Artist dreams her world through painting
Nov30

Artist dreams her world through painting

One evening when Sarah Kelly was in middle school, she decided to draw a picture of Hank Williams for a cousin who was a big fan of the country legend. At some point, she looked at the clock, expecting an hour to have passed. It was 4 a.m. “It was the first time I remember that I was in a zone,” Kelly said. “It was a realization that art was a meditation.”   Kelly grew up drawing, with the support of her mother, artist Cindy Taplin. But it wasn’t until that moment, deep into the night, that she decided to make art her life’s work. A 2007 graduate of West Forsyth High School, Kelly later earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and religious studies from Guilford College. Upon graduation, she moved to Santa Fe, N.M., without knowing anyone, eventually finding work with sculptor Kevin Box. She moved back to Winston-Salem a few years ago, becoming active in the local arts scene, working to promote other artists and selling her art at fairs and pop-up shows. Kelly is director of the gift shop at Sawtooth School for Visual Art, choosing and marketing all the art that is for sale in the shop. Kelly is a versatile artist, who is a trained oil painter but dreams of being a full-time potter. She also makes jewellery and journals. Source:...

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Was Winslow Homer the Greatest American Painter of the 19th Century?
Nov29

Was Winslow Homer the Greatest American Painter of the 19th Century?

Winslow Homer occupies a prized place in the pantheon of American artists, beloved for his bright watercolor landscapes and tempestuous seascapes, as well as his depictions of soldiers during the Civil War, portrayals of African-American laborers in Virginia during the Reconstruction era, and his early illustrations of everyday New England life for Harper’s Weekly. Indeed some regard him as the greatest American painter of the 19th century, as Met curator H. Barbara Weinberg noted in the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. But does he deserve this accolade, in a century that also saw the development of the epic Hudson River School painters? As neither a teacher nor a member of a defined artistic group, Homer doesn’t categorize easily. But his art remains enormously popular, and he has long been regarded as one of America’s early artist icons. “The late 19th century was historically seen as being dominated by six artists,” Katherine Manthorne, a professor of American art at the CUNY Graduate Center told me via email, “the so-called ‘national’ triumvirate of Homer, Thomas Eakins, and Albert Pinkham Ryder, who spent most of their time at home…and the ‘internationals’ John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Mary Cassatt, who were largely expats.”Six artists, each talented and renowned enough to merit inclusion in the country’s top tier of 19th-century painters—so what’s so special, and quintessentially American, about Winslow Homer?   Source:...

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Artist Whose Paintings Are Mass-Produced for Hotel Rooms
Nov22

Artist Whose Paintings Are Mass-Produced for Hotel Rooms

You’d be forgiven for failing to keep up with the hotel-art scene; after all, there aren’t New Yorker gallery listings for Pastoral Landscape at Super 8, Schenectady. Moreover, low-budget hotel art, like office building muzak, seems deliberately chosen to escape notice. It wouldn’t be too surprising to learn that the paintings were somehow there when the walls were erected, part of the hotel drywall package supplied by the contractor. But as it happens, hotel art doesn’t come as part of the build-your-own-hotel starter kit. In fact, hotel art is just a niche of the larger commercial art world. As an artistic discipline, commercial art encompasses hotel art, paintings sold in HomeGoods and Cost Plus, paintings hung on the wall in department stores and small boutiques; essentially, any art you can purchase that doesn’t aspire to gallery placement. And behind each piece is an artist; someone like Brooklyn-based painter John Cerasulo, a professionally trained painter who, after years of museum and gallery exhibitions, transitioned away from the so-called “high-art” world to work full-time as a commercial artist. Now, his paintings hang in furniture stores, gift shops, and, of course, hotels.   Source: Atlas...

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Paula Modersohn-Becker: Artist Committed to Painting Women
Nov20

Paula Modersohn-Becker: Artist Committed to Painting Women

When I Google search “Paula M. Becker,” almost every entry insists she was one of the most important figures in early Expressionism, a contemporary of men we are on last-name basis with: Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse, Munch. In her native Germany, her works adorn postcards, magnets, and posters. She has been heralded as the first Western woman artist to paint herself naked. She has been claimed as the first Western woman artist to paint herself pregnant. She traveled often to Paris and developed close friendships with the painter Heinrich Vogeler and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She began a series of correspondence based around a mutual admiration for the other’s art with Otto Modersohn, which lead to their marriage in 1901. And yet, her name barely appears alongside these men in the annals of art history. She deserves her own biography. Luckily, Marie Darrieussecq has written it. The fascination with these lost characters of history, often encountered as a footnote or brief chapter in someone else’s story, can lead a writer on an incredible journey. When Darrieussecq encountered Becker’s work, used as an illustration on a flyer for a psychoanalysis symposium on motherhood, she recognized the painting but not the painter. So began her nearly five-year journey into discovering who Becker was, how she lived and what made her “be” besides her painting. Of course, there is always more to the story than just the work itself for those whose work resonates throughout decades, but often these details are locked away by more traditional biographers who have little time for details of the character’s personal lives. Darrieussecq, so taken with Becker and her celebrity-studded social circle, and wanting to understand who she was and how she came to paint the way she did, leaves no stone unturned in her quest for information on Becker. Source: A New Biography of Paula Modersohn-Becker Reveals an Artist Committed to Painting...

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The Russian Billionaire Behind Christie’s $450M Leonardo
Nov17

The Russian Billionaire Behind Christie’s $450M Leonardo

Last night, Christie’s auction house sold “Salvator Mundi,” which it claims is the last painting by Leonardo da Vinci in private hands, for an astounding, record-setting $400M (the final price was over $450M with fees). The sale was controversial for a couple of reasons: that mind-numbing number itself, but also the fact that there are a lot of questions — and serious doubts — about the painting’s authenticity, restoration, and provenance. One can therefore be forgiven for initially overlooking another elephant in the room — the identity of the seller. When there’s this much money involved, though, it usually pays to follow it, and here the money leads directly back to the Russian billionaire Dmitry E. Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev’s family trust sold the painting, through Christie’s, to an undisclosed buyer, but if his name sounds familiar for other reasons, that might be because in 2008 he paid (through a company he controlled) $95M to buy a Palm Beach mansion from Donald Trump. Or it could be that he’s also known for allegedly using his art collection to shield money from his wife, a bitter conflict brought to light in the Panama Papers. Or it could even be in connection with “Salvator Mundi” itself: Rybolovlev has been in a protracted legal battle involving Sotheby’s and “freeport king” Yves Bouvier over alleged overpayment in Rybolovlev’s purchase of the painting.   Source: The Russian Billionaire Behind Christie’s Controversial $450M...

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A Retrospective for a Painter Who Broke Away from Murals
Nov16

A Retrospective for a Painter Who Broke Away from Murals

Organized thematically, the exhibition includes over 60 works drawn from public and private collections. Since Almaraz oscillated between a variety of themes throughout his career, Fox opted to curate the show around five major subjects rather than the archetypal chronological arrangement. In this way Fox’s curatorial arrangement mimics the artist’s actual studio practice, while simultaneously providing viewers with deeply personal yet accessible wall texts that speak to the curator’s investment in paying homage to an artist whose contributions to the Los Angeles art community have been somewhat overlooked. Almaraz’s paintings are visually arresting canvases built up with dynamic brushstrokes, textured surfaces, and saturated colors that pulsate with energy. There is a Fauvist quality to his work evident in his jagged, expressive brushstrokes and penchant for garish colors. The star of the show is Almaraz’s four panel vista, “Echo Park Lake” (1982), the parts of which had not previously been reunited in over 30 years. Situated in the galleries devoted to the theme of “Los Angeles, Delirious and Edenic,” the tetraptych painting “Echo Park Lake” is a dreamy ode to one of the artist’s frequently painted and favorite parts of East LA. In this canvas, the connection to Claude Monet’s renderings of lily ponds is evident in its use of color to capture time. Source: A Retrospective for a Painter Who Broke Away from...

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