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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
Jul142017

Pierre Bonnard: Simple Scenes in Outstanding Color 


Pierre Bonnard - The Letter - 1906 - Oil on canvas - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (click photo for larger image)French painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was a member of the group known as Les Nabis (prophets or seers) which was part of the broader group of Symbolists. Les Nabis painters subscribed to a doctrine of abandoning three-dimensional modeling in favor of flat color areas.

Although Bonnard was a member of this group, he was not interested in obscure Symbolist subject matter and was not a mystic. Rather, he took delight in painting the scenes of simple daily life that surrounded him. Color was an end in itself for him—a way of experiencing the world. He would sometimes go back and touch up his other paintings with a new color he’d formulated. He even once persuaded his friend, artist Édouard Vuillard, to distract one of the guards in a museum while he touched up a work that had been completed years before!

Wednesday
Jul122017

Quote of the Day

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.” - Georgia O’Keeffe

Monday
Jul102017

Alphonse Osbert - A Poetic Visual Language

Alphonse Osbert - The Muse at Sunrise - 1918 - Oil on wood - Private collection (click photo for larger image)Alphonse Osbert (1857–1939) was a French Symbolist painter who was educated at the École des Beaux Arts. Although he was initially an admirer of the great Spanish masters—his style moved away from the academic when he became inspired by the Post-Impressionists and other Symbolists, such as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

Osbert abandoned naturalistic painting and took up a Pointillist technique similar to that used by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. He developed a signature style characterized by unearthly light, and ghostlike muses in mysterious landscapes.

Saturday
Jul082017

Ida Applebroog: A Long Road

Ida Applebroog - Beulahland (For Marilyn Monroe) - 1987 - Oil on canvas - 96 x 72in. (243.8 x 182.9cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkIda Applebroog (born 1929) is an American painter who studied at the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (1947-1950) and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1966-1968). In 1974 she moved to New York City. Her work is figurative, often suggesting narratives of everyday life, and is held in numerous public collections in the USA.

She began her artistic career by studying graphic arts and then working in advertising. Applebroog stated that she, “couldn’t make art without also making money.” She eventually left that business to work as a free-lance illustrator of children’s books and greeting cards. In 1950, she married her high school sweetheart (Gideon Horowitz) While her husband completed his degree and embarked on his career (requiring several relocations), Applebroog made jewelry in the basement of the family home, which her husband and their four children sold at art fairs.

In the late 1960s Applebroog was hospitalized for depression. She was released in 1970 and moved back to New York City in 1974 (at age 44). It was there, after changing her name from "Ida Horowitz" to "Ida Applebroog" (based on her maiden name, Applebaum), where she began to develop her own signature artistic style. She developed a series of cartoon-like figures that merged the comic-strip format with the advertising industry’s use of story-boards to explain a concept. Since the 1970s, Applebroog has been best known for creating paintings, sculptures, artists' books and several films that often explore the themes of gender, sexual identity, violence and politics.

During the decades of the 1990s, Applebroog received multiple prestigious honors and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her art was the subject of a retrospective at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., and is held in a number of public collections in the USA. She continues to live in New York and is represented by Hauser & Wirth.

Wednesday
Jul052017

Did You Know?

Raphael’s portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1516) has been an exceedingly influential portrait in history. Titian, it is believed, was deeply influenced after seeing this piece on display in the house of the subject. Cézanne was taken with 'how well rounded the forehead is, with all the distinct planes. How well balanced the patches in the unity of the whole.' Rembrandt modeled one of his numerous self portraits on the exact same pose after seeing the image at a sale in Amsterdam in 1639.