Fernand Leger arranged impersonal elements of a new machine age like a cheerful assembly of children’s building blocks in Mechanical Elements (1920). Initially, his infatuation with modern technology did not go over well with collectors. As the artist later recalled, “For two years, Leonce Rosenberg, my dealer at the time, could not sell any of the work from my ‘mechanical period,’ while the mandolins of the Cubists moved briskly.”
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This intimate scene, Morning, Interior (1890) depicts artist Maximilien Luce’s close friend, fellow painter, Neo-Impressionist Gustave Perrot getting up and dressing as morning light streams through a garret window. Luce enlivened the traditional subject of an artist in his humble living quarters with a vivid palette of red, orange, yellow and blue, applied in stippled brushstrokes, in keeping with the newly minted technique of pointillism. Little is known about Perrot, aside from the fact that he died young. In 1892, his brief career was remembered in a fifteen-work tribute held at Salon de Independants in Paris.
This painting is one of two formal portraits that Klimt made of Adele Bloch-Bauer, one of the artists most important patrons. The wife of the successful industrialist, Bloch-Bauer was a prominent member of the Vienna’s cultural elite, serving as a key supporter of the arts and the founder of a salon for artists and writers. Klimt’s composition, completed when Bloch-Bauer was about 30 years old, emphasizes her social station: her towering figure, in opulent dress, extends to the vertical limits of the canvas and confronts the viewer head-on from its center. She poses against a jewel-toned backdrop of nearly abstract pattern blocks that suggest a richly decorated domestic interior.
In 1938, the Nazi government took possession of this portrait along with other works of art from the Bloch-Bauer family collection (including Adele Bloch-Bauer I, now in the collection of the Neue Gallerie in New York). In 2006, after years of legal negotiations, the works were returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs and subsequently sold to other collections. The Museum of Modern Art presents Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) as a generous loan from its current owner.
Do you enjoy the artwork of painter/sculptor Thrush Holmes? I sure do. His giant canvases combine techniques that range from ‘no rules’ street art to bold, classic expressionism, occasionally being embellished with bright squiggles of neon light that remind me of Keith Sonnier. The result is always something fun and fresh, and instantly recognizable as his.
Right now, Mike Weiss Gallery is hosting a new collection of Holmes’ large canvas works entitled, appropriately, Heavy Painting. Let’s take a look:
This one would look good against any décor, I think. It has a very summery vibe.
This one is also extremely great.
There are also paintings on which he has, for no obvious reason, written the name of tagger/artist Jim Joe, who once had an Exhibit at the Hole, back in January of 2014, that I did not care much for. Geoffrey and I had the chance to say Hi to Thrush at the opening reception a couple of weeks back and he is very cute and also pretty nice. Geoffrey asked him if he knew Jim Joe, or if he wasJim Joe, and I believe his answer to both questions was “no,” but I would not swear to it.
What band does this remind you of? Discuss.
I think this one is my favorite.
Thrush Holmes, Heavy Painting will be on exhibit through October 17th, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District
E.E.Cummings (1894 – 1962) is best known as a poet, but he also worked as a painter, referring to the visual and literary arts as his “twin obsessions.” In a series of abstractions made between 1919 and 1925 — titled either Sound or Noise followed by a number — Cummings explored sensory crossover between aural and visual forms. In Noise Number 13, spiraling and conical shapes seem to expand and contract; each overlapping color (or noise) vie to stand out from the others.
Cummings’ painterly vision is also reflected in his poems, particularly those composed with complicated line breaks and non-traditional spacing on the page. Those poems must be looked at to be heard — and the converse might be said of experiencing Noise Number 13, whose throbbing configurations we can imagine hearing.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of America Art in NYC.
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.
Pop Surrealism is a genre of painting that never gets tiresome for me. Connecticut based Artist Robert Deyber paints realist-style visual renderings of clichés, euphemisms and popular sayings or phrases, to create surreal, dreamlike tableaus that really take the viewer elsewhere. I love his work.
Despite his keen sense of humor and the visually absurd, Robert Deyber is a seriously skilled painter. Much like solving Rebus Puzzles, the fun in observing Deyber’s paintings is trying to deduce the title from the images on the canvas. Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious, and at other times quite confounding. You can even make a game of it with your friends!
Here are some of my favorites from Thursday night’s opening reception, where I had the chance to meet Robert, and he was very nice!
Lion of Coke
Martin Lawrence Galleries is located at 457 West Broadway (Between Houston and Prince) in Soho, NY.
Eastern European painter and sculptress, Agne Kisonaite, created this stunning sculpture, entitled simply Giant Lipstick, using over 5000 used lipstick tubes. Measuring a height of 2.5 meters (8 feet) with an overall weight of 200kg (440 pounds), the sculpture is incredibly modern and yet timelessly beautiful. Agne made the sculpture to draw attention to the need for green effort consciousness with regard to reduction, recycling and reuse here in our consumer culture
In her artist statement, she emphasizes that four tubes of lipstick are sold in the world every second and the packaging left cannot be recycled.
Please note that the top, or red colored part, of the sculpture is obviously comprised new, or rather unused lipsticks, and that the work was sponsored by Avon, who likely donated the lipsticks and tubes/packaging for use in the sculpture.
Check out more photos of this unique and thought provoking work of art This Link!
American painter, illustrator and sculptor Richard Artschwager passed away on February 9th at the age of 89. I recently visited the Whitney Museum here in Manhattan and had the chance to see a retrospective of Artschwager’s work, which surprised me with its diversity and freshness.
Exclamation Point (Chartreuse) Soft Sculpture by Richard Artschwager at The Whitney Museum .
Read more about the artist’s life and work at This Link. RIP.
I discovered the fun and thought provoking art of surrealist painter Robert Deyber just a few days ago, while I was at the Mark Kostabi exhibit at Martin Lawrence Galleries. Martin Lawrence also represents Deyber, and their basement gallery was filled with his clever images, which are literal visual representations of familiar, popular or mundane phrases or things such as “The Buck Stops Here,” “Bad Hair Day” or “Train of Thought.” I actually had to guess at the title of the painting above — which could be “Half a Heart or “Halfhearted” — because it wasn’t listed in the gallery and I could not find it online, so feel free to correct me if you are a Deyber fan who is familiar with this awesome painting.
Watch a cool short film on Deyber and his art at This Link.