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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.

“Artistic Phases of a Moon Child”

(click photo for larger image)Please join us at OAC ‘Art Speaks’ on Sunday, November 4th. Artist Renée Kilbride Edelman will will take us on a journey through her own history and experiences as an artist. She’ll share pieces of her art with us, talk about what inspires her work, and discuss her evolution as a painter.

This program will be held at the OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery - 117 Main St., 2nd Floor, Ossining, NY 10562. Admission is FREE and light refreshments will be served. Donations are welcome.


Quote of the Day

“Creativity takes courage.” - Henri Matisse



Esteban Vicente: A Trailblazer

Esteban Vicente, No. 3, 1959, oil on canvas, 177.8 x 200 cm - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia - Madrid, Spain (click photo for larger image)Although Abstract Expressionism is a very broad term referring to numerous styles and approaches, all of its practitioners were committed to art as expressions of the self, born out of profound emotion and universal themes. They were most heavily influenced by Surrealism, which adapted to the anxiety and trauma of the post-war era. In their success, these New York painters robbed Paris of its mantle as leader of modern art, and set the stage for America's dominance of the international art world.

Most of the artists associated with Abstract Expressionism matured in the 1930s. They were influenced by the era's far leftist politics, and came to value an art grounded in personal experience. Few would maintain their earlier radical political views, but many continued to adopt the posture of outspoken avant-garde artists and supporters.

Spanish-born Esteban Vicente (1903-2001) was a first-generation member of the avant-garde New York school of painting, which flourished from the 1940s to the ’80s.

In 1929, after training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, Vicente moved to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso. Vicente divided his time between Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona until 1936, when he relocated to New York City. During the 1940s Vicente began to create abstract paintings. He contributed to the highly publicized “Talent 1950” exhibition at the Kootz Gallery, which showcased paintings by New York school artists. He shared a studio with fellow Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning for a time. (See more about de Kooning and Abstract Expressionism here on What About Art?) 

From 1964 until the mid-1980s, Vicente taught art at a number of universities, including Black Mountain (N.C.) College, NYU, and Yale. In 1998 the Spanish government opened the Esteban Vicente Contemporary Art Museum in Segovia.


Othon Friesz: An Explorer of Styles

Othon Friesz - Portrait of Karin - 1939 - Oil on canvas - H. 53; W. 46 cm - Paris, Musée d’OrsayOthon Friesz (1879-1949) was an Academy-trained French painter who experimented in the early avant-garde movements of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Fauvism (all discussed elsewhere on What About Art?). But in 1907, as the novelty and excitement of Fauvism wore off, Friesz like several other Fauvist artists changed course and pursued a less colorful style of painting.

Following a painting trip to Portugal in 1911, Friesz settled on what was to become his signature method: a traditional but looser, style of oil painting. In 1912 he opened his own studio where he taught until the outbreak of war in 1914. He served in the French army until the Armistice, at which point he returned to Paris. During the 1920s he spent extended periods working in the South of France, at Toulon and in Provence. From 1929 he enjoyed an influential career as an academic Professor at the Academie Scandinave in Paris - and later, during the early 1940s at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. 

The work featured here, Portrait of Karin “…is an example of his undertaking "to reconstruct painting for one's own purposes", developed by the artist in the 1920s. The viewer's attention is drawn to the child's face and determined expression. The close framing gives the model a strong presence. This technique brings to mind Velasquez' portraits of the Infantas, whereas the treatment of the background evokes baroque settings and drapery. In doing this, Friesz echoes the traditions of royal and aristocratic portraits.” (Musée d’Orsay)


Did You Know?

A dark varnish applied to Rembrandt’s 16th century painting, “The Night Watch” gave the false impression that it was a night scene, leading to its name. The varnish was only removed in the 1940s.