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Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner

Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner Studio

“With Jackson there was quiet solitude. Just to sit and look at the landscape. An inner quietness. After dinner, to sit on the back porch and look at the light. No need for talking. For any kind of communication.” -Lee Krasner

(Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in the studio, 1949)

Love and Work

“In 1942, Pollock met Lee Krasner, a Jewish contemporary artist and an established painter in her own right, at a party. She later visited Pollock at his studio and was impressed with his art. They soon became romantically involved.

“Around this time, Peggy Guggenheim began expressing interest in Pollock’s paintings. During a meeting she had with the painter Pete Norman, he saw some of Pollock’s paintings lying on the floor and commented that Pollock’s art was possibly the most original American art he had seen. Guggenheim immediately put Pollock on contract.

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“Krasner and Pollock married in October 1945, and with the help of a $2,000 loan from Guggenheim, bought a farmhouse in the Springs area of East Hampton, on Long Island. Guggenheim gave Pollock a stipend to work, and Krasner dedicated her time to helping promote and manage his artwork. Pollock was happy to be in the country again, surrounded by nature, which had a major impact on his projects. He was energized by his new surroundings and by his supportive wife. In 1946, he converted the barn to a private studio, where he continued to develop his “drip” technique, the paint literally flowing off of his tools and onto the canvases that he typically placed on the floor.” -Biography

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Pablo Picasso Uncategorized

The Artistic Diversity of Pablo Picasso

The Creative Process of Pablo Picasso

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” -Pablo Picasso

“Pablo Picasso’s insatiable curiosity and tireless urge to create art often led him to mediums beyond painting. He fully explored sculpture and drawing, as well as printmaking and ceramics. This exhibition looks at Picasso’s engagement with printmaking over the course of his long career, and the ways it fostered his creativity by encouraging a thematic approach to his subjects and by allowing for constant experimentation.

“As a young artist, Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) bought a small printing press, and prints became part of the ongoing development of his work. His first series of etchings and drypoints was devoted to themes of the Blue and Rose periods. Examples include Frugal Repast (1904), a well-known scene of a destitute couple at a sparsely-filled dining table. Others depict itinerant circus performers known as saltimbanques. As Picasso went on to forge his Cubist style, he made prints intermittently, cross-fertilizing related drawings and paintings. One series of his abstracted images was conceived in 1910 to illustrate St. Matorel, a book by poet Max Jacob, who was among his closest friends during the first years in Paris.

“While prints played a small but continuing role in Picasso’s early work, by the late 1920s and early 1930s, he became truly engaged in the medium, and remained so for the rest of his life. It was at that time that he grasped the narrative potential in his printmaking. He enjoyed propping up his copperplates and conjuring up compositions that led his invented characters from one scene to another. Later he would call this manner of printmaking his own way of “writing fiction.”

“Picasso created tales of the Minotaur, of fauns and satyrs, and of bullfighting. In Minotauromachy (1935), he combined the Minotaur myth and the violence of the bullfight in a highly symbolic, enigmatic scene that is considered a milestone of modern printmaking. Especially under the influence of Surrealism, such motifs became entangled with events in Picasso’s personal life, particularly those involving his relationships with women. These entanglements are also a factor in other themes he explored, from scenes of the artist in the studio, to portrayals of sexual aggression, to tableaux in which one figure watches the other sleep.

“Picasso’s focus on the women in his life also involved portraiture. Each time he became involved with a new woman, he absorbed her features into his artistic vocabulary, depicting her over time in a manner reflecting his own changing moods. The exhibition includes a range of prints inspired by these women, from the 1905 Head of Woman, which portrays Madeleine, a lover known only by her first name, to a late series of linoleum cuts presenting a complex and evolving portrait of Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s second wife and companion until his death in 1973. Also included are the young Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose face constitutes a mysterious presence; Picasso’s first wife, Olga, whose stirring portrait, which was recently acquired, exemplifies her role as muse of the Neo-Classical period; the Surrealist photographer Dora Maar, who served as model for the monumental Weeping Woman of 1937; and Francoise Gilot, the aspiring painter who spent the postwar years with the artist, and whose likeness evolves over time to show Picasso’s changing relationship to her.

“Picasso continued making prints with great enthusiasm until the last years of his life. During seven months in 1968, he created Suite 347, named for the number of prints it contains. It represents an intense period of printmaking in a range of etching techniques, exploring a variety of themes. Among the subjects is the artist’s reflection back on his long life, with figures of varying scale in compositions filled with spatial disparities that suggest a flood of memories.

“The master printers with whom Picasso worked provided not only technical expertise, but also stimulating collaborative partnerships. Roger Lacourière tutored him in intaglio techniques (etching, drypoint, engraving, and aquatint) in the early 1930s, as he reached a new level of complexity in such prints as Faun Unveiling a Sleeping Girl (1936). Fernand Mourlot championed Picasso’s work in lithography after World War II. The printers at Mourlot’s shop in Paris fostered Picasso’s seemingly endless experimentation with developing images, like those in the Bull series, which begins with a naturalistic rendering and ends with a few simple lines. In linoleum cut, Hidalgo Arnéra spurred Picasso on at his workshop in the South of France in the 1950s and 1960s. Picasso created masterworks like Portrait of a Young Girl in this medium, which until then had been considered secondary. Finally, in his last years, Picasso collaborated with Aldo and Piero Crommelynck, who set up an etching workshop near his residence in the Mougins to accommodate his demanding schedule.” -ArtDaily

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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse: Balance of Art

Henri Matisse: sitting in studio

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” -Henri Matisse

Synopsis:

“Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colorist of the twentieth century and as a rival to Pablo Picasso in the importance of his innovations. He emerged as a Post-Impressionist, and first achieved prominence as the leader of the French movement Fauvism. Although interested in Cubism, he rejected it, and instead sought to use color as the foundation for expressive, decorative, and often monumental paintings. As he once controversially wrote, he sought to create an art that would be “a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair.” Still life and the nude remained favorite subjects throughout his career; North Africa was also an important inspiration, and, towards the end of his life, he made an important contribution to collage with a series of works using cut-out shapes of color. He is also highly regarded as a sculptor.

Key Ideas:

“Matisse used pure colors and the white of exposed canvas to create a light-filled atmosphere in his Fauve paintings. Rather than using modeling or shading to lend volume and structure to his pictures, Matisse used contrasting areas of pure, unmodulated color. These ideas continued to be important to him throughout his career.

“His art was important in endorsing the value of decoration in modern art. However, although he is popularly regarded as a painter devoted to pleasure and contentment, his use of color and pattern is often deliberately disorientating and unsettling.
Matisse was heavily influenced by art from other cultures. Having seen several exhibitions of Asian art, and having traveled to North Africa, he incorporated some of the decorative qualities of Islamic art, the angularity of African sculpture, and the flatness of Japanese prints into his own style.

“Matisse once declared that he wanted his art to be one “of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter,” and this aspiration was an important influence on some, such as Clement Greenberg, who looked to art to provide shelter from the disorientation of the modern world.

“The human figure was central to Matisse’s work both in sculpture and painting. Its importance for his Fauvist work reflects his feeling that the subject had been neglected in Impressionism, and it continued to be important to him. At times he fragmented the figure harshly, at other times he treated it almost as a curvilinear, decorative element. Some of his work reflects the mood and personality of his models, but more often he used them merely as vehicles for his own feelings, reducing them to ciphers in his monumental designs.” -TheArtStory.org

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Creative Relationships

Mark Twain & Nikola Tesla

“It is wiser to find out than to suppose.” -Mark Twain

“Mark Twain in Nikola Tesla’s apartment, New York 1894 The high-voltage current is being passed through the human body to bring the lamp to incandescence. Tesla’s friend, Mark Twain, is holding the loop above the resonating coil. Tesla is in the background. Originally published as part of an article by T.C. Martin called “Tesla’s Oscillator and Other Inventions” that appeared in the Century Magazine (April 1895)”

“When Tesla returned from Colorado Springs to New York, he wrote a sensational article for Century Magazine. In this detailed, futuristic vision he described a means of tapping the sun’s energy with an antenna. He suggested that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. He predicted machines that would make war an impossibility. And he proposed a global system of wireless communications. To most people the ideas were almost incomprehensible, but Tesla was a man who could not be underestimated.

“The article caught the attention of one of the world’s most powerful men, J. P. Morgan. A frequent guest in Morgan’s home, Tesla proposed a scheme that must have sounded like science fiction: a “world system” of wireless communications to relay telephone messages across the ocean; to broadcast news, music, stock market reports, private messages, secure military communications, and even pictures to any part of the world. “When wireless is fully applied the earth will be converted into a huge brain, capable of response in every one of its parts,” Tesla told Morgan.

“Morgan offered Tesla $150,000 to build a transmission tower and power plant. A more realistic sum would have been $1,000,000, but Tesla took what was available and went to work immediately. In spite of what he told his investor, Tesla’s actual plan was to make a large-scale demonstration of electrical power transmission without wires. This turned out to be a fatal mistake.

“For his new construction project, Tesla acquired land on the cliffs of Long Island Sound. The site was called Wardenclyffe. By 1901 the Wardenclyffe project was under construction, the most challenging task being the erection of an enormous tower, rising 187 feet in the air and supporting on its top a fifty-five-ton sphere made of steel. Beneath the tower, a well-like shaft plunged 120 feet into the ground. Sixteen iron pipes were driven three hundred feet deeper so that currents could pass through them and seize hold of the earth. “In this system that I have invented,” Tesla explained, “it is necessary for the machine to get a grip of the earth, otherwise it cannot shake the earth. It has to have a grip… so that the whole of this globe can quiver.” -PBS.org

 

Creative Relationships Marc Chagall Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso & Marc Chagall

“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn’t paint.” -Marc Chagall

“Picasso and Marc Chagall, two of the greatest painters of the last century, were friends until a dinner at Chagall’s place in 1964. “When are you going back to Russia?” Picasso asked his host. They were both expatriots living in France. Chagall was Russian and Picasso was Spanish. “After you,” said Chagall with a smile. “I hear you are greatly loved there [Picasso was a Communist] but not your work. You try to make it there and I’ll wait and see how you do.”

Picasso didn’t like that answer much. It was after dinner, he was feeling his wine, and his guard was down. “I guess with you it’s a question of business,” he told Chagall. “You won’t go unless there’s money in it.”

Francoise Gilot, who was at the table, says Chagall grinned at that remark but burned inside ever after. That was the end of the friendship.

Both those Titans had severe commercial temptations in old age. Each suspected or believed the other was a sinner.” –PabloPicasso.org

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Patron of the Arts- Creativity & Inspiration Crown

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol & the Pop Art of Celebrity

“In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” -Andy Warhol

Celebrity & PopArt:

“The growing popularity of television in American homes in the late 1950s and early 1960s fed a culture of celebrity-worship across the United States. Now able to view their favorite actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians from the comfort of their living rooms, the public became captivated by people who represented the American dream of money, glamour, and success.

“Pop artists seized on the culture of celebrity worship, portraying cultural icons and political figures from a range of media. They embraced, and at times slyly critiqued, this media-saturated culture, employing the faces of Hollywood actors, musicians, notorious criminals, politicians—and the tabloid stories surrounding them—as sources of imagery and reflections of the changing culture.” -MOMA

Capturing Celebrity:

“Warhol loved to paint portraits of the rich and famous. When most people think of Andy Warhol, they think of his portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol painted Marilyn Monroe’s portrait after Monroe had overdosed on barbiturates and died. Warhol became fascinated by the very idea of figures such Monroe, with a glamorous lifestyle and an almost mythical status as a Hollywood icon, and wanted to portray her as a sex goddess and a consumer item to be mass produced. Warhol also enjoyed the carefree parties and lifestyle of rock stars. He painted ten portraits of Mick Jagger and several portraits of Elvis Presley. It’s surprising to note that Warhol also noticed Canadian celebrities who had never stepped foot in The Factory. In 1984, he painted a portrait of Wayne Gretzky at the peak of his stardom. Although Warhol wasn’t a hockey fan, he admired Gretzky for being one of Canada’s biggest celebrities, noting that that Gretzky is ‘more than a hockey player, he’s an entertainer.” -TheCultureTrip.com

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