Nancy Spero (1926-2009) was an American artist who produced politically charged, highly symbolic figurative paintings and mixed-media works that reflected her feminist and political consciousness. She sometimes collaborated with her husband, painter Leon Golub (1922-2004). Spero’s works ranges from addressing extreme violence to the celebratory cycles of life—but they always embody social and cultural issues. Her most masterful works explore the experiences of women.
American artist Kenneth Noland (born 1924) worked within the Abstract Expressionist school. He was one of the first painters to use the technique of staining the canvas with thinned paints, and of placing his colors in concentric rings and parallels, shaped and proportioned in relation to the shape of the canvas.
“In his art, Noland tends to deal with only a few elements: color, and a singular form within a given structure. He has concentrated on using geometric motifs in a succession of formats: circles, chevrons, and diamonds, as a means of focusing on the way in which color can function dynamically on the two-dimensional surface.” (Phillips Collection)
American contemporary Realist Janet Fish (born 1938) paints still life paintings—many of which focus on bouncing and reflective light. It’s been suggested that her achievements have helped to revitalize both still life and realism, which have often been looked down upon by artists and critics alike. However, “even in modern times still life has presented opportunities for artists to create a visual equivalent of states of being…” and this is certainly a view held by Janet Fish.
She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised on the island of Bermuda. Her grandfather, Clark Voorhees (1871-1933) was an American Impressionist painter whose works very much inspired her. Her father was a teacher of Art History, and her mother was a sculptor and potter. Janet began her art studies in Maine, and eventually studied at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. She was one of the first women to receive her MFA from Yale.
Janet’s solidification as an artist did not come easily—because the generation of young artists who came of age in the 1950s were influenced by the then dominant New York School of Abstract Expressionists. But now her work is exhibited by many prestigious museums and institutions around the world. She’s also received numerous fellowships and awards. Janet Fish now lives and paints out of her SoHo loft in New York City, and her Vermont farmhouse.
According to Edvard Munch, The Scream was inspired the day he was walking with his friends and saw that “the sky turned as red as blood” and that he heard an “enormous infinite scream of nature.” For years Munch’s inspiration was thought to be imagined until it was recently discovered that the probably was red on that day, as a result of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia.The volcano’s impact was felt as far as New York where the sky was reported to be “crimsoned.” This same impact was felt in Munch’s town two days later with the town newspaper stating that “People believed it was a fire: but it was actually a red refraction in the hazy atmosphere after sunset.”