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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.
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    “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.

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    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.
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    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
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Entries in Graphic Art (5)


Yuu Watase: A Storyteller

Yuu Watase - This is the front cover art for the first volume of the manga series Alice 19th written by the artistWith the rise in popularity of anime, shōjo manga, and Japanese graphic novels, few manga artists have been as influential as Yuu Watase (born 1970), a cartoonist, writer, and illustrator from Osaka, Japan. Since writing and illustrating her first story, “An Intrusion in Pajamas,” Watase has created more than 80 volumes of short stories and series. As influential as she is as a storyteller, her unique manga-style illustrating has subtly changed the industry style.

The work featured here is the front cover art for the first volume of the manga series Alice 19th.

The story follows Alice Seno, a fifteen-year-old girl forever in the shadow of her older sister. Watase claims that she thought of Lewis J. Carrol.’s work, “Alice in Wonderland” when developing her characters.


M.C. Escher: “Mathematics Made Visible”

M.C. Escher - Relativity - 1953 - Woodcut - 28.2 x 29.4 cm (11 1/8 x 11 5/8 in.) (click photo for larger image)Optical Art (which came to be known as “Op Art” in the 1960s) is a mathematically-themed form of non-representational art, which uses repetition of simple forms and colors to create vibrating effects, moiré patterns, foreground-background confusion, an exaggerated sense of depth, and other visual effects.

In a sense, all painting is based on tricks of visual perception: manipulating rules of perspective to give the illusion of three-dimensional space, mixing colors to create the impression of light and shadow, and so on. With Optical Art, the rules that the viewer's eye uses to try to make sense of a visual image are themselves the "subject" of the artwork.

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972) experimented with Optical Art. Escher's work, although not non-representational, deals extensively with various forms of visual tricks and paradoxes. He became well-known for his detailed realistic prints that achieve bizarre optical and conceptual effects.

Escher’s mature style emerged after 1937 in a series of prints that combined meticulous realism with enigmatic  optical illusions. He portrayed with great technical virtuosity impossible architectural spaces and unexpected metamorphoses of one object into another. Sometimes referred to as the “father of modern tessellations,” Escher commonly used geometric grids to form intricate interlocking designs.

The work featured here, Relativity, is a lithograph, first printed in December 1953. It depicts a world in which the normal laws of gravity do not apply.


A.M. Cassandre: A Master of Design

A.M. Cassandre - Étoile du Nord - 1927 - Lithograph - 41 3/8 x 29 3/4" (105.2 x 75.5 cm) - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - New YorkA.M. Cassandre (1901-1968) was a Ukrainian-born French Art Deco graphic artist, stage designer, painter and Printmaker. After studying art at L’Ecole des Beaux Arte and the Académie Julian in Paris, Cassandre gained a reputation with such posters as “Étoile du Nord” (featured here). His “Dubonnet” posters were among the earliest designed specifically to be seen from fast-moving vehicles, and they introduced the idea of the serial poster, a group of posters to be seen in rapid succession to convey a complete idea.

In 1926, Cassandre co-established the advertising agency “Alliance Graphique”. Shortly afterwords, he began experiementing with typography, designing several new typefaces. In 1939, he turned away from creating poster art, and devoted himself entirely to stage set design and painting.


Ida Applebroog: A Long Road

Ida Applebroog - Beulahland (For Marilyn Monroe) - 1987 - Oil on canvas - 96 x 72in. (243.8 x 182.9cm) - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkIda Applebroog (born 1929) is an American painter who studied at the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (1947-1950) and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1966-1968). In 1974 she moved to New York City. Her work is figurative, often suggesting narratives of everyday life, and is held in numerous public collections in the USA.

She began her artistic career by studying graphic arts and then working in advertising. Applebroog stated that she, “couldn’t make art without also making money.” She eventually left that business to work as a free-lance illustrator of children’s books and greeting cards. In 1950, she married her high school sweetheart (Gideon Horowitz) While her husband completed his degree and embarked on his career (requiring several relocations), Applebroog made jewelry in the basement of the family home, which her husband and their four children sold at art fairs.

In the late 1960s Applebroog was hospitalized for depression. She was released in 1970 and moved back to New York City in 1974 (at age 44). It was there, after changing her name from "Ida Horowitz" to "Ida Applebroog" (based on her maiden name, Applebaum), where she began to develop her own signature artistic style. She developed a series of cartoon-like figures that merged the comic-strip format with the advertising industry’s use of story-boards to explain a concept. Since the 1970s, Applebroog has been best known for creating paintings, sculptures, artists' books and several films that often explore the themes of gender, sexual identity, violence and politics.

During the decades of the 1990s, Applebroog received multiple prestigious honors and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her art was the subject of a retrospective at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., and is held in a number of public collections in the USA. She continues to live in New York and is represented by Hauser & Wirth.


Poster Auction Draws Monster Movie and Pop Culture Fans to Swann Galleries

Roland Coudon’'s classic King Kong poster from the original 1933 film brought in $18,000

“NEW YORK, NY.- It was a one-of-a-kind auction at Swann Galleries on December 18: a single-owner collection dedicated to images of maidens in the clutches of movie monsters. The sale, titled Monsters & Maidens: A Film Poster Collection, drew a whole new audience to the New York City auction house well known for its sales of books, fine art and other works on paper.”