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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.

The Sketchbook

Pablo Picasso - Detail from a page in Carnet de la Californie (Koln: M. Dumont Schauberg, ca. 1959), a facsimile of a Pablo Picasso sketchbook in the Guggenheim Library Special Collections. Photo: Kristopher McKay (click photo for larger image)In her article entitled Picasso’s Bright, Enticing SketchbookNew York writer Claire Lui notes that “some of the most delightful books in the Guggenheim Library’s Special Collections are those that are, in some way, the production of an artist. These publications—often labors of love printed in small runs—give us a new viewpoint on a well-known and beloved artist’s process, materials, and surroundings.”

Carnet de la Californie is a facsimile of a sketchbook produced by Picasso while living in Cannes, La Californie. A copy in the Guggenheim Library ( ) is one of a limited edition originally prepared for the German market by publisher M. DuMont Schauberg.

Artists’ sketchbooks and notebooks are essentially visual diaries that give us incredible insights into the souls of their creators. Leonardo da Vinci, Eugene Delacroix, JMW Turner, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Paul Cézanne (all featured on What About Art?) and many other artists have produced “diaries” that give us an intimate perspective on their lives and personalities. They are jewels to researchers and a delight to art aficionados.

Many sketchbooks and notebooks are available in museum libraries across the globe, and you can also purchase them from retailers such as Amazon (which you can connect with from here). As we approach the summer season—take some time to explore some of these works. You’ll be able to “see” the artists truly let themselves go, and will find an enormous amount of joy and inspiration in what you see. They also make great gifts for your friends and family members who love art!


Did You Know?

A tesellation is a design made from shapes that fit together perfectly. For example a chessboard is a simple tessellation made of squares.


Laura Owens at the Whitney

Laura Owens, Untitled, 2014. Ink, silkscreen ink, vinyl paint, acrylic, oil, pastel, paper, wood, solvent transfers, stickers, handmade paper, thread, board, and glue on linen and polyester, five parts: 138 1/8 x 106 ½ x 2 5/8 in. (350.8 x 270.5 x 6.7 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (click photo for larger image)American artist Laura Owens (born 1970) is best known for large scale paintings that combine a variety of art historical references and painterly techniques. In collaboration with art dealer Gavin Brown, Owens converted her LA studio into an exhibition venue called 356 Mission.

“For more than twenty years, Los Angeles–based artist Laura Owens has pioneered an innovative—and at times controversial—approach to painting that has made her one of the most influential artists of her generation. Her bold and experimental work challenges traditional assumptions about figuration and abstraction, as well as the relationships among avant-garde art, craft, pop culture, and technology.” Her work is featured in major public collections across the USA, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI.

The Whitney will present a “mid-career” survey of Owens work in November 2017. The exhibition will include around 60 paintings, along with custom printed wallpaper and artist’s books developed specifically for this show.

The exhibition has been organized by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator.


Ian Cheng: Emissaries

Ian Cheng - The narrative agents and wildlife of Emissaries (2015-2017) (click photo for larger image)American artist Ian Cheng (b. 1984 was born in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006, with a dual degree in cognitive science and art practice. 

Cheng worked at the special visual effects company of George Lucas (Industrial Light and Magic) and earned his MFA at Columbia University in NY, in 2009. “Cheng coined the art form ‘live simulations’ and popularized the use of simulation as a medium available to artistic practice.”

MoMA PS1 presents Ian Cheng’s first US museum solo presentation, featuring the artist’s complete Emissary Trilogy (2015–17). ‘Ian Cheng: Emissaries’ is a series of live simulation works created using a video game engine. Described by the artist as ‘a video game that plays itself,’ the series is comprised of computer-generated simulations like those used in predictive technologies for complex scenarios such as climate change or elections. Populated by a cast of characters and wildlife that interact, intervene, and recombine in open-ended narratives, Cheng’s simulations evolve endlessly as self-contained ecosystems. The exhibition Emissaries marks the completion of this series of works, which contemplate timeless questions about evolution, the origins of human consciousness, and ways of relating to a chaotic existence.” Cheng worked on the trilogy from 2015-2017. The exhibition is currently at MoMA PS1, through September 25, 2017. It has been organized by Peter Eleey, Chief Curator, MoMA PS1, with Jocelyn Miller, Curatorial Associate, MoMA PS1.

MoMA PS1 is one of the largest art institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. The museum is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, across the Queensboro Bridge from midtown Manhattan, and is easily accessible by bus and subway. By subway, take either the E or M to Court Square-23 Street; the 7 to Court Square; or the G to Court Sq or 21 St-Van Alst. By bus, take the Q67 to Jackson and 46th Ave or the B62 to 46th Ave.


Quote of the Day

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” - Leonardo da Vinci