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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.

Did You Know?

Paul Klee was a highly influential artist whose unique works spanned Cubism, Surrealism, and other art movements. His works were often bright pieces of color-blocked compositions that seem whimsical and even childlike. Turns out, Klee wasn't always a joy to behold. When he was a young boy in school, he could be quite the bully. In his diary, he recalls a girl "who was not pretty and wore braces to correct her crooked legs”. He purposely pushed her down in a field, repeatedly. Definitely not a nice kid at the playground.


Picasso: The Last Year

Pablo Picasso - Self-Portrait Facing Death - June 30, 1972 - Crayon on paper (1881-1973) remains—by far—the most prolific artist in the history of art. He was working up until three hours before his death in 1972. During the last two decades of his long career, Picasso produced more work than at any other time of his life. Some works from this period are not only dated by month and day, but with a numeral (I, II, III, etc.) indicating multiple works created in a single day. Always a superstitious man, Picasso truly believed that if he kept working, his life would be prolonged.

His late period tends to be overlooked, but contains some of the finest of Picasso's paintings. Some critics maintain that Picasso was creatively lazy at this point, but a close look at the work suggests quite the opposite. He had achieved a level of effortless artistic expression that has still not been fully appreciated. Moreover, his influence continues to be felt to this day—and will undoubtedly reach into the future. He changed the way we see!

“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” - Pablo Picasso

You can read about the great modern master elsewhere on What About Art? and there are numerous websites dedicated to research into his art. Just Google “Picasso” and you’ll see… 


Eric Fischl: The “Bad Boy”

Eric Fischl - A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island - 1983 - Oil on canvas - 84 × 168 in. (213.4 × 426.7 cm) - Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. (click photo for larger image)“Neo-Expressionism” refers to an art movement that developed in the early and mid-1980s. A reaction against the remote and highly intellectual art produced by the Minimalists and Conceptual artists, the Neo-Expressionists returned to portraying the human body and other recognizable objects. Their styles were diverse and they came to dominate the art market.

“In the 1970s and 80s, Eric Fischl (born 1948) became Neo-Expressionism's noted bad boy with his psychologically charged depictions of American suburbia.”  Raised by a severely depressed and alcoholic mother, Fischl’s work was heavily influenced by his dysfunctional childhood. He explores the darker sides of human behaviors and relationships that exist beneath the manicured facade of society. “I vowed that I would never let the unspeakable also be unshowable. I would paint what could not be said.”

The diptych featured here juxtaposes two polar scenes in comparable settings. On the left, a family enjoys a sunny day by the sea. in the companion scene on the right, a group of poorly clothed men and women frantically cross the shore as dark waves crash upon it. “Fischl confronts the irony of island resorts, locations sought out by vacationing families while simultaneously fled by native groups.”


Quote of the Day

"The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning; on the contrary, their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent, and involuntary that it escapes the most simple analysis of logical intuition.” - Salvador Dali


Minimalism and Donald Judd

Donald Judd Untitled - 1967 - Lacquer on galvanized iron - Twelve units, each 9 x 40 x 31" (22.8 x 101.6 x 78.7 cm), installed vertically with 9" (22.8 cm) intervals - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (click photo for larger image)Minimalism emerged in New York in the early 1960s among artists who believed that art had become stale and academic. A wave of new influences and rediscovered styles led younger artists to challenge boundaries with respect to media, subject matter and styles. They favored the cool over the dramatic and employed a host of industrial materials to their artistic production. In contrast to Abstract Expressionism, the Minimalists avoided overt symbolism and highly charged emotional content, they called attention to the materiality of the works.

Donald Judd (1928-1994) was an American artist, whose rejection of both traditional painting and sculpture led him to a conception of art as the object as it exists in the environment. He created works built from single or repeated geometric forms, using industrialized, machine-made materials. 

Judd is regarded as one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, and his influence on art, design, and architecture continues to be felt today.