Norman Lewis Exhibit puts him into the context of an art movement

A few decades ago, the history of abstract expressionism seemed well established and its main exponents, including heavy-hitters like Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko, all firmly identified.

But a recent series of exhibitions is questioning the accepted narrative of that transformational mid-20th-century art movement and arguing for the recognition of key participants who curators believe have been wrongly undervalued. Among them are “Women of Abstract Expressionism” at the Denver Art Museum and “Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis.”

The show was overseen by Ruth Fine, who served in 1980-2002 as the curator of modern prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She became a Lewis admirer after encountering his works on paper, which she called some of the most original of his time. “I just think his work is very important, very beautiful and very special and not well enough known,” she said.

Never completely abandoning the figurative imagery that characterized his early work, Lewis (1909-1979) always pursued multiple directions in his emotionally involving abstraction. Some compositions were more monochromatic and atmospheric, and others consisted of kind of linear constructions such as “Roller Coaster” (1946).

Source: Exhibit puts Norman Lewis into the context of an art movement

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Artist Edith McLean is still painting at 94

A victim of age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss, 94-year-old McLean thought she’d never be able to paint again. Unable to paint fine lines and intricate details anymore, her work has strayed into the abstract, but that may have been for the best, McLean said.

“In spite of the fact this eye business is so awful, it really has improved my painting,” McLean said. “I guess it just goes to show that good does come out of the bad. I thought I wouldn’t be able to paint anymore but I can and it’s just great.“

McLean, a Rowayton resident for nearly 40 years, was recently featured in a show at St. Paul’s on The Green in Norwalk. The exhibit featured roughly 15 of her paintings as well as the work of another artist. McLean is also a member of the Rowayton Arts Center and has been a part of several area artists organizations through the years.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, McLean developed a lifelong love of drawing and painting. As the wife of an Air Force serviceman and a mother of one, she took classes when she could but didn’t started painting full time until after her husband died in 1984. That’s when she converted a back bedroom at her Rowayton home into the studio she still uses today.

“After my husband passed, I was by myself,” McLean said. “My son was married and I could go ahead and do what I want to do. I‘m just so glad I was able to turn it into something I love so much.“

Source: Norwalk artist Edith McLean is still painting at 94 – The Hour

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New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos’ paintings to open at St. Tammany

Palette is not an alien word to New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos. His color palette contains exuberant hues that help bring his subjects to life; a palette knife is his preferred means for creating an abundance of texture in his often large-scale oil paintings.

“I favor the palette knife because it allows decisive and rapid action,” he said via email while working from his residence in France. “I like to go for the throat, so to speak. Brushes are great, if you wish to baste the beast, but better the knife when you wish to cut to the quick.”

Source: New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos’ paintings to open at St. Tammany show

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What’s keeping great paintings from the public?

The work of art that rocked Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on Friday was not a painting – it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Yet it was created in precisely the same era as the paintings the market is apparently falling out of love with. Why is the visual art of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries losing favour when drama from that age can still pack ’em in?

The New York Times asks if old master art can regain its “relevance.” Watching Shakespeare at the Globe offers a couple of answers. Make it new: productions of the Bard are popular because theatre is so good at revealing his contemporary pertinence. In fact, the Globe’s Dream goes as far as I’d ever want a theatre to do in that direction, including, ahem, changing some of Shakespeare’s words. This brings me to the second suggestion: make it democratic.

The reported crisis in the old master market is the inevitable result of the snobbery and elitism that has suffocated paintings for far too long. The very term “old master” is a horrible, destructive piece of pretension – what does it even mean? The custodians of oil paintings often seem to revel in the obscurity of their taste, putting on exhibitions that flaunt erudite connoisseurship and have little to say to the general public.

Source: Art for snobs: what’s keeping great paintings from the public? | Art and design | The Guardian

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Four paintings disappear from Dunkirk museum

As art heists go, the one that recently struck the Dunkirk Historical Museum is not like to end up in the history books.

But it is rattling the employees of the small institution a half mile from the Lake Erie shore, who discovered in mid-August that four paintings by Dunkirk-born artist George William Eggers had been stolen from a museum storage room.

Staff discovered the missing paintings while preparing for an upcoming exhibition about Eggers, a painter and art museum director who lived from 1883 to 1958 and ranks as the most accomplished artist to emerge from the town. The artworks include a framed self-portrait in watercolor, which shows Eggers in a bright orange outfit reminiscent of a prison jumpsuit, and three other minor pieces.

Dunkirk Historical Society President Diane Andrasik stressed that the stolen works, valued at less than $1,000, were hardly valuable enough to merit the theft. What’s at stake, she said, is the reputation of the museum as a caretaker of important community treasures.

Read full article at source: Four paintings disappear from Dunkirk museum – Gusto

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Banksy ended up accidentally reduced to rubble

Amid repairs last week to a home in the English town of Cheltenham, one of the most famous murals by the graffiti artist known as Banksy ended up accidentally reduced to rubble. The artist had painted “Spy Booth,” depicting spies holding up listening devices, on an exterior wall of the house, around an actual public telephone booth. This fiasco followed the discovery in July that Australian construction workers had inadvertently destroyed three Banksy stencils in Melbourne, bringing to five the number of the artist’s works that had vanished on one stretch of road.

Banksy’s street art, by its nature, is especially vulnerable to such losses, but his work isn’t alone in suffering such a fate. Many of the world’s most famous artworks require constant vigilance and upkeep. Michelangelo’s magnificent David in Florence, for example, is checked every two months or so for fractures.

Source: When Works of Art Come Apart – WSJ

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Hypnotizing Translucent Waves Capture The Raw Power Of The Sea

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky loved painting the sea. A Crimean native, he was born in Feodosia, a port town, and thus had great waters as a constant companion. This 19th century Russian Armenian painter had real knack for depicting waves. Light and translucent, they perfectly capture the essence of the real thing. Many of these paintings featured a human element, too, with ships showing the struggle between man and nature.

During his career, Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky painted more than 6000 paintings, half of which depict sea and ships. He often went to watch naval manoeuvres and even painted the siege of Sevastopol. Aivazovsky was widely recognized even outside the Russian Empire, receiving awards from France, Turkey and others.

Source: Hypnotizing Translucent Waves In 19th Century Russian Paintings Capture The Raw Power Of The Sea | Bored Panda

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Tori Patterson’s art examines identity formation

Her work will be on display at the main campus gallery through Sept. 22. The gallery is located on the first floor of the Arts Building, 3536 Butte Campus Drive.

For the show, Patterson was inspired by identity formation, loss and rebirth—the path in which humans become who they are.

There are 21 paintings in a varied mix of her work interpreting the subdued, flourishing, or sometimes messy angles of the self at a given time.

Defining the self does not mean these are clear-cut portraits. Instead, they range from abstractions and landscape to figure studies.

The paintings are colorful yet subdued, with expressive strokes, colors and twisted lines that unhinge a realistic interpretation. These are a study on affect and identity, where introspection, dreaming and confronting a more difficult narrative are embraced.

Patterson is a painter who works and lives in the New York City



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Businessman became Artist by Painting with his Phablet

A well-known art collector and wealthy Mumbai businessman was standing in his orchid gardens in Alibag when he was struck by a desire to paint the flowers for his celebrity-chef wife.

Taking out a stylus and his Galaxy Note, Dilip De got to work. It took him a while to understand how to work the stylus and he accidentally deleted several paintings before eventually completing his first ever piece of art. Spurred by this experience, De began to paint on with his device voraciously.

Clearly influenced by Picasso, De explains that he studied art both when he was younger and as an art collector, and he has applied his knowledge of art history to his new passion, invoking themes of abstract surrealism and figurative art.

Introducing his work, De excitedly explains that his phablet-based art allows him to create whenever and wherever, making art “omnipresent.” On August 17th, De’s 24 paintings were shown in an exhibition called Celebration of Love at Jehangir Art Gallery.

Full article at source: How A Wealthy Businessman Became an Artist By Painting with his Phablet | The Creators Project

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Did Alec Baldwin Pay $190,000 for the Wrong Picture?

Ten years or so ago, as the actor Alec Baldwin remembers it, the gallery owner Mary Boone sent him an invitation to a show of work by the painter Ross Bleckner, an artist whom she represented and he had befriended.The card featured a reproduction of Mr. Bleckner’s “Sea and Mirror,” a work from 1996, when the artist was at the height of his popularity.So began Mr. Baldwin’s love affair with the painting — an infatuation that has ended with Mr. Baldwin, who occupies a central role in New York’s cultural life, now pitted in a bitter dispute with two formidable players in the city’s rarefied world of art and money — Ms. Boone, a prominent art dealer, and Mr. Bleckner, one of her notable talents.This has, to say the least, become awkward.

Source: Paint and Switch? Did Alec Baldwin Pay $190,000 for the Wrong Picture? – The New York Times

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