Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

John Singer Sargent

Tuesday, June 29th, 1999

He was the preeminent portrait painter of his day, and he gave it all up to paint landscapes. His private life is a mystery. His brushwork is still dazzling. JOHN SINGER SARGENT seems to have walked out of the pages of a novel by Henry James, who wrote of him: “Yes, I have always thought of Sargent as a great painter. He would be greater still if he had done one or two little things he hasn’t—but he will do.”

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Winslow Homer

Saturday, March 2nd, 1996

WINSLOW HOMER spent most of his life fishing and painting, reeling in the deep, unfathomable mystery of the sea. His pictures often show somebody gazing out to sea, concentrating on something no one else can see. Maybe it’s the light on the water, or the wind in the sails, or a boat coming home to shore, or just the flicker of a dream.

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El Corazon Sangrante/The Bleeding Heart

Friday, November 1st, 1991

FRIDA KAHLO’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird shows her in a jungle with butterflies in her hair and a hummingbird dangling from a thorn necklace that pierces her neck, drawing small red drops of blood. “I never painted dreams,” she said. “I painted my own reality.”

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Busch-Reisinger Museum

Saturday, September 14th, 1991

A crowded stage, and all the players on it. A king, wearing a crown, stabs himself in the heart. A woman looks at her reflection in a mirror, next to a statue of a Greek god. Modern men and women read the newspaper, talk, flirt, and fight with real knives. MAX BECKMANN’s The Actors aims to encompass all of Art and Life in thick, sure slashes of paint.

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John Singer Sargent’s EL JALEO

Wednesday, August 28th, 1991

In a dark, smoky room, a solitary dancer raises up her arm in a tense, ecstatic movement of inspiration; her other hand clutches the skirt of her dress — a flash of white light gleaming in the dark. You can almost hear the rhythmic weeping of the guitars; you can almost feel beating of the dancer’s tumultuous heart.

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Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Friday, July 19th, 1991
Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Madame Vigee-Lebrun revolutionized the portrait. She despised the powder and stiff clothes that women wore; she let their hair down, and draped them in soft, flowing shawls and painted them looking soft, dreamy, natural, alive. Her paintings helped to create a new look, a new style, a new attitude to life in pre-revolutionary Paris.

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Dream Lovers

Friday, July 12th, 1991

When Berthe Morisot met Édouard Manet at the Louvre in 1867, he was 36 years old and married; she was ten years younger and still living with her parents at home. She was lively, intelligent, charming, talented. He was brilliant, difficult, fickle, famous, fascinating. She had long admired him from a distance; he immediately wanted to paint her portrait.

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A Tribute to Kojiro Tomita

Thursday, November 8th, 1990

It is said that CHU TA never spoke — but he laughed, cried, waved his hands, and drank rice wine most expressively while he painted. Every single touch of Chu Ta’s brush means something. Every mark still matters. Hundreds of years later, you can still almost feel the movement of his hand — the bold drunken touch of his brush.

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Madame de Pompadour

Friday, June 1st, 1990

Madame de Pompadour always managed to look graceful, even in the most constricting clothes — corsets, bustles, and stays. Like Madonna, she created a Look that was supremely artificial — the powdered hair, the heavily applied make-up, the elaborate gowns. Like Madonna in her John-Paul Gaultier bustiers, La Pompadour in her negligée proudly displayed her sexuality as the source of her power.

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Monet in the ’90’s: The Series Paintings

Monday, April 30th, 1990

In painting after painting, the earth moves and the water swoons and the sky tumbles and all the blues and pinks and purples and reds and oranges dissolve into one. Earth and water come together, again and again, and explode in a symphony of light and color and air.

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Farewell Concert

Thursday, March 29th, 1990

I loved THE CONCERT, the beautiful little painting by VERMEER. Each time I looked at it, I saw something new. Now it’s gone. I try to remember every line, every shadow, every gleam of light, every sweet cadence of its silent music, but I can already feel it fading. As time goes by, it will darken and grow dim.

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Gyorgy Kepes

Saturday, March 10th, 1990

GYORGY KEPES paints with a mixture of oil paint and sand, which gives his work a rough, earthy texture. He likes to tell the story of Antaeus, a hero who was the son of Mother Earth and could never be defeated as long as he touched the earth. Painting with sand is Kepes’s way of touching the earth.

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The Cone Collection

Sunday, January 28th, 1990

The CONE sisters collected art because they loved it and wanted to live with it. Their art collection became an emblem of their secret selves — a vision of the richness of their inner lives. Many of the images here show women the same expression on their face — a look of contentment, completeness, and self-fulfillment.

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Mary Cassatt

Friday, July 14th, 1989

In many of the prints, a woman’s face is partially obscured, either because of the way she has turned her head, or because she is holding something in front of her face ‑‑ a hand, a letter, a child. This conveys a sense of mystery, a feeling that there are secret meanings and moments of tragedy and what Virginia Woolf called “ecstasy” — hidden in the texture of a woman’s daily life.

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Earth Day

Sunday, May 7th, 1989

“It’s all coming from memory,” says ROBERT FERRANDINI. “From fairy tales, from childhood – from imagining. The way I see it, it’s the landscape of the mind. Lots of landscapes came to me from the movies. Fort Apache. Red River. Cheyenne Autumn. The Searchers. The idea of the search – which is what I do as a painter. I go into it. I search.”

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Roger Kizik

Wednesday, April 19th, 1989

ROGER KIZIK’s loopy, staccato line describes fishing boats with names like Frolic or Finast Kind, houses on the beach, the book he is reading or the tool he is using for fixing up his house or boat. The things in his drawings press in on him; they cluster around him, rich with hidden correspondences and secret messages, composing his life.

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Courtly Splendor: Twelve Centuries of Treasures from Japan

Tuesday, March 21st, 1989

The silvery glow of the moon and the flow of an underground river are reflected in sinuous calligraphy that swoons down a page from 12th century book of poems, strewn with shimmering silver roses: “True, I say nothing/ but the longing in my heart/ reaches out to you,/ secret as the constant flow of an underground river.”

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Anselm Kiefer

Wednesday, February 1st, 1989

Anselm Kiefer uses the language of modern art to rewrite the kind of grandiose nineteenth-century history painting that modern art rejected. He paints a raging elegy for the failure of reason and civilization to overcome the evil that is part of human nature. Yet for Kiefer, only the magic of art can build something beautiful out of the wreck of reason and the failure of history.

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Images of the Mind

Monday, May 19th, 1986

Tao Chi was a prince who became a wandering Buddhist monk. His “Melancholy Thoughts on the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers,” captures the mood of the end of autumn. A lonely fishing hut is half-hidden by a few sparse trees; a flock of wild geese flies over a river. The calligraphy echoes the flight of the birds and the quiver of the leaves. Without understanding a word, we can feel the poetry.

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Robert Ferrandini

Saturday, December 1st, 1984

ROBERT FERRANDINI’s early work featured flying saucers and monsters, imagery drawn from a 1950’s childhood spent watching science-fiction movies like When Worlds Collide and The Thing. In his new paintings of imaginary landscapes and seascapes, he has come to some kind of terms with his past and is ready to move on. His spaceship has finally landed in a world of his own making.

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Renoir: A Lesson in Happiness

Saturday, December 1st, 1984

“His hands were terribly deformed. Rheumatism had cracked the joints, bending the thumb toward the palm and the other fingers toward the wrist. Visitors who weren’t used to it couldn’t take their eyes off this mutilation. Their reaction, which they didn’t dare express, was: ‘It’s not possible. With those hands, he can’t paint these pictures. There’s a mystery!’ The mystery was Renoir himself.”

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Jean-Francois Millet: Seeds of Impressionism

Friday, June 1st, 1984

Jean-Francois MILLET saw a timeless beauty and sadness in life, in evenings dark and filled with color. “What I know of happiness is the quiet, the silence, that you can savor so deliciously, either in the forests, or in the fields,” he wrote.

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New Wave Painting

Tuesday, June 1st, 1982

False masks of plastic beauty are among its moving targets. Desperate to survive the glissando of the word processor and the deadly lull of ordinary life, it rips to pieces the world’s fabric and its skin and puts it back together, obsessively recreating from scraps and scrawls and marks and images the objects of its desire and its rage.

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Flora Natapoff

Thursday, October 1st, 1981

The surface of a FLORA NATAPOFF painting is a place where battles have been fought, cities and temples built up and brought down, and on which there has been a wrestling with angels. The means of expression are abstract – marks on paper and scraps of paper that must always hold their own. But the energy to work comes from looking at something that moves her.

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The Dial: Arts and Letters in the 1920s

Wednesday, April 1st, 1981

THE DIAL was a literary magazine that published T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, as well as reproductions of artworks collected by Schofield Thayer, a Henry Jamesian character who went abroad in search of old knowledge and new art.

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Frances Hamilton: Books and Painted Stories

Sunday, February 1st, 1981

FRANCES HAMILTON has refashioned much-loved images, memories, and dreamstransforming them into a fully re-imagined universe. It is this transformation – the serious, difficult task of art – that gives her work its power to enchant.

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Ingres 1780-1980

Monday, December 1st, 1980

For a twentieth-century audience brought up on abstraction, INGRES’s greatness, his fascination, lies in the abstract qualities of his line, its restless, obsessive movement across the page. Ingres’ line has power, grace, life; it’s brilliant, dramatic, neurotic, even perverse. He told his students, “Drawing is everything; it is all of Art.”

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Gabriele Munter: From Munich to Murnau

Saturday, November 1st, 1980

A woman sits thinking, resting her head on her hand in a room filled with flowers and fruit. The room seems charged with meaning, filled with her extraordinary presence. For GABRIELE MUNTER, art was not about appearances, but about realities lying behind appearances. Abstraction was a way of seeing into the heart of things.

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