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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.
Wednesday
Jan062010

Christie's New York Recently Announced Americana Week 2010

Rare Double Portrait by Ammi Phillips (1788-1865)From ArtDaily.org:

[T]he lead highlight of the Americana Week sales is an exceedingly rare, full-length double portrait of Theron Simpson Ludington (1850-1922) and His Older Sister Virginia Ludington (1846-1865) by the prominent 19th-century American portrait artist Ammi Phillips (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Unknown among Phillips works until earlier this year, this dynamic, even humorous portrait of two young siblings has been passed down through generations of the Ludington family of Goshen, CT until the present day. Phillips was commissioned sometime around 1852 to paint the family’s members, which included formal portraits of the children’s parents....

Phillips was a naive (self-taught) New England painter--now regarded as one of the most important folk artists of his era. The distinctions between naive art, folk art, and outsider art are often blurred--and the terms are frequently used interchangeably. Naive artists generally refers to painters living in mainstream culture who pursue individualized subjects and themes, such as Henri Rousseau. Folk art typically embodies subjects dealing with a particular culture and/or tells us something about the community or traditions of the artist. Naive painter Grandma Moses is considered a folk artist. Outsider Art refers to works created by individuals living outside or on the fringes of mainstream society--such as homeless people, prisoners, mental patients and the like. One common feature is that all of these forms generally engage artists who have had no formal training--but who pursue their art with the same commitment as professional artists. Although their works were once widely referred to as "primitive" -- and sometimes are still so labeled -- there is a tendency among art historians to avoid that term these days. Some professional (formally trained) artists have chosen to align themselves with the Outsider Art movement--as a way of protesting and challenging what they see as the elitism of the contemporary art world.

Tuesday
Jan052010

Detroit Institute of Arts Looks at 1950s Detroit through the Eyes of Robert Frank

"Drugstore, Detroit", Robert Frank, 1955. Gelatin silver print, image: (59.1 x 40.0 cm), 23 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches. ©Robert Frank, from 'The Americans'. Detroit Institute of Arts

In an age when everyone has a camera on hand--it's important to be reminded of the artistry and vision that contributes to a photographic work of art that is a masterpiece. 

From ArtDaily.org:

DETROIT, MI.- "Detroit Experiences: Robert Frank Photographs, 1955" showcases more than 50 rare and many never-before-seen black-and-white photographs taken in Detroit by legendary photographic artist Robert Frank. The exhibition will be on view at the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) March 3–July 4, 2010. The exhibition is free with museum admission. In 1955 and 1956 Robert Frank traveled the U.S. taking photographs for his groundbreaking book 'The Americans', published in 1958. He set out to create a large visual record of America, and Detroit was one of his early stops. Inspired by autoworkers, the cars they made, along with local lunch counters, drive-in movies and public parks, Frank transformed everyday experiences of Detroiters into an extraordinary visual statement about American life.

Read the rest of the article here...

Tuesday
Jan052010

Quote of the Day

"I am essentially a painter of the kind of still life composition that communicates a sense of tranquillity and privacy, moods which I have always valued above all else." - M.C. Escher

Tuesday
Jan052010

M.C. Escher - "Drawing Hands" - 1948, lithograph.

M.C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist, noted for his distinctive prints depicting intricate interlocking patterns and optical illusions. He was especially accomplished in lithography and wood engraving. While Escher’s early work consists mainly of landscapes and townscapes, beginning in 1936 his work became increasingly more concerned with scenes of his own creation, especially with the repeating patterns and spatial illusions for which he is best known. The "Drawing Hands" are a beautiful presentation of the hands of an artist--our hands being one of our most important tools.

Monday
Jan042010

Quote of the Day

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe