Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paper beats rock

Atomic Jellyfish by Bovey Lee (above)

I have come across some stunning paper art lately, so below is a list of these delightful discoveries. Click on the artists' names to see their art on their web sites. These artists are just awesome!

Bovey Lee (from nearby Bethel Park, PA) - She was in the most recent Pittsburgh Biennial at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and her work took my breath away! She also just received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.
Elsa Mora


"They're Not Pets, Susan" from Little People in the City by Slinkachu

Roving through Elliott Bay Book Store, I discovered a fun little book called Little People in the City by Slinkachu.  A street artist, Slinkachu crafts highly detailed miniatures and places them around the city to create micro scenes.   

See more about Slinkachu's projects on the blog of his web site, here: http://slinkachu.com/

Monday, July 27, 2009


Braids by Andrew Wyeth (above)

The Seattle Art Museum has a nice tribute exhibit for the late Andrew Wyeth called Andrew Wyeth: Remembrance.  It features several beautiful landscape paintings of Chadds Ford, as well as my favorite Helga paintings.  

Although the Helga paintings are portraits, they relate perfectly to Wyeth's landscapes, both because Helga was the Wyeths' neighbor in Chadds Ford (therefore belonging to the setting), and because of the way she is painted.  For example, the gouache painting of Helga's braids, where light strands are layered thickly upon darks by using little or no water to thin the paint (rather than relying on transparency for lighter color as with more fluid watercolors), is very similar to Wyeth's landscape paintings of the dry, wispy grasses of Chadds Ford.  

The detail Wyeth captured using gouache, ink, watercolor and the drybrush technique is amazing- from Helga's eyelashes and the loose strands of hair escaping from her long braids to the individual knits of her sweater-- creating textures that contribute to the reality of the image so much that you believe you know what the subjects actually feel like when you look at them.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Titus Kaphar

Titus Kaphar, All We Know of our Father, mixed media

I hope to squeeze in a trip to the Seattle Art Museum during our upcoming visit to see Titus Kaphar: History in the Making.

The artist paints meticulous copies of 18th and 19th century portraits and then reconfigures them-- cutting and collaging them with mixed media-- to create a dialogue about art, race, and social issues. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

2009 children's book illustrators

Illustration by Italian artist Sburelin Glenda (above)

The International Children's Book Festival- Bologna Fiere, held in Italy, has the chosen work from the 2009 illustrators up on its web site now.  Enjoy!  It's the best from all over the world in 2009.

James McNeil Whistler

A couple of weeks ago, we went into Washington, D.C. to the National Gallery of Art.  We just went through the permanent collection, pointing out highlights to our companion who had never been to the museum.  Every time I return to the National Gallery, something rises to importance for me in a new way.  This time, it was these two portraits by Whistler:

(Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian (above top) and Symphony in White No. 1 (above) by James McNeil Whistler

I had just finished reading a book about how fashion influenced Whistler.  A leader in the Aesthetic Movement with the credo “art for art’s sake,” Whistler believed in beauty as the goal of art.  He gave careful consideration to the styles, materials, and colors of his subjects’ dress for his portrait paintings.  The trend in d├ęcor was to have light yellow rooms, so he often asked the women he painted to dress in black and white so that they would contrast pleasingly.  At the National Gallery, these two portraits hang in an appropriately light yellow room.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Marco Brambilla - Going Up!

Still from Civilization by Marco Brambilla

This video by renowned contemporary artist Marco Brambilla is installed in the elevators of The Standard, a New York hotel, transporting passengers from heaven to hell or hell to heaven, depending on which way they are going.  

Museum expansion in Cleveland

Auguste Rodin, Heroic Head of Pierre de Wiessant, One of the Burghers of Calais, on display in the Cleveland Museum of Art's new East Wing

Last Saturday we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  It is a wonderful museum that is free to the public and has recently expanded with the opening of a new East Wing.  The museum’s collections of photography, modern and contemporary art, and 19th-century European sculpture, decorative arts and painting, all of which have not been made public for the past four years, are now on display in this new wing.  It is a great expansion of an already very nice museum, and a good day trip!  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography

French Boy by Paul Strand on display at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography in Canton, Ohio

This past weekend we attended First Friday in the Downtown Canton Arts District.  It was a festive event, and discovering the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography was the highlight. It is certainly worth another visit on its own.  The spacious gallery boasts 200 prints representing the entire history of photography as a medium.  The number of recognizable images is impressive--  portraits of famous individuals and photographs that document moments in history, as well as images by significant photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Richard Avedon and Paul Strand.  It is almost overwhelming.

Read more about the new gallery and find out who Joseph Saxton was here: