El arte como inversión - Parte 1

PUBLICADO EN: Videos
El 15 de mayo de 1886 nació un manifiesto visual para un nuevo movimiento artístico cuando se presentó la obra cumbre de Georges Seurat, Una tarde de domingo en la isla de la Grande Jatte, en la Octava Exposición Impresionista. Seurat puede reivindicar el título de "Impresionista científico" original, trabajando de una manera que llegó a conocerse como Puntillismo o Divisionismo. Sin embargo, fue su amigo y confidente Paul Signac, de 24 años, y su diálogo constante lo que propició una colaboración en la comprensión de la física de la luz y el color y el estilo que surgió. Signac era un pintor impresionista sin formación, pero con un talento asombroso, cuyo temperamento se adaptaba perfectamente al rigor y la disciplina necesarios para lograr la pincelada y el color laboriosos. Signac asimiló rápidamente la técnica. También fue testigo del arduo viaje de dos años de Seurat construyendo miríadas de capas de puntos de color sin mezclar en La Grande Jatte, de tamaño colosal. Juntos, Signac, el extrovertido descarado, y Seurat, el introvertido reservado, estaban a punto de subvertir el curso del Impresionismo y cambiar el curso del arte moderno.

PAUL SIGNAC

Led by a triumvirate of painters of the American Scene, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood took on the task of exploring, defining, and celebrating the Midwest as a credible entity within the geographical, political, and mythological landscape of the United States. Their populist works were figurative and narrative-driven, and they gained widespread popularity among a Depression-weary American public. The landscapes Grant Wood painted, and the lithographs marketed by Associated American Artists were comforting reminders of traditional Midwestern values and the simplicity of country life. Yet, Wood's most iconic works, including American Gothic, were to be viewed through the lens of elusive narratives and witty ironies that reflect an artist who delighted in sharing his charming and humorous perspective on farm life. <br><br>In 1930, Wood achieved national fame and recognition with American Gothic, a fictionalized depiction of his sister, Nan, and his family dentist. Frequently regarded as the most famous American painting of the twentieth century, to fully grasp American Gothic's essential nature, one must recognize Wood's profound connection to his Iowan roots, a bond that borders on a singular fixation and the often-brutal confrontation between the moral and cultural rigidity of Midwest isolationism and the standards that prevailed elsewhere in America. This war of values and morality became dominant throughout Wood's oeuvre. Their fascination with American Gothic may have mystified the public, but the story, told in the attitude of a farmer and his wife, is as lean and brittle as the pitchfork he carries. Their attitude, as defiant as it is confrontational, is an unflinching dare to uppity gallery-goers to judge their immaculate well-scrubbed farm. American Gothic became an overnight sensation, an ambiguous national icon often interpreted as a self-effacing parody of midwestern life. Yet it also served as an unflinching mirror to urban elite attitudes and their often-derisive view of heartland values and way of life. In Grant Wood's hands, the people of the Midwest have stiffened and soured, their rectitude implacable.<br> <br>Portrait of Nan is Grant Wood's most intimate work. He may have been motivated to paint it to make amends for the significant scrutiny and harsh treatment his sister received as American Gothic's sternly posed female. Grant poured his heart into it as a sign of sibling love. Intent upon painting her as straightforward and simply as possible so as not to invite unintended interpretations, Wood's deep attachment to the portrait was significant enough for him to think of it as having irreplaceable value. When he moved from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City in 1935, he designed his entire living room around the work. It occupied the place of honor above the fireplace and was the only painting he refused to sell. <br> <br>The lithograph July Fifteenth, issued in 1938, proves his mystical vision of the Iowan heartland is anything but a pitchfork approach. Drawings assumed central importance in Wood's output, and this work is executed in meticulous detail, proving his drawings were at least as complex, if not more so, than his paintings. The surface of the present work takes on an elaborate, decorative rhythm, echoed throughout the land that is soft, verdant, and fertile. Structurally, it alludes in equal measure to the geometry of modern art and the decorative patterning of folk-art traditions. This is a magical place, a fulsome display of an idealized version of an eternal, lovely, and benign heartland. <br><br>The Young Artist, an en plein air sketch, may have been produced during, or slightly after, what Wood called his "palette-knife stage" that consumed him in 1925. Having not yet traveled to Munich where, in 1928, he worked on a stain-glass window commission and came under the influence of the Northern Renaissance painters that sparked his interest in the compositional severity and detailed technique associated with his mature works, here, he worked quickly, and decisively. The view is from a hilltop at Kenwood Park that overlooks the Cedar River Valley near Cedar Rapids, where he built a house for his sister, Nan.

GRANT WOOD

Cottonwood Tree (Near Abiquiu), New Mexico (1943) by celebrated American artist Georgia O’Keeffe is exemplary of the airier, more naturalistic style that the desert inspired in her. O’Keeffe had great affinity for the distinctive beauty of the Southwest, and made her home there among the spindly trees, dramatic vistas, and bleached animal skulls that she so frequently painted. O’Keeffe took up residence at Ghost Ranch, a dude ranch twelve miles outside of the village of Abiquiú in northern New Mexico and painted this cottonwood tree around there. The softer style befitting this subject is a departure from her bold architectural landscapes and jewel-toned flowers.<br><br>The cottonwood tree is abstracted into soft patches of verdant greens through which more delineated branches are seen, spiraling in space against pockets of blue sky. The modeling of the trunk and delicate energy in the leaves carry forward past experimentations with the regional trees of the Northeast that had captivated O’Keeffe years earlier: maples, chestnuts, cedars, and poplars, among others. Two dramatic canvases from 1924, Autumn Trees, The Maple and The Chestnut Grey, are early instances of lyrical and resolute centrality, respectively. As seen in these early tree paintings, O’Keeffe exaggerated the sensibility of her subject with color and form.<br><br>In her 1974 book, O’Keeffe explained: “The meaning of a word— to me— is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Color and shapes make a more definite statement than words.” Her exacting, expressive color intrigued. The Precisionist painter Charles Demuth described how, in O’Keeffe’s work, “each color almost regains the fun it must have felt within itself on forming the first rainbow” (As quoted in C. Eldridge, Georgia O’Keeffe, New York, 1991, p. 33). As well, congruities between forms knit together her oeuvre. Subjects like hills and petals undulate alike, while antlers, trees, and tributaries correspond in their branching morphology.<br><br>The sinewy contours and gradated hues characteristic of O’Keeffe find an incredible range across decades of her tree paintings. In New Mexico, O’Keeffe returned to the cottonwood motif many times, and the seasonality of this desert tree inspired many forms. The vernal thrill of new growth was channeled into spiraling compositions like Spring Tree No.1 (1945). Then, cottonwood trees turned a vivid autumnal yellow provided a breathtaking compliment to the blue backdrop of Mount Pedernal. The ossified curves of Dead Cottonweed Tree (1943) contain dramatic pools of light and dark, providing a foil to the warm, breathing quality of this painting, Cottonwood Tree (Near Abiquiu). The aural quality of this feathered cottonwood compels a feeling guided by O’Keeffe’s use of form of color.

GEORGIA O'KEEFFE

<br>In Diego Rivera’s portrait of Enriqueta Dávila, the artist asserts a Mexicanidad, a quality of Mexican-ness, in the work along with his strong feelings towards the sitter. Moreover, this painting is unique amongst his portraiture in its use of symbolism, giving us a strong if opaque picture of the relationship between artist and sitter.<br><br>Enriqueta, a descendent of the prominent Goldbaum family, was married to the theater entrepreneur, José María Dávila. The two were close friends with Rivera, and the artist initially requested to paint Enriqueta’s portrait. Enriqueta found the request unconventional and relented on the condition that Rivera paints her daughter, Enriqueta “Quetita”. Rivera captures the spirit of the mother through the use of duality in different sections of the painting, from the floorboards to her hands, and even the flowers. Why the split in the horizon of the floorboard? Why the prominent cross while Enriqueta’s family is Jewish? Even her pose is interesting, showcasing a woman in control of her own power, highlighted by her hand on her hip which Rivera referred to as a claw, further complicating our understanding of her stature.<br><br>This use of flowers, along with her “rebozo” or shawl, asserts a Mexican identity. Rivera was adept at including and centering flowers in his works which became a kind of signature device. The flowers show bromeliads and roselles; the former is epiphytic and the latter known as flor de jamaica and often used in hibiscus tea and aguas frescas. There is a tension then between these two flowers, emphasizing the complicated relationship between Enriqueta and Rivera. On the one hand, Rivera demonstrates both his and the sitter’s Mexican identity despite the foreign root of Enriqueta’s family but there may be more pointed meaning revealing Rivera’s feelings to the subject. The flowers, as they often do in still life paintings, may also refer to the fleeting nature of life and beauty. The portrait for her daughter shares some similarities from the use of shawl and flowers, but through simple changes in gestures and type and placement of flowers, Rivera illuminates a stronger personality in Enriqueta and a more dynamic relationship as filtered through his lens.<br><br>A closer examination of even her clothing reveals profound meaning. Instead of a dress more in line for a socialite, Rivera has Enriqueta in a regional dress from Jalisco, emphasizing both of their Mexican identities. On the other hand, her coral jewelry, repeated in the color of her shoes, hints at multiple meanings from foreignness and exoticism to protection and vitality. From Ancient Egypt to Classical Rome to today, coral has been used for jewelry and to have been believed to have properties both real and symbolic. Coral jewelry is seen in Renaissance paintings indicating the vitality and purity of woman or as a protective amulet for infants. It is also used as a reminder, when paired with the infant Jesus, of his future sacrifice. Diego’s use of coral recalls these Renaissance portraits, supported by the plain background of the painting and the ribbon indicating the maker and date similar to Old Master works.<br><br>When combined in the portrait of Enriqueta, we get a layered and tense building of symbolism. Rivera both emphasizes her Mexican identity but also her foreign roots. He symbolizes her beauty and vitality but look closely at half of her face and it is as if Rivera has painted his own features onto hers. The richness of symbolism hints at the complex relationship between artist and sitter.

DIEGO RIVERA

WILLEM DE KOONING - Mujer en un bote de remos - óleo sobre papel colocado sobre masonita - 47 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.

WILLEM DE KOONING

Según el catálogo razonado recopilado por el Brandywine River Museum of Art, el dibujo preliminar de Puritan Cod Fishers fue realizado por N. C. Wyeth antes de su muerte, en octubre de 1945. La entrada registra una imagen del boceto, así como las inscripciones del artista y su título, Puritan Cod Fishers, caracterizado por el catálogo como "alternativo". En cualquier caso, el lienzo a gran escala es una obra única que Andrew Wyeth recordaría más tarde que fue pintada únicamente por su mano, una colaboración delimitada del diseño y la composición del padre llevada a buen término por la ejecución de un hijo notable. Para Andrew, debió de ser una experiencia profundamente sentida y emotiva. Dada la atención de su padre a los detalles y la autenticidad, las líneas de la pequeña embarcación de vela representan un chalote, en uso durante el siglo XVI. Por otra parte, es probable que Andrew intensificara los matices del inquieto mar más de lo que lo hubiera hecho su padre, una elección que realza adecuadamente la peligrosa naturaleza de la tarea.

Andrew Wyeth y N. C. Wyeth

Alexander Calder was a key figure in the development of abstract sculpture and is renowned for his groundbreaking work in kinetic art; he is one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century. "Prelude to Man-Eater" is a delicately balanced standing sculpture that responds to air currents, creating a constantly changing and dynamic visual experience.<br><br>Calder's Standing Mobiles were a result of his continuous experimentation with materials, form, and balance. This Standing Mobile is a historically significant prelude to a larger work commissioned in 1945 by Alfred Barr, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Prelude to Maneater" is designed to be viewed from multiple angles, encouraging viewers to walk around and interact with it.<br><br>The present work is a formal study for Man-Eater With Pennant (1945), part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The work is also represented in "Sketches for Mobiles: Prelude to Man-Eater; Starfish; Octopus", which is in the permanent collection of the Harvard Fogg Museum.<br><br>Calder's mobiles and stabiles can be found in esteemed private collections and the collections of major museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery in London among others.

ALEXANDER CALDER

N.C. Wyeth’s extraordinary skills as an illustrator were borne of impeccable draftsmanship and as a painter, his warmly rich, harmonious sense of color, and ability to capture the quality of light itself. But it is his unmatched artistry in vivifying story and character with a powerful sense of mood that we admire most of all — the ability to transport himself to the world and time of his creation and to convey it with a beguiling sense of conviction. That ability is as apparent in the compositional complexities of Treasure Island’s “One More Step, Mr. Hands!” as it is here, in the summary account of a square-rigged, seventeenth-century merchant ship tossed upon the seas. The Coming of the Mayflower in 1620 is a simple statement of observable facts, yet Wyeth’s impeccable genius as an illustrator imbues it with the bracing salt air and taste that captures the adventuresome spirit of the men and women who are largely credited with the founding of America. That spirit is carried on the wind and tautly billowed sails, the jaunty heeling of the ship at the nose of a stiff gale, the thrusting, streamed-limned clouds, and the gulls jauntily arranged to celebrate an arrival as they are the feathered angels of providence guiding it to safe harbor.<br><br>The Coming of the Mayflower in 1620 was based on two studies, a composition drawing in graphite and a small presentation painting. The finished mural appears to have been installed in 1941.

N.C. WYETH

Between Île-de-France and Burgundy and on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest lies the medieval village of Moret-sur-Loing, established in the 12th century. When Alfred Sisley described its character to Monet in a letter dated 31 August 1881 as “a chocolate-box landscape…” he meant it as a memento of enticement; that its keep, the ramparts, the church, the fortified gates, and the ornate facades nestled along the river were, for a painter, a setting of unmatched charm. An ancient church, always the most striking townscape feature along the Seine Valley, would be a presence in Sisley’s townscape views as it was for Corot, and for Monet at Vétheuil. But unlike Monet whose thirty views of Rouen Cathedral were executed so he could trace the play of light and shadow across the cathedral façade and capture the ephemeral nature of moment-to-moment changes of light and atmosphere, Sisley set out to affirm the permanent nature of the church of Notre-Dame at Moret-sur-Loing.  Monet’s sole concern was air and light, and Sisley’s appears to be an homage keepsake. The painting exudes respect for the original architects and builders of a structure so impregnable and resolute, it stood then as it did in those medieval times, and which for us, stands today, as it will, for time immemorial.<br><br>Nevertheless, Sisley strived to show the changing appearance of the motif through a series of atmospheric changes. He gave the works titles such as “In Sunshine”, “Under Frost”, and “In Rain” and exhibited them as a group at the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in 1894, factors that suggest he thought of them as serial interpretations. Nevertheless, unlike Monet’s work, l’église de Moret, le Soir reveals that Sisley chose to display the motif within a spatial context that accentuates its compositional attributes — the plunging perspective of the narrow street at left, the strong diagonal recession of the building lines as a counterbalance to the right, and the imposing weight of the stony building above the line of sight.

ALFRED SISLEY

In 1955, Sir John Rothenstein, representing the Trustees of the Tate Museum, approached Winston Churchill about donating one of his paintings "as a gift to the nation."  Churchill was flattered, but felt he did not deserve such an honor as an artist.  Eventually, Churchill agreed and sent two candidate paintings to the Tate – On the Rance and Loup River.  No record exists regarding his own thoughts on the works he submitted, but one can safely say that Churchill thought highly of On the Rance, especially since it was not one of the paintings Rothenstein identified as a strong option. Loup River, which clearly matched Rothenstein's taste, was selected.  Not only was On the Rance not returned, but somehow it ended up, without any inventory record, in a basement storeroom at the Tate. In the storeroom it sat for almost a half century, when it was discovered by an intern.  The Churchill family was notified and eventually the painting was auctioned in June 2005, where it set a new auction record for Churchill's work, despite the lot notes hardly touching on the Tate’s possible acquisition. In a letter to the buyers, Churchill’s daughter, Lady Soames, summarized what had occurred in somewhat more detail.<br><br>St. Malo is a walled city in Brittany, France on the coast of the English Channel. The city was nearly destroyed by bombings during WWII.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

Trained as a woodcarver, Emil Nolde was almost 30 years old before he made his first paintings. The early paintings resembled his drawings and woodcuts: grotesque figures with bold lines and strong contrasts. The style was new, and it inspired the nascent movement Die Brücke (The Bridge), whose members invited Nolde to join them in 1906.  But, it was not until the garden became his locus operandi by 1915 that he built upon his mastery of contrasting luminosities to focus on color as the supreme means of expression.  Later, Nolde claimed “color is strength, strength is life,” and he could not have better characterized why his flower paintings reinvigorate our perception of color.<br><br>Much of the strength of Nolde’s dramatic, Wagnerian-like color sensibilities is the effect of staging primary colors, such as the deep reds and golden yellows of Sonnenblumen, Abend II, against a somber palette. The contrast highlights and deepens the luminosity of the flowers, not just visually, but emotionally as well. In 1937, when Nolde’s art was rejected, confiscated, and defiled, his paintings were paraded as “degenerate art” throughout Nazi Germany in dimly lit galleries. Despite that treatment, Nolde’s status as a degenerate artist gave his art more breathing space because he seized the opportunity to produce more than 1,300 watercolors, which he called “unpainted pictures.” No novice in handling watercolor, his free-flowing style of painting had been a hallmark of his highly-charge, transparent washes since 1918. Sonnenblumen, Abend II, painted in 1944, is a rare wartime oil. He let his imagination run wild with this work, and his utilization of wet-on-wet techniques heightened the drama of each petal.<br><br>Nolde’s intense preoccupation with color and flowers, particularly sunflowers, reflects his continuing devotion to van Gogh.  He was aware of van Gogh as early as 1899 and, during the 1920s and early 1930s, visited several exhibitions of the Dutch artist’s work.  They shared a profound love of nature. Nolde’s dedication to expression and the symbolic use of color found fullness in the sunflower subject, and it became a personal symbol for him, as it did for Van Gogh.

EMIL NOLDE

Widely recognized as one of the most consequential artists of our time, Gerhard Richters career now rivals that of Picasso's in terms of productivity and genius. The multi-faceted subject matter, ranging from slightly out-of-focus photographic oil paintings to Kelly-esque grid paintings to his "squeegee" works, Richter never settles for repeating the same thought- but is constantly evolving his vision. Richter has been honored by significant retrospective exhibitions, including the pivotal 2002 show,  "Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting," at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  <br><br>"Abstraktes Bild 758-2" (1992) comes from a purely abstract period in Richter's work- where the message is conveyed using a truly physical painting style, where applied paint layers are distorted with a wooden "Squeegee" tool. Essentially, Richter is sculpting the layers of paint, revealing the underlayers and their unique color combinations; there is a degree of "art by chance". If the painting does not work, Richter will move on- a method pioneered by Jackson Pollock decades earlier.  <br><br>Richter is included in prominent museums and collections worldwide, including the Tate, London, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others.

GERHARD RICHTER

An outstanding example of Churchill’s North African scenes, one in which he deftly captures the scenery and light that his artistic mentor, John Lavery, had told him about in the mid 1930s.  Another artist mentor, Walter Sickert, taught Churchill how to project photo images directly on to a canvas as an aid in painting, a technique used to advantage in this instance.  The Studio Archives at Chartwell include 5 photographs, one of the camel and four others, that Churchill used as aids.<br><br>With the visual aids, Churchill could focus on the vibrant colors, the tan of the sand and buildings contrasting with the brilliant blue skies, splashes of green adding energy to the painting. A different Marrakech scene, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque”, set an auction record for Churchill when it sold in 2021 for $11 million USD.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

Tom Wesselmann was a leader of the Pop Art movement. He is best remembered for large-scale works, including his Great American Nude series, in which Wesselmann combined sensual imagery with everyday objects depicted in bold and vibrant colors. As he developed in his practice, Wesselmann grew beyond the traditional canvas format and began creating shaped canvases and aluminum cut-outs that often functioned as sculptural drawings. Continuing his interest in playing with scale, Wesselmann began focusing more closely on the body parts that make up his nudes. He created his Mouth series and his Bedroom series in which particular elements, rather than the entire sitter, become the focus.<br> <br>Bedroom Breast (2004) combines these techniques, using vivid hues painted on cut-out aluminum. The work was a special commission for a private collector's residence, and the idea of a bedroom breast piece in oil on 3-D cut-out aluminum was one Wesselmann had been working with for many years prior to this work's creation. The current owner of the piece believed in Wesselmann's vision and loved the idea of bringing the subject to his home.<br><br>It's one of, if not the last, piece Wesselmann completed before he passed away. The present work is the only piece of its kind - there has never been an oil on aluminum in 3D at this scale or of this iconography.  

TOM WESSELMANN

En 1945, una vez finalizada la guerra y tras haber sufrido una sorprendente derrota en las elecciones generales, Churchill aceptó una invitación del mariscal de campo Sir Harold Alexander para reunirse con él en su villa italiana a orillas del lago Como. Churchill disfrutó de la generosa hospitalidad de su anfitrión y centró su atención y energía en plasmar la región en lienzos. Produjo quince cuadros, que encarnan cómo la pintura absorbía su atención y le ofrecía un elixir que le ayudaba a reponer fuerzas. Este emblemático cuadro apareció en un artículo publicado en enero de 1946 en LIFE, y ha sido seleccionado como ilustración en color en varias ediciones del libro de Churchill, Paintings as a Pastime.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

A principios de la década de 1870, Winslow Homer pintaba con frecuencia escenas de la vida en el campo cerca de una pequeña aldea agrícola famosa durante generaciones por sus notables plantaciones de trigo, situada entre el río Hudson y los Catskills, en el estado de Nueva York. Hoy en día Hurley es mucho más famoso por haber inspirado una de las mayores obras de Homer, Snap the Whip (Chasquear el látigo), pintada el verano de 1872. Entre los muchos otros cuadros inspirados en la región, Muchacha de pie en el campo de trigo es rico en sentimientos, pero no demasiado sentimentalista. Está directamente relacionado con un estudio de 1866 pintado en Francia y titulado In the Wheatfields (En los campos de trigo), y con otro pintado al año siguiente de su regreso a América. Pero, sin duda, Homero se habría sentido más orgulloso de éste. Se trata de un retrato, un estudio de vestuario, un cuadro de género en la gran tradición de la pintura pastoril europea, y un espectacular tour de force atmosférico a contraluz, impregnado de la luz de las horas crepusculares que se desvanece rápidamente, animado con notas lambiscentes y floridas y toques de espigas de trigo. En 1874, Homer envió cuatro cuadros a la exposición de la Academia Nacional de Diseño. Uno se titulaba "Muchacha". ¿No podría ser éste?

WINSLOW HOMER

Emerging at the end of the Gilded Age, N.C. Wyeth was one of the most important American artists and illustrators. His paintings and illustrations brought life to classic literature from Treasure Island to The Boy’s King Arthur and more. He is most remembered for his ability to capture crucial moments in narratives, fleshing out just a few words into a visual representation of deep drama and tension. Patriarch of the Wyeth artistic dynasty which includes his son Andrew and grandson Jamie, his influence touched future illustrators and artists.<br><br>Perhaps his most important legacy is how he shaped American imagination – of America itself and of wild possibilities. Wyeth’s powerful paintings gave life to many of the stories America told of itself. His early paintings captured life of the American West and some of his most beloved illustrations were for novels such as The Last of the Mohicans or short stories like “Rip Van Winkle”. Despite this success, Wyeth struggled with the commercialism of illustrations and advertisements, seeking his work to be accepted as fine art. Throughout his career, he experimented with different styles shifting from Impressionism to Divisionism to Regionalism.<br><br>N.C. Wyeth produced over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books. His illustrations for the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons were so popular they became known as Scribner’s Classics and remain in print to this day.<br><br>This quietly powerful painting of a Native American forms part of a quartet of paintings, inspired by and a metaphor for the four seasons. The paintings were used to illustrate George T. Marsh’s set of poems “The Moods”. Wyeth recognized that the series came at a crucial moment in his career in which the paintings go beyond realism to capture atmosphere and mood, an internal world of emotion made external. He even contemplated and attempted to write his own poems based on these paintings.<br> <br><br>Summer, Hush is a striking example of Wyeth pulling from his imagination and melding it with careful observation of nature. As noted in a letter to his mother, Wyeth combined the fictional subject with natural effects as in the sky. Native Americans were a subject he returned to numerous times; these paintings reflect not only Wyeth’s fascination but also of America. As observed by art historian Krstine Ronan, Wyeth was part of a larger dialogue that developed around Native Americans, cementing a general Native American culture in the imagination of the United States. Thus, the painting operates on numerous levels simultaneously. How do we relate to this painting and its conception of the four seasons? How do we interpret Wyeth’s depiction of a Native American? What role do Native Americans play in America’s imagination?<br><br>We must also not forget that these works were first used to illustrate the poems of George T. Marsh. Marsh, a poet born in New York who often also wrote of the Canadian wilderness, provides subtle evocations of the seasons hinted at in the series title “The Moods”. This painting was used alongside “Hush,” which ends:<br><br>Are they runes of summers perished<br><br>That the fisher hears –and ceases—<br><br>Or the voice of one he cherished.<br><br>Within these few lines, Wyeth gives us a thoughtful and restrained painting that stirs from within. The poem and the painting avoid obvious clichés to represent the seasons. They develop a profound interpretation filled with sensitivity.<br><br>These paintings were important to Wyeth who hoped that “they may suggest to some architect the idea that such decorations would be appropriate in a library or capitol or some public building.” Summer, Hush demonstrates Wyeth’s control of color and composition so that small touches such as the ripples of water or the towering cloud that envelopes the figure are in service to sketch out the feeling of summer and of the poem. Through exploring this rich and complex painting, we are better able to appreciate NC Wyeth as an artist and the role this specific painting plays in the context of art history.

N.C. WYETH

Painted from an unusually high vantage, “Riviera Coast Scene” vividly conveys the formidable distance and breadth of the scene from the perch where he set his easel.  Interestingly, Paul Rafferty did not include this painting in his book Winston Churchill: Painting on the French Riviera, believing it could likely be a scene from the Italian Lake District, where Churchill also painted in the same time period.<br><br>Paintings by Churchill can function as a glimpse into his extensive travels and his colorful life. Churchill most likely painted “Riviera Coast Scene” during a holiday at Chateau de l’Horizon, home of Maxine Elliot, a friend of his mother. Elliot, originally from Rockland, Maine, was a successful actress and socialite.<br><br>Within this painting, we see the influence of the Impressionists who utilized unusual viewpoints, modeled after Japanese woodblock prints, but also evidence of their attempts to push the boundaries of the landscape genre

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL - Vista sobre el puerto de Cassis (C 333) - óleo sobre lienzo - 25 x 30 pulg.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement.

ALEXANDER CALDER

The frame of reference for Irish American Sean Scully’s signature blocks and stripes is vast. From Malevich’s central premise that geometry can provide the means for universal understanding to Rothko’s impassioned approach to color and rendering of the dramatic sublime, Scully learned how to condense the splendor of the natural world into simple modes of color, light, and composition. Born in Dublin in 1945 and London-raised, Scully was well-schooled in figurative drawing when he decided to catch the spirit of his lodestar, Henri Matisse, by visiting Morocco in 1969. He was captivated by the dazzling tessellated mosaics and richly dyed fabrics and began to paint grids and stipes of color. Subsequent adventures provided further inspiration as the play of intense light on the reflective surfaces of Mayan ruins and the ancient slabs of stone at Stonehenge brought the sensation of light, space, and geometric movement to Scully’s paintings. The ability to trace the impact of Scully’s travels throughout his paintings reaffirms the value of abstract art as a touchstone for real-life experience.<br><br><br>Painted in rich, deep hues and layered, nuanced surfaces, Grey Red is both poetic and full of muscular formalism. Scully appropriately refers to these elemental forms as ‘bricks,’ suggesting the formal calculations of an architect. As he explained, “these relationships that I see in the street doorways, in windows between buildings, and in the traces of structures that were once full of life, I take for my work. I use these colors and forms and put them together in a way that perhaps reminds you of something, though you’re not sure of that” (David Carrier, Sean Scully, 2004, pg. 98). His approach is organic, less formulaic; intuitive painter’s choices are layering one color upon another so that contrasting hues and colors vibrate with subliminal energy. Diebenkorn comes to mind in his pursuit of radiant light. But here, the radiant bands of terracotta red, gray, taupe, and black of Grey Red resonate with deep, smoldering energy and evoke far more affecting passion than you would think it could impart. As his good friend, Bono wrote, “Sean approaches the canvas like a kickboxer, a plasterer, a builder. The quality of painting screams of a life being lived.”

SEAN SCULLY

El mundo de Marc Chagall no puede ser contenido ni limitado por las etiquetas que le ponemos. Es un mundo de imágenes y significados que forman su propio discurso espléndidamente místico. Les Mariés sous le baldaquin (Los novios bajo el baldaquín) fue iniciado cuando el artista entraba en su nonagésimo año, un hombre que había conocido la tragedia y la lucha, pero que nunca olvidó los momentos de placer arrebatador de la vida. Aquí, las delicias de ensueño de una boda en un pueblo ruso, con sus arreglos de asistentes bien vestidos, se nos presentan con un ingenio tan feliz y una inocencia tan alegre que no hay quien se resista a su encanto. Utilizando una emulsión de tonos dorados que combina óleo y aguada opaca al agua, la calidez, la alegría y el optimismo del positivismo habitual de Chagall se envuelven en un resplandor luminoso que sugiere la influencia de los iconos religiosos dorados o de la pintura del Renacimiento temprano que pretendía transmitir la impresión de luz divina o iluminación espiritual. Utilizar una combinación de óleo y gouache puede ser todo un reto. Pero aquí, en Les Mariés sous le baldaquin, Chagall lo emplea para dar a la escena una calidad de otro mundo, casi como si acabara de materializarse a partir del ojo de su mente. La delicadeza de su textura crea la impresión de que la luz emana de la propia obra y confiere un carácter espectral a las figuras que flotan en el cielo.

MARC CHAGALL

Located on the French Riviera between Nice and Monte Carlo, the Bay of Eze is renowned for its stunning location and spectacular views. As you can see on pages 80-81 of Rafferty's book, this painting skillfully captures the dizzying heights, set just west of Lou Sueil, the home of Jacques and Consuelo Balsan, close friends of Winston and Clementine.<br> <br>The painting manipulates perspective and depth, a nod to the dramatic shifts of artists including Monet and Cézanne, who challenged traditional vantage points of landscapes. The portrait (i.e. vertical) orientation of the canvas combined with the trees, and the rhyming coastline channels the viewer’s gaze. The perceived tilting of the water's plane imbues the painting with dynamic tension.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

Shortly after arriving in Paris by April 1912, Marsden Hartley received an invitation. It had come from Gertrude Stein and what he saw at her 27 rue de Fleurus flat stunned him. Despite his presumptions and preparedness, “I had to get used to so much of everything all at once…a room full of staggering pictures, a room full of strangers and two remarkable looking women, Alice and Gertrude Stein…I went often I think after that on Saturday evenings — always thinking, in my reserved New England tone, ‘ how do people do things like that — let everyone in off the street to look at their pictures?… So one got to see a vast array of astounding pictures — all burning with life and new ideas — and as strange as the ideas seemed to be — all of them terrifically stimulating — a new kind of words for an old theme.” (Susan Elizabeth Ryan, The Autobiography of Marsden Hartley, pg. 77)<br><br>The repeated visits had a profound effect. Later that year, Hartley was clearly disappointed when Arthur B. Davies and Walt Kuhn chose two of his still-life paintings for the upcoming New York Armory show in February 1913. “He (Kuhn) speaks highly of them (but) I would not have chosen them myself chiefly because I am so interested at this time in the directly abstract things of the present. But Davies says that no American has done this kind of thing and they would (not) serve me and the exhibition best at this time.” (Correspondence, Marsden Hartley to Alfred Stieglitz, early November 1912) A month later, he announced his departure from formal representationalism in “favor of intuitive abstraction…a variety of expression I find to be closest to my temperament and ideals. It is not like anything here. It is not like Picasso, it is not like Kandinsky, not like any cubism. For want of a better name, subliminal or cosmic cubism.” (Correspondence, Marsden Hartley to Alfred Stieglitz, December 1912)<br><br>At the time, Hartley consumed Wassily Kandinsky’s recently published treatise Uber das Geistige in der Kunst (The Art of Spiritual Harmony) and Stieglitz followed the artist’s thoughts with great interest. For certain, they both embraced musical analogy as an opportunity for establishing a new visual language of abstraction. Their shared interest in the synergetic effects of music and art can be traced to at least 1909 when Hartley exhibited landscape paintings of Maine under titles such as “Songs of Autumn” and “Songs of Winter” at the 291 Gallery. The gravity of Hartley’s response to the treatise likely sparked Stieglitz’s determination to purchase Kandinsky’s seminal painting Improvisation no. 27 (Garden of Love II) at the Armory Show. As for Hartley, he announced to his niece his conviction that an aural/vision synesthetic pairing of art and music was a way forward for modern art. “Did you ever hear of anyone trying to paint music — or the equivalent of sound in color?…there is only one artist in Europe working on it (Wassily Kandinsky) and he is a pure theorist and his work is quite without feeling — whereas I work wholly from intuition and the subliminal.” (D. Cassidy, Painting the Musical City: Jazz and Cultural Identity in American Art, Washington, D.C., pg. 6)<br><br>In Paris, during 1912 and 1913 Hartley was inspired to create a series of six musically themed oil paintings, the first of which, Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1 (Musical Theme), incorporates strong Cubist elements as well as Kandinsky’s essential spirituality and synesthesia. Here, incorporating both elements seems particularly appropriate. Whereas Kandinsky’s concepts were inspired by Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method of composition whereby no note could be reused until the other eleven had been played, Hartley chose Bach’s highly structured, rigorously controlled twenty-four Preludes and Fugues from his Well-Tempered Clavier, each of which establishes an absolute tonality. The towering grid of Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1 suggests the formal structure of an organ, its pipes ever-rising under a high, vaulted church ceiling to which Hartley extends an invitation to stand within the lower portion of the picture plane amongst the triangular and circular ‘sound tesserae’ and absorb its essential sonority and deeply reverberating sound. All of it is cast with gradients of color that conjures an impression of Cézanne’s conceptual approach rather than Picasso’s, Analytic Cubism. Yet Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1, in its entirety suggests the formal structural of Picasso’s Maisons à Horta (Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro), one of the many Picasso paintings Gertrude Stein owned and presumably staged in her residence on the many occasions he came to visit.

MARSDEN HARTLEY

Tom Wesselmann will undoubtedly be remembered for associating his erotic themes with the colors of the American flag. But Wesselmann had considerable gifts as a draftsman, and the line was his principal preoccupation, first as a cartoonist and later as an ardent admirer of Matisse. That he also pioneered a method of turning drawings into laser-cut steel wall reliefs proved a revelation. He began to focus ever more on drawing for the sake of drawing, enchanted that the new medium could be lifted and held: “It really is like being able to pick up a delicate line drawing from the paper.”<br><br>The Steel Drawings caused both excitement and confusion in the art world. After acquiring one of the ground-breaking works in 1985, the Whitney Museum of American Art wrote Wesselmann wondering if it should be cataloged as a drawing or a sculpture. The work had caused such a stir that when Eric Fischl visited Wesselmann at his studio and saw steel-cut works for the first time, he remembered feeling jealous. He wanted to try it but dared not. It was clear: ‘Tom owned the technique completely.’<br><br>Wesselmann owed much of that technique to his year-long collaboration with metalwork fabricator Alfred Lippincott. Together, in 1984 they honed a method for cutting the steel with a laser that provided the precision he needed to show the spontaneity of his sketches. Wesselmann called it ‘the best year of my life’, elated at the results that he never fully achieved with aluminum that required each shape be hand-cut.  “I anticipated how exciting it would be for me to get a drawing back in steel. I could hold it in my hands. I could pick it up by the lines…it was so exciting…a kind of near ecstasy, anyway, but there’s really been something about the new work that grabbed me.”<br><br>Bedroom Brunette with Irises is a Steel Drawing masterwork that despite its uber-generous scale, utilizes tight cropping to provide an unimposing intimacy while maintaining a free and spontaneous quality. The figure’s outstretched arms and limbs and body intertwine with the petals and the interior elements providing a flowing investigative foray of black lines and white ‘drop out’ shapes provided by the wall. It recalls Matisse and any number of his reclining odalisque paintings. Wesselmann often tested monochromatic values to discover the extent to which color would transform his hybrid objects into newly developed Steel Drawing works and, in this case, continued with a color steel-cut version of the composition Bedroom Blonde with Irises (1987) and later still, in 1993 with a large-scale drawing in charcoal and pastel on paper.

TOM WESSELMANN

Frederick Frieseke is often regarded as the finest American Impressionist painter of the figure. Yet when he came to study at Académie Juilian in 1898, several les Nabis painters remained a lingering presence, and it was the rich, decorative patterns of Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard that served as the blueprint for his early success. That influence is clearly demonstrated in the unrestrained repetition of the voluminous, pleated, striped umbrellas of Afternoon at the Beach, a canvas mural installed in the opulent Hotel Shelburne dining room overlooking the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The unifying impact of that repetitive element imbues the setting with cloud-like loft within a color scheme, evoking Vuillard and the richness of a Gobelin tapestry, rather than the effect of sunlight and broken color that mark his more familiar paintings from the decade of 1910 to 1920.<br><br>Afternoon at the Beach was installed under the artist’s direction in February 1906. It remained on view for decades at the swanky hotel that enticed “Diamond Jim” James Buchanan Brady to pay one thousand dollars a week for permanent residence and was an unfading memory for throngs of well-heeled socialites, financiers, and notables from Irving Berlin to John Philip Sousa and Ethel Barrymore to Al Jolson. Undoubtedly, its presence high on the grand dining room wall contributed to the artist’s popularity and renown.<br><br>Today, we may look upon this long, frieze-like composition as a delightful fin-de-siécle costume study or an informative expose of Victorian mores as suggested by the separate spheres of gender groupings. But mostly, Afternoon at the Beachrecounts the artist’s unbridled delight and appreciation of women, here, expressed within familial, maternal, and social contexts. It is the subject and theme that brought Frieseke acclaim and awards on both sides of the Atlantic and which, to this day, endears him to the many who count him among the most beloved of American figurative painters.

FREDERICK CARL FRIESEKE

Painted while staying at Dunrobin Castle, the estate of the Duke of Sutherland, Churchill chose to set his easel behind a tree where he likely thought of it as a framing device, adding a layer of depth, creating a stronger sense of foreground, middle ground, and background, enhancing the three-dimensionality of the picture. Churchill painted at both Dunrobin as well as the Duke’s Sutton Place estate, later the home of John Paul Getty.<br><br>As Mary Soames describes it in her book, Winston Churchill, His Life as a Painter, “1921 had been a year of heavy personal tidings” for Churchill and his family, as he lost both his mother, Jennie Cornwallis-West, and his beloved child, Marigold, aged nearly four.  In a letter to his wife Clementine, Churchill wrote, “… Many tender thoughts, my darling one of you and yr sweet kittens.  Alas I keep on feeling the hurt of the Duckadilly [Marigold’s pet name].”  That Churchill chose to stay with the Duke and Duchess at Dunrobin just after Marigold’s death speaks to their close friendship and his fondness for the area, including Loch Choire. It is no surprise that Churchill gifted the painting to the Duke of Sutherland

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

El Retrato de Sylvie Lacombe de Théo van Rysselberghe, pintado en 1906, es una obra maestra clásica de uno de los retratistas más refinados y coherentes de su época. El color es armonioso, la pincelada vigorosa y adaptada a su tarea material, su cuerpo y su semblante verdaderos y reveladores. La modelo es la hija de su buen amigo, el pintor Georges Lacombe, que compartió una estrecha asociación con Gauguin y fue miembro de Les Nabis con los artistas Bonnard, Denis y Vuillard, entre otros. Ahora conocemos a Sylvie Lacombe porque Van Rysselberghe es muy hábil en la representación de sutiles expresiones faciales y, a través de una cuidadosa observación y atención al detalle, nos ha proporcionado una visión de su mundo interior. Ha elegido una mirada directa, sus ojos a los tuyos, un pacto ineludible entre sujeto y espectador independientemente de nuestra relación física con el cuadro. Van Rysselberghe había abandonado en gran medida la técnica puntillista cuando pintó este retrato. Sin embargo, siguió aplicando las directrices de la teoría del color, utilizando tintes rojos -rosas y malvas- frente a verdes para crear una armoniosa paleta ameliorada de colores complementarios a la que añadió un fuerte acento para atraer la mirada: un lazo rojo intensamente saturado colocado asimétricamente a un lado de la cabeza.

THÉO VAN RYSSELBERGHE

The Pop Art Movement is notable for its rewriting of Art History and the idea of what could be considered a work of art. Larry Rivers association with Pop-Art and the New York School set him aside as one of the great American painters of the Post-War period.  <br><br>In addition to being a visual artist, Larry Rivers was a jazz saxophonist who studied at the Juilliard School of Music from 1945-1946. This painting's subject echoes the artists' interest in Jazz and the musical scene in New York City, particularly Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side.  <br><br>“Untitled” (1958) is notable bas the same owner has held it since the work was acquired directly from the artist several decades ago. This work is from the apex of the artists' career in New York and could comfortably hang in a museum's permanent collection.

LARRY RIVERS

Still lifes like Oranges and Lemons (C 455) give us an insight to the rich and colorful life of Churchill, just as his landscapes and seascapes do. Churchill painted Oranges and Lemons at La Pausa. Churchill would often frequent La Pausa as the guest of his literary agent, Emery Reves and his wife, Wendy.  Reves purchased the home from Coco Chanel.  While other members of the Churchill family did not share his enthusiasm, Churchill and his daughter Sarah loved the place, which Churchill affectionately called “LaPausaland”.<br><br>To avoid painting outside on a chilly January morning, Wendy Reves arranged the fruit for Churchill to paint. Surrounded by the Reves’s superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, including a number of paintings by Paul Cézanne, Oranges and Lemons illuminates Churchill’s relationships and the influence of Cézanne, who he admired. The painting, like Churchill, has lived a colorful life, exhibited at both the 1959 Royal Academy of Art exhibition of his paintings and the 1965 New York World’s Fair.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

No es difícil comprender cómo la brillante disposición en dos filas de cuatro letras de Robert Indiana llegó a contribuir a potenciar un movimiento durante la década de 1960. Su origen surgió de una profunda exposición a la religión y de su amigo y mentor Ellsworth Kelly, cuyo estilo de bordes duros y color sensual y sin acentos causó una impresión duradera. Pero como Indiana exclamó, fue un momento de kismet que simplemente sucedió cuando "¡EL AMOR me mordió!" y el diseño le llegó nítido y centrado. Indiana, por supuesto, sometió el diseño a muchas pruebas, y entonces el logotipo empezó a brotar por todas partes. El mensaje, que se transmite mejor en forma de escultura, está presente en ciudades de todo el mundo y se ha traducido a varios idiomas, entre ellos su iteración italiana, "Amor", con su fortuita "O" también inclinada hacia la derecha. Pero en lugar de ser pateada por el pie de la "L", esta versión confiere a la "A" superior un efecto de tambaleo bellamente escenificado. Da una impresión nueva, pero no menos profunda, del amor y de su naturaleza emocionalmente cargada.  En cualquier caso, la "O" inclinada de Love imparte inestabilidad a un diseño por lo demás estable, una profunda proyección de la crítica implícita de Indiana al "sentimentalismo a menudo hueco asociado con la palabra, que metafóricamente sugiere anhelo y decepción no correspondidos en lugar de afecto sacarino" (Robert Indiana's Best: A Mini Retrospective, New York Times, 24 de mayo de 2018). La repetición, por supuesto, tiene la mala costumbre de empañar nuestro aprecio por el genio de la simplicidad y el diseño innovador. A finales de su vida, Indiana se lamentó de que "fue una idea maravillosa, pero también un terrible error. Se hizo demasiado popular. Y hay gente a la que no le gusta la popularidad". Pero nosotros, habitantes de un mundo plagado de divisiones y sumido en la confusión, se lo agradecemos. "Love" y sus muchas versiones nos recuerdan con fuerza nuestra capacidad de amar, y esa es nuestra mejor esperanza eterna de un futuro mejor.

ROBERT INDIANA

Uniquely among Winston Churchill’s known work, “Coastal Town on the Riviera” is in fact a double painting with the landscape on one side and an oil sketch on the other. The portrait sketch bears some resemblance to Viscountess Castlerosse who was a frequent guest in the same Rivera estates where Churchill visited. Churchill painted her in C 517 and C 518 and gives us a larger picture of the people who inhabited his world. <br><br>Of his approximately 550 works, the largest portion (about 150) were of the South of France, where Churchill could indulge in both the array of colors to apply to his canvas and in gambling, given the proximity of Monte Carlo.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL - La biblioteca de la casa de Sir Philip Sassoon en Lympne (C19) - óleo sobre lienzo - 24 x 20 x 3/4 pulg.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL - Un paisaje de dunas con figuras descansando y una pareja a caballo, una vista de la catedral de Nimega más allá - óleo sobre lienzo - 26 1/2 x 41 1/2 pulg.

SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL

JAN JOSEPHSZOON VAN GOYEN - Paisaje fluvial con molino de viento y capilla - óleo sobre tabla - 22 1/2 x 31 3/4 pulg.

JAN JOSEPHSZOON VAN GOYEN