Tallaght Classroom by Kirsti Kotilainen
Jun12

Tallaght Classroom by Kirsti Kotilainen

School’s out and busy, buzzy classrooms stand silent. Artist Kirsti Kotilainen has just completed her first year teaching in Tallaght and this artwork captures the space where she worked with her 20 students. “The Irish curriculum is better.” In Finland art is not examined, it is seen as a hobby, but she still admires the Finnish system. Her background is working-class and yet “there was no question that I wouldn’t go to college. Finland’s a social democracy… I grew up in a block of flats next to a middle-class area. We all went to the same school, we all played together”. In Finland it is kindergarten until seven, fully-subsidised school meals, few private schools and no make or break exams. “The psychological age for reading is seven and if half the class can read, the other can’t, they’re all at the same level by Christmas.” Tallaght is a different world, “a world I like to connect with”. In her art room with its “white walls and grey lino” Kotilainen says “you don’t just pour information in. Every student is different, some have baggage, In Tallaght you see the world. They draw horses, fast cars, nature. They love seeing their clay pieces come from the kiln”. Kotilainen grew up in Loviisa, a coastal town east of Helsinki, and all she had heard about Ireland, before she spent a Gap Year in ceasefire Belfast, were the Troubles and the X Case. Returning later, she worked as a legal executive then signed up for NCAD. Source:  Irish...

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Previously unseen works by artist Irma Stern go to auction
May29

Previously unseen works by artist Irma Stern go to auction

Two paintings by South African artist Irma Stern‚ previously unseen on the open market‚ with messages about Africa as a cultural melting pot, are going under the hammer in Johannesburg. The paintings‚ previously held in private family collections‚ will form part of a sale of historic‚ modern and contemporary art on June 17 at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs). Emma Bedford‚ a director of Aspire Art Auctions‚ said: “Given the international interest in Irma Stern, we are delighted to bring these two beautiful works to the market. They both embody her style and her philosophy, which was such a rich mélange of the cultures we are heir to here at the southern tip of Africa. Still life with magnolias, apples and bowl. Picture: ASPIRE ART AUCTIONS “What is particularly interesting in the one painting is the presence of a Chinese pot and an Arab-influenced table cover. The most valuable Stern ever sold‚ Arab Priest‚ bought by the Qatari government for £3,044,000 in 2011‚ also has this mix of...

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Joys and challenges of painting outdoors reflected in Plein Air exhibit
May25

Joys and challenges of painting outdoors reflected in Plein Air exhibit

Plein Air painting, which is simply the act of painting outdoors, is an artistic practice that goes back centuries. Pushing beyond the traditional walls of a studio, artists take their chosen media and travel out into the community or countryside and paint what they see. The result can take the shape of a landscape or cityscape, but also can be a vignette or moment of life captured and expressed through what the artist is confronting. The challenge is that this practice is all done out in the elements, and weather and time often conspire to put limits on what the artist is trying to investigate or convey. Artists who often work in this way almost universally have stories of being caught in some type of weather; they also often have stories of having to deal with curious onlookers who want to watch, talk about how they love painting and/or relate a story about their own experiences. There is an exuberance and passion conveyed through this type of painting that is palpable when you look at the work, regardless of whether the artist has been particularly successful. The act of trying to get all the information on paper or canvas before the weather changes or the medium gets too dry comes through in the visual energy and makes the works interesting and enjoyable.   Source: Akron Beacon...

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Nu couché by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $157m
May21

Nu couché by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $157m

When even the experts are warning that prices for works of art have become obscene, it is probably time to run a dispassionate eye over the multimillion-dollar frenzy for certain works. Last week, Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani sold to an unnamed buyer for $157m, and a new record was set for a David Hockney painting when Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica was bought for $28.5m. Clare McAndrew of consultancy Art Economics says: “It’s slightly obscene, isn’t it? When you think of the other artists who could be supported by that money.” She adds that the Modigliani transaction is an illustration of the wealthy elite’s predilection for untamed spending: “To spend money on one thing like that shows ultra wealth gone wild.” The price reached at the Modigliani auction reflects the state of the world economy, says McAndrew, who also compiles an annual study of the global art market with Swiss bank UBS. Stronger growth is fuelling the market, spiralling prices reflect rising rampant and rising inequality across advanced economies. The art market broadly matched the growth rate of the global economy between 2000 and 2017, according to the latest UBS report, with world GDP and wealth both rising last year. Even so, some paintings are so famous they can fetch dizzyingly high prices when the economy is in a downturn. Source: The...

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Painting Michelle Obama brought Amy Sherald fame
May16

Painting Michelle Obama brought Amy Sherald fame

On Thursday evening, the crowd at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis overflowed the room in which Amy Sherald was speaking, so late arrivals watched the artist talk on monitors in the atrium. It’s been a little over three months since Sherald, the artist who painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, became a public figure, admired and reviled according to the usual cleavages of race and culture that divide this country. But for an artist who confesses a “healthy amount of self-doubt,” she is poised, confident and funny when addressing a crowd of people who deeply appreciate what she has done for painting, for women, for the Obamas, and for the cause of African American artists. “I thought I was going to die when I was 39,” the 44-year-old Sherald says. Her life story is part of the bond that ties her to the people in this room, many of whom already know the basic outlines: She was a struggling painter from Columbus, Ga., when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 31. She lived with the fear of death through a fraught but formative decade that included a lifesaving heart transplant in 2012. She emerged from the nightmare stronger, more confident and with a deeper sense of artistic purpose. In 2016, the Baltimore-based artist won the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever competition, and she was then selected by Michelle Obama to paint the first lady’s portrait. “Everybody should be a donor,” she tells the crowd, deflecting their curiosity about her health onto a constructive message about organ donation. She is good at this, inviting people into her story and then steering them to something else — to her art, or the people she has painted, or some sense of constructive social purpose.   Source: The Washington...

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The ‘Beauty of Simple Things’
Apr13

The ‘Beauty of Simple Things’

Lanesboro Arts presents “Beauty in Simple Things,” an exhibition of still-life oil paintings by Patricia Schu. The exhibit opens with an artist reception on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., and runs through June 17, 2018. The reception will include wine and hors d’oeuvres, as well as live music. Always free and open to the public, the Lanesboro Arts Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday through April 28. The gallery will also be open on Sundays from 11-4 p.m. beginning on April 29. A Minnesota native, Schu was born in Minneapolis, where she now lives with her husband Carl and cat Goldie. Her love of art emerged as a child and has continued throughout her adult years. Although many of those years were spent working and raising her three children, she would eventually set aside time for art classes at various local colleges. As time moved on, so did the kids, and Schu was able to retire after 26 years in the financial services industry. The possibility of full-time art became a reality. After checking out several art schools, Schu enrolled in part-time classes at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art (formerly known as The Atelier Lack) in Minneapolis. Within a month, those part-time classes led to full-time studies. Using the techniques of the “old masters” in an environment of master artist/apprentice is the primary instructional method of this program. The fundamental principles of realistic drawing and painting in the classical style are emphasized throughout the four-year program, which Schu completed in May 2010.   Source: Winona...

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