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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.

Ad Reinhardt: Purifying Painting

Ad Reinhardt - One Year the Milkweed - 1944 - Oil on canvas - 94.2 x 119.3 cm (37 1/16 x 46 15/16 in.) - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) was an abstract painter active in New York beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1960s. He was a member of the American Abstract Artists and was a part of the movement centered on the Betty Parsons Gallery that became known as abstract expressionism.

Although commonly associated with the Abstract Expressionists, his work had its origins in geometric abstraction, a rarity for an American artist. He increasingly sought to purify his painting of everything he saw as extraneous to art, and he rejected the movement's expressionism. Although Reinhardt was, in turn, rejected by many of his peers, he was later hailed as a prophet by Minimalists.


Quote of the Day

"Somehow, in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos.” - Grace Hartigan


Arshile Gorky: A Unique Approach to Color and Form

Arshile Gorky - Portrait of Master Bill - 1929-36 Oil on canvas - Private Collection (click photo for larger image)Arshile Gorky (1904-1948) was an Armenian-American painter, who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. He spent most his life as a national of the United States. Along with Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Gorky has been hailed as one of the most powerful American painters of the 20th century. 

Gorky put the biomorphic  forms of the Surrealists through the process of emphasizing more lyrical color and personal content. He developed a unique approach to color and form. His work reflects both his past and the cultural and historical milieu of New York in the 1940s.


Marcel Janco: An Eclectic Style

Marcel Janco - Untitled (Mask, Portrait of Tzara) - 1919 - Private CollectionRomanian-Israeli artist Marcel Janco (1895-1984) had joined a group of artists at the Cafe Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916 and was among the  principal founders of  the Dada Movement. Dada was a unique artistic movement which had a major impact on 20th century art. It was established in Cabaret Voltaire by a group of exiled poets, painters and philosophers who were opposed to war, aggression and the changing world culture.  

Dada soirées featured spontaneous poetry, avant-garde music, and mask wearing dancers in elaborate shows. The Dadaists teased and enraged the audience through their bold  defiance of Western culture and art, which they considered obsolete in view of the destruction and carnage of World War I. The Dadaists objected to the aesthetics of Western contemporary painting, sculpture, language, literature and music. The group published articles and periodicals, and mounted exhibitions. The seeds sown in Zurich spread throughout the world, resulting in  new Dada organizations in Paris, New York, Berlin, Hannover, and more. 

Janco designed masks and costumes for the famous Dada balls, and created abstract reliefs in cardboard and plaster. He had an eclectic style in which he brilliantly combined abstract and figurative elements, expressionistic in nature. His masks were to play a large role in the anarchic dances at the Cabaret Voltaire. They were created from scraps of cardboard, paint, glue, and sack-cloth, all crumpled and torn, with ragged edges and patchy paint.


Did You Know?

Keith Haring was apparently quite the impressionable young man. As a boy, he met some members of the Jesus movement and was so inspired by their message that he started handing out leaflets and preaching to people about their need to be born again. He might not have stuck with this as his life’s calling, but the passion is nevertheless appreciated.