Tag Archives: Artists

Top New Art Magazines: “ARTFORUM – July/August”

ARTFORUM - JULY AUGUST 2020

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.

Artist Cy Gavin
Artist Cy Gavin

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.

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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.

 

World’s Top Glassmakers: Craftsman John Pomp – “Perfect Imperfection”

The intertwining of the four classical elements—fire, water, earth and air—is a constant source of inspiration to the design and philosophies of John Pomp. Be it a ripple on the ocean or the swelling of a bubble, his sculptural pieces mimic the wondrous geometry that exists, often unnoticed, in the natural world.

Glassmaker John PompBy capturing the fluidity of glass in its liquid state with gestural experimentations of technique, John transforms “perfectly imperfect” into signatures of his creations. Fragile and ethereal, yet purposeful and confident, every Pomp piece is a unique confluence of light, liquid and fire, which he brings together to alchemic effect.

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Top Artists: Taiwanese Watercolorist Chien Chung-Wei – “Timeless”

Chien Chung-Wei is an award winning Taiwanese watercolor artist making his teaching debut in North America.  Chien Chung-Wei paintings look timeless, yet have a modern and contemporary feel, that is bringing him great success in North America and Europe.

Chien Chung-Wei Profile

He is the first Taiwanese artist to have ever received his signature in the National Watercolor Society, and the first to exhibit in the American Watercolor Society.

He has earned a masters degree in fine arts, and works as a part time lecturer and teacher of watercolor. With the growing excitement of so many talented artists from the East, Chien Chung-Wei has quickly risen to the top.

Chien Chung-Wei is a frequent contributor in many Western publications, including numerous articles and awards in the Art of Watercolor Magazine and International Artist.

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Art Profiles: 99-Year Old American Painter Wayne Thiebaud’s “Classic Pop”

From Christie’s (June 27, 2020):

Wayne Thiebaud - American PainterOne of the largest canvases from Thiebaud’s groundbreaking early period, it depicts a row of arcade machines, decorated in a vibrant mix of oranges and yellows…With their foreshortened bodies, the machines press towards the picture plane like the cakes and hot dogs in Thiebaud’s other works, inviting the viewer to reach in and taste.

It’s a classic of Pop art, a masterful reflection of the post-war boom in consumerism.

In November 2020, Wayne Thiebaud — the American artist best-known for his still lifes of pies, pastries and other tempting treats — turns 100.

Thiebaud also had a lot of fun with the backglasses: instead of cartoons and flashing lights, he decorated them with the ghostly, geometric forms of Frank Stella’s Concentric Squares, Jasper Johns’ Targets and Ellsworth Kelly’s Colors for a Large Wall.

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Art Profiles: Haitian-American Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Video)

Sothebys LogoFrom the anatomical features of Da Vinci to the fractured features of modernist portraiture, the human head has reigned supreme in Art History. Enter Jean Michel Basquiat – the consummate draftsman for a new age. Discover how Basquiat revolutionized the genre and captured the manic core of the human condition through his masterwork Untitled (Head), 1982, to be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. Encapsulating the incredible dexterity that defines the very best of the artist’s works, and extraordinary for its use of India ink under the oilstick to lend depth and contrast to the composition, Untitled (Head) is a heroic depiction that reflects the explosive talent and brilliance of its author.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s, where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. By the 1980s, his neo-expressionist paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.

World’s Top Painters: Bird Artist Vanessa Foley – “Sacred, Stylistic Beauty”

Vanessa Foley - Bird ArtistVanessa Foley is a professional bird artist based in the North of England. She regularly shows her work in notable galleries in the UK and America, has work in private collections worldwide and is a member of The VACVVM, an international cult of illustration co-founded by Aaron Horkey & Mitch Putnam.

VANESSA FOLEY - TOWARD A SECRET SKY

Vanessa Foley - Bird ArtistAn artist from Newcastle, England she is known for her intensely detailed graphite drawings and emotionally rich oil paintings. She has become a long-standing member of the Antler Gallery roster since we first exhibited her work four years ago.

Vanessa has embraced the stylistic beauty that oil painting offers an artist representing subjects accurately. The density and delicacy of the feathers in her paintings of birds of prey is stunning. In this series she has chosen to focus on the nocturnal, incorporating owls and moths. (Antler Gallery).

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New Art Books: “Walton Ford – Pancha Tantra”

walton_ford_update_2020_fp_int_3d_43453_2001151040_id_1294265In this stunning but sinister visual universe, beasts and birds are not mere aesthetic objects but dynamic actors in allegorical struggles: a wild turkey crushes a small parrot in its claw; a troupe of monkeys wreaks havoc on a formal dinner table; an American buffalo is surrounded by bloodied white wolves. In dazzling watercolor, the images impress as much for their impeccable realism as they do for their complex narratives.

At first glance, Walton Ford’s large-scale, highly detailed watercolors of animals recall the prints of 19th-century illustrators John James Audubon and Edward Lear. A closer look reveals a complex and disturbingly anthropomorphic universe, full of symbols, sly jokes, and allusions to the ‘operatic’ quality of traditional natural history.

Walton Ford - Pancha Tantra - Taschen

First available as a signed and limited volume, this updated edition of Pancha Tantra is the most comprehensive survey of Ford’s oeuvre to date, with 40 new works, more than 120 additional pages, and a new essay by the artist. It features dazzling details, an in-depth exploration of his visual universe, a complete biography, and excerpts from his textual inspirations: from Indian folktales and the letters of Benjamin Franklin to the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini and Audubon’s  Ornithological Biography.

Also available in an Art Edition limited to 100 copies, each with a print signed by Walton Ford

The artist

Walton Ford, born 1960, studied filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, but soon realized he was a painter. For the last 20 years he has been creating large-scale narrative watercolors. His work has been widely exhibited, including solo shows at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

The author

Bill Buford is an author and New Yorker staff writer, as well as the founding editor of Granta, which he edited for 16 years. His books include Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as a Kitchen Slave. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

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Top Artist Profiles: Abigail McBride – Oil Paintings With The “Heart Of A Poet”

Abigail McBride - Artist Compelled to chronicle the life and world around her, Abigail Faye McBride paints with the heart of a poet. Her oil paintings and charcoal drawings bear witness to a time, person or passing glimmer of light. Abigail paints landscape, figure and still life working interchangeably with brush and palette knife. Collectors, nationally and internationally, appreciate the color, mood and elegance of her work.

Abigail McBride - Hearty Breakfast

A consummate Cape School colorist, the draftsmanship in her work is born of an academic interest in the portrait and figure. Her work blends traditional subject matter with modern design sensibilities. She is part of a new breed of perceptual painters working from direct observation be it plein air or in the studio. Though often free of narrative, her work is grounded in the present day as a contemporary interpretation of genre painting.

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Artist Tribute: Wolf Kahn (1927-2020) – “Lust For Life”

“I have a good relation with black,” says Wolf Kahn. This is not obvious. The painter stands in front of an unfinished oil—a pattern of trees, a slice of sky—and nothing of it argues “black”; we are in the realm of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “skies of couple-colour” and “rose moles all in stipple.” The world here evoked is luminous, bright, and the act of witness is an act of celebration. Colors laid down on the canvas are some of Kahn’s signature colors: purple, alizarin crimson, lemon yellow, phthalo green.

The painter’s shock of hair is white, his eyes are a bright blue. Trim yet sturdy, eighty-five, he wears faded blue jeans and an old plaid shirt “I like the bottom left of this painting,” he says, “the bottom right needs work. But nature in general is quite generous in providing material for one’s imagination; I will return to it later, when you go.”

Seven years later and after his death, a black-rimmed condolence card seems no more appropriate now than then. An exuberant artist, this master of shape and color always had “a good relation with black.” So I, along with legions, mourn him—but I also want to celebrate his life-long act of witness and (to borrow a phrase applied to a predecessor) flat-out “Lust for Life.”

(From BrooklynRail June 2020)

Wolf Kahn was a German-born American painter. Kahn, known for his combination of Realism and Color Field, worked in pastel, oil paint, and printmaking. He studied under Hans Hofmann, and also graduated from the University of Chicago.

Top Artist Profiles: Jennifer McChristian – “Nostalgia And Harmony”

Artist Jennifer McChristianAward winning artist, Jennifer McChristian, was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be an artist. Upon completing high school, McChristian began her art education at Dawson’s College in Montreal, Canada. In 1986, she and her family took permanent residency in California, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree with Honors from Otis Art Institute in 1990.

Uncommon Ground - Art Book - Jennifer McChristian
Buy her book “Uncommon Ground”

Her inspirations consist of notable artists such as John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Nicolai Fechin and Cecilia Beaux. McChristian primarily paints in oils and occasionally watercolors and gouache. She has an affinity for painting ‘en plein air’ and also enjoys creating studio works using her outdoor sketches as inspiration. “Painting is somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. Although challenging at times, the end result evokes within me a sense of elation, nostalgia and harmony”.

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