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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.
Monday
Mar252019

Janet Dawson: Archibald Prize Winner

Janet Dawson - Michael Goddy Reading - 1973 - Acrylic on Bleached Linen - 150 x 120 cm - Art Gallery NSW - Sydney, AustraliaAustralian artist Janet Dawson (born 1935) studied at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School in Melbourne from 1952 to 1956.In 1959 Janet Dawson won the lithography prize at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London University. She had enrolled there in 1956 at the age of 21 after winning the National Gallery of Victoria Traveling Scholarship. The brashness of the contemporary art scene in London was in direct contrast to Dawson's traditional art school background. Overwhelmed, she opted to learn lithography, and her love of drawing meant there was an instant empathy with this gentle graphic medium.

She traveled to Italy where she lived and worked for some months—and abstract art began to permeate her work. At the end of 1960, Dawson returned to Melbourne and established The Gallery A Print Workshop.

In 1973, Dawson won the Archibald Prize with the piece entitled Michael Goddy Reading (a portrait of her husband, the actor and playwright Michael Boddy).

Friday
Mar222019

Sofonisba Anguissola: A Life Full of Surprises

Sofonisba Anguissola - Portrait of Elisabeth of Valois (1545-1568) - c. 1599 - Color on canvas - 68 cm (26.7 ″); Width: 54 cm (21.2 ″) - Kunsthistorisches Museum - Vienna, Austria (click photo for larger image)Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) was the first female artist to gain an international reputation. Among female painters, she was unusual in that her father was a nobleman rather than an artist.

While beginning to earn a living, Sofonisba also taught her sisters Lucia, Europa, and Anna Maria to paint. Their humanist father gave the sisters extraordinary classical educations. He promoted them and their work shamelessly, sending Sofonisba's drawings to Michelangelo and eventually securing her service as lady-in-waiting to the queen of Spain, Elizabeth of Valois (1454-68), a position that gave her opportunities for painting formal court portraits that followed the norms for that type of imagery. While in Spain Sofonisba married the brother of the Viceroy of Sicily. Upon his death, she remarried and moved to Genoa and finally to Palermo in Sicily where she retired. She was famously visited by Sir Anthony Van Dyck in 1623, when she was in her nineties.

"Life is full of surprises, I try to capture these precious moments with wide eyes.” - Sofonisba Anguissola

Wednesday
Mar202019

Did You Know?

Salvador Dalí made a point throughout his life of being as weird as possible. These efforts included owning an ocelot that he would walk throughout the city, having a very weird mustache, and speaking in the third person. He did not miss an opportunity to surprise, no matter how unnecessary it was. This is exemplified by his habit of stealing pens from fans who asked him for autographs. It's a pretty harmless habit, but it's doubtful that he needed all of those pens.

Monday
Mar182019

Alma Thomas: A Concentration on Beauty and Happiness

Alma Thomas - Atmospheric Effects I - 1970 - Acrylics and Pencil on Paper - 22 1/8 x 30 3/8 in. - Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington D.C. (click photo for larger image)African-American Abstract Expressionist Alma Thomas (c. 1891-1976) was the first graduate of Howard University’s art department (in 1924). Though she’d always had dreams of becoming an architect—after college she began a 35-year career teaching in a Washington, D.C. junior high school. With the income she supported herself and her art.

Although Thomas earlier works were representational and realistic, she eventually developed her signature style in her 70s—large, abstract paintings filled with dense, irregular patterns of bright colors.

Thomas became an important role model for women, for African Americans, and for older artists. She was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and she exhibited her paintings at the White House three times.

“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man's inhumanity to man.” - Alma Thomas

Friday
Mar152019

Alyssa Monks: Blurring the Line Between Realism and Abstraction

Alyssa Monks - I Said No - 2018 - Oil on Linen - 36 x 36 inches - Forum Gallery, New YorkAfter graduating from such prestigious programs as the Lorenzo de’ Medici art school and the New York Academy of Art’s Graduate School of Figurative Art, Alyssa Monks (born 1977) has become one of the leading forces in subject painting. Monks’ paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions everywhere from Germany, to Georgia, to New York City. She has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times, and has become a member of the New York Academy of Art’s Board of Trustees.

She blurs and fuses layers of space in her almost photorealistic works, to create immersive abstraction that feels uniquely intimate and provocative. Of her own work Monks says, “My intention is to transfer the intimacy and vulnerability of my human experience into a painted surface.” While the artist’s complex works embody various techniques and styles, Monk’s response is, “I don’t think it’s the job of the artist to label their own work. I just paint it.”