Research – Who I Believe To Be The Greatest Artists of the 20th Century

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Willem de Kooning

was born in Rotterdam on 24 April 1904. In 1916 de Kooning began to train as a commercial artist; at the same time he attended evening courses at the Rotterdam Academie voor Beldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen (Rotterdam Academy) until 1924. Afterwards he studied at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the van Schelling School of Design in Antwerp.
In 1926 the young artist emigrated to the US, where he worked illegally in New York as a commercial artist, window dresser, sign painter and carpenter. There Willem de Kooning met other artists, including John Graham, Stuart Davis and Arshile Gorky and worked for the Federal Art Project, for which he did murals between 1935 and 1939. From 1935 in fact, he was able to devote himself entirely to painting.
He shared a studio with Gorky and his early pictures were influenced by Gorky’s Surrealist style and by Picasso’s painting. However, de Kooning was also inspired by the Gestural branch of the New York School as well as Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Contact with Pollock and Kline inspired him to do his first black-and-white abstract works in 1946; he returned to them in 1959.
From 1950 he developed his first “Women” pictures, which are notable for such vehemence of handling that they at first caused a scandal. He retained this type of figuration until the 1990s. At the same time Willem de Kooning also worked on fairly abstract landscapes, mainly during the years between 1957 and 1961.
Naturalised as an American citizen in 1962, de Kooning left New York the following year to settle at Springs on Long Island. In 1964 he received one of the greatest distinctions awarded in America, the “Presidential Medal of Freedom”. In 1970 he turned to sculpturing in bronze.
At the latest from his participation in the 1954 Venice Biennale, where he was represented with one of his most important works, “Excavation”, Willem de Kooning has been regarded as a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism. These years of his career were filled with numerous shows of his work and retrospectives. His exceptional œuvre is suffused with the duality of traditional figuration and Gestural Abstract painting.
Willem de Kooning died in Springs, USA on 19 March 1997.

Pierre Auguste Renoir

was a French artist, and was a leading painter of the Impressionist style. As a young boy, he worked in a porcelain factory. His drawing skills were early recognized, and he was soon employed to create designs on the fine china. He also painted decorations on fans before beginning art school . He moved to Paris in 1862 to study art, where he met Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley, all great impressionist painters. By 1864, he was exhibiting works at the Paris Salon, but his works went largely unnoticed for the next ten years, mostly in part to the disorder caused by the Franco-Prussian War.

Later, during the Paris Commune on 1871, Renoir was painting on the banks of the Seine River, when he was approached by a number of members from the commune, who thought he was a spy. They threatened to throw in into the rive, but he was saved by the leader of the commune, Raoul Rigault, whom he had protected on an earlier occasion. He experienced his first artistic success in 1874, at the first Impressionist Exhibition, and later in London of the same year. In 1881, Renoir began his world travels, voyaging to Italy to see the works of the Renaissance masters, and later to Algeria, following in the footsteps of Eugene Delacroix. It was in Algeria where he encountered a serious bout with pneumonia, leaving him bed ridden for six weeks, and permanently damaging his respiratory system. javascript://

In the later years of his life, not even severe rheumatoid arthritis, which left him confined to a wheelchair and limited his movement, could deter Renoir from painting. His arthritis eventually got so bad as to leave a permanent physical deformity of his hands and shoulder, which required him to change his painting technique to adapt to his physical limitations. Before his death in 1919, Renoir traveled to the Louvre to see his paintings hanging in the museum alongside the masterpieces of the great masters. He was a prolific artist, created several thousands artworks in his lifetime, and include some of the most well-known paintings in the art world. javascript://

During the summer of 1874, when Monet, Manet and Renoir worked in close proximity to each other, Monet’s first wife Camille most often posed for Manet and Renoir rather than her husband. Two paintings, one by Manet and one by Renoir, done simultaneously on a summer afternoon, capture a moment of peaceful calm in the Monet’s garden. In 1924, Monet recounted the circumstances of the day in his garden at Argenteuil: “Manet, enthralled by the color and the light, undertook an outdoor painting of figures under trees. During the sitting, Renoir arrived. . . . He asked me for palette, brush and canvas, and there he was, painting away alongside Manet. The latter was watching him out of the corner of his eye. . . . Then he made a face, passed discreetly near me, and whispered in my ear about Renoir: ‘He has no talent, that boy! Since you are his friend, tell him to give up painting!’

Dance at Moulin de la Galette is one of Impressionism’s most highly revered masterpieces. The scene is of a Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette, where Parisians would typically dress up and spend all day dancing, drinking, and eating galettes, or flat cakes. The painting was in the collection of Gustave Caillebotte, but it was claimed by the French government upon his death due to the non payment of death duties. It was later transferred from the Luxembourg Museum, to the Louvre, and then later to the Musee d’Orsay. Its sale price at auction in 2009 was the fifth highest price ever paid for a painting at auction.

Other wise titled as Alice and Elisabeth Cahen d’Anvers, this painting, which depicts the two daughters of the Jewish banker Louis Raphael Cahen d’Anvers, is considered one of the most popular in the Sao Paolo Museum of Art, where it resides. This particular painting was one of many that the artist produced for the Cahen d’Anvers family, and depicted the girls when they were five and six years old. The original commission was to paint each of the girls separately, but after the eldest daughter was painted by herself, the decision was made to paint the two younger girls together. Elisabeth, the eldest in the painting, had a tragic destiny. Although her sister lived until the ripe age of 89, she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp due to her Jewish descent, and died at the age of 69 on the way to the concentration camp.

Renoir sold this painting to the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who supported the impressionists, after its completion. The painting, arguably one of Renoir’s most famous works, contains many of Renoir’s close friends, including his future wife, relaxing at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine River. Renoir often included his friends and acquaintances in his paintings, and this one is no different. At the bottom left of the composition, a woman holding a dog (monkey pincher), is seamstress Aline Charigot, whom later became Renoir’s wife.

After his trip to Italy in 1881, Renoir made changes to his painting style. Instead of painting en plein air, and with quick brush strokes, he began to carefully outline his figures, and to emphasize the contours and modeling of the scene. It has been referred to as Renoir’s “Ingres Period,” as he was highly influenced by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, the prominent neo-classical painter. The woman in the painting is Renoir’s girlfriend, Aline Charigot, who became his wife seven years after this painting was completed. It now resides, as it has since 1929, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Renoir labored over this painting for a period of three years before he was happy with its composition. Along with at least two full-sized figure drawings of the models, Renoir also created many preparatory drawings for each of the figures before eventually putting brush to canvas. Due to the criticism he received for the painting’s sculptural smoothness and a change in the artist’s perceived style, Renoir, who was exhausted by the effort, claimed that he would never again devote such a long period of time for a single piece of work.

Andy Warhol

Born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol was a successful magazine and ad illustrator who became a leading artist of the 1960s Pop art movements. He ventured into a wide variety of art forms, including performance art, filmmaking, video installations and writing, and controversially blurred the lines between fine art and mainstream aesthetics. Warhol died on February 22, 1987, in New York City.

Early Life

Born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in the neighborhood of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol’s parents were Slovakian immigrants. His father, Ondrej Warhola, was a construction worker, while his mother, Julia Warhola, was an embroiderer. They were devout Byzantine Catholics who attended mass regularly, and maintained much of their Slovakian culture and heritage while living in one of Pittsburgh’s Eastern European ethnic enclaves.

At the age of 8, Warhol contracted Chorea—also known as St. Vitus’s Dance—a rare and sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system that left him bedridden for several months. It was during these months, while Warhol was sick in bed, that his mother, herself a skillful artist, gave him his first drawing lessons. Drawing soon became Warhol’s favorite childhood pastime. He was also an avid fan of the movies, and when his mother bought him a camera at the age of 9 he took up photography as well, developing film in a makeshift darkroom he set up in their basement.

Warhol attended Holmes Elementary school and took the free art classes offered at the Carnegie Institute (now the Carnegie Museum of Art) in Pittsburgh. In 1942, at the age of 14, Warhol again suffered a tragedy when his father passed away from a jaundiced liver. Warhol was so upset that he could not attend his father’s funeral, and he hid under his bed throughout the wake. Warhol’s father had recognized his son’s artistic talents, and in his will he dictated that his life savings go toward Warhol’s college education. That same year, Warhol began at Schenley High School, and upon graduating, in 1945, he enrolled at the Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) to study pictorial design.

Artistic Career

When he graduated from college with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1949, Warhol moved to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist. It was also at this time that he dropped the “a” at the end of his last name to become Andy Warhol. He landed a job with Glamour magazine in September, and went on to become one of the most successful commercial artists of the 1950s. He won frequent awards for his uniquely whimsical style, using his own blotted line technique and rubber stamps to create his drawings.

In the late 1950s, Warhol began devoting more attention to painting, and in 1961, he debuted the concept of “pop art”—paintings that focused on mass-produced commercial goods. In 1962, he exhibited the now-iconic paintings of Campbell’s soup cans. These small canvas works of everyday consumer products created a major stir in the art world, bringing both Warhol and pop art into the national spotlight for the first time.

British artist Richard Hamilton described pop art as “popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business.” As Warhol himself put it, “Once you ‘got’ pop, you could never see a sign the same way again. And once you thought pop, you could never see America the same way again.”

Warhol’s other famous pop paintings depicted Coca-cola bottles, vacuum cleaners and hamburgers. He also painted celebrity portraits in vivid and garish colors; his most famous subjects include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger and Mao Zedong. As these portraits gained fame and notoriety, Warhol began to receive hundreds of commissions for portraits from socialites and celebrities. His portrait ” Eight Elvises” eventually resold for $100 million in 2008, making it one of the most valuable paintings in world history.

In 1964, Warhol opened his own art studio, a large silver-painted warehouse known simply as “The Factory.” The Factory quickly became one of New York City’s premier cultural hotspots, a scene of lavish parties attended by the city’s wealthiest socialites and celebrities, including musician Lou Reed, who paid tribute to the hustlers and transvestites he’d met at The Factory with his hit song “Walk on the Wild Side”—the verses of which contain descriptions of individuals who were fixtures at the legendary studio/warehouse in the ’60s, including Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, “Little Joe” Dallesandro, “Sugar Plum Fairy” Joe Campbell and Jackie Curtis. (Warhol was a friend of Reed’s and managed Reed’s band, the Velvet Underground.)

Warhol, who clearly relished his celebrity, became a fixture at infamous New York City nightclubs like Studio 54 and Max’s Kansas City. Commenting on celebrity fixation—his own and that of the public at large—Warhol observed, “more than anything people just want stars.”

In the 1970s, Warhol began expanding into new artistic mediums. He put together his first book, Andy Warhol’s Index, in 1967, and released several other titles such as The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)and Exposures in the 1970s. Warhol also experimented extensively with video art, producing more than 60 films during his career. Some of his most famous films include Sleep, which depicts poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours, and Eat, which shows a man eating a mushroom for 45 minutes.

Warhol also worked in sculpture and photography, and in the 1980s, he moved into television, hosting Andy Warhol’s TV and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes on MTV.

Ciril Jazbec

“Do everything for what you dream or think that is in your strengths! There are hiding geniality, strength and magic in the courage.”

About

Works as an independent freelance photographer.
Has received the Leica Oskar Barnack Award with the photo story called “Waiting to Move”. Believes his profession is about hard work, passion and love. And nature, if possible. Is grateful for the privilege of being able to pursue this profession that he enjoys immensely.


“The harmony that I pursue stems from somewhere in between”.

Climate changes – Intimate feelings
“I grew up surrounded by nature, by its authenticity and brutality. I assumed nature’s graphic style – strong contrasts, clean lines, multilevelness. I feel overwhelmed by nature. By the climate changes it has been showing. By our primal feelings, directing us into the closest intimacy possible.

Tradition

– Modernity
“How do traditional communities live? How is their tradition facing the modern world? How can my story become inspiring? How to create a positive, constructive story? How to identify possible solutions? I want to show the world things such as gratitude, solidarity, respect. These things give me drive. Searching for hope that illustrates changes.”

Technique

– A moment
“The technical side of photography is very important to me. I always try everything my
equipment is able to perform and I always wait for the best capturing moment, of course. Intuition.”

The consistency of one story

– The dynamics between stories
“I always jumped from project to project. Now I feel it is time for long-term stories. I challenge myself with consistency, I experiment with the pace.”

Personal projects

– Commercial projects
“It is important for me to find a good balance. Personal projects are an inner journey and an inspiration, the commercial are an exceptional blend of interesting people and dynamics causing the birth of magic.”

I was born in Slovenia (1987). I studied management at the Faculty of Economics before moving to London where I studied MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication where I graduated in 2011.

Awards

2014 – The Other Hundred, 1st Prize

2014 – American Photography 30, Selected Winner

2014 – FIPCOM – Environment category, Winner

2014 – MAGNUM 30 under 30, Shortlisted

2014 – LensCulture Exposure Awards, Finalist

2013 – Les Rencontres d’Arles – Photo Folio Review, Winner

2013 – Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Winner Newcomer
2013 – Eddie Adams Workshop, National Geographic Award
2013 – VISA Pour L’Image – Coup de coeur ANI
2012 – PDN Photo Annual – Student Work, Winner
2012 – AOP Student Awards, Finalist
2012 – Picture The Difference, Winner
2012 – The Royal Photographic Society – Environmental Bursary, Winner

My work has appeared in printed and online magazines – The New York Times, GEO Germany, GEO France, Der Spiegel, The Sunday Times, La Republicca, WIRED UK, Bloomberg Businessweek, Neu Zurcher Zeitung, Marie Claire Italy,FOTO8, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic Traveler, Bicycling Magazine USA.

David Lindsey Wade

David Lindsey Wade made a few important choices during his prime teen rebellious years. Raised by a pair of artist, his way of challenging his parents (who were already a bit off the grid) was to embrace his attraction to speed and excitement through his passion for machines.

ABOUT

The Wade Brothers – photography / directing / creative support.

The Wade Brothers are David Lindsey Wade and sibling Lyndon Wade who are each recognized as one of the top lifestyle, fashion and advertising photographers in the world. They have received worldwide acclaim and exposure for their work in all forms of media. Additionally their work appears in galleries around the world.

Development of CONTENT is the beginning of all communication. We imagine a sense of place and sensation, and create images and videos that tell a cohesive story whether for film or print.

CLIENT LIST

A&E / AMP / Best Buy / Caesars / Channel 4 / CMT / Coca-Cola / Comedy Central / Crest / Def Jam / Discovery Channel / Dodge / EA Sports / Ebay / Eclipse Gum / Emanuel Ungaro / Epson / Ford / Fly 53 / Fresh Step / Frito Lay / GE / Harley Davidson / Harper Collins / Harmonix / Honda / Kawasaki / Keds / Kool / Lee Europe / MADD / Maxim / McDonalds / Michelob / Microsoft / MTV / Nascar / Nestea / Nestle / New Mexico Tourism / Nikon / Nintendo / Oakley / Payless / Pontiac / Porter Teleo / Red Bull / Reebok / Rock Band / Shady (Eminem) / Sonic / Sony / Sprint PCS / Sprint / Sprite / Stuff / Target / Toyota / Vegas / Vibe / Virgin Mobile / Vox Vodka / Wad Paris / Wal-Mart / Webby Awards / Western Union / WWE

AWARDS

Luerzer’s Archive voted top 100 photographers in the world

Eisner Museum, “Right here in the USA” Top 15 photographers in America

Webbys “Best use of photography”

International Photography Awards “Best of Show” featured at Lucie Awards

PDN’s Digtial Pix Grand Prize Winner – multimedia and print combo

1st place International Photography Awards, category Fashion

Jasper Johns

In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from

Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism. Today, as his prints and paintings set record prices at auction, the meanings of his paintings, his imagery, and his changing style continue to be subjects of controversy.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, and raised in Allendale, South Carolina, Jasper Johns grew up wanting to be an artist. “In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn’t know what that meant,” recounts Johns. “I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different from the one that I was in.” He studied briefly at the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in the early fifties.

In New York, Johns met a number of other artists including the composer John Cage, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the painter Robert Rauschenberg. While working together creating window displays for Tiffany’s, Johns and Raushenberg explored the New York art scene. After a visit to Philadelphia to see Marcel Duchamp’s painting, The Large Glass (1915-23), Johns became very interested in his work. Duchamp had revolutionized the art world with his “readymades” — a series of found objects presented as finished works of art. This irreverence for the fixed attitudes toward what could be considered art was a substantial influence on Johns. Some time later, with Merce Cunningham, he created a performance based on the piece, entitled “Walkaround Time.”

The modern art community was searching for new ideas to succeed the pure emotionality of the Abstract Expressionists. Johns’ paintings of targets, maps, invited both the wrath and praise of critics. Johns’ early work combined a serious concern for the craft of painting with an everyday, almost absurd, subject matter. The meaning of the painting could be found in the painting process itself. It was a new experience for gallery goers to find paintings solely of such things as flags and numbers. The simplicity and familiarity of the subject matter piqued viewer interest in both Johns’ motivation and his process. Johns explains, “There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists.” One of the great influences on Johns was the writings of Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In Wittgenstein’s work Johns recognized both a concern for logic, and a desire to investigate the times when logic breaks down. It was through painting that Johns found his own process for trying to understand logic.

In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli visited Rauschenberg’s studio and saw Johns’ work for the first time. Castelli was so impressed with the 28-year-old painter’s ability and inventiveness that he offered him a show on the spot. At that first exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art purchased three pieces, making it clear that at Johns was to become a major force in the art world. Thirty years later, his paintings sold for more than any living artist in history.

Johns’ concern for process led him to printmaking. Often he would make counterpart prints to his paintings. He explains, “My experience of life is that it’s very fragmented; certain kinds of things happen, and in another place, a different kind of thing occurs. I would like my work to have some vivid indication of those differences.” For Johns, printmaking was a medium that encouraged experimentation through the ease with which it allowed for repeat endeavors. His innovations in screen printing, lithography, and etching have revolutionized the field.

In the 60s, while continuing his work with flags, numbers, targets, and maps, Johns began to introduce some of his early sculptural ideas into painting. While some of his early sculpture had used everyday objects such as paint brushes, beer cans, and light bulbs, these later works would incorporate them in collage. Collaboration was an important part in advancing Johns’ own art, and he worked regularly with a number of artists including Robert Morris, Andy Warhol, and Bruce Naumann. In 1967, he met the poet Frank O’Hara and illustrated his book, In Memory of My Feelings.

In the seventies Johns met the writer Samuel Beckett and created a set of prints to accompany his text, Fizzles. These prints responded to the overwhelming and dense language of Beckett with a series of obscured and overlapping words. This work represented the beginnings of the more monotone work that Johns would do through out the seventies. By the 80s, Johns’ work had changed again. Having once claimed to be unconcerned with emotions, Johns’ later work shows a strong interest in painting autobiographically. For many, this more sentimental work seemed a betrayal of his earlier direction.

Over the past fifty years Johns has created a body of rich and complex work. His rigorous attention to the themes of popular imagery and abstraction has set the standards for American art. Constantly challenging the technical possibilities of printmaking, painting and sculpture, Johns laid the groundwork for a wide range of experimental artists. Today, he remains at the forefront of American art, with work represented in nearly every major museum collection

Together with Rauschenberg and several Abstract Expressionist painters of the previous generation, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman, Johns is one of most significant and influential American painters of the twentieth century. He also ranks with Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Munch, and Picasso as one of the greatest printmakers of any era. In addition, he makes many drawings—unique works on paper, usually based on a painting he has previously painted—and he has created an unusual body of sculptural objects.

Johns’ early mature work, of the mid- to late 1950s, invented a new style that helped to engender a number of subsequent art movements, among them Pop, Minimal, and Conceptual art. The new style has usually been understood to be coolly antithetical to the expressionistic gestural abstraction of the previous generation. This is partly because, while Johns’ painting extended the allover compositional techniques of Abstract Expressionism, his use of these techniques stresses conscious control rather than spontaneity.

Johns’ early style is perfectly exemplified by the lush reticence of the large monochrome White Flag of 1955 (1998.329). This painting was preceded by a red, white, and blue version, Flag (1954–55; Museum of Modern Art, New York), and followed by numerous drawings and prints of flags in various mediums, including the elegant oil on paper Flag (1957; 1999.425). In 1958, Johns painted Three Flags (Whitney Museum of Art, New York), in which three canvases are superimposed on one another in what appears to be reverse perspective, projecting toward the viewer.

The American flag subject is typical of Johns’ use of quotidian imagery in the mid- to late 1950s. As he explained, the imagery derives from “things the mind already knows,” utterly familiar icons such as flags, targets, stenciled numbers, ale cans, and, slightly later, maps of the U.S.

It has been suggested that the American flag in Johns’ work is an autobiographical reference, because a military hero after whom he was named, Sergeant William Jasper, raised the flag in a brave action during the Revolutionary War. Because a flag is a flat object, it may signify flatness or the relative lack of depth in much modernist painting. The flag may of course function as an emblem of the United States and may in turn connote American art, Senator Joseph McCarthy, or the Vietnam War, depending on the date of Johns’ use of the image, the date of the viewer’s experience of it, or the nationality of the viewer. Or the flag may connote none of these things. Used in Johns’ recent work, for example, The Seasons (Summer), an intaglio print of 1987 (1999.407b), it seems inescapably to refer to his own art. In other words, the meaning of the flag in Johns’ art suggests the extent to which the “meaning” of this subject matter may be fluid and open to continual reinterpretation.

As Johns became well known—and perhaps as he realized his audience could be relied upon to study his new work—his subjects with a demonstrable prior existence expanded. In addition to popular icons, Johns chose images that he identified in interviews as things he had seen—for example, a pattern of flagstones he glimpsed on a wall while driving. Still later, the “things the mind already knows” became details from famous works of art, such as the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald (1475/80–1528), which Johns began to trace onto his work in 1981. Throughout his career, Johns has included in most of his art certain marks and shapes that clearly display their derivation from factual, unimagined things in the world, including handprints and footprints, casts of parts of the body, or stamps made from objects found in his studio, such as the rim of a tin can.

His early style is perfectly exemplified by the lush reticence of the large monochrome White Flag of 1955 (1998.329). This painting was preceded by a red, white, and blue version, Flag (1954–55; Museum of Modern Art, New York), and followed by numerous drawings and prints of flags in various mediums, including the elegant oil on paper Flag (1957; 1999.425). In 1958, Johns painted Three Flags (Whitney Museum of Art, New York), in which three canvases are superimposed on one another in what appears to be reverse perspective, projecting toward the viewer.

The American flag subject is typical of Johns’ use of quotidian imagery in the mid- to late 1950s. As he explained, the imagery derives from “things the mind already knows,” utterly familiar icons such as flags, targets, stenciled numbers, ale cans, and, slightly later, maps of the U.S.

It has been suggested that the American flag in Johns’ work is an autobiographical reference, because a military hero after whom he was named, Sergeant William Jasper, raised the flag in a brave action during the Revolutionary War. Because a flag is a flat object, it may signify flatness or the relative lack of depth in much modernist painting. The flag may of course function as an emblem of the United States and may in turn connote American art, Senator Joseph McCarthy, or the Vietnam War, depending on the date of Johns’ use of the image, the date of the viewer’s experience of it, or the nationality of the viewer. Or the flag may connote none of these things. Used in Johns’ recent work, for example, The Seasons (Summer), an intaglio print of 1987 (1999.407b), it seems inescapably to refer to his own art. In other words, the meaning of the flag in Johns’ art suggests the extent to which the “meaning” of this subject matter may be fluid and open to continual reinterpretation.

Damien Steven Hirst

(born 7 June 1965) is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly the United Kingdom’s richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended.

Death is a central theme in Hirst’s works. He became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved—sometimes having been dissected—in formaldehyde. The best known of these being The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a 14-foot (4.3 m) tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde in a vitrine (clear display case). He has also made “spin paintings,” created on a spinning circular surface, and “spot paintings”, which are rows of randomly coloured circles created by his assistants.

In September 2008, he took an unprecedented move for a living artist by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and by-passing his long-standing galleries.The auction exceeded all predictions, raising £111 million ($198 million), breaking the record for a one-artist auction as well as Hirst’s own record with £10.3 million for The Golden Calf, an animal with 18-carat gold horns and hooves, preserved in formaldehyde.

In several instances since 1999, sources for certain of Hirst’s works have been challenged and contested as plagiarised, both in written articles by journalists and artists, and, in one instance, through legal proceedings which led to an out-of-court settlement.

Damien Hirst was born in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. His father was reportedly a motor mechanic, who left the family when Hirst was 12. His mother, Mary Brennan, of Irish Catholic descent, worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau, and has stated that she lost control of her son when he was young. He was arrested on two occasions for shoplifting. However, Hirst sees her as someone who would not tolerate rebellion: she cut up his bondage trousers and heated one of his Sex Pistols vinyl records on the cooker to turn it into a fruit bowl (or a plant pot). He says, “If she didn’t like how I was dressed, she would quickly take me away from the bus stop.” She did, though, encourage his liking for drawing, which was his only successful educational subject.

His art teacher at Allerton Grange School “pleaded” for Hirst to be allowed to enter the sixth form,where he took two A-levels, achieving an “E” grade in art.He was refused admission to Jacob Kramer school of art when he first applied, but attended the college after a subsequent successful application to the Foundation Diploma course.

He went to an exhibition of work by Francis Davison, staged by Julian Spalding at the Hayward Gallery in 1983. Davison created abstract collages from torn and cut coloured paper which, Hirst said, “blew me away”, and which he modelled his own work on for the next two years.

He worked for two years on London building sites, then studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London (1986–89), although again he was refused a place the first time he applied. In 2007, Hirst was quoted as saying of An Oak Tree by Goldsmiths’ senior tutor, Michael Craig-Martin: “That piece is, I think, the greatest piece of conceptual sculpture. I still can’t get it out of my head.” While a student, Hirst had a placement at a mortuary, an experience that influenced his later themes and materials.

Damien Hirst’s wide-ranging practice – installation, sculpture, painting and drawing – has sought to challenge the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. His energy and inventiveness and his consistently visceral, visually arresting work, has made him a leading artist of his generation.

Hirst explores the uncertainty at the core of human experience; love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unexpected and unconventional media. Best known for the ‘Natural History’ works, which present animals in vitrines suspended in formaldehyde, such as the iconic The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and Mother and Child Divided (1993), his works recast fundamental questions concerning the meaning of life and the fragility of biological existence. For Hirst, the vitrine functions as both window and barrier, seducing the viewer into the work visually while providing a minimalist geometry to frame, contain and objectify his subject. In many of the sculptures of the 1990s – The Acquired Inability to Escape (1991) and The Asthmatic Escaped (1992) for example – a human presence was implied through the inclusion of relic-like objects: clothes, cigarettes, ashtrays, tables and chairs. This became explicit in Ways of Seeing (2000), a vitrine sculpture with a figure of a laboratory technician seated at a desk looking through a microscope. The more celebratory work Hymn (2000), a polychrome bronze sculpture, reveals the anatomical musculature and internal organs of the human body on a monumental scale.

Hirst is equally known for his paintings. These include his ‘Butterfly Paintings’, that consist of actual butterflies suspended in paint, or thousands of butterfly wings arranged in a mandala-like pattern, as seen in the work Amazing Revelations (2003). Hirst has revisited this with his ‘Entomology’ series of 2013, featuring paintings made up of butterflies interspersed with thousands of highly coloured insects and spiders, embodying the fragility of life whilst retaining an iridescent beauty, even in death. The corresponding ‘Entomology’ cabinets utilise the same source material, but place them in precise, horizontal or vertical rows inside minimal and reflective wall mounted stainless steel frames. With each species arranged in separate rows, the overall effect is one of scientific ordering or industrial production.

Likewise, Hirst’s ‘Spin’ series are made with a machine that centrifugally disperses the paint steadily poured onto a shaped canvas surface, while his ‘Spot’ series have a rigorous grid of uniform sized dots. He has also explored photo-realism in the ‘Fact’ paintings.

In 2007, Hirst unveiled arguably his most provocative work, For the Love of God; a life-sized platinum cast of a human skull, covered entirely by 8,601 VVS to flawless pavé set diamonds. Without precedent within art history, the work is a traditional memento mori, an object that addresses the transience of human existence.

Hirst embarked on a series of paintings in 2009 that represent a remarkable and radical shift in his artistic and studio practice. Renowned for producing several of his key series within a tightly controlled studio system, with his series of ‘Skull’ paintings, Hirst returned to what he describes as the ‘most direct form of production, with all the attendant artistic consequences: facing the canvas, the individual painterly act, the creative process, the artist’s emotional balance – alone; being at the mercy of issues raised by the picture, at the mercy of the creator, of oneself…’

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol, UK. He lives and works in London and Devon. Solo exhibitions include ‘Artists Rooms’, New Art Gallery, Walsall (2012); ‘Cornucopia’, The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (2010), ‘No Love Lost’, The Wallace Collection, London; ‘Requiem’; Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2009), ‘For the Love of God’, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008); Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2005) and ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’, Archaeological Museum, Naples (2004). An exhibition of the artist’s private collection, ‘Murderme’, was held at Serpentine Gallery, London in 2006. He received the DAAD fellowship in Berlin in 1994 and the Turner Prize in 1995. In 2012, Tate Modern exhibited the most comprehensive survey of Damien Hirst’s work ever held in the UK. In autumn 2013 the Qatar Museum Authority will stage ‘Relics’, Hirst’s first solo exhibition in the region at the Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall, Doha.

Hirst has participated in numerous group exhibitions including ‘British Design 1948 – 2012’, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; ‘ARTandPRESS’, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2012); ‘Our Magic Hour’, Yokohama Triennale; ‘The Luminous Interval’, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; ‘Modern British Sculpture’, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011); ‘Pop Life’, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2010) and Tate Modern, London (2009); ‘Barock’, MADRE, Naples (2009); ‘Color Chart’, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Broad Contemporary Art Museum and LACMA, Los Angeles (2008); ‘Play Back’, Musée de la Ville de Paris, ‘Re-Object’, Kunsthaus Bregenz-(2007); ‘Into Me / Out of Me’, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Tate Britain (2004); the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and ‘Century City’, Tate Modern (2001).

David Hockney Biography

Painter, Photographer (1937–)

Synopsis

Born in Bradford, England, in 1937, David Hockney attended art school in London before moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s. There, he painted his famous swimming pool paintings. In the 1970s, Hockney began working in photography, creating photo collages he called joiners. He continues to create and exhibit art, and in 2011 he was voted the most influential British artist of the 20th century.

Early Life and Education

David Hockney was born in Bradford, England, on July 9, 1937. He loved books and was interested in art from an early age, admiring Picasso, Matisse and Fragonard. His parents encouraged their son’s artistic exploration, and gave him the freedom to doodle and daydream.

Hockney attended the Bradford College of Art from 1953 to 1957. Then, because he was a conscientious objector to military service, he spent two years working in hospitals to fulfill his national service requirement. In 1959, he entered graduate school at the Royal College of Art in London alongside other young artists such as Peter Blake and Allen Jones, and he experimented with different forms, including abstract expressionism. He did well as a student, and his paintings won prizes and were purchased for private collections.

Early Work

Hockney’s early paintings incorporated his literary leanings, and he used fragments of poems and quotations from Walt Whitman in his work. This practice, and paintings such as We Two Boys Clinging Together, which he created in 1961, were the first nods to his homosexuality in his art.

Because he frequently went to the movies with his father as a child, Hockney once quipped that he was raised in both Bradford and Hollywood. He was drawn to the light and the heat of California, and first visited Los Angeles in 1963. He officially moved there in 1966. The swimming pools of L.A. were one of his favorite subjects, and he became known for large, iconic works such as A Bigger Splash. His expressionistic style evolved, and by the 1970s, he was considered more of a realist.

In addition to pools, Hockney painted the interiors and exteriors of California homes. In 1970, this led to the creation of his first “joiner,” an assemblage of Polaroid photos laid out in a grid. Although this medium would become one his claims to fame, he stumbled upon it by accident. While working on a painting of a Los Angeles living room, he took a series of photos for his own reference, and fixed them together so he could paint from the image. When he finished, however, he recognized the collage as an art form unto itself, and began to create more.

Hockney was an adept photographer, and he began working with photography more extensively. By the mid 1970s, he had all but abandoned painting in favor of projects involving photography, lithographs, and set and costume design for the ballet, opera and theater.

Later Work

In the late 1980s, Hockney returned to painting, primarily painting seascapes, flowers and portraits of loved ones. He also began incorporating technology in his art, creating his first homemade prints on a photocopier in 1986. The marriage of art and technology became an ongoing fascination—he used laser fax machines and laser printers in 1990, and in 2009 he started using the Brushes app on iPhones and iPads to create paintings. A 2011 exhibit at the Royal Museum of Ontario showcased 100 of these paintings.

In a 2011 poll of more than 1,000 British artists, Hockney was voted the most influential British artist of all time. He continues to paint and exhibit, and advocates for funding for the arts.

David Salle

Born in 1952 in Norman, Oklahoma, David Salle grew up in Wichita, Kansas. In 1970, he began his studies at the newly founded California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, where he worked with John Baldessari. After earning a BFA in 1973 and an MFA in 1975, both from CalArts, Salle moved to New York.

Like many artists of his generation, David Salle largely drew inspiration for his rich visual vocabulary from existing pictures. Based on models from art history, advertisements, design, and everyday culture, Salle creates an assemblage with manifold cultural references. Since the mid-80s, his paintings have included allusions to the works of the Baroque painters Velázquez and Bernini, to the Post-Impressionist Cézanne, to Giacometti and Magritte, and to American post-war art.

In 1981 Salle was asked to design the set and costumes for Birth of the Poet, a play by Kathy Acker under the direction of Richard Foreman. He has designed sets and costumes for numerous works by Karole Armitage.

With his first solo museum exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1983, Salle has continued to paint alongside his work for the stage with series including the Tapestry Paintings (1989–91), Ballet Paintings (1992–93), and Early Product Paintings (1993). In the 1990s, he added sculpture to his oeuvre and began exhibiting his black-and-white photographs, many of which were made in preparation for canvases. He also directed the commercial film Search and Destroy (1995), which was produced by Martin Scorsese and features Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, and Christopher Walken. In his work since 2004, Salle has added the vortex motif as a compositional strategy in his painting, juxtaposing the cartoonish, abstract form with his characteristic representational imagery.

Solo shows of Salle’s art have been organized by the Museum am Ostwall Dortmund (1986–87), Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1986–88), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1999), and Waddington Galleries in London (2003), among others. He has participated in major international expositions including Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993), Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991), Paris Biennale (1985), and Carnegie International (1985). The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

David Salle has taken the device of pastiche, which is central to modern art, and made it both the form and content of his work.

Angels in the Rain contains images of angel statuary, performing bears and acrobats as well as examples of the portraits, interiors and still lifes that continue to distinguish David Salle’s work. His works suggests a dramatic monologue or stand-up comedy routine.

David Salle is the great pictorial conversationalist exploring the intangible relationships between subjects and their depictions.

Portraits, interiors, still-life and abstraction are all conversing in similar time, together in a hyper-textual visual story. The connections do not seem forced, so much as nearly random.

Using cinematic techniques of quick edits and the surprises of super-imposition, Salle’s images float in a world of simultaneity and equilibrium.

Salle’s images are all images which you can see through. They have a transparency, or they have openings, they have a space you can pass through.

David Salle’s images come from a variety of sources including magazines, stock photographs, and pornography. Salle puts these images together in a painting the way another artist might create a collage using scraps of paper.

Turner Prize 2014 artists: Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell (born Dublin, 1972) won the 2014 Turner Prize for his contribution to Scotland’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Responding to Chris Marker and Alan Resnais’ 1953 film Statues Also Die, Campbell’s It for Others included new work by choreographer Michael Clark.

Campbell makes films about controversial figures such as the Irish political activist Bernadette Devlin or the quixotic car manufacturer John DeLorean. By mixing archive footage and new material, he questions and challenges the documentary form.

He’s a really compelling filmmaker. I’ve noticed that when his films are shown in galleries people will sit through 45 minutes and no one will leave.

His film It for Others takes the £25,000 prize

Dublin-born artist Duncan Campbell this year (2014),won the Turner Prize for a “topical though not always obvious” film that ranges from African masks and comedy ketchup bottles, to the IRA and Marx’s theories interpreted through dance.

Mr Campbell, who has made art films about carmaker John DeLorean and political activist Bernadette Devlin, was firm favourite to win the £25,000 prize, the most prestigious award for contemporary art in Britain.

Yet on the prize’s 30th anniversary, with a shortlist that some had described as underwhelming and traditional protesters The Stuckists not even bothering to demonstrate, the Tate admitted it had been “a quieter show than some years”.

The award was presented by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor at Tate Britain in London to a work the jury called “ambitious and complex which rewards repeat viewing”. This marks the third consecutive year a video artist has won the prize.

Penelope Curtis, head of Tate Britain and chair of the jury, said: “Everyone felt it was a strong film, well presented and would be happy to watch again because it’s complicated rich and rewarding.”

It for Others

runs for almost an hour and was originally shown at Scotland’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Mr Campbell, 42, described it as an “essay film” which was a “moment in thought rather than being some kind of conclusion”.

Dr Curtis said: “Whether it’s about Irish nationalism or the place of the Euro, or the way governments support industry or not, he often has his finger on the pulse in a way that is not immediately obvious.”

The film starts with a response to the 1953 documentary Statues Also Die by French film makers Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, which suggests African art died at the hands of colonialism, as it was forced to appeal to a Western market.

It looks at the controversial issue of repatriation of objects including those in the British Museum, although he was not allowed to film inside the institution.

Dr Curtis said: “It wasn’t an outrageous comment; it’s just a fact of life that all big institutions have to deal with. Many directors and commentators have been agonising over it in the past 10 or 15 years.”

The film includes the Michael Clark dance company, which interprets equations from Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, as well as the artist’s exploration of the way imagery was used to construct political messages during the Troubles in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Campbell studied at the University of Ulster before carrying out a master of fine arts degree at the Glasgow School of Art, and has been based in Glasgow since.

One art critic described him as a “consummate film-maker with a ferocious intelligence”. Jennifer Higgie, the editor of art magazine Frieze, said: “He’s a really compelling filmmaker. I’ve noticed that when his films are shown in galleries people will sit through 45 minutes and no one will leave.”

He beat printmaker Ciara Phillips and video artists James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell to the prize.

Last year the winner was French-born artist based in the UK Laure Prouvost, for her playful installations and video work, following Elizabeth Price, who also worked in the medium.

Dr Curtis was not surprised about the recent success of video artists: “It’s been such a strong medium for the last 20 years,” she said. “In fact, I’m surprised there haven’t been more winners.”

Francis Bacon Biography

Painter (1909–1992)

Synopsis

Francis Bacon was born to English parents living in Dublin, Ireland, on November 28, 1909. After traveling to Germany and France as a young man, he settled in London and began a career as a self-taught artist. Most of his paintings from the 1940s to ’60s depict the human figure, in scenes that suggest alienation, violence and suffering. Bacon’s provocative, expressive work is considered some of the most important art of the postwar era. He died in Madrid, Spain, on April 28, 1992.

Early Life and Artistic Beginnings

Francis Bacon was born to English parents living in Dublin, Ireland, on November 28, 1909. He was raised in Ireland and England, and as a child, he suffered from asthma, which kept him from receiving any formal education. Instead, he was tutored at home.

Bacon left home in 1927, when he was just 17 years old. He traveled to Berlin, Germany, where he took part in the city’s gay nightlife as well as its intellectual circles, and to Paris, France, where he became interested in art through visits to galleries. When he returned to London in 1929, he began a career as an interior decorator, also designing furniture and rugs in a modern, Art Deco-influenced style. Additionally, he began to paint, first in a Cubist style influenced by Pablo Picasso and later in a more Surrealist manner. Bacon’s self-taught work attracted interest, and in 1937, he included in a London group exhibition entitled “Young British Painters.”

Paintings of the 1940s and ’50s

Francis Bacon later dated the true beginning of his artistic career as 1944. It was around this time that he devoted himself to painting and began creating the works for which he is still remembered. These were large canvases depicting human figures—most often a single figure, isolated in an empty room, in a cage or against a black background. For one series of paintings, Bacon was inspired by Diego Velázquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X (circa 1650), but he painted the subject in his own style, using dark colors and rough brushwork and distorting the sitter’s face. These works came to be known as Bacon’s “screaming pope” paintings.

In other works, a figure might stand beside a flayed carcass of meat. Still other paintings were derived from traditional religious subject matter such as the crucifixion of Christ. In all of his paintings, Bacon emphasized the universal experiences of suffering and alienation.

Art and Life after 1960

Even during a period in which modern art was dominated by abstraction, Bacon continued to paint the human face and figure. His emotional use of brushwork and color as well as his exaggeration of forms caused him to be labeled as an Expressionist artist, though he rejected the term.

Some of Bacon’s works of the 1960s depict a lone male figure dressed in a business suit. Others showed nude figures, often with grotesquely altered proportions and features. Bacon frequently painted portraits of people he knew, including artist Lucian Freud and George Dyer, a close friend of Bacon’s. During these years, Bacon used brighter colors. However, themes of violence and mortality were still central to his art.

Bacon maintained a home and a notoriously cluttered studio in London, and continued to paint until the end of his life. He died in Madrid, Spain, on April 28, 1992, at the age of 82.

Legacy

Francis Bacon is considered one of Britain’s major painters of the post-WWII generation, as well as an important influence on a new generation of figurative artists in the 1980s. His work is owned by major museums around the world, and he has been the subject of several retrospective exhibitions. His studio was acquired by the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, where it has been recreated as a room for visitors to view. Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” broke the record for most expensive work ever sold in 2013, when it was purchased for a final price of $142.4 million at Christie’s in New York.

Georges Braque

Argenteuil 1882 –
Paris 1963

Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil on May 13, 1882. The family moves to Le Havre in 1890 where the young boy has his first encounters with paint and brushes in his father’s painting business. He attends lectures at the Le Havre Art Academy as of 1899, a short time later he starts to work for a decoration painter. Georges Braque goes to Paris in 1900, and continues his apprenticeship as a decoration painter, he attends drawing classes at the school of Batignolles, followed by studying at the Académie Humbert.
Georges Braque sees works of the “Fauves” in the Salon d’Automne in 1905, which impress him so much that he takes on their bright colours in his works. He spends the fall of 1906 painting in L’Estaque, in the footsteps of Paul Cézanne, whose paintings he also admires. Together with the “Fauves”, he exhibits in the Salon des Indépendants in 1907. He spends the summer and the fall of this year in L’Estaque again. It is also in 1907 that he meets Pablo Picasso, encountering his painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. A close friendship between Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso begins, in their artistic co-operation and especially by closely examining the art of Paul Cézanne, they develop the Cubist style of painting. They exhibit in the gallery of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in Paris in 1908.
Braque’s and Picasso’s close co-operation lasts until 1914, some works from this period of “analytic Cubism” (1909-1912) are hard to clearly ascribe to one or the other artist, their painting becomes more and more abstract. Georges Braque adds letters to his pictures, drawn labels or Trompe-l’oeil effects, a technique that is then also taken on by Picasso. The period of “synthetic Cubism” follows as of 1912, a period during which Braque makes paper collages, the “Papiers collés”, which are again taken on and developed by Picasso. They integrate other materials such as paper, wood, or sand into their paintings.
Georges Braque serves in World War I, he suffers a severe head injury followed by a long period of convalescence. He only picks up painting again as of 1917, making works that he will only present in public as of 1923. He becomes detached from Cubism, his works undergoing permanent changes over the following time.
Besides paintings, Braque also creates an extensive graphic oeuvre as of 1912, making etchings, also in colors, lithographs and woodcuts. As of 1939 he begins to deal intensively with sculpting and pottery. He makes the “Stuio pictures” as of 1949.
Georges Braque dies in Paris on August 31, 1963.

Hiroshi Sugimoto

 Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, Tokyo, Japan) has defined what it means to be a multi-disciplined contemporary artist, blurring the lines between photography, painting, installation, and most recently, architecture. His iconic photographs have bridged Eastern and Western ideologies, tracing the origins of time and societal progress along the way. Preserving and picturing memory and time is a central theme of Sugimoto’s photography, including the ongoing series Dioramas (1976– ), Theaters (1978– ), and Seascapes (1980– ). His work is held in numerous public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The National Gallery, London; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Smithsonian Institute of Art, Washington, D.C., and Tate, London, among others.

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1948, and lives and works in New York and Tokyo. His interest in art began early. His reading of André Breton’s writings led to his discovery of Surrealism and Dada and a lifelong connection to the work and philosophy of Marcel Duchamp. Central to Sugimoto’s work is the idea that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. This theme provides the defining principle of his ongoing series, including “Dioramas” (1976–), “Theaters” (1978–), and “Seascapes” (1980–). Sugimoto sees with the eye of the sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher. He uses his camera in a myriad of ways to create images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world. He places extraordinary value on craftsmanship, printing his photographs with meticulous attention and a keen understanding of the nuances of the silver print and its potential for tonal richness—in his seemingly infinite palette of blacks, whites, and grays. Recent projects include an architectural commission at Naoshima Contemporary Art Center in Japan, for which Sugimoto designed and built a Shinto shrine, and the photographic series, “Conceptual Forms,” inspired by Duchamp’s “Large Glass: The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even.” Sugimoto has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; in 2001, he received Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; among others. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, were joint organizers of a 2005 Sugimoto retrospective

His work deals with history and temporal existence by investigating themes of time, empiricism, and metaphysics. His primary series include: Seascapes, Theaters, Dioramas, Portraits (of Madame Tussaud’s wax figures), Architecture, Colors of Shadow, Conceptual Forms and Lightning Fields. Sugimoto has received a number of grants and fellowships, and his work is held in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, among many others. Portraits, initially created for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, traveled to the Guggenheim New York in March 2001. Sugimoto received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2001. In 2006, a mid career retrospective was organized by the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. A monograph entitled Hiroshi Sugimoto was produced in conjunction with the exhibition. He received the Photo España prize, also in 2006, and in 2009 was the recipient of the Paemium Imperiale, Painting Award from the Japan Arts Association. Most recently, Sugimoto unveiled his “Glass Tea House Mondrian” at Le Stanze del Vetro on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore during the 2014 Venice Biennale.

His work, specifically his series Seascapes, is awe-inspiring. It stops me in my tracks, it leaves me absolutely breathless, stunned into a reverent – yes, reverent – silence. It’s visual paradise. Minimal, luscious, beautiful paradise.

Sugimoto refers to his signature photographic style as “time exposure” experiments – playing with shutter speeds other photographers could never master. His goal through these “experiments” is to capture time through his images – creating time capsules that will last for eternity. Eternity is a constant focus of Sugimoto, who also worked on series that dealt with the issues of life and death – intrigued by the transience of human life.

Jörg Immendorff

Jörg Immendorff, who died in May, 2007 aged 61, was Germany’s best-known and most provocative artist, a close friend of the former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and, in 2003, the central figure in a sex scandal involving prostitutes and cocaine-fuelled orgies at a luxury hotel.

In what became known as the Orgy of the Year, Immendorff was discovered naked having his nipples licked by a retinue of seven young filles de joie, while 11 grams of cocaine lay ready for consumption on a Versace ashtray nearby.

Notwithstanding his exotic private life – he had also been a luminary of Dusseldorf’s sadomasochistic scene – Immendorff was regarded by many critics as an original and vigorous artist of great complexity.

Jörg Immendorff studied under Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. His entire collection of work centers on one question: What role can art play when dealing with society’s conflicts? Immendorff has always become involved; always sought ways of confronting society’s traditional values and norms.

Everything began with the so-called “LIDL-Actions” in the early 1970s. “LIDL” was an invented term which stood for the many attempts made to bring movement into the musty West German political atmosphere. “LIDL” was also a term that inspired discussion. Art should involve itself in the 1968 generation revolution. According to Immendorff, it was time for people to fulfill their dreams. Two of his slogans were: “Serve the people” and “What stand do you take with your art, friend?” The result was “Agitprop-Art”, which gave expression to the questions: “what does socially relevant artistic action look like?”, and, “what role has painting played in the course of most history?” – Art as both idea and action. Following the example of the Brecht poem, “Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters” (“Questions of a Reading Worker”), Immendorff gave visual expression to the poem.

In 1976 he formed the “German-German Action Alliance” with the GDR painter, A.R. Penck. The famous “Café Deutschland” pictures were created. They depicted daily life in the two Germanys: German-German history depicted in paintings. In 1980, Jörg Immendorff gave up lecturing at a Düsseldorf secondary school. During this period of creating the “Café de Flore” pictures, Immendorff increasingly began to interest himself in the works of role models and important contemporaries. He expanded his artistic context; history had taken on new significance to him.

Dreams could not – as he had claimed in the 60’s and 70’s – immediately change a bad reality, but they did retain their visionary explosiveness. Immendorff continues to believe that it is possible through his art to touch the consciousness of people, and to change them. It is a sensitive process of understanding the “picture behind the picture”, as he says – in his own individual way. From the time he was a Beuys student until today, Immendorff’s conviction has remained unchanged: Art is a means of political and creative expression.

His early work in the 1960s reflected the political upheavals of the times, but he later emerged as one of the leading figures of the new German Expressionism.

In 2005 Immendorff’s work was hung at the Saatchi Gallery in London as part of an exhibition – The Triumph of Painting – that ranked among the top five British shows of that year. Charles Saatchi was a long-standing and enthusiastic collector of Immendorff’s paintings.

After coming to prominence as a member of the German art movement Jungen Wilden (the Young Wild Ones), Immendorff became a figure of national acclaim, whose pictures sold for more than £100,000 apiece. His best-known work includes the Café Deutschland series of 16 large paintings in which he addressed the conflict between East and West Germany.

His huge colourful canvases, depicting fictitious settings such as discothèques and cafés, were heavily laden with political iconography and imagery. “In my paintings, symbols associated with National Socialist Germany function as kinds of clichés in so far as they stand for universal evils,” he explained in 2003.

“The factors that led to [Hitler’s] rise to power and the destruction he subsequently wrought remain permanent dangers. Such images must be painted. To make them taboo would be regressive.

“The smoking swastika indicates that the matter is far from closed, be it in Germany or the malicious terrorism emanating from the Middle East. Evil takes root and flourishes when art and freedom of expression are censored.”

Last January Immendorff ran into heavy critical flak for his official retirement portrait of his friend, the outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, which was completed on the ailing artist’s instructions by his students.

The result was an odd icon-like image painted in gold, with a melting black eagle, symbol of the German state, in the foreground. Also in the picture is Immendorff himself, represented as a broken man, a reference to his increasing physical frailty.

“There are statues of Elvis Presley that look like this,” sneered one critic. “Siberian oligarchs and Californian rappers have a need – alongside their collection of Rolex watches – to immortalise themselves in this manner.”

Schroeder had apparently given the commission to Immendorff as a way of letting the painter atone for his public humiliation in August 2003.

Caught in a £1,100-a-night suite at the Steigenberger Park Hotel, Dusseldorf, with seven naked young call-girls and several lines of cocaine, Immendorff was being hustled away by police while still more prostitutes were arriving.

As well as the drugs found on the scene, a further 10 grams of cocaine were found at Immendorff’s atelier nearby.

At his trial the following year, Immendorff admitted cocaine possession, and having organised 27 similar orgies between February 2001 and the date of his arrest. In the light of his confession and his terminal illness, he was put on probation and heavily fined.

Jörg Immendorff was born on June 14 1945 near Lüneberg, the Saxon town twinned with Scunthorpe where Himmler committed suicide. Immendorff studied in Dusseldorf under Joseph Beuys, the influential modern artist whose principal media were animal fat and felt, before being expelled for Maoist activism.

Immendorff rejected traditional painting in 1966 by scrawling the words “Stop Painting” across one of his pictures, and made the natural progression into the art establishment, spending 12 years teaching and later holding guest professorships all over Europe.

He also created stage designs, including some for the Salzburg Festival, exhibited as a sculptor, owned a sex bar near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg’s red-light district, and helped to design André Heller’s avant-garde amusement park Luna Luna in 1987.

In 1996 Immendorff became a professor at the art academy in Dusseldorf from which he had been dismissed as a student in the 1960s. The following year he was awarded the richest art prize in the world, from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico.

His sculptures include a large bronze of the German film star Hans Albers and a spectacular piece of iron, 25 metres high, in the shape of an oak tree trunk, erected at Riesa, near Dresden, in 1999. Although named “Elbquelle” by Immendorff himself, locals know it as “Rostige Eiche” (“rusty oak”).

In 1998 he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. When he could no longer paint with his left hand, he switched to the right.

For the last year, unable to hold a paintbrush, he had been confined to a wheelchair and directed his assistants to paint by following his instructions.

Jörg Immendorff married, in 2000, Oda Jaune, a former student more than 30 years his junior; their daughter was born the following year. Both survive him.

Piet Mondrian, one of the founders of the Dutch modern movement De Stijl, is recognized for the purity of his abstractions and methodical practice by which he arrived at them. He radically simplified the elements of his paintings to reflect what he saw as the spiritual order underlying the visible world, creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. In his best known paintings from the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes to lines and rectangles and his palette to fundamental basics pushing past references to the outside world toward pure abstraction. His use of asymmetrical balance and a simplified pictorial vocabulary were crucial in the development of modern art, and his iconic abstract works remain influential in design and familiar in popular culture to this day.

PIET MONDRIAN KEY IDEAS

A theorist and writer, Mondrian believed that art reflected the underlying spirituality of nature. He simplified the subjects of his paintings down to the most basic elements, in order to reveal the essence of the mystical energy in the balance of forces that governed nature and the universe.

Mondrian chose to distill his representations of the world to their basic vertical and horizontal elements, which represented the two essential opposing forces: the positive and the negative, the dynamic and the static, the masculine and the feminine. The dynamic balance of his compositions reflect what he saw as the universal balance of these forces.

Mondrian’s singular vision for modern art is clearly demonstrated in the methodical progression of his artistic style from traditional representation to complete abstraction. His paintings evolve in a logical manner, and clearly convey the influence of various modern art movements such as Luminism, Impressionism, and most importantly, Cubism.

Mondrian, and the artists of De Stijl, advocated pure abstraction and a pared down palette in order to express a utopian ideal of universal harmony in all of the arts. By using basic forms and colors, Mondrian believed that his vision of modern art would transcend divisions in culture and become a new common language based in the pure primary colors, flatness of forms, and dynamic tension in his canvases.

Mondrian’s book on Neo-Plasticism became one of the key documents of abstract art. In it, he detailed his vision of artistic expression in which “plastic” simply referred to the action of forms and colors on the surface of the canvas as a new method for representing modern reality.

Artwork Description & Analysis:

The Gray Tree exemplifies Mondrian’s early transition toward abstraction, and his application of Cubist principles to represent the landscape. The three-dimensional tree has been reduced to lines and planes using a limited palette of grays and black. This painting is one in a series of works Mondrian created, in which the early trees are naturalistically represented, while the later works have become progressively more abstract. In the later paintings, the lines of the tree are reduced until the form of the tree is barely discernable and becomes secondary to the overall composition of vertical and horizontal lines. Here, there is still an allusion to the tree as it appears in nature, but one can already see Mondrian’s interest in reducing the form to a structured organization of lines. This step was invaluable to Mondrian’s development of his mature style of pure abstraction.

PIET MONDRIAN BIOGRAPHY

Piet Mondrian, born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, Jr. grew up as the second of five children in a devoutly Calvinist home in central Holland. Art and music were encouraged in his household. His father, the headmaster of the local primary school, was an enthusiastic amateur artist who gave drawing lessons to his son, while Mondrian’s uncle, Fritz Mondriaan, was an accomplished artist who taught his nephew to paint.

PIET MONDRIAN LEGACY

The refinement of Mondrian’s abstractions as well as the utopian ideals behind his work had an immense impact on the development of modern art, both while he was still alive as well as after his death. His work was immediately referenced by the Bauhaus, particularly in the simplified lines and colors of the school’s aesthetic, as well as its ideal in which the arts could bring concord to all aspects of life. Later on, Mondrian’s style can be seen in the developments of the Minimalists of the late 1960s, who also opted for reduced forms and a pared down palette. Not only influential within modern art, Mondrian’s far-reaching impact can be seen across all aspects of modern and postmodern culture, from Yves Saint Laurent’s color-blocking in his “Mondrian” day-dress, to the use of Mondrian’s Neo-Plastic style and palette by the rock band the White Stripes for the cover of their 2000 album, De Stijl, as well as his name as the moniker for three hotels, the “Mondrian” hotel in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

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