The World According to Kerry James Marshall 
Mar07

The World According to Kerry James Marshall 

  The artistic trajectory of painter Kerry James Marshall was determined by civil rights movements. Born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama, he observed an upheaval before his family relocated to Watts in 1963, where he’d witness the Watts riots. But his experiences were never the ones portrayed by master painters he admired. And so, two years before graduating from Otis Art Institute, Marshall painted A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self (1980), his first image of a black figure. The piece depicts a man’s coal-black face set against a black background, his only discernible features being the whites of his eyes and a cartoonish rictus—a commentary on the way a black man might be perceived in a white world, which is to say, barely at all. Marshall has painted black figures ever since, less to criticize Western art and more to insert the largely absent African American into a narrative that has captivated him since his first visit to a museum—LACMA—at the age of ten. On March 12 Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, which showcases nearly 80 of the artist’s works, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art. “One of the effects of a Kerry James Marshall show is a call to thinking,” MOCA cocurator Helen Molesworth says. “Are we prepared to let go of the fantasy that whiteness equals wealth, beauty, fill in the blank?” Source: Los Angeles...

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Rooms by the Sea, 1951 by Edward Hopper
Feb27

Rooms by the Sea, 1951 by Edward Hopper

Hopper first began painting the effects of sunlight as a young art student in Paris, and this interest continued throughout his career. As a mature artist, he lived and worked in New York City and spent most of his summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He designed and built a sunny, secluded studio at Truro on the bluff overlooking the ocean. This painting is based on the view out the back door of the studio. Titled in his record book “Rooms by the Sea. Alias The Jumping Off Place,” Hopper noted that the second title was perceived by some to have “malign overtones” and he thus deleted it. While the view from the studio suggested the composition of Rooms by the Sea, the image is more an evocative metaphor of silence and solitude than the transcription of an actual scene. Hopper had a way of communicating his inner life…feelings of despair and desolation, as well as his sense of beauty…finding them in the buildings and objects he painted. He filled empty rooms with the mystery of existence and his own spirit. In essence, he, like Van Gogh, was painting not just the objects themselves, but turning them literally into self-portraits. Source: Edward...

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People are rediscovering a great American artist from World War I
Feb24

People are rediscovering a great American artist from World War I

Claggett Wilson isn’t exactly a household name, but his battlefield watercolors are getting buzz at a big new exhibition of World War I and American Art. “[Wilson’s] watercolors of exploding shells and mad-eyed soldiers are standouts in an exhibition rich in intensely original work,” Holland Cotter wrote in the New York Times. “I was most moved … by an artist I had never heard of: Claggett Wilson,” Thomas Hine wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The works vary a good deal in style … [but] what they share is immediacy and intense emotion.” “These are incredible,” Slate’s Amanda Katz tweeted in response to a series of Wilson works tweeted by her colleague Rebecca Onion. The exhibition, which includes Wilson works not publicly exhibited since the 1920s, is at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through April 9 before moving to New York and Nashville.   Source: People are rediscovering a great American artist from World War...

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An Oregon painter who once rocked New York City
Feb16

An Oregon painter who once rocked New York City

Walk into the luscious new Louis Bunce retrospective at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and you’re immediately confronted with a 1932 self-portrait of the artist. Wearing a banded fedora and sporting a 20-something’s raffish sneer, Bunce — whose career as an Oregon painter spanned the mid 20th century — glances forward through the decades as if to challenge the 21st century museum-goer: “You’ll never meet another artist quite like me,” he seems to say. All the portrait needs is a cigarette dangling from the lips under that pencil-thin mustache to bring it fully to life. Source:...

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Abertillery artist nominated for £15,000 art award
Feb13

Abertillery artist nominated for £15,000 art award

Peter Archer, of Six Bells, who has been painting for the past 55 years, is one of 80 nominees for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, which recognises contemporary British artists working in painting and drawing. The 70-year-old has been nominated for his oil painting Cliff Life, depicting a misty scene of white cliffs, and will be exhibited as part of the competition at the Mall galleries in London next month. Mr Archer, who has previously been nominated for the prize three times in a row and twice been awarded a runner’s up prize, said his recent artworks were all of landscapes from his imagination. Source: Abertillery artist nominated for £15,000 art...

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