The woman who brought modern art to Los Angeles
Jun09

The woman who brought modern art to Los Angeles

The jackdaw is one of the smartest birds around. In folklore, she is very acquisitive, picking up bright, beautiful, shiny things with which to line her nest. She is, in short, your basic avian art collector. In 1915, painter Alexei Jawlensky nick-named aspiring young artist Emilie Esther Scheyer “Galka,” Russian for “jackdaw.”  This was the name she wore for the rest of her life. Like her namesake, she was brilliant and spent her life surrounding herself with beautiful things—as well as the people who made them. Head in Profile, 1919; Emil Nolde (German, 1867-1956); Watercolor and India ink on tan wove paperNORTON SIMON MUSEUM, THE BLUE FOUR GALKA SCHEYER COLLECTION The Norton-Simon’s current show, “Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California,” includes about 100 works from some 500 in her personal collection. They range from pieces by Lyonel Feininger to Edward Weston, but the heart of the show is the assemblage of pictures by the quartet she called “The Blue Four,” of whom Jawlensky was the first: then came Feininger, Paul Klee, and Vasily Kandinsky. Heavy Circles, 1927; Vasily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944); Oil on canvas. NORTON SIMON MUSEUM, THE BLUE FOUR GALKA SCHEYER COLLECTION Galka  gave up her own artistic ambitions to present, promote and sell their work. In 1924, she came to California as a prophet of the Blue Four avant garde, first in San Francisco, whose taste she found to be too conservative, then in Los Angeles, where she remained for the rest of her life.  She lectured on, promoted, and publicized modern art as she socialized with celebrities like Joseph von Sternberg, John Cage, and Richard Neutra, who designed her house/gallery in Hollywood Hills. There she extended her collection to include another 44 painters and photographers. By the time of her 1946 death, she had acquired the best collection of modern art in the West—including Picasso, Nolde, Moholy-Nagy, Franz Marc, and Diego Rivera. By bringing so much great modern work to Los Angeles so early, she is credited with helping to make it the international art center it is today. Source: 89.3...

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How Hilton Head Island was an ‘enormous gift’ for painter Joseph Orr
Jun09

How Hilton Head Island was an ‘enormous gift’ for painter Joseph Orr

The paintings of Joseph Orr will be featured at Red Piano Art Gallery this month in a celebration of the artist’s more than 20-year relationship with the gallery. “We were a much smaller gallery up on Orleans Road when we first saw the work of Joseph Orr,” said Ben Whiteside, owner with his wife, Lyn, of the gallery. “A kind of odd-looking, generic package arrived by mail, filled with small artworks, mostly landscapes, all by some artist named Joseph Orr. They were just outstanding, but we had no idea who he was or how in the world these paintings ended up at our gallery.” Whiteside said he reached out to Orr, then living in Missouri, and after a few minutes of nonstop conversation, had developed a plan in which Orr would provide additional paintings and visit the Lowcountry to meet the folks at Red Piano. And discover Hilton Head. “As an artist, a painter of landscapes, arriving on Hilton Head Island was just an enormous gift,” said Orr. “Everything about the setting thrilled me, and I was ready to take in this amazing Lowcountry first hand.” There are close to a dozen Orr pieces hanging throughout the Red Piano. His richly imagined and dramatically portrayed landscapes are done on canvas or Masonite and created in his medium of choice, acrylic. My favorite piece is “In Front of the Sunset.” Consider the movement Orr communicates through his portrayal of the subtle motion captured in the waterway, the ripples in the water, the motion of the seagrasses and the reflection of the sun on the water. Source: Island...

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Trump protest paintings part of art exhibition in Lake Worth
Jun06

Trump protest paintings part of art exhibition in Lake Worth

That’s what Maxine Schreiber, a lifelong artist always loved painting. A Palm Beach sunrise. A parakeet in a hibiscus tree. An historic Key West home. But for Schreiber, 72, things changed dramatically Nov. 8 when Donald Trump was elected president. The impact on Schreiber — and her work — was profound. “I felt very deflated and depressed,” said Schreiber, a political activist since she was a freshman at Emerson College in Boston when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. “I didn’t even feel like painting any more. Having someone like that representing America is like a nightmare.” So, she stopped painting for a little while. Then Schreiber got re-energized while watching and participating in local protests against the nation’s newly elected commander-in-chief. Schreiber found a new purpose and started painting those rallies. “I usually don’t paint people,” she said. “But I felt so inspired. It was more important to paint protesters than paint pretty landscapes. Why would I just paint beauty? There are more important things to be expressing right now.” Those paintings will be part of “Bread & Roses: Women Who Resist,” an exhibition Aug. 18-30 at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Lake Worth. Joyce Brown, the gallery’s curator, said Schreiber’s work will be a big part of the show, which will include the works of more than 20 artists. Source: Palm Beach...

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A Passionate Experimentalist, Painter Phillip J. Hampton 
May16

A Passionate Experimentalist, Painter Phillip J. Hampton 

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Hampton was a 30-year-old Army veteran and commercial artist with the Kansas City Call, a weekly black newspaper, when he earned his MFA. The year he graduated, he began teaching at Savannah State College (now University) in Georgia, and played an instrumental role in developing the school’s art and design program and expanding its facilities. He relocated to Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. (SIUE), in 1969. There, he taught printmaking, design, and painting, and participated in the wider academic community, curating exhibitions, leading workshops, giving lectures and writing articles. A painter who worked in abstraction and professor emeritus at SIUE, Hampton died Dec. 17, 2016. In the months since, a fully illustrated digital volume about his life and work has been published and some of his paintings appeared in an African American fine art sale at Ripley Auctions of Indianapolis, Ind., on March 18. His obituary, published in the Edwardsville Intelligencer in Illinois, cites his evolving painting style and approach to his work: “Although Hampton’s early works were characterized by an interest in perception and the realities and aesthetics of the world around him, a shift began to take place in the 1960s when he began to investigate abstraction. …He found abstraction to be infinitely satisfying because it allowed him to break free of representational constraints. With abstraction, he could address philosophical concerns without being bound to specific narratives or didactic ideas.” Source: Culture...

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An artist the left would love to forget
Apr28

An artist the left would love to forget

  Jon McNaughton has been a “hidden man” in many respects. A conservative painter with extensive knowledge of his craft, he was far from being a household name – until Sean Hannity introduced him to America in 2012. Sean and Jon intersected through a link in the Drudge Report. It noted that images of his painting, “The Forgotten Man,” had racked up millions of hits. Hannity seemed enthralled with the bold, outrageously populist sentiments of the piece, and he also appreciated it as a work of art.   Six feet across, “The Forgotten Man” is a visual show-down between President Obama and past U.S. presidents. In roughly chronological order, the massed presidents witness Obama defiantly standing on the Constitution. Naughton adds touches of history and political commentary in his portrayal of presidents past. Some are disturbed, others stolidly stare. Clinton, FDR and Teddy Roosevelt are applauding. To the left, a melancholy man sits dejectedly, ignoring the gesturing crowd. This is McNaughton’s “Forgotten Man” or 21st century Everyman. It was the first time he used Obama as a central subject. “I was inspired to do this after they first passed the Obamaicare in 2010,” he explained. Source: An artist the left would love to...

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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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