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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
Aug212017

Dan Flavin - “It is what it is and it ain't nothing else.”

Dan Flavin - Rhine-Elbe Science Park - 1996 - Gelsenkirchen, GermanyAmerican Minimalist artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996) won fame for creating objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. 

He emphatically denied that his sculptural light installations had any kind of transcendent, symbolic, or sublime dimension, stating: "It is what it is and it ain't nothing else.” Nevertheless, potential associations with the concept of light - from religious conversion to intellectual epiphanies - are discernible in Flavin's work, whether or not such interpretations were the artist’s intentions.

Flavin’s light "propositions," which he did not consider sculptures, are made up of standardized, commercially available materials, much like the readymades by Marcel Duchamp, which Flavin very much admired.

One of Flavin's last works was the lighting program featured here. The arcade was designed by Uwe Kiessler; it stretches 980 feet and connects nine buildings.

Many of the artist’s works are permanently installed at Dia - located at 23 Corwith Avenue in Bridgehampton, New York.

Friday
Aug182017

Clyfford Still: “The Vertical Necessity of Life”

Clyfford Still - Untitled - 1960 - Oil on canvas - 113 x 146 1/4in. (287 x 371.5cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image)Artist Clyfford Still (1904-1980) was known to be  an extremely difficult man, who eschewed the New York art world, resisted most critiques of his work, and very tightly controlled the ways in which his art was marketed, sold, collected and exhibited.

His evolution to an abstract style in the 1940s predated and influenced similar trends in other of his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries. One of his primary goals was to address what he saw as the monumental conflicts between humankind and nature. Still believed that art could play a moral role in a disorienting modern world. Vast, vertical fields of color became a key means of expression for the artist, and he would eventually influence a second generation of Color Field painters. His work does call to mind many of the vibrant, enormous stained glass panels created during the Middle Ages.

"These are not paintings in the usual sense," he once said, "they are life and death merging in fearful union...they kindle a fire; through them I breathe again, hold a golden cord, find my own revelation." 

Wednesday
Aug162017

Did You Know?

In 1962 Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa was valued at $100 million dollars. It is now valued at between $750 and $800 million. It was…and remains…the most valuable painting in the world.

Monday
Aug142017

Adolph Gottlieb: Universal Symbols

Adolphe Gottlieb - Composition - 1955 - Oil on canvas - 6' 1/8" x 60 1/8" (183.3 x 152.5 cm) - MoMA, New York (click photo for larger image)Growing up during the Depression and maturing throughout the interwar period and the rise of Hitler, American Abstract Expressionist Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) “staunchly defended the art of the avant-garde for its ability to express authentic feeling in the face of the trauma of World War II.” (The Art Story) His work remains highly relevant today, since great evils and profound ignorance, as well as noble aspirations and achievements continue to be part of the human experience.

In the 1940s, Gottlieb began to emulate the art of early Native American and Middle Eastern cultures, explorations that eventually inspired what came to be known as his Pictograph paintings. Gottlieb developed his own system of symbols, designed to appeal to the unconscious mind. He felt that new imagery was needed to address the complex issues and psyches of his day. He found inspiration and “a sense of primeval spirituality” in the Native American art and the arts of other tribal cultures. His objective was always to work toward creating universal meanings—using simple forms. The work featured here is an example of that idea.

In the artist’s own words, ”Different times require different images. Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all. On the contrary, it is the realism of our time.”

Friday
Aug112017

Postmodernism - LMCCE - Fall 2017 Programs

Frank Stella - Pachanak - 1979 - Mixed media on corrugated aluminum - 233.7 x 307.3 x 91.4 cm (92 x 121 x 36 in.) - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (click photo for larger image)Postmodernism - LMCCE - Fall 2017 Programs

This Fall I’ll be teaching a number of exciting, single-session programs for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center of Continuing Education (LMCCE) on Thursday mornings (9:30-11:30). All classes are held at the Larchmont Temple 

The focus will be on major Postmodern movements. Here are the dates and titles:

September 28th: Abstract Expressionism

October 12th: Color Field Painters and Post-Painterly Abstraction

October 19th: Neo-Dada

October 26th: Minimalism

November 2nd: Photorealism

November 9th: Neo-Expressionism

On November 16th, I’ll also be leading a tour of Postmodernism at the MET.

Registration for all of these programs begins on August 25th. To learn more and to sign on for one or all of these events, please go to the LMCCE website

Find out where the seeds of these movements were sown, and learn about each movement’s major artists.