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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