Eric Johnson is a Boston based Painter and instructor at The Academy of Realist Art Boston who is devoted to the preservation and growth of traditional painting. He aspires towards adding his own link into the chain of tradition by mastering the working methods of the old masters who he admires and employing those methods into his own working process.
As a complete painter he aspires to reach a high level of verisimilitude and truth in his works on a variety of subject matters from portrait, still life and landscape. Eric primarily makes all of the pigments and paints to create each prepossessing painting. Eric yearns that every new presentation to beauty and truth can show us the old beauty and the old truth only seen from a different angle and colored by a different medium.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he explores the royal provenance of two pieces of furniture at the Frick made by Jean-Henri Riesener. Sometimes overlooked by visitors, Xavier encourages us to take a closer look at this exquisite commode and secrétaire set. In celebration of these works of art and the upcoming Bastille Day, this week’s complementary cocktail is the Kir Royale.
“I wanted to make paintings that were a celebration, and that revealed something and obscured something at the same time.” —Damien Hirst
Damien Steven Hirst (born 1965) is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is one of the Young British Artists, who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is reportedly the United Kingdom’s richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.
FEATURES | Eric Fischl interviewed by Thomas Marks; Linda Wolk-Simon on the life and legacy of Raphael; Joanne Pillsbury on the art of the Olmecs; Samuel Reilly on private restitution of colonial-era artefacts; Christopher Turner on shopfronts and gallery facades; Josie Thaddeus-Johns on John Cage’s mushrooms
REVIEWS | Isabelle Kent on Murillo at the National Gallery of Ireland; Tom Stammers on the British fashion for French interiors; James Lingwood on Stephen Shore’s photographs; Robert O’Byrne on The Buildings of Ireland
It was the Impressionists, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who first discovered the artistic potential of the south coast, finding an unspoilt landscape that perfectly matched their aims. ‘It is so beautiful,’ Monet wrote, ‘so bright, so luminous. One swims in blue air and it is frightening.’
Vincent van Gogh captured the landscape in and around Arles and Saint-Rémy in the final years of his life, while the Master of Aix, Paul Cézanne, used the rugged landscape of his native Provence to radically reconceive the very nature of art-making.
Long before the South of France became synonymous with glamour and sun-drenched seduction — think of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in the 1955 film To Catch a Thief, or Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon on the beaches of Saint-Tropez — this corner of Europe attracted a very different kind of tourist.
Since the turn of the century, the sleepy fishing villages and remote towns of the Provençal hills had lured artists from Paris and beyond — the bright light, dazzling colours and palpable presence of the classical past all serving to inspire and revive jaded spirits.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, examines one of the Frick’s most beloved paintings, Hans Holbein’s “Sir Thomas More.” Xavier considers More’s relationship to humanist circles and the role of “friendship portraits” in making the absent present. In the words of More’s devoted friend, Desiderius Erasmus, “life without a friend is no life.” As a nod to the turbulent times of Tudor England, Xavier pairs this episode with a Bloody Mary cocktail.
An architectural marvel has sat incomplete in a residential corner of Barcelona since its architect, Antoni Gaudí, died during construction in 1926. For decades, La Sagrada Familia has been an example of Christian fealty and Catalan ingenuity wrought in granite and sandstone; but little could anyone have guessed that ninety-four years after Gaudí’s death a Japanese sculptor would dedicate his life to completing the architect’s colossal work…
I WAS A COMPETITIVE BIRDER in high school. My family drove all around the countryside, so I spent a lot of time in the car, and I had to keep myself busy and project my brain somewhere. I would bring sketchbooks and field guides that I got from the library. I had started an Envirothon team at my school, to compete in the national decathlon pitting nerdy teens against each other in their knowledge of soil surveys, forestry, wildlife, and aquatic ecology.
I was the birding specialist. I learned more than two hundred birdsongs and birdcalls from CDs and from the field. I participated in other competitions where I would win binoculars and forty-pound bags of birdseed. I didn’t even have a bird feeder—I’d just become obsessed.
Unlike bird-watchers, birders often rely first on auditory cues to identify a species. You immediately know so much about the bird—its seasonal plumage, age, sex, if it’s making a courtship call or a warning call—from listening. The second thing you cultivate is an idea of where the call is coming from, so you can zero in on it. You develop a spatial awareness, so even with your eyes closed the woods become a vivid visual experience.
A steward of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania once took me out in a canoe to this extremely remote location to see a bald eagle’s ten-foot nest. Eagle populations had been devastated by the use of DDT. At the time, all nest sites had to be reported to the government and kept secret. In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the list of threatened and endangered species, and ever since, I would catch myself looking out for them whenever I’d pass a lake or river. Where I work, in upstate New York, I see bald eagles all the time. Two years ago, I found a nesting pair in Poughkeepsie near a waste-treatment plant on the Hudson River. I just spent time watching and drawing them. It was very unglamorous. They eat garbage. They’re like pigeons. The river freezes in the winter, and I have a vivid memory of watching this wet, bedraggled eagle on a chunk of ice.
Cy Gavin is an American artist that lives and works in New York. Gavin often incorporates unusual materials in his paintings such as tattoo ink, pink sand, diamonds, staples, Bermudiana seeds, and cremains. Gavin also works in sculpture, performance and video.
In this week’s episode of “Travels with a Curator,” Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, transports us to the Japanisches Palais (Japanese Palace) in Dresden, the original home of the Meissen “Great Bustard.” Augustus II rebuilt and enlarged the Japanese Palace to showcase his extraordinary collection of porcelain, but he died before the project was completed. This exquisite porcelain masterpiece became part of the Frick’s collection through the generosity of the late collector Henry H. Arnhold (1921–2018).
From the Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to Archduke Ferdinand II of Habsburg, these aristocratic virtuosos acquired, selected, and displayed the objects in real-life catalogues that represented the entire world—spanning architecture, interior design, painting, sculpture, gemology, geology, botany, biology and taxonomy, astrology, alchemy, anthropology, ethnography, and history.
The Wunderkammer, or “cabinet of curiosities,” saw collectors gathering objects from many strands of artistic, scientific, and intellectual endeavor, in an ambitious attempt to encompass all of humankind’s knowledge in a single room.
Marvel at the unicorn horns (narwhal tusks), gems, rare coral growths, Murano glasswork, paintings and peculiar mechanical automata. Browse through illustrations of exotic and mythical creatures and discover the famed “Coburg ivories,” an astounding collection of crafted artifacts. These collections are nothing short of a journey through time, from the Renaissance and Age of Discovery, the Mannerist and Baroque periods, up to the present day. Although many of these cabinets of curiosities no longer exist, others have been meticulously reconstructed, and new ones born.
These marvelous cabinets of curiosities can now be explored by all in this XXL collection. To realize this mammoth undertaking, Massimo Listri traveled to seven European countries over several decades; the result is a set of gorgeousphotographs, an authoritative yet accessible introduction, and detailed commentary on each of the 19 chambers highlighting the most remarkable items in each collection. Discover how these timeless treasures both describe and defined civilization, the modern concept of the museum, and our very knowledge of the universe.
Giulia ML Carciotto graduated in art history from the Sapienza University in Rome. She was a Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute in London, where she also worked for Christie’s. She was editor-in-chief of the art publisher Franco Maria Ricci Editore in Milan, and now teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo and at the Abadir Academy in Catania.
Antonio Paolucci studied art history under Roberto Longhi in Florence and began his career in the management of cultural heritage. He was the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage in Venice, Verona, and Mantua. He later became Director of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence and, for almost twenty years, the Superintendent for the Polo Museale Fiorentino. Most recently, Paolucci was the Director of the Vatican Museums from 2007 to 2016. A specialist in Italian Renaissance art, he is the author of museum and exhibition catalogues, as well as publications on Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Benvenuto Cellini, among others.