On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at American Gothic, painted by Grant Wood in 1930. One of the most famous American paintings of all time, this double portrait by Grant Wood debuted at the Art Institute in 1930, winning the artist a $300 prize and instant fame. Wood intended this Depression-era canvas to be a positive statement about rural American values during a time of disillusionment.
Grant DeVolson Wood (1891-1942) was an American painter best known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest, particularly American Gothic, which has become an iconic painting of the 20th century.
In this week’s episode of “Travels with a Curator,” join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon on a journey to Genoa, one of his favorite cities in Italy. A rich maritime and financial center in the 17th century, Genoa was a natural draw for artists at the time, including the great Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck. The Frick owns three portraits painted by Van Dyck while he resided in Genoa, allowing viewers to peek into the past at a flourishing city at the height of its power and influence.
The motifs of Thöny’s art are informed by the pervasive unease of the interwar years, whose apprehensions he portrayed in the grotesque and nightmarishly somber drawings he created around 1920 for his unpublished Buch der Träume (Book of Dreams). Other works, however, render serene and idyllic landscapes and urban views as well as scenes from social life.
Wilhelm Thöny (1888 Graz, AT—1949 New York, US) was a restless cosmopolitan and indefatigable networker whose peripatetic career took him far beyond Austria’s borders. A cofounder of the Secession in his native Graz, he made friends along the way—he spent time in Munich and Paris, on the Côte d’Azur and in New York, among other places—but zealously guarded his creative independence, building an oeuvre that did not align with any of the major tendencies of the period.
The Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s first exhibition devoted to Thöny’s oeuvre since 2010 presents around two hundred works from the museum’s own collection. One highlight in the show are the (letter) illustrations in the artist’s Scrap Book from the 1930s. Observations from everyday life captured with lighthearted humor are interspersed between reflections on the increasingly oppressive political situation. It is the first time that this body of work, which is of outstanding value both for its artistic quality and as a document of its time, is shown in its entirety in Salzburg.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” decipher the significance of the many fascinating elements that compose the other large allegorical painting by Paolo Veronese at the Frick, “Choice Between Virtue and Vice,” with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon. The program is paired with a Negroni Sbagliato, a twist on the cocktail from last week’s episode. Leave a comment below with your favorite detail!
Antonio Giacomin was born in Serra Gaúcha, where, in 1980, he started in the universe of painting. It was to improve in the United States, Mexico and Europe. In 2007, he launched the book “Poesias em Aquarela”, an inventory of thematic images resulting from trips undertaken in various regions of Rio Grande do Sul.
In 2012, in partnership with the writer Nivaldo Pereira, he launched the book “Jeitos de Ser Brasil” , in which aspects of Brazilian culture were recorded. In 2014, in partnership with Marcos Fernando Kirst, he launched the work “Serra Gaúcha: O Passado Presente”. He won the contest to choose the design of the Queen’s crown at the 2014 Grape Festival. He lives and works in Caxias do Sul, where he maintains his studio.
Yes! in the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone.
—Matthew Arnold, To Marguerite: Continued
Whether in the awesome forms of the legendary floods in Gilgamesh and Genesis, or via the more delightful but ultimately crueler torment of Homer’s Mediterranean, the sea is among art’s oldest subjects. For millennia humans have been fascinated and horrified in equal measure by mystery, eternity, and danger of which the sea seems to be a mirror: sometimes enigmatically placid, sometimes jagged with sudden storms.
Dating from the nineteenth century to the present, these works differ in media and approach, but together, they ask social, political, and environmental questions that resonate forcefully today.
Unseen since 1949 and set to appear at auction for the first time, this beautiful work is a quintessential example of Henri Matisse’s sensuous odalisques. The elegant model is Italian countess Carla Avogadro, reclining on an extravagant Venetian Rococo armchair that Matisse bought on a whim and, in his own words, became “obsessed” with. ‘Danseuse dans un intérieur, carrelage vert et noir’
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.
This magnificent watercolour by J.M.W. Turner exquisitely captures the romantic painter’s love for the North of England. Discover how the “painter of light” depicted the sheer essence of time and atmosphere in this sumptuous watercolour of “God’s Own Country”.
Gledhow Hall, in Leeds, is still standing sentinel and today houses several luxury flats. Yet few are aware that the Hall and the Gledhow area itself is intrinsically linked with the family of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Gledhow Hall is on Gledhow Lane at its junction with Gledhow Wood Road. The land was originally monastic and was purchased from Queen Elizabeth I by the Thwaites family. Several notable Yorkshire families have owned the Hall, including the Becketts, the Benyons, the Dixons and the Coopers. The Hall, as seen today, was completed shortly after 1766, by York architect John Carr who had been responsible for Harewood House – the home of Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, whose niece is Queen Elizabeth II.
Vanessa 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.
An 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).
In 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.
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
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.
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.