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Art History

A Neoclassical Girl Towers Over Memphis in a Seven-Story Wheatpaste by Julien de Casabianca

October 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Julien de Casabianca (previously) is known for wheatpasting subjects from famous paintings onto public infrastructure as part of his ongoing Outings Project. Last month the French artist was invited to present a monumental installation at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee alongside an exhibition and workshop. De Casabianca’s seven-story mural features a melancholic girl pulled from William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 neoclassical painting “Au pied de la falaise,” which is included in the museum’s collection.

Like his previous interventions, de Casabianca wanted to give the subject a new home, while also liberating her from the structure of the painting’s frame. In her new position she gazes out over the city, surveying the landscape from the building’s fire escape. The work is part of Brooks Outside, a recent curatorial program that presents outdoor installations around the institution’s grounds and city. You can see de Casabianca’s new work at 62 E.H. Crump Blvd through November 2018 as weather permits, and follow his travels on Instagram. (via Brooklyn Street Art)

 

 



Art Craft History

A Peculiar Character From a Hieronymus Bosch Painting Comes to Life on the New York City Subway

September 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Rae Swon recently brought a fantastical creature from The Temptation of St. Anthony to life on the New York City subway. The triptych painting created by Hieronymus Bosch in the early 16th century includes a small, peculiar figure on the left-hand triptych (detail below). The character has bird-like facial features, and is wearing what appear to be ice skates and a funnel as a hat. After creating the modern-day costume using needle felting and other found materials, Swon took her character for a subway ride through Manhattan. Although this particular costume is sold out, you can see more of Swon’s fantastical felted creations like a Starling Coin Purse and an Opposum Purse on Instagram and Etsy. (via Hyperallergic)

Detail of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

 

 



Art Design

Color Problems: A Republished Tome Reveals the Color Wisdom and Poetics of 19th-Century Artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

July 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In 1901 artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) published the painting manual Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color under the guise of flower painting and decorative arts, subjects that were appropriate for a woman of her time. The study provided an extensive look at color theory ideas of the early 20th-century. Her research-based techniques were later used and circulated by men without mention of her name, and are now commonly used in art curriculums. Many of the included studies predict design and art trends that wouldn’t occur for several decades, such as a concentric square format that predates Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square by fifty years.

In addition to color lessons and guides, the 400-page book features an extensive collection of her original and intently poetic methods of color analysis, from detailing the color relationships in quotidian objects like a found teacup and saucer, to color swatches of wool sorted by a color-blind man. There is also a watercolor series that poignantly observes the nuanced color of her private moments, such as the bruised colors found in a shadow on white ground or the inherent tones of woods that lay on the edge of a meadow.

Vanderpoel was vice president of the New York Watercolor Club, an organization founded in response to the American Watercolor Society’s policy to not accept women as members. Despite the history and visual wisdom detailed in her color guide, the tome never received the audience it deserved. Brooklyn-based publisher The Circadian Press along with their collaborators Sacred Bones Records aim to change this with a new print of the 118-year-old guide. The project just raised funding for more than five times its initial goal on Kickstarter, and plans to go into production in the fall.

 

 



Art

Tin Cans Transformed into Famous Art Historical Self-Portraits by Allan Rubin

April 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Allan Rubin, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2017), all images via the artist.

Allan Rubin, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2017), all images via the artist.

Allan Rubin‘s aptly named series CANON presents a range of famous artists throughout history, all rendered from an amalgamation of tin cans. The works are each painted in the style of the artist’s self-portrait, such as a Post-Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh or Neoclassical Angelica Kauffmann.

The body of work grew out of the painter’s desire to work on a smaller scale in his cramped studio. The can sculptures proved to be a perfect solution, and provided an intriguing challenge for Rubin to transform flat images into three-dimensional works.

Throughout the years he has learned the best formula to build his portraits, like realizing that the shape of tomato sauce cans are well suited for heads. “Cookie tins sometimes make good torsos,” he told Hyperallergic. “Bean cans are just right for arms and necks. Sardine cans make great hands. Lids have rings embossed on them that work perfectly for ears, and also become noses that I have learned to bend, slot, and tab onto the faces.”

Rubin’s solo exhibition CANON continues through May 5 at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg, New York. You can see more of Rubin’s uncanny renderings on Facebook. (via Hyperallergic)

Mary Cassatt (2017)

Mary Cassatt (2017)

Claude Monet (2018)

Claude Monet (2018)

Judith Leyster (2017)

Judith Leyster (2017)

Uemura Shōen (2017)

Uemura Shōen (2017)

Vincent Van Gogh (2016)

Vincent Van Gogh (2016)

Angelica Kauffmann (2017)

Angelica Kauffmann (2017)

Suzanne Valadon (2017)

Suzanne Valadon (2017)

Niki De Saint Phalle (2017)

Niki De Saint Phalle (2017)

Edgar Degas (2017)

Edgar Degas (2017)

Leonor Fini (2018)

Leonor Fini (2018)

 

 

 



Art

Traditional Paintings by Lino Lago Mysteriously Revealed Beneath Fields of Color

April 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

 

Lino Lago paints realistic portraits and scenes in oil and adds a layer of abstracted intrigue using bright fields of color. His recent series, Fake Abstract, is comprised of classically-styled portraits of women, mostly obscured by solid blocks of red, pink, or blue. A thin sliver or squiggle, reminiscent of a finger dragged across a foggy window, reveals a peek at the figure beneath the color. It is up to the viewer’s imagination whether Lago paints a full portrait and covers it in color, or, uses the color as the base and adds the portrait into the blank canvas left by the squiggle.

The artist has also explored juxtapositions of traditional European interiors—dining rooms, parlors, and museum galleries—with unexplained splashes of bright color that appear to explode into the rooms from doorways and windows.

Lago, who is Spanish and resides in Spain and Lithuania, exhibits widely and has upcoming shows at Bredgade Kunsthandel in Copenhagen (April 12), Geraldine Banier in Paris (June 7th), Moret Art in Coruña, Spain (end of June), and Goodwin Fine Art in Denver (November). You can see more of Lago’s artwork on his website.

 

 



Art History

A Seamstress’s Autobiographical Text Embroidered Onto Her 19th-Century Straitjacket

April 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

German seamstress Agnes Richter (1844–1918) was a patient at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic during the 1890s. While held at the asylum she would densely embroider her standard issue straitjacket, stitching the object with words, phrases, and diaristic entries in deutsche schrift, an old German script. The layers of language make it difficult to distinguish a beginning or end to the writing, and only fragmented phrases have been deciphered from the jacket such as “I am not big,” “I wish to read,” and “I plunge headlong into disaster.”

The object is a part of the Prinzhorn Collection at the University of Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, named after collector and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn. The collection contains over 5,000 paintings, wooden sculptures, sketches, and other art-based ephemera from patients at the hospital, collected by the psychiatrist during the early 20th-century. This vast collection of work made by psychiatric patients has had a major influence on a modern understanding of “outsider art,” or the artwork created by self-taught artists who have had little to no contact with the mainstream art world.

Over a century later, the jacket remains a powerful item, a lasting object that showcases how one woman transformed a sterile and impersonal garment into a rich record of her life’s journey. (via #WOMENSART)

Update: Sources vary as to whether this article of clothing was Richter’s straitjacket, a regular jacket, or part of a non-restrictive institutional uniform.

Left image via This Is Not Modern Art tumblr, right image via The Lulubird

 

 



Art History

Archaeologists Discover What May Be the World’s Oldest Crayon

March 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Archaeologists working on a site near an ancient lake in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK say they may have discovered one of the earliest examples of a crayon. The reddish-brown piece of ochre is thought to have been used 10,000 years ago to color animal skins or produce artwork during the Mesolithic period.

The oblong discovery is just 22 mm long and 7 mm wide, yet shows a heavily striated surface where it was most likely scraped to create red pigment. One side of the tool is sharpened, another hint that the piece was used to draw or color. Dr. Andy Needham from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology explained the discovery helps archaeologists understand how significant color might have been to the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic period.

“For me it is a very significant object and helps us build a bigger picture of what life was like in the area; it suggests it would have been a very colourful place,” said Needham in a press release.

This has been a year of many art historical firsts. Within the last few months our knowledge of Greek civilization has been completely altered by the discovery of this tiny carved stone, and archaeologists found the first known use of a smiley face on an off-white jug in Southern Turkey. You can read more about the discovery of the ochre crayon, and other pieces found near the ancient lake in North Yorkshire, in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 

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