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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.

Entries in American Art (55)

Friday
Mar292019

Mary Frank: The Emotional Impact of Memory and Loss

Mary Frank - Persephone - 1985 - Terracotta - 27 x 73 x 40 in (68.6 x 185.4 x 101.6 cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY (click photo for larger image)Mary Frank (born 1933) is a British-born American artist “best known for her abstract paintings and sculptures which depict the emotional impact of memory and loss”. Frank has developed a unique process of creating art in which she works with the medium until the form of the piece reveals itself to her. (The great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo, claimed to have worked his sculptures this way, as well.)

During World War II, Frank was sent from London to live with her mother’s parents in Brooklyn, where she remained for several years. As an art student, she studied under German painter Max Beckmann at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, as well as under Hans Hofmann, at his private studio school in Greenwich Village. (Both of these artists are discussed elsewhere on What About Art?.

Although Frank was trained as a painter, she was inspired to pursue sculpture after purchasing her first kiln in 1969. Since then, she has been recognized for her dramatic and emotive sculptures of animals and human subjects. Today, her works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Art at Yale University in New Haven, CT, among others. Frank lives and works between Lake Hill, NY and New York, NY

Friday
Feb152019

OAC ‘Art Speaks’ Presents “Scribbler”: Allison Midgley, Sol LeWitt Apprentice 

(click photo for larger image)

“My friend asked, You’re coming up this weekend, right? Only that chance question led to my participation in the installation of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo NY. My talk will center on the experience, the installation process, its influence on my own work, and my growing appreciation for this major American artist.” 

OAC Vice-President Allison Midgley is an Ossining resident and a trainer, artist, and teacher. Currently, in her role as the Westchester Library System Senior Technology Training Coordinator, she coordinates and delivers support to library staff in system software, digital literacy, existing and emerging technologies, and innovation and maker program professional development. 

Allison received her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Education from the University of Dallas in Irving, TX. In addition to participating in a variety of print editioning projects, in 2010 she was privileged to participate in the installation of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing # 1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Most recent exhibitions include A Round Now In a Square Time collaborative show with Sheila Kalkbrenner at the David A. Howe Public Library in Wellsville, NY (2013) and Moments: Before/During/After at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library (2016). 

Through mixed media, photos, and combinations of traditional and emerging technologies, she investigates ordinariness and time; light, surfaces, and textures; and shifts in literal and figurative perspective and focus.

Join us at the OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery on Sunday, March 3rd @ 2 PM, to enjoy this exciting presentation.

The OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery is located at 117 Main Street - 2nd Floor - Ossining, NY

FREE Admission / Light Refreshments / Donations Welcome

Friday
Feb082019

William H. Johnson: A Major American Artist  

William H. Johnson - Soldiers’ Morning Bath - ca. 1941-1942 - tempera and pen and ink with pencil on paper - 16 x 20 1/4 in. - Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, D.C. (click photo for larger image)By almost any standard, William H. Johnson (1901–1970) can be considered a major American artist. Yet he died in poverty and obscurity. Johnson produced hundreds of works in a virtuosic, eclectic career that spanned several decades as well as several continents. It was not until very recently, however, that his work began to receive the attention it deserves.

Born in South Carolina to a poor African-American family, Johnson moved to New York at age seventeen. Working a variety of jobs, he saved enough money to pay for an art education at the prestigious National Academy of Design. His mastery of the academy's rigorous standards gained him both numerous awards and the respect of his teachers and fellow students.

Johnson spent the late 1920s in France, absorbing the lessons of modernism. As a result, his work became more expressive and emotional. During this same period, he met and fell in love with Danish artist Holcha Krake, whom he married in 1930. The couple spent most of the '30s in Scandinavia, where Johnson's interest in primitivism and folk art began to have a noticeable impact on his work.

Returning with Holcha to the U.S. in 1938, Johnson immersed himself in the traditions of Afro-America, producing work characterized by its stunning, eloquent, folk art simplicity. A Greenwich Village resident, he became a familiar, if somewhat aloof, figure on the New York art scene. He was also a well-established part of the African-American artistic community at a time when most black artists were still riding the crest of the Harlem Renaissance.

Although Johnson enjoyed a certain degree of success as an artist in this country and abroad, financial security remained elusive. Following his wife's death in 1944, Johnson's physical and mental health declined dramatically. In a tragic and drawn-out conclusion to a life of immense creativity, Johnson spent his last twenty-three years in a state hospital on Long Island. By the time of his death in 1970, he had slipped into obscurity. After his death, his entire life's work was almost disposed of to save storage fees, but it was rescued by friends at the last moment. Over a thousand paintings by Johnson are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Friday
Oct052018

William Glackens: A Rejection of Academic Dictates  

William Glackens - Hammerstein’s Roof Garden - c. 1901 - Oil on linen - 29 7/8 × 24 13/16 in. (75.9 × 63 cm) - Whitney Museum of American Art - New York, NY (click photo for larger image)American artist William J. Glackens (1870-1938) created paintings of street scenes and middle-class urban life that rejected the dictates of 19th-century academic art and introduced a matter-of-fact realism into the art of the United States.

Although he did not identify himself as part of the Ashcan School (discussed elsewhere on What About Art?), Glackens' attention to ordinary, modern, urban subjects and their unidealized presentation connects him to the core tenets of that movement. In documenting his world, he also incorporated the style of the Impressionists (particularly Renoir), as well as their interest in contemporary, urban leisure.

“Hammerstein's Roof Garden captures a fashionable entertainment venue, immediately placing the viewer in a specific and contemporary urban space. Such roof gardens were popular spots during the summer, when theaters were often closed due to the stifling heat. Recently opened by theater legend Oscar Hammerstein in 1899, this locale, the Paradise Roof Garden, was a popular destination for the sort of spectacular which we see here.

Positioning the viewer as a member of the audience, we see a row of fashionably dressed women who watch a pair of tightrope walkers. The costumes of the acrobats provide a jolt of color in an otherwise muted tonal palette. With this limited scene, Glackens gives us a sense of the immense space of the theater, its popularity, its clientele and its performances. Providing respectable entertainment, the presence of unchaperoned young women points to the modernity of this scene (previously, such unescorted adventures would have been unthinkable), further emphasized by the recognizable architecture and real-life locale.” (The Art Story) 

Friday
Aug242018

Isabel Bishop: Social Realist

Isabel Bishop - Lunch Counter - c. 1940 - Oil, egg tempera and pencil on hardboard - The Phillips Collection - Washington, D.C.American artist Isabel Bishop (1902-1988)  was a member of New York's 14th Street School, and is best known for her graphic art and urban subject matter. Bishop’s work shifted focus. In her early artwork, she had depicted realistically rendered nudes. But, in New York she began to draw, etch, and paint the distinctly urban subject matter that surrounded her. After moving to Union Square in 1926, she became enamored of the area and its inhabitants. Shop girls, straphangers, laborers, and derelicts became her models as they traversed. By capturing their motions and gestures in prints, Bishop produced the walking figures for which she is best known.

Bishop taught at the Art Students League as the only female full-time instructor from 1936 to 1937 and also at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, among others. She received awards and prizes including an American Academy of Arts and Letters award (1943), an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts presented by President Jimmy Carter (1979), and several honorary doctorates. She was the first woman to hold an executive position in the National Institute of Arts and Letters when she became vice-president in 1946.