Tag Archive | Artist

Pink Thing Of The Day: Dance of The Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset By Amber Cowan

Pink Thing Of The Day
All Photos By Gail

Amber Cowan is a sculptress who works exclusively with recycled vintage glass, and her art is just phenomenal for its intricate beauty and imaginative qualities, combined with an irresistible nostalgic pull. The above tableau is entitled Dance of The Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset (2019) — was part of an exhibit of her work at NYC’s Heller Gallery, which just closed this past weekend.

Pink Glass Sculpture Detail

Amber’s work asks universal questions about rebirth, knowledge, desire and the transformative powers of labor and imagination. Her fantastical grotto-like assemblages are made of re-worked pressed glassware, once produced by some of the best known, but now-defunct, American glass factories.  In her most recent, narrative wall sculptures, she creates intricate and exuberant settings for character-objects, which she has collected over years.  Unabashedly showing her emotional investment in these objects, the artist pays spontaneous and spectacular homage to the history of US glass manufacturing.

Edge Detail

She is currently working with a process which involves flameworking, blowing, and hot-sculpting recycled, up-cycled, and second-life glass that is usually American pressed glass from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. The glass used is generally sought through thrift stores, flea markets and post-production factory runs, the places where it is has been abandoned to the dust bins of American design.

Dance of the Pacific Coast Highway

Advertisements

Modern Art Monday Presents: Boy By Charles Ray

Boy By Charles Ray
All Photos By Gail

Having been employed as a department store janitor during his freshman year of college, Charles Ray (b. 1953) understands the unease that a mannequin — an inanimate object that one might readily mistake for a live human — can inspire.  Ray’s work is also charged with purely sculptural tensions that exist between surface and interior, armature and appendage and / or size and scale. With Boy (1992), Ray created a particularly disquieting figure.

Boy With Guard
Museum Guard With Sense of Humor Poses With Boy

The sculpture stands just shy of six feet tall, the artist’s exact height, yet maintains the softness of youth in its rounded cheeks and limbs. The boy is clad in outdated garments, hovering ‘between baby and Hitler youth,” in the words of one critic. Additionally, the boy’s pose and gesture suggest a confrontational manner at odds with his neutral expression.Boy By Charles Ray

Photographed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Helen Frankenthaler, Orange Mood

Helen Frankenthaler Orange Mood
Photos By Gail

In Orange Mood (1966), Helen Frankenthaler (19282011) thinned acrylic paint to the consistency of watercolor in order to create larger, curving expanses of color through which the weave of the canvas remains visible. Like Jackson Pollack, she placed her canvas directly on the floor and poured paint from above, largely without the aid of a brush. Frankenthaler used color as her painterly language, but she never entirely abandoned representation. Although the references can be subtle, her paintings consistently evoke nature. The undulating forms in Orange Mood relate to a simplified landscape, with zones of color recalling different emotional states. Hue and shape convey place and feeling. “I think of my pictures as explosive landscapes, worlds and distances, held on a flat surface,” Frankenthaler once stated.

Helen Frankenthaler Orange Mood
Installation View

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, On View Through August 2019 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Rat Boi Mural By Sheryo and The Yok

Rat Boi By Sheryo and The Yok
Photos By Gail

This fun mural features an urban rodent character called Rat Boi, and it is a collaboration from street artists Sheryo and The Yok. The mural went up on Allen Street (as part of The New Allen project) in October of 2017.

Rat Boi By Sheryo and The Yok

Curtis Kulig Love Mural in Soho

Love Mural
Photos By Gail

Artist Curtis Kulig’s popular Love Me campaign can be found on everything from Tote Bags and Baseball Caps to Jewelry and Nike sneakers. But sometimes you just see it out on the street, where it originated.

This minimalist mural, which just says Love twice in black and again in pink paint, was spotted while I was headed uptown on Sixth Avenue, somewhere between Dominick and Spring Street in SoHo, NYC.

Love Mural

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ad Reinhardt, Number 22

Ad Reinhardt Number 22
Photos By Gail

Ad Reinhardt (19131967)  studied both Eastern and Western art history at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He deepened his understanding of Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies by attending the lectures of Zen teacher Daisetz Suzuki at Columbia University. Number 22 (1949) shows Reinhardt fusing Eastern and Western traditions by using calligraphic brushwork inspired by Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in a gridded composition influenced by those of de Stijl cofounder Piet Mondrian.

Ad Reinhardt Number 22 Detail
Number 22, Detail

In classical East Asian painting, the fragility of paper wet with ink limits the artist’s ability to rework the composition. The sturdier canvas support and slower-drying oil paints used throughout much of the history of Western painting allows artists to highlight various revision and layering techniques. Although he worked in oil on canvas, Reinhardt chose to restrain himself and not rework his painting’s surface, in keeping with Asian calligraphic traditions. The result is a far more controlled manner of gestural painting than those of the Abstract Expressionists.

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

New U.S. Postage Stamps Honor American Minimalist Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps
Images Courtesy of USPS

America artist Ellsworth Kelly (19232015), whose work I have often covered here on ‘The Gig, forged a distinctive style of abstraction over his seven decades as an artist. On May 31st, 2019 Kelly was commemorated with 10 U.S. Postal Service stamps highlighting his work.  Amazing!

The Ellsworth Kelly Forever stamps were dedicated at the Ellsworth Kelly Studio in Spencertown, NY. News about the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #EllsworthKelly and #EllsworthKellyStamps.

Ellsworth Kelly honed his artistic voice as a soldier during World War II when he created camouflage patterns and designed posters for the U.S. government,” said USPS Marketing Vice President Steve Monteith, who served as the dedicating official. “Today we celebrate the American master of abstract painting with these dynamic stamps that truly capture the creative talent of Kelly that will be seen by millions as Forever stamps on cards and letters.”

Characterized by precise shapes rendered in bold, flat colors, Ellsworth Kelly’s art and minimalist / color field aesthetic encompasses painting, sculpture and works on paper, drawing on careful observations of light and shadow, negative space, and line and form. In painting shapes — like a tennis court, a smokestack on a tugboat, or the roof of a barn — as flat planes of color, Kelly removed their dimensionality and turned reality into abstraction. He was also one of the first artists to create shaped canvases and to integrate art with modern architecture, taking great care in the decisions he made about the size of a painting, its boundaries, and its placement in relation to walls and floors.

Even late in his career, Kelly continued to refine his vision, constantly returning to his notebooks and earlier works to further develop ideas and explore new directions. Fittingly, his last work, an ambitious free-standing building titled Austin, seamlessly melds color, sculpture and architecture into a single experience.

Ellsworth Kelly received the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Today his work is in the permanent collections of major museums in the U.S. and around the world.

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps

The 20 stamps on the pane feature 10 of Kelly’s artworks, each represented twice in the following order: top row, L to R: Yellow White (1961), Colors for a Large Wall (1951), Blue Red Rocker (1963), Spectrum I (1953), South Ferry (1956); and second row, L to R: Blue Green (1962), Orange Red Relief for Delphine Seyrig (1990), Meschers (1951), Red Blue (1964), and Gaza (1956). The selvage features a detail from Blue Yellow Red III (1971), as well as Kelly’s name and the years of his birth and death.

Ellsworth Kelly’s name appears at the bottom center of each stamp in bold black type. “USA” and “Forever” are printed alongside each artwork. Derry Noyes served as art director and designer for this stamp sheet. The Ellsworth Kelly stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. The Ellsworth Kelly Forever Stamps can be purchased at at Post Office locations nationwide, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and  from the USPS official website/ online store at This Link.

Lastly, contrary to what our Idiot president would have you believe, it is worth noting that The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.