Tag Archives: American Painters

Art Videos: “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Century Of American Art” (Sotheby’s)

Sotheby's AuctionsIn the final years of Georgia O’Keeffe’s nearly century-long life, she employed and befriended the young sculptor Juan Hamilton. The two would become inseparable, and upon her death in 1986, Hamilton inherited fine art and personal affects from the artist’s estate, including rarely seen pieces from the estate of O’Keeffe’s late husband, Joseph Stieglitz.

This March, Sotheby’s is honored to present these works in Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Juan Hamilton: Passage, a dedicated auction in New York on 5 March 2020. In this episode of Expert Voices, Head of American Art Kayla Carlsen explores the stories behind this remarkable collection while highlighting exceptional works, including O’Keeffe’s Nature Forms – Gaspé, Stieglitz’s Hand and Wheel and Hamilton’s Untitled (Red Form).

(New York | 5 March 2020)

New Exhibits: “Peter Saul – Crime And Punishment” At The New Museum NYC

Peter Saul Ronald Reagan in Grenada 1984Beginning in the early 1960s, Peter Saul began to incorporate imagery borrowed from a range of pop-cultural sources into his exuberant, brightly colored paintings, adopting a style that has proven to be far ahead of its time. His work developed independently from concurrent art historical movements like Pop art, with which it shares some superficially similar concerns. Instead of the cool detachment of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, however, Saul crafted his own unique blend of Surrealism, history painting, vernacular illustration, and the real-life shock and horror of current events.

Marking the artist’s first New York museum survey, this exhibition will bring together approximately sixty paintings from across his long career.

Saul’s earliest paintings, which he created in Paris, demonstrate a loose, gestural style of abstraction, yet he began to incorporate text, recognizable characters, and consumer products into his works as early as 1960. Around this time, he plucked figures like Donald Duck and Superman from the pages of comic books and deposited them into chaotic scenes representative of the avarice and violence of America. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Saul created some of his most shocking and indelible works in response to the Vietnam War, with a series that captured the conflict’s grotesque brutality, racism, and destruction. A later group of paintings, which examines the chaotic sociopolitical fabric of urban life in California, reflects the dissolution of 1960s counterculture and the corruption, racism, and greed of US politics.

Saul extended his interrogation of American history in his portraits of infamous criminals like John Wayne Gacy, archetypes like cowboys and businessmen, and US presidents such as Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, whom Saul depicts with disdain and condemnation. He has also looked further back to reimagine supposedly triumphant scenes from America’s past—including Columbus’s arrival in America, Washington crossing the Delaware, and Custer’s Last Stand—as moments of comical failure or disgrace. With a caustic sense of humor, Saul has continuously skewered America’s leaders, rendering their stretched, distorted bodies in Day-Glo colors. His disparate influences range from MAD magazine comics to Surrealist fantasies and American social realist painting from the 1930s.

Peter Saul is an American painter. His work has connections with Pop Art, Surrealism, and Expressionism. His early use of pop culture cartoon references in the late 1950s and very early 1960s situates him as one of the fathers of the Pop Art movement. He realised about 800 paintings during his career.

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Artists: Inside Story Of Andy Warhol’s “Athletes” Paintings (Christie’s)

From a Christie’s Magazine online article (February 2020):

Christie's Magazine logo‘The sports stars of today are the movie stars of yesterday,’ proclaimed the artist. It was true; thanks to rapid advances in TV broadcasting, sporting champions in the 1970s were starting to achieve the same level of popularity as other entertainers.

Andy Warhol Athletes paintngs Muhammad Ali & Pele Christie's Magazine February 2020

In 1977, Richard L. Weisman approached his friend Andy Warhol with the idea for a new series: a set of silkscreen portraits of the day’s leading sports stars. Called ‘Athletes’, these pictures have come to be regarded as some of the standout works of Warhol’s later years.

Andy Warhol Athletes paintngs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Tom Seaver Christie's Magazine February 2020

Weisman (1940-2018) was a dedicated collector, and the two men bonded mostly over art, although they also crossed paths regularly at social gatherings across New York. On some occasions, these gatherings were held at Warhol’s Factory studio; on others, at Weisman’s apartment on United Nations Plaza.

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New Exhibitions: Painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) – The Forum Gallery NYC

Photo of Andrew Wyeth by Peter Ralston In the Studio Courtesy of Ralston Gallery
Photo of Andrew Wyeth by Peter Ralston In the Studio Courtesy of Ralston Gallery

Forum Gallery, New York, presents an exhibition of works by Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), who set the standard for American figurative art in the second half of the Twentieth Century. Working in pencil, watercolor, egg tempera and his much-beloved personal medium of drybrush, Wyeth, throughout his life, was a resolute champion of the universal life force of each person he chose to paint, and of the unique, difficult, ever-changing rural American world in which he chose to live. His art was controversial as it was popular, and he remains one of very few living artists to be celebrated by important single-person exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (1976) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (1987).

Firewood Study for Groundhog Day 1959 Andrew Wyeth
Firewood Study for Groundhog Day 1959 Andrew Wyeth (The Forum Gallery NYC)

“Andrew Wyeth: Five Decades” at Forum Gallery features paintings dated from 1940 through 1994, including landscapes that imply personal struggle and portray great beauty; and provocative figurative works, including examples from The Helga Pictures.

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Exhibitions: 74-Year Old Artist John Alexander – “Landscape And Memory” (Berggruen Gallery)

JANUARY 9 – FEBRUARY 15, 2020

 

John Alexander The Temptation 2019 Landscape and Memory Berggruen Gallery January 2020Berggruen Gallery is proud to present John Alexander: Landscape and Memory, an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Texas-born, New York-based artist John Alexander. This show marks Alexander’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and will be on view January 9 through February 15, 2020. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, January 16 from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

John Alexander’s most recent body of work presents a detailed collection of landscapes, botanicals, sea life, and animals – each subject an emblem of the artist’s own mind and memory. Alexander grew up between the bayous and the wooded wilderness of East Texas, enjoying camping and fishing trips within the lush, diverse landscape that would ultimately become so influential to him. Moreover, Alexander’s understanding and appreciation for the natural world was fortified by his father’s environmentalism. For Alexander, developing an environmental acuity, especially for his native Texas, was familial. Today, the artist creates work in reference to the nature-based consciousness he developed in his youth.

Berggruen Gallery San FranciscoThe introspective nature of Alexander’s work is revealed through the artist’s keen observations of his surrounding environment and the vivid way in which he paints it. Employing bold, painterly strokes, Alexander maintains an acute sensibility of his subject matter – whether it be the detailed rendering of the spiny lobster, an expressive portrayal of grackles and ibises perched in branches, or more expansive, floating florals. The artist also injects elements of whimsy; the playful monkeys he paints peer out of their canvases to almost directly engage the viewer. And thus each work is imbued with an authentic, raggedly pristine, emotional sense of the earth we all inhabit. In this way, Alexander creates scenes that are deeply personal, yet also shared…nostalgic yet ongoing…exotic yet familiar…of the world yet otherworldly. Saturating his landscapes with humor, sentimentality, and veneration, Alexander reveals as much about himself as he does about nature.

John Alexander: Landscape and Memory is comprised of nine paintings and four drawings, work that comes together in reverence for the formal tradition of landscape painting. Paying homage to an Impressionist Master, Claude Monet, Alexander paints dreamy hollyhocks. Invoking the more recent Hudson River School, Alexander carefully creates bucolic scenes of both reality and idealization. Perhaps most unexpectedly, Alexander also nods to the Abstract Expressionists, applying thick strokes of paint in a gestural, emotional meditation. In turn, Alexander’s work pays tribute to the long and varied legacy of landscape painting before him while simultaneously remaining true to his own, very personal, connection to nature. Through the amalgamation of art historical context, environmental conservation, and the integration of a more intimate narrative, Alexander produces a body of work that is raw, compelling, and perhaps above all else, natural.

John Alexander was born in Beaumont, Texas, in 1945. He received his B.F.A. from Lamar University in Beaumont in 1968 and his M.F.A. from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1970. Following graduate school, Alexander taught at the University of Houston. Though the artist’s Texas roots influence much of his work, to solely categorize Alexander as a “Texas” artist would be inaccurate. In 1979, having established himself in Houston as a prominent local artist, Alexander moved to New York City. Today the artist divides his time between his SoHo studio loft and home in Amagansett, East Hampton. Alexander’s work has been widely exhibited at such prestigious institutions as the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, both in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His work is featured in the permanent collections of several leading institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; as well as many other public and private collections worldwide.

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American Painters: “The Gross Clinic” (1875) By Thomas Eakins Was “Renaissance-Era” Artistry

From an Artsy.net online article:

Eakins’s ambitious painting brought Renaissance-era virtuosity to the mid–19th century United States, as American art was still struggling to find its place on the world stage. The Gross Clinic, which still hangs in Philadelphia today, is a triumph of composition, light, and shadow. 

The Gross Clinic 1875 Thomas Eakins Philadelphia Museum of Art
Thomas Eakins The Gross Clinic1875
Philadelphia Museum of Art

In 1875, Thomas Eakins decided to paint a picture that would glorify his hometown of Philadelphia. The first ever World’s Fair to be held in the United States, the Centennial International Exhibition, would open in the city the following year. Through his painting, Eakins hoped to honor the scientific breakthroughs that were coming out of the local Jefferson Medical College. The artist observed live procedures by the celebrated surgeon Dr. Samuel Gross, then translated them onto a large-scale canvas that he titled Dr. Gross (1875) (now known as The Gross Clinic). The work has become perhaps the most important painting in the history of American art.

To read more: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-thomas-eakinss-the-gross-clinic-american-painting