Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maurizio Anzeri, Artist

"Maurizio Anzeri makes his portraits by sewing directly into found vintage photographs. His embroidered patterns garnish the figures like elaborate costumes, but also suggest a psychological aura, as if revealing the person’s thoughts or feelings. The antique appearance of the photographs is often at odds with the sharp lines and silky shimmer of the threads. The combined media gives the effect of a dimension where history and future converge. The image used in Round Midnight is an early 20th century ‘glamour shot’ that at the time would have been considered titillating for both the girl’s nudity and ethnicity. Anzeri’s delicately stitched veil recasts the figure with an uncomfortable modesty, overlaying a past generation’s cross-cultural anxieties with an allusion to our own."

Image and text source Saatchi Gallery.  Link here

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chapter 6, Popular Culture and National Culture from the book Drawing Now

Shahzia Sikander, The Resurgence of Islam, 1999
From the book, Drawing Now, "...Sikander creates altogether contemporary work not by breaking conventions but by inverting them." Link here for page that contains above image. Image also appears in book, Drawing Now, pp. 122-123.

Amy Cutler, Fermentation, gouache on paper, 2009.

From Femme Art blog.
Amy Cutler is super cool: brooklyn artist, does very narrative / folktale and detailed paintings

"While I absorb references through the media there are always underlying personal meanings in my paintings. Often it will be a year or more before I feel like I fully understand why I selected certain images and painted them the way I did".

Link here for the page that contains the above image.

The Official Crumb Site

George Cruikshank, Massacre at St. Peter's, 1819. Link here for more.

A Divine Comedy of Errors: Political Paintings by Saira Wasim
Paradoxes of Genre: the Epic Miniature
Teeming with figures captured in mid-action, paintings by Saira Wasim present grand narratives. If it weren’t for their petite size and two-dimensionality, they might be mistaken for Greek mythology, Baroque opera, epic film, or other monumental genres. Yet, these small paintings represent a singular creation, one that transcends any individual medium or genre. In Wasim’s hands, the centuries-old format of the miniature painting has been transformed into a stage for human drama, a jam-packed cinematic space that approaches the grandeur of Cecil B. DeMille and the glamour of Bollywood. Like the protagonists of such grand genres, Wasim’s characters gesticulate, prance, shoot, and fly in majestic style. They laugh and boast in hideous fashion, and morph into grotesque hybrid creatures that hint at transcendent themes of good and evil. Website here.

Mid 19th Century Miniature Painting on Ivory of Princess Lamballe in a Sterling Blue Enamel Frame. Princess Lamballe was Marie Antoinette's best friend and was beheaded during the revolution for this reason. Link here.

Xiaoqing Ding. From the Journal of Mythic Arts: News and Reviews. Link here.

Moritz von Schwind, Ruebezahl, 1851. Image on page 105 in book, Drawing Now.

Moritz von Schwind, The Falkenstein Ride (1843-44).
The serious, devoutly religious mysticism of the early Romantic artists (such as Caspar David Friedrich in the north and the Nazarenes in the south) differed sharply from the fanciful imaginativeness of the later adherents of the movement, such as Moritz von Schwind. Like many other popular artists of the Biedermeier period, Schwind was more interested in the anecdotal than the purely symbolic or allegorical. The subject of the painting reproduced below is the legend of the knight Kuno von Sayn, who fell in love with the daughter of the castle lord von Falkenstein. The lord would only consent to the marriage if Kuno managed to create an accessible pathway through the impassable cliffs leading up to his castle – all in one night. In the end, Kuno achieved this monumental task with the help of underground elves, who offered their assistance in exchange for his promise to close down all of the silver mines in the mountain heights. This painting shows Kuno as he approaches the castle on horseback to claim his bride. Source is German History Documents. Link here.

"Hansel and Gretel" and "Sleeping Beauty" (c. 1840)
First published in 1819, the Grimm brothers’ encyclopedic compendium of fairy and folk tales unites two seemingly contradictory cultural tendencies, each of which exerted an equally strong influence on all aspects of intellectual life in early nineteenth-century Germany. On the one hand, the collection reflects the Romantics’ obsession with all things mystical and supernatural, as well as their search for na├»ve and “organic” forms of expression unfettered by artificial social conventions. Within this cultural context, greater attention was paid to popular tales passed down through oral tradition. On the other hand, the Grimm brothers’ collection also reflects the neoclassical heritage of the Enlightenment, which encouraged rational progress and scientific study. It was in this spirit, too, that the Grimms sought to study and preserve the folk heritage of Europe. Although the folk tale was seen as an unmediated expression of the Germanic national spirit, its underlying themes and forms were also taken to be universal. Thus, old stories of German origin like “Hansel and Gretel,” were read alongside newer, more artful tales, such as “Sleeping Beauty,” composed by the seventeenth-century Frenchman Charles Perrault. Two lithographs (c. 1840) after drawings by Ludwig Emil Grimm. Source is German History Documents. Link here.

San Francisco based artist, Art Hazelwood.

Belgian artist, Oswald Cromheecke. Link here for the flickr page.

Chapter 2, Ornament and Crime: Toward Decoration from the book Drawing Now

Yasumassa Morimura, Red Hair Ornament, 2001
Frida Kahlo was, by many accounts, a woman of unique beauty. Yasumasa Morimura, as revealed in his many cross-dressing photo projects, is not. Kahlo was the Mexican painter famed for her impassioned if tortured life captured in many self-portraits before her death in 1954. Osaka-based artist Morimura has been creating self-portraits by insinuating his face into famous artworks since 1985. More here.

John Williams, Oyster shell, acrylic bowl, wire, clay and overhead projector. Exhibition, The Mass Ornament, curated by John Rasmussen at Gladstone Gallery. Link here.

Ornament extends Anne MacDonald's investigation into the metaphorical relationship between photography and death. The connection with death, through the camera's arbitrary cut into the continuum of time to form an image, is broadened in these recent works by the artist's subject matter - porcelain flowers and tin leaves placed on graves from the Victorian era. The photographic object, like the porcelain flower, may arrest time but in truth merely delays the inevitable. More here.

During her life as a painter Prunella constantly made graphic images in etching, screen-printing or lithography. She first came to The Curwen Studio in 1959 to work at the suggestion of Timothy Simon and these images originated on the use of transfer paper – a method she continued to use for the rest of her life. More here.

American Academy in Rome. More images here.

Article, "Ornament as Art", link here.

Art and Bikes

Baroque Death Star

Zena Holloway

As modernism took hold in the early years of the twentieth century, designers began to view ornament as unnecessary and even morally offensive to modern industrial production. Increasingly they shunned decoration in favor of rational, austere designs that were devoid of extraneous embellishment. Despite their criticism, however, ornament was never entirely exorcised from consumer culture, and by the late 1950s designers were returning to an informed discussion about ornament and its symbolic value. Architect Robert Venturi wrote influentially in the 1960s about ornament as symbol, and in the late 1970s and 1980s figures associated with the design group Memphis, among others, reveled in the use of abstract surface patterns to clad buildings and to decorate furniture and decorative arts. More here.

Musical Instrument, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Emerging Landscape

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chapter 1, Science and Art, Nature and Artifice. From the book Drawing Now

Francisco de Goya, 1746 - 1828, Spanish romantic painter and printmaker, from the series Los Disparates, 1816, etching and aquatint.

Portrait of Francisco Goya, 1826, oil on canvas

"...draw like no one is looking..." Link here to article and book review from Core 77.

John Ruskin, The Morgan Library and Museum. Click here.

John Ruskin, 1819-1900, young man, middle age and old age.

Wandering Painter, Bob Dylan. Here and here.

Images from Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus. Click here for more images and an article by Justin Taylor. More images and comments here.

Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818, oil on canvas

A Celestial Map, 17th century, by the Dutch cartographer Frederik de Wit

Plate with figures illustrating articles on astronomy, from 1728 Cyclopaedia.

Silk Pattern Book. I found it here.

The Origin of the Sample Book, Cooper Hewitt Exhibition

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston