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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.

Marianne von Werefkin: Stunning Expressionism

Marianne von Werefkin - Sturmwind (Storm Wind) c. 1915-17- Oil on canvas - 47 x 62 cmRussian-German-Swiss Expressionist Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938) met fellow artist Alexei Jawlensky in 1892—and moved with him to Munich in 1896. She put her own painting on hold for over ten years for the sake of his art—but began painting again in 1906. 

While in Munich, the couple met Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter. The four artists frequently painted together, in the open air, in and around Murnau—a rural town outside of Munich where Münter owned a house. They founded a new artist-group in 1909, the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (New Association of Artists in Munich, NKVM). It became a forum of exhibitions and programming. After a few years, however, Kandinsky and co-member Franz Marc distanced themselves from this group and formed Der Blau Reiter ( the Blue Rider), which covers the second phase of German Expressionism.

At the outbreak of WWI, Werefkin and Jawlensky moved to Switzerland, eventually settling in Geneva. By 1918, the couple had separated and Werefkin moved alone to Ascona, located on the shore of Lake Maggiore, in Switzerland, where she remained for the rest of her life. She continued to paint in the Expressionist style. She also formed another artists’ group, Großer Bär (Big Bear) in 1924.

Werefkin’s work embodies influences from both Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch, yet her results are uniquely her own. She is one of many female artists to whom a great deal more scholarly attention should be paid.


Quote of the Day

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” - Leonardo da Vinci


“Shadows and Light” - The Kinetic Art of Rob Niosi

Zoetrope (click photo for larger image) 

An Opening Reception for “Shadows and Light” will be held this Saturday, May 13th, at the OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery, 117 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Ossining, NY. Admission is FREE.

Rob Niosi is a filmmaker and artist who works in a broad range of media. In his own words…

From a very young age I have been compelled to draw, paint and… build things. When I was 8-years-old I picked up my father’s home movie camera and began my journey as a filmmaker. I have made a career in nearly ever aspect of film and video production including writing, producing, directing, set design and construction, prop building, special-effects make-up, stop-motion animation, cinematography, and more.”

I recently completed a 12-year project constructing a full scale Time Machine inspired by the 1960 MGM film of the same name. This project has recently been chronicled in a feature length documentary entitled, How To Build A Time Machine. 

Many of my pieces in the “Shadows and Light” exhibit are inspired by the idea of time travel—and my love of vintage mechanical gadgets—which I often repurpose as objects that explore the interplay between shadows and light.

PLEASE DO make it a point to attend the Opening Reception to this amazing exhibit. It will be an afternoon well spent!


Faith Ringgold: A Storyteller…

Faith Ringgold - Street Story Quilt - 1985 - Acrylic, ink marker, dyed fabric, and sequins on canvas, sewn to quilted fabric - Overall: 90 x 144 in. (228.6 x 365.8 cm) - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (click photo for larger image)American artist Faith Ringgold (born 1930) is a multi-talented, multi-media artist, whose artistic practice has been broad and diverse. She is also an author and educator—who taught in public schools and was a professor at the University of California at San Diego.

Ringgold became famous for her innovative, quilted narratives, which express her political beliefs, and her deep concerns about racism and feminist issues. Perhaps ironically, the artist chose this form of narrative following an unsuccessful attempt to have her autobiography published.

Now eighty-six years old, Ringgold has received countless honors, including a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting and an NAACP Image Award. Her contributions as an artist and activist have finally been recognized, and her work continues to be exhibited in major museums around the world.

In Street Story Quilt, one stylized Harlem facade—a grid of fifteen windows—is depicted three times at different moments in a story that transpires over decades. Handwritten text fills panels above each window.” You can find a complete description of the work on MoMA’s website.


Did You Know?

The marble slab that was eventually turned into the sculpture of “David” (1504) by Michelangelo was cut 43 years earlier, for an artist named Agostino di Duccio, who planned to turn it into a statue of Hercules. Di Duccio abandoned his sculpture, which was originally to be installed in a Florentine cathedral, because of the flaws in the stone. The marble was unused for 10 years until another sculptor, Antonio Rossellino, decided to work with it. Rossellino also abandoned his work because he found marble too difficult to sculpt. Michelangelo began work on his sculpture in 1501. Had he hit it just once in the wrong place—the entire piece would have shattered.