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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.

A Harsh Scrutiny of American Society

Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz - Sollie 17 - 1979-80 - mixed media construction - 120 x 336 x 168 in. - Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, D.C. (click photo for larger image)“An American artist of unwavering originality, critical insight, and notoriety, Edward Kienholz (1927-1994) created powerful work that reflected upon contemporary social and political issues of late twentieth-century America.” His work conveys a harsh scrutiny of American Society. The work featured here raises questions about society’s treatment of the elderly.

Kienholz grew up in a working-class family on a farm in the state of Washington. He learned auto repair, carpentry and metalworking skills that ultimately fed into his art. He never studies art in school, but did pursue painting, on his own, until he moved to Los Angeles in 1953. He then began producing large wooden reliefs composed of found objects and industrial paints (procured from auto shops and the like). He eventually moved away from the relief format to concentrate on creating elaborately detailed three-dimensional assemblages. 

Keinholz often worked on projects with his fifth wife and fellow artist—Nancy Reddin Kienholz (born 1943). They began producing work together from 1972 forward.


Quote of the Day

“Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it.” - Salvador Dali 


Dan Flavin - “It is what it is and it ain't nothing else.”

Dan Flavin - Rhine-Elbe Science Park - 1996 - Gelsenkirchen, GermanyAmerican Minimalist artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996) won fame for creating objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. 

He emphatically denied that his sculptural light installations had any kind of transcendent, symbolic, or sublime dimension, stating: "It is what it is and it ain't nothing else.” Nevertheless, potential associations with the concept of light - from religious conversion to intellectual epiphanies - are discernible in Flavin's work, whether or not such interpretations were the artist’s intentions.

Flavin’s light "propositions," which he did not consider sculptures, are made up of standardized, commercially available materials, much like the readymades by Marcel Duchamp, which Flavin very much admired.

One of Flavin's last works was the lighting program featured here. The arcade was designed by Uwe Kiessler; it stretches 980 feet and connects nine buildings.

Many of the artist’s works are permanently installed at Dia - located at 23 Corwith Avenue in Bridgehampton, New York.


Clyfford Still: “The Vertical Necessity of Life”

Clyfford Still - Untitled - 1960 - Oil on canvas - 113 x 146 1/4in. (287 x 371.5cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image)Artist Clyfford Still (1904-1980) was known to be  an extremely difficult man, who eschewed the New York art world, resisted most critiques of his work, and very tightly controlled the ways in which his art was marketed, sold, collected and exhibited.

His evolution to an abstract style in the 1940s predated and influenced similar trends in other of his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries. One of his primary goals was to address what he saw as the monumental conflicts between humankind and nature. Still believed that art could play a moral role in a disorienting modern world. Vast, vertical fields of color became a key means of expression for the artist, and he would eventually influence a second generation of Color Field painters. His work does call to mind many of the vibrant, enormous stained glass panels created during the Middle Ages.

"These are not paintings in the usual sense," he once said, "they are life and death merging in fearful union...they kindle a fire; through them I breathe again, hold a golden cord, find my own revelation." 


Did You Know?

In 1962 Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa was valued at $100 million dollars. It is now valued at between $750 and $800 million. It was…and remains…the most valuable painting in the world.