that Mondrian used a pastel color palette.

According to experts, “the geometry of this composition, made two years after Mondrian moved from Holland to Paris, is directly based on sketches of partially demolished buildings, with exposed floors, chimneys and patches of wallpaper. Mondrian believed that horizontal and vertical lines, such as those he used here, expressed an underlying, universal order.”

This piece was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection in 1950.