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  • 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.

Adolph Gottlieb: Universal Symbols

Adolphe Gottlieb - Composition - 1955 - Oil on canvas - 6' 1/8" x 60 1/8" (183.3 x 152.5 cm) - MoMA, New York (click photo for larger image)Growing up during the Depression and maturing throughout the interwar period and the rise of Hitler, American Abstract Expressionist Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) “staunchly defended the art of the avant-garde for its ability to express authentic feeling in the face of the trauma of World War II.” (The Art Story) His work remains highly relevant today, since great evils and profound ignorance, as well as noble aspirations and achievements continue to be part of the human experience.

In the 1940s, Gottlieb began to emulate the art of early Native American and Middle Eastern cultures, explorations that eventually inspired what came to be known as his Pictograph paintings. Gottlieb developed his own system of symbols, designed to appeal to the unconscious mind. He felt that new imagery was needed to address the complex issues and psyches of his day. He found inspiration and “a sense of primeval spirituality” in the Native American art and the arts of other tribal cultures. His objective was always to work toward creating universal meanings—using simple forms. The work featured here is an example of that idea.

In the artist’s own words, ”Different times require different images. Today when our aspirations have been reduced to a desperate attempt to escape from evil, and times are out of joint, our obsessive, subterranean and pictographic images are the expression of the neurosis which is our reality. To my mind certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all. On the contrary, it is the realism of our time.”


Postmodernism - LMCCE - Fall 2017 Programs

Frank Stella - Pachanak - 1979 - Mixed media on corrugated aluminum - 233.7 x 307.3 x 91.4 cm (92 x 121 x 36 in.) - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (click photo for larger image)Postmodernism - LMCCE - Fall 2017 Programs

This Fall I’ll be teaching a number of exciting, single-session programs for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center of Continuing Education (LMCCE) on Thursday mornings (9:30-11:30). All classes are held at the Larchmont Temple 

The focus will be on major Postmodern movements. Here are the dates and titles:

September 28th: Abstract Expressionism

October 12th: Color Field Painters and Post-Painterly Abstraction

October 19th: Neo-Dada

October 26th: Minimalism

November 2nd: Photorealism

November 9th: Neo-Expressionism

On November 16th, I’ll also be leading a tour of Postmodernism at the MET.

Registration for all of these programs begins on August 25th. To learn more and to sign on for one or all of these events, please go to the LMCCE website

Find out where the seeds of these movements were sown, and learn about each movement’s major artists.


Quote of the Day

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” - Marc Chagall


“Art Speaks” - Ossining Arts Council - Fall 2017

Featured Artists and Programs for OAC ‘Art Speaks’ - Fall 2017Yes…it’s Summer…and there’s still plenty of dog days to come. But…were are in August and the Fall will be here before we know it.

Starting up in September, I’ll once again be leading the Ossining Art Council’s (OAC) “Art Speaks” program, open to the general public. In this series of single-session programs—attendees learn about local community artists and their work—in the context of broader art movements and developments in art history. 

As always, we’ll be looking at a number of different types of art, as a way of familiarizing you with the many approaches to (and styles of) artistic production that exist. Artists don’t operate in a vacuum. We’re all part of the history of art.

Every featured artist will be bringing in pieces of original art and/or delivering a visual presentation and talk. The artists noted here each have a fascinating story to tell—so don’t miss these exciting afternoons.

OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery - 117 Main Street - Ossining, NY - Sundays, 2-3:30 PM

Suggested Donation: $5 per session

OAC has a number of exciting events happening this Fall. Please visit the website and check Facebook for more details. 

It’s going to be an Awesome Autumn!


Picasso and the Medieval Tradition

Romanesque Painter - Majestas Domini with Evangelists and Saints (detail) - c. 1123 - Fresco - Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona (click photo for larger image)This wall-painting detail featured here originally came from the Church of San Clemente de Tahull in the lower Catalan Pyrenées. It was eventually transferred to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona for safekeeping. Pablo Picasso was particularly struck by the highly idiosyncratic and distinctive style of the San Clemente Master, and kept a poster of this image in his house at Mougins in Southern France. Picasso was a complex painter and his medieval sources have rarely been studied. But we do know that up until 1895 (when he made his first  visit to the Prado museum in Madrid) much of Picasso’s exposure to art took place in churches. In addition, as early as 1896, he was studying the Romanesque and Gothic elements of his local Barcelona architecture.

Pablo Picasso - La Visita (The Visitation) - 1902 - Oil on canvas - 152 x 100 cm. - Hermitage Museum, Saint PetersburgPicasso’s work La Visita (The Visitation) (1902) is seemingly simplistic in composition. The heavily outlined, elongated figures and exaggerated facial features evoke the flatness and abstraction that is characteristic of medieval art—and the period styled clothing enhances the reference. That the work was also done on panel (rather than canvas) also calls to mind the frescoes, altarpieces, and panel works of the Middle Ages. It’s worth noting that a number of works from Picasso’s “Blue Period” embody a medieval influence.

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