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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.
Friday
Aug292014

Jackson Pollock—Redefining Composition

Jackson Pollock - Eyes in the Heat - 1946 - Oil on canvas, 54 x 43 in; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (click photo for larger image)

“On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around in it, work from the four sides and be literally 'in' the painting.”

These words were spoken by American painter Jackson Pollock in 1947. Pollock (1912-1956) is associated with the introduction of the “All-over” style of painting that avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas. Pollock abandoned the traditional idea of composition as a relationship among parts. The design of his paintings had no relation to the shape or size of the canvas, finished works were sometimes docked or trimmed to suit the image. All these characteristics were important for the new American painting that matured in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Wednesday
Aug272014

Did You Know?

A “tessellation” is a design made from shapes that fit together perfectly. For example, a chessboard is a simple tessellation made of squares. 

Friday
Aug222014

Edgar Degas: The Impressionist Realist

Edgar Degas - Les repasseuses (Women Ironing) - 1884 - Oil on canvas - 29 7/8 x 31 7/8 in. (76 x 81 cm) - Musee d'Orsay, Paris (click photo for larger image)"I want to look through the keyhole," French artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917) once said. A keen intelligence and precise objectivity characterize his work, and he was the only artist who truly bridged the gap between traditional academic art and the avant-garde movements of the late 19th an early 20th centuries. Degas was especially fond of the human figure—particularly female—which would emerge on his canvases as laundresses, ballet dancers, cabaret singers, milliners, prostitutes to women washing themselves. His ability to explore the language of art—its technical and tactile complexity, its refinement as well as its implicit energy—to a more extreme degree than any of his contemporaries, but without losing sight of his subject matter is wherein his greatness lies.

Wednesday
Aug202014

Quote of the Day

"As an artist you’re looking for universal triggers. You want it both ways. You want it to have an immediate impact, and you want it to have deep meanings as well. I’m striving for both. But I hate it when people write things that sound like they’ve swallowed a dictionary." - Damien Hirst
Monday
Aug182014

“Picasso Looks at “Degas”

Edgar Degas - Self-Portrait, ca. 1857–1858 - Oil on paper, mounted on canvas, 10-1/4 x 7-1/2 inches - Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MassachusettsEdgar Degas - Self-Portrait, ca. 1857–1858 - Oil on paper, mounted on canvas, 10-1/4 x 7-1/2 inches - Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts (click photo for larger image)Pablo Picasso - Self-Portrait, 1896 - Oil on canvas, 13 x 9-1/2 inches - Museu Picasso, Barcelona (click photo for larger image)

“Throughout his long and prolific career, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) observed and absorbed the work of other artists. One artist Picasso particularly admired was Edgar Degas (1834–1917).”

This is the opening line of an article by Sarah Lees, associate curator of European art at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. written for “Antiques and Fine Art Magazine” to help promote a 2010 exhibit. It’s a very interesting discussion—and we strongly encourage you to read it. Picasso was not an artist who ever needed to copy or imitate anyone. But he was like a sponge—taking up everything around him and adding it to his own pictorial language.