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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Edward Burne-Jones

I prefer not to know the "meaning" of a painting before I see it.  To me it dilutes the experience to be too aware of the subject matter from the beginning.  If I have to know the story it represents or biographical information about the artist then the picture is not successful.  To literally tell a story is an illustrator's job, but a painter's job is to transcend and to touch.  The subject is handled with such poetry and such universality that any person at any time could understand it.  

Of course it can enrich and inform the experience the more one knows about the story, the historical context, the artist's life and philosophy, and the process behind the work, but I believe it is the immediate gut reaction that tells the most about the true meaning of a piece, and this is what Edward Burne-Jones does best.  It does not matter to me whether these are biblical or pagan themes, whether he was a symbolist or a pre-Raphaelite.  They are poems of line and form and transcend the superficial.

Every person dreams of flying.

One of the most poetic drawings I've seen.  

So wonderfully ghost-like.  It would almost be a shame to see it finished

Two versions of "Phyllis and Demophoon" with preliminary sketch.  It's always nice to see process work.  It appears he's using the model to work out the anatomy difficult areas but doing a large part of the work from his imagination.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Max Ginsburg Retrospective Exhibitions and Book

If you're in New York or the midwest please check out one of Max Ginsburg's retrospective shows.  Max is an exciting painter, was one of my most influential teachers, taught Steven Assael and many great realist painters today. 

The show in New York will run through August 5 at the Salmagundi club in Gramercy and the other is September 15th - November 11th at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.  Accompanying the exhibition is also a book of work spanning Max's career.  Very exciting.

"Foreclosure", Max Ginsburg


Monday, August 1, 2011

"Contemporary Classicists: Graduates of the Florence Academy" in Fayetteville, AR

I heard about this show just in the nick of time, catching it two days before it closed.  I had never been to Fayetteville, but it was worth every minute of the three-hour drive.  Finally, it seems, contemporary classicism may be making it to the deep south.  The show at "The Revolver" (the coolest name I've heard for a gallery) in the Fayetteville Underground was put on by Maggie Ivy, a native of Little Rock and Fayetteville and a student at the Florence Academy.  I was glad to meet Maggie and Ellen Barker Soderholm, one of the other painters, who had flown in from Sweden.  I plan to join forces with Maggie somehow locally and hope to see more work of this caliber in Arkansas's future.  Below is some of the work from the show.

Ellen Barkin Söderholm

Kendric Tonn

Amelia Meredith

Zacheriah Kramer

Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund

Maggie Ivy