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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.

Magic Realism: Philip Evergood

Philip Evergood - Don’t Cry Mother - 1938-44 - Oil on canvas - 26 x 18 in. - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York (click photo for larger image) Magic Realism is an American style of art with Surrealist undercurrents. The art is anchored in everyday reality, but has overtones of fantasy or wonder. The term was later also applied to the literary works of authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez.

One of the style’s practitioners was American painter, etcher, lithographer, sculptor, illustrator and writer, Philip Evergood (1901-1973). Born Philip Blashki, he became (with the name Philip Evergood) one of the leading modernists of the 20th Century, with styles combining abstraction and realism, and with subjects (during the 1930s) that made him one of the leading social realists of his time.

Although born in New York City, Evergood was raised in London, where he moved in 1909 with his parents until 1923. He studied at Eton and Cambridge University and then at the Slade School. Returning to New York, he was a student of Ashcan School painter George Luks (1866-1933) at the Art Students League.

From 1924 to 1926, he traveled in Europe and studied in Paris at the Academie Julian. He lived abroad again from 1929 to 1931. During the 1920s and 1930s, Evergood explored themes with a distorted style reflective of both Cezanne and El Greco. His figures seemed to exist in fanciful worlds or “imagined space”. (Baigell) By 1935, he had completed politically and socially charged American Scene paintings, focused on the unhappiness of people caught in the Depression.

During the 1930s, Evergood was a muralist for the WPA. in the Federal Art Project, and his mural works include The Story of Richmond Hill for the library in that part of New York City, and Cotton from Field to Mill for the Post Office in Jackson, Georgia. Remaining politically active, Evergood served as President of the New York Artists Union.

Evergood taught both art and music at various institutions in the 1940s. During this time, he distanced himself from political and social issues to create figures that were more fanciful and free.

In 1952, he moved to Connecticut until his death. Sadly, Evergood was killed in a house fire in Bridgewater, Connecticut, in 1973, at the age of 72.


“What About Art?” Takes a Vacation!

Our team will be taking some much needed time off. We’ll be back on July 1st. Enjoy the rest of June.


Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, Designer - Dot Boot - 2002 - Manufacturer: Manolo Blahnik (British, born Spain, 1942) - a,b) cotton, leather - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (click photo for larger image)Damien Hirst (born 1965) is a British artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. 

Working as an assemblagist, painter, and conceptual artist, Hirst’s deliberately provocative work addresses vanity and beauty, death and rebirth, and medicine, technology, and mortality. Considered an enfant terrible of the 1990s art world, Hirst presented dead animals in formaldehyde as art. Like the French Dada artist Marcel Duchamp, Hirst employed ready-made objects to shocking effect, and in the process he questioned the very nature of art. He has also made "spin paintings," created on a spinning circular surface, and "spot paintings", which are rows of randomly colored circles created by his assistants.

In 1995 Hirst won Tate Britain’s Turner Prize, Great Britain’s premier award for contemporary art. In September 2008, he took an unprecedented move for a living artist, by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and bypassing his long-standing galleries. The auction exceeded all predictions, raising £111 million ($198 million), breaking the record for a one-artist auction as well as Hirst's own record. In several instances since 1999, Hirst's works have been challenged and contested as plagiarized, both in written articles by journalists and artists, and, in one instance, through legal proceedings which led to an out-of-court settlement.

No matter what, you can always count on Hirst to be controversial.


Quote of the Day

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” - Henry Moore 


Marsden Hartley: An American Expressionist

Marsden Hartley - Mount Katahdin, Autumn No. 1 - 1939-40 - Oil on canvas - Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (click photo for larger image)Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) was one of a circle of American modernist painters that included Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Arthur Dove and Charles Demuth.  

Hartley had his first solo exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery in New York. Extensive travels acquainted him with a variety of modern movements. He was first moved by Cézanne, and the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, then later by his contact with the German Expressionists. All of what Hartley absorbed contributed to a distinctive, personal style, seen best in his bold paintings of the harsh landscape of Maine. 

Maine held some very painful childhood memories for the artist, and yet it became his primary and most profound resource later in life. In his last ten years, Hartley alternated between New York City and Maine. When he was sixty-two years old, he made a pilgrimage to Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in the state. This painting commemorates that accomplishment and captures a view of the mountain beloved by decades of American writers and painters. This work “embraces the modernist potential of the famous mountain while capturing a vivid sense of Hartley’s intimate relationship to his native countryside.”

Hartley was also a poet and essayist, and his writings continue to move people.

I’ll be offering an art history class on Marsden Hartley next Fall at LMCCE. Keep your eyes open for that one.