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Art

An XXL-Edition Compiles All of Frida Kahlo's 152 Artworks in an Extensive Celebration of Her Life and Work

July 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Self-portrait with Small Monkey” (1945), oil on masonite, 22 x 16⅜ inches, Mexico City, Xochimilco, Museo Dolores Olmedo, photo by akg-images

An enormous new book from Taschen explores the life and work of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). Widely recognized as a groundbreaking figure in contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality, Kahlo’s now iconic image—particularly derived from her more than 50 self-portraits showing her bold brow, braided hair, and range of floral adornments—has secured her legacy as one of the most influential and profound artists of the 20th Century.

Spanning 624 pages and weighing nearly 12 pounds, Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings compiles all 152 of her works paired with diary pages, letters, drawings, an illustrated biography, and hundreds of photos taken by Edward Weston, Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, Nickolas Muray, and Martin Munkácsi that glimpse moments from Kahlo’s life with her husband and muralist Diego Rivera and of the Casa Azul, her home in Mexico City. Many of the pieces included haven’t been exhibited publicly in more than 80 years.

 

Edited by Luis-Martín Lozano with contributions from Andrea Kettenmann and Marina Vázquez Ramos, the volume contextualizes Kahlo’s paintings by offering an intimate and wide-reaching exploration of her oeuvre that was so profoundly impacted by her experiences with a lifelong disability and an unending need to question politics and notions of identity. Lozano describes her unparalleled contributions in a conversation with It’s Nice That:

Her uniqueness in art history is not only based in a feminist agenda as it has been stressed out in recent years, but mostly in her capacity to engage in ideological and aesthetic discussions of her time and contemporaries, in subjects such as public art and surrealism, and make them part of her core as an artist.

Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings is currently available from Taschen and for pre-order on Bookshop.

 

“The Little Deer” (April–May 3, 1946), oil on masonite, 8⅞ x 11 inches, Chicago, private collection, photo © Fine Art Images/Bridgeman Images

“Portrait of Luther Burbank” (1931), oil on masonite, 34 x 24. inches, Mexico City, Xochimilco, Museo Dolores Olmedo, photo by akg-images

“Ixcuhintli Dog with Me” (c. 1938), oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches, United States, private collection, photo by akg-images

 

 



Art History

'Fantastic Landscapes' Surveys the Vivid Use of Color in Hokusai and Hiroshige's Woodblock Prints

July 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Yamashiro Province: The Togetsu Bridge in Mount Arashi (Yamashiro, Arashiyama Togetsukyo),” from the series Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces (Rokujuyoshu meisho zue), 1853

An exhibition opening this weekend at the Art Institute of Chicago plunges into the vast archives of renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artists Katsushika Hokusai (previously) and Utagawa Hiroshige (previously). Fantastic Landscapes brings together the vivid scenes created by the prolific printmakers through the first half of the 19th Century with a particular focus on their innovative uses of color. Peach skies, grassy bluffs in chartreuse, and their extensive applications of Prussian blue—Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” famously layers the chemical pigment—mark a broader shift in the artform. Today, the pair are largely attributed with sparking a worldwide fascination with Japanese prints.

Explore some of the woodblock works on view as part of Fantastic Landscapes below, and see them in person between July 17 and October 11. You also might enjoy this monumental book compiling Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and Hiroshige’s delightful shadow puppets.

 

Katsushika Hokusai, “The Back of Mount Fuji Seen from Minobu River (Minobugawa Urafuji),” from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei), about 1830/33

Katsushika Hokusai, “Amida Falls in the Far Reaches of the Kisokaido (Kisoji no oku Amidagataki),” from the series A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (Shokoku taki meguri)

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Plum Garden at Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki),” from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Awa Province: Naruto Whirlpools (Awa, Naruto no fuha),” from the series Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces (Rokujuyoshu meisho zue), 1855

Katsushika Hokusai, “A Mild Breeze on a Fine Day (Gaifu kaisei),” from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei), c. 1830/33

Katsushika Hokusai, “Kirifuri Falls at Mount Kurokami in Shimotsuke Province (Shimotsuke Kurokamiyama Kirifuri no taki),” from the series A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (Shokoku taki meguri), c. 1833

 

 



Art History

A Bookmark Illustrated by Van Gogh Has Been Discovered After 135 Years

June 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Strip with three sketches” of a Woman Walking, Viewed from the Back, a Sitting Man (en face) and a Sitting Woman (en profil), before June 1883, graphite on paper, 28 x 5 centimeters. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, purchased with support from the Bank Giro Loterij

In 2021, it’s rare to stumble upon a work by Vincent van Gogh that hasn’t been previously identified, but researchers recently uncovered a few early drawings slipped inside one of the Dutch artist’s books. Now on view as part of Here to Stay at the Van Gogh Museum, the newly discovered bookmark has been hidden for about 135 years and dates back to autumn 1881, when the artist was in his late 20s and living in his parents’ village of Etten.

Depicting three single figures in a vertical line, the pencil sketches were found inside the artist’s copy of Histoire d’un Paysan, an illustrated novel by Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian that details the French Revolution from the perspective of a peasant in Alsace. Van Gogh mailed the book, which he first inscribed with his name, to his friend and fellow artist Anthon van Rappard in 1883, saying “I do think you’ll find the Erckmann-Chatrian beautiful.”

Van Rappard sat for a drawn portrait with van Gogh not long after receiving the novel, which was held by the family of van Rappard’s wife until the Van Gogh Museum purchased it in 2019. Despite their friendship, the pair had a falling out in 1885 after van Rappard criticized the lithograph “The Potato Eaters” (1885).

The discovery will be on view alongside artifacts and other artworks acquired by the Amsterdam museum in the last decade through September 12. (via Artnet)

 

“Strip with three sketches” of a Woman Walking, Viewed from the Back, a Sitting Man (en face) and a Sitting Woman (en profil), before June 1883, graphite on paper, 28 x 5 centimeters. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, purchased with support from the Bank Giro Loterij

Detail of “Strip with three sketches” of a Woman Walking, Viewed from the Back, a Sitting Man (en face) and a Sitting Woman (en profil), before June 1883, graphite on paper, 28 x 5 centimeters. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, purchased with support from the Bank Giro Loterij

 

 



Art

Glitches Distort Household Objects and Art Historical Figures in Sculptures by Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford

June 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Garden Gipsoteca: Hercules” (2019), marble, resin, pigment, urethane foam, steel, abd wood, 84 x 36 x 24 inches. All images © Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, by James Prinz, shared with permission

Artist Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford reenvisions classical sculptures as chaotic, glitched assemblages that piece together fragmented bits of the original work. His interpretation of “Hercules” is teeming with textured pockets of the figure’s beard and facial features that become increasingly smaller and indiscernible toward the base, while “Venus” is reimagined in a similarly disjointed fashion with fractured body parts forming an upward curve.

Although many of his works evoke ancient art history, Hulsebos-Spofford’s pieces are rooted in modernist aesthetics and understandings of functionality, which manifest more apparently in his oversized Moka pot and Mr. Coffee sculptures. Each piece alters the traditional forms with an implied digital malfunction, which a statement about the works explains:

Inspired by the history of the 1927 architectural competition in Geneva, which asked architects to submit plans for the creation of the Palace of Nations, Hulsebos-Spofford points to the unsettled quandaries and contradictions between classical design and modernist functionalism. Repeating classical sculptural figures remind us of copy-and-paste multiple errors that reference the history of the gipsoteca galleries…Behind all of these references, we are presented with a global constellation of history and technological decay.

If you’re in Chicago, you can see the works shown here as part of League of Nations, which is on view between June 2 and August 29 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Find more of Hulsebos-Spofford’s sculptures on his site and Instagram, where he also shares glimpses into his process.

 

“Hyperlexia: Venus” (2021), marble, resin, foam, and fiberglass, 40 x 30 x 24 inches

“Mr. Coffee” (2019), sand blasting sand, resin, urethane foam, steel, hardware, and wood, 68 x 48 x 24 inches

Detail of “Garden Gipsoteca: Hercules” (2019), marble, resin, pigment, urethane foam, steel, abd wood, 84 x 36 x 24 inches

“Hyperlexia: Moka” (2020), aluminum, resin, foam, and fiberglass, 41 x 40 x 14 inches

“Hyperlexia: Solicitude” (2021), foam, pigment, and wood, 48 x 36 x 36 inches

 

 



Art

A Monumental Book Printed on Uncut Paper Celebrates Hokusai's Iconic 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji'

May 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Taschen, shared with permission

A forthcoming volume from Taschen is an homage to renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and his iconic woodblock print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Compiling Hokusai’s original 36 artworks and the ten pieces he created following the success of the initial collection, the XXL edition celebrates the lauded artist and his fascination with Japan’s highest mountain.

Encased in a cloth box with wooden closures, the 224-page book is layered with Japanese history and tradition in both content and form and features uncut paper and customary binding. The vivid, art historical works are paired with 114 color variations and writing by Andreas Marks—the director of the Clark Center for Japanese Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also behind Taschen’s volume chronicling more than two centuries of woodblock prints—who offers background on the exquisite body of work Hokusai produced throughout the Edo period when a local tourism boom positioned Mount Fuji as an enduring cultural landmark.

Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji will be released in June and is available for pre-order from Bookshop.

 

South Wind, Clear Weather (“Red Fuji”). Image © TASCHEN/Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sekiya Village on the Sumida River. Image © TASCHEN/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

 



Art Illustration

Miniature Scenes, Cross-Stitch Flowers, and Works from Art History Nestle into Eva Krbdk's Tiny Tattoos

May 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Havva Karabudak, shared with permission

Havva Karabudak, who works as Eva Krbdk, thrives on inking minuscule details. Focusing on innumerable lines and dot work, the Turkish tattoo artist (previously) illustrates textured florals in cross-stitch, realistic portraits of animals, and micro-paintings in the likes of van Gogh, Magritte, and Fornasetti. Many of the vivid renderings are small enough to fit into a perfectly round circle or a skinny stretch of a client’s upper arm.

Karabudak’s background coalesces in her tattoos, including her formal education at the Fine Arts Academy of Ankara in Turkey and her love of textiles. “It’s pretty customary for young women to learn (embroidery) from their grandmothers in Turkey,” a statement about her work says. “As a result, tiny cross-stitch patterns were among the first tattooing styles that Eva embraced.”

Karabudak just opened her studio Atelier Eva in Brooklyn, and although she’s currently booked, you can watch for openings on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

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