American artist’s works focus on discrimination, occupation and plight of refugees
Sep25

American artist’s works focus on discrimination, occupation and plight of refugees

An art exhibition titled “Endangered land, People and Heritage” by American painter and Professor of Art History Jacqueline Taylor Basker was held at Bandak Art Gallery in Amman on Thursday. The event, held under the patronage of Amman’s Mayor Yousef Shawarbeh, marked her 10th anniversary in Jordan and the region.  “Since my arrival in 2007 I have become more aware of many important issues and this provided subject matter for my artwork,” Taylor Basker told The Jordan Times, adding that travelling to visit endangered archaeological sites with her students from New York Institute of Technology and German-Jordanian University made her very “concerned about endangered heritage”.  One of her inspirations for the paintings came from her frequent visits to Palestine and experiensing the Israeli occupation firsthand, she stressed.  “What really angered me is that it was my tax money that was funding Israeli terror against the Palestinians,” the painter underlined.  “If you are an artist concerned about political issues you cannot only sign petitions, make Facebook posts, go to meetings but you can make art to bring attention to humanitarian issues and injustices,”  Taylor Basker emphasised, stressing that despite her love for abstract art she is more driven by the political message her work conveys.  According to Taylor Basker, many times in the past, the great art of the world has been a response to war and injustice and it has an important role to play, since images can be very powerful, more than mere words.  Source:  Jordan...

Read More
Maine artist makes what may be the world’s largest watercolor
Aug21

Maine artist makes what may be the world’s largest watercolor

Barbara Prey has a golden resume: a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a master’s from Harvard and a Fulbright scholarship, which she used to study baroque art and architecture in Germany. One of her first jobs was drawing illustrations for the New Yorker. Her watercolors have been used for two White House Christmas cards, and her paintings are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum and hang in U.S. embassies around the world. But for all her accomplishments, Prey, who lives part of the year in Maine, has lacked an enthusiastic endorsement from a leading contemporary art museum. That changed recently, when the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams commissioned her to make what the museum believes is the largest existing watercolor painting. MASS MoCA, the country’s largest contemporary art museum, after its recent expansion, and a taste-maker in contemporary art since it opened in 1999, challenged Prey, a landscape painter in the tradition of Andrew Wyeth, to make a large-scale painting showing the museum’s new home in a former mill complex before a renovation and expansion added 120,000 square feet. The museum wanted to document the mill while the patina of the peeling paint and unfinished wood floors were intact. Source: Portland Press...

Read More
Paul Gauguin at Art Institute of Chicago
Jul31

Paul Gauguin at Art Institute of Chicago

Gauguin was best known for his paintings of women in idyllic Tahitian settings. When Gauguin first traveled to Tahiti, he was dismayed to find that much of the local culture had been transformed by colonization. The works he created there are not historically accurate but rather his reimagining of what the island might have once been. He spent the first six years of his life in Peru and, as an adult, lived in Paris, Brittany, Martinique, Tahiti, and the Marquesas Islands. In every place, he absorbed — and reinvented — the local artistic and cultural traditions. Source: ‘BLOUIN...

Read More
A Painter’s Dreams Go Up in Smoke
Jul17

A Painter’s Dreams Go Up in Smoke

In “Rainy Night” (2017), the artist carefully invokes surfaces, tonalities, and detritus, such as tin cans and coffee cubs. The electric blue tarp glows in the crepuscular light. Raindrops are visible as they fall unimpeded into the room. While the room did not allow Twilley to dream in peace, she dreamed anyway, as evidenced by the two art books lying on the floor, one of which has a painting from Picasso’s Blue Period on the cover. Twilley uses the bedroom as an occasion to test her painting chops: can she be true to the drab and artificial colors, to surface textures, to stains, tin, and plastic, and to the gloomy light? The painting “Cat in the Roof” (2017), offers a partial view of the room,  glimpsing the edge of a dresser, a space heater sitting on a chair — the likely reason the fire started — and a stained wall and door. The stained surfaces look as if someone stuck her hands in grease and rubbed them onto the cream-colored door and the wavy grooves of the warped prefab wallboard. Another smear the color of dried blood descends the wall. According to the gallery press release: “A stray cat and her kittens had been living in the roof above the fireplace and had died, causing maggots to rain down into the fire.” Twilley does not go for sensationalism, so that the russet smear is the only clue as to what happened. It is more than enough. Meanwhile, an apple core stands next to a coffee cup on the edge of the dresser, near the stained mattress. The nuances of atmospheric light are impressive: Twilley wants to see what she once inhabited with a detachment that denies sentimentality, nostalgia, and even sympathy. Despite the depressing circumstances of her childhood, she recognizes that her situation did not become an overwhelming obstacle, and that she did become an artist, what she dreamed about. Any painterly move meant to play on our empathy would have struck a false note, and there is none of that in these terrific paintings. They are both tough and tender. Along with the paintings of her bedroom and one of the fire blazing through her window, Twilley did a group of smaller works depicting the books she had that survived the fire. In these works, she placed the open book on her easel and painted what she saw. This includes smudges, masking tape, paint and pencil marks, and unidentifiable stains. In another painting from this group, she places her copy of a book on Titian next to one on Picasso: the covers are stained and the binding of...

Read More
Andrew Wyeth at 100
Jul12

Andrew Wyeth at 100

By the time he turned 30, Andrew Wyeth had already cemented himself as one of the most important and quintessential American artists of his time. Born a full century ago in Chadds Ford, Penn., on July 12, 1917, Wyeth’s only formal education in art came from his father, Newell Convers “N.C.” Wyeth, who was an accomplished illustrator in his own right. When LIFE profiled the younger Wyeth in 1948, he was well along in his career, having sold out his first solo exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City a decade prior. His most famous painting, Christina’s World, was painted the same year the 1948 article appeared in LIFE, but is not mentioned. LIFE would feature Wyeth, who died in 2009, and his paintings many times over the years, including extensive articles in 1953 and a 1965 profile that featured 22 pages of his favorite paintings and a first-person interview by Richard Meryman, who became a good friend of Wyeth’s and went on to write a biography of the painter. Of his most famous painting, which now hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Wyeth said, “When I first painted it in 1948, Christina’s World hung all summer in my house in Maine and nobody particularly reacted to it. I thought, ‘Boy, is this one ever a flat tire.'” Source:...

Read More
Artists Share How the Mexican Painter Still Inspires
Jul11

Artists Share How the Mexican Painter Still Inspires

During her lifetime, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived in the shadow of her far more famous husband, Diego Rivera, but with a big push from American popular culture beginning in the 1990s, she’s taken over the spotlight, emerging in the 21st century as the best-known and most-recognizable Mexican artist in the world — despite being famous for challenging, ignoring and disrupting cultural norms in Mexico. In response to Rivera’s many infidelities, she had affairs with both men and women. An ardent Communist, she devoted her life to social protest, from leading labor marches to protesting the United States’ interventions in Latin America. A proto-feminist, she used her art to explore her lifelong struggles with excruciating pain caused by a streetcar accident when she was 18. The Mexican Revolution inspired her to wear native Mexican costumes, but even when it became unfashionable, she continued to use the long, flowing dresses to hide a leg shriveled by polio. Her father was a German-Jewish immigrant; her mother half-Indian and a devout Catholic. Source:...

Read More