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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
Sep092019

Caravaggio: Humanizing the Divine

Caravaggio - The Stigmatization of Saint Francis - c. 1596 - Oil on canvas - 36 7/8 x 50 5/16 in (92.5 x 127.8 cm) - Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (click photo for larger image)Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (c. 1572-1610) was arrogant, rebellious and a murderer. His short and tempestuous life matched the drama of his works. Characterized by their dramatic, almost theatrical lighting, Caravaggio's paintings were controversial, popular, and hugely influential on succeeding generations of painters all over Europe.

In the painting featured here, St Francis reclines in the arms of a winged angel. The eyes of the saint are closed and the look of intensity upon his face suggests that he is experiencing deep emotion or ecstasy, having just received the stigmata.

Despite the presence of the angel, the ground underneath the saint indicates that he is not in heaven, but very firmly upon earth.

The figures are lit by an unidentified source of light, cast upon the face and hands of St. Francis and throwing one half of the body and face of the angel into shadow. This technique (tenebrism) is discussed elsewhere on What About Art?

Friday
Sep062019

Frank Stella: Dynamism, Tactility, and Scale

Frank Stella - Chodorow II - 1971 - Felt, paper and canvas collage on canvas - overall: 274.4 x 269.3 cm (108 1/16 x 106 in.) - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Focusing on the formal elements of art-making, Frank Stella (born 1936) has created complicated works that embody dynamism, tactility, and scale. Though technically part of the Second Generation of abstract expressionists, Stella dramatically departed from that tradition in the late 1950s, becoming a leader and practitioner of what would become Minimalism. He became known for his irregularly shaped works and large-scale multimedia reliefs. 

Stella studied painting at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and history at Princeton University (B.A., 1958). He gained recognition for his art when he was still in his mid-20s, and has enjoyed a long and productive career. MoMA and the Whitney, in New York, have both held retrospectives of his work, and one of his freestanding public sculptures is installed in front of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. 

To learn more about the artists featured on What About Art? this week, register HERE for Jill Kiefer’s Post-Modern Art class, beginning shortly at the Bethany Arts Community in Ossining, New York.

Wednesday
Sep042019

Quote of the Day

"I owe you the truth in painting and I will tell it to you” - Paul Cézanne

Monday
Sep022019

Clyfford Still: A Radical Abstract Style

IMAGE 1 STILL: Clyfford Still - Untitled - 1946 - Oil on canvas - 62 x 44 5/8 in. (157.5 x 113.3 cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still (1904-1980) is not the most well know of the “New York School” of artists. But he was the first to break through to a new and radically abstract style devoid of obvious subject matter. Still used fields of color to explore dramatic conflicts between humans and nature taking place on a monumental scale.“

A graduate of Spokane University in Washington, Still’s style evolved from a type of regionalism to an abstract presentation of landscape. He taught at Washington State University for eight years, then moved to California, where he worked in the shipbuilding and aircraft industries, during the war years. He then taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, from 1943-45, followed by a year in New York. Moving to California, Still taught at the San Francisco Art Institute until 1950. He lived for awhile in New York, and ultimately settled on a 22-acre farm in Maryland, where he remained until his death.

Still's overriding theme is the existential struggle of the human spirit against the forces of nature, a notion that finds expression in the vertical forms that reach defiantly through the majority of his compositions.” His work influenced many artists, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman, as well as other color-field painters, all discussed elsewhere on What About Art?

In his will, Still stipulated that the remainder of his estate (more than 2,000 works) would be available to the public in any American city that devoted a museum exclusively to his art. The city of Denver eventually established the Clyfford Still Museum. It opened in 2011, more than thirty years after Still’s death.

Friday
Aug302019

Oil Painting and Alternative Media - Sign Up NOW for Jill Kiefer’s Painting Classes at Cedar Lane Arts Center (CLAC)

(click photo for larger image)This Fall, Jill will be teaching Oil Painting for the Complete Novice, Intermediate Oil Painting, and Painting with Alternative Media. These are all FUN classes! So put on your painting clothes and JOIN US. There are Day and Evening Sessions. Classes begin Sept. 9th, which is just around the corner!

For Full Course Descriptions and To Register at Cedar Lane Arts Center Click HERE.

Have Any Questions About Jill's Classes? Email her HERE.