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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.
Saturday
Apr242010

"Foghorns" by the Fantastic Arthur Dove

Arthur Dove - Foghorns - 1929 - Oil on canvas - 18 x 26 in. (45.7 x 66 cm) Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado

Arthur Dove (1889-1946) was an American painter who was one of the earliest nonobjective artists. Dove’s art reflects his belief that color and form are instruments with which to express the essence beneath the physical exterior of things; his shapes are typically amorphous, his colors muted. In his wonderful "Foghorns" (1929), for example, he used size-graduated shapes and gradations of hue to visually express the sound of foghorns. Despite their nonobjective character, his paintings often suggest the undulating qualities of landscape and the forms of nature.

Dove had a profound influence on Georgia O'Keeffe. From the start of her career, O’Keeffe credited a reproduction of a Dove pastel as her introduction to modernism. Dove’s use of sensual, abstract forms to evoke the flowing rhythms and patterns of nature had already put him at the forefront of the American modernist movement by the time O’Keeffe entered the scene around 1916. Dove had been featured at the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s New York gallery “291″ in 1912, and O’Keeffe’s work was first shown there in 1916. O'Keeffe seriously considered giving up painting entirely early on in her career. Although she was an award winning art student--she wasn't particularly interested in painting those subjects for which she was lauded. She also didn't want to paint in the manner of one her most famous teachers--William Merritt Chase--but at the same time didn't want to follow the paths of the European modernists. Seeing Dove's work helped O'Keeffe to find her own visual voice. When she was in her 70s, O'Keeffe recalled that, “It was Arthur Dove who affected my start, who helped me to find something of my own.” By all means, explore the paintings of Arthur Dove. It will be well worth the journey.

Saturday
Mar272010

Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention

Preaching of St John the Baptist 1506-11 Bronze, height: 265 cm (with base) Baptistry, Florence

I highly recommend visiting the Getty Center to catch the current Leonardo exhibit. In addition to seeing incredible drawings (and the Vatican Saint Jerome) by the great master--there is a newly restored "Bearded Prophet" by the great Early Renaissance sculptor, Donatello also featured. In addition, there are elegant works by Giovan Franceso Rustici, who--mentored by Leonardo--produced works that come as close as possible to the way in which Leonardo might have sculpted them--and which refer to paintings created by Leonardo. Seeing the drawings of da Vinci gives viewers a unique opportunity to witness his thought (and work) process. It is also a delight to discover when and where Leonardo's mind would wander! Don't miss this event!
Monday
Mar222010

Architect Frank Gehry in Front of His New Building

Architect Frank Gehry is seen in front of his latest creation, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

From ArtDaily.org:

LAS VEGAS (AP).- Architect Frank Gehry says he wanted a swirling stainless steel structure he designed for Las Vegas to be unique — to stand out from what he called "the cacophony" of high-rise casinos and condos forming the spine of Sin City's sprawl.

Getting his first look at the nearly complete Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, he declared himself satisfied.

It took my breath away," he said. "I like the way it fits. I wasn't trying to compete with the chaos around it."

"I mean, some people may think it's over the top," he added. "I don't think so."

Gehry, now 81, has built his career on shapes and angles all around the world: Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago's Millennium Park; Seattle's Experience Music Project; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

"You deliver a unique building that creates a sense of pride, that works, that keeps the rain out, is uplifting, and makes you happy to go to work and live in," he told The Associated Press during an interview and walk around the building this week.

Read the rest of the article here...

Sunday
Mar212010

Quote of the Day

"Truth and reality in art do not arise until you no longer understand what you are doing and are capable of but nevertheless sense a power that grows in proportion to your resistance." - Henri Matisse

Sunday
Mar212010

Bathers with a Turtle - Matisse

Henri Matisse French, 1869-1954 Bathers with a Turtle, 1908 oil on canvas 70 1/2 x 86 3/4 inches Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. 24:1964

From ArtDaily.org

CHICAGO (AP).- A new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago takes a close — sometimes even microscopic — look at one short and enigmatic phase in the 65-year-long artistic career of France's Henri Matisse.

Matisse, who lived from 1869 to 1954, is often seen as the least controversial and the most serene of the great 20th century modernists. Though his occasional early sculptures are darker, Matisse's paintings and prints seem to live in a sunny place outside of time. Their tone of bright calm makes their reproductions favored decor for hospital corridors.

Looking at them, you would not know that Matisse lived through both world wars and the Great Depression, or that Paris fell to enemy troops twice in his lifetime — in 1871 and 1940.

Read the rest of the article here...