Tag Archives: Artists

Corbu’s Cave

Via the very discriminating House of Beauty of Culture I am passing along the link to Corbu’s Cave.

Rather than just updating his website, Scott Waterman is keeping a blog to showcase his hand at decorative painting. The work is remarkable, but the peek at the process is captivating.  Waterman’s blog is fairly new, so if you go now you can catch up before your to-do list comes to find you.

Images via Corbu’s Cave.

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Hauntingly Beautiful

Yesterday I went to the Dolphin Gallery with a friend.  I have deadlines swirling, both mine and the boys’, so I hope to be able to post more on this wonderful resource soon.  In the meantime, I am sharing my favorite piece, a photograph (top) by Terry Evans.

Evans photographed collections of flora and fauna from Chicago’s Field Museum that, I think, are stunningly beautiful.  You can see more of these pieces here, but certainly don’t miss her narrative on Specimen Work here.

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A Meandering Mind

I received a very thoughtful email on Friday from the Belger Art Gallery.  They were closed for our monthly art walk as they are preparing for Beneath the Surface – Excavating the Belger Collection. The exhibit, which opens March 5th, will feature rarely seen works by Terry Allen, William Christenberry, Viola Frey, Jasper Johns, Creighton Michael, Ed Ruscha, Robert Stackhouse, Renee Stout, William T. Wiley and Terry Winters.

I was enchanted when I visited the Belger for their Jasper Johns show three years ago.  They have the largest collection of Johns’s work, and while that was really something, they also have Mo Dickens to tell you all about it.  Mr. Dickens is in their employ and he knows a heck of a lot, but when he tells you about it you feel more like you’re sitting on the front porch having a lemonade than getting a lecture about art.   When I received the email I responded and asked Mr. Dickens if he could reserve a chair for me in front of the Johns pieces.  There will be only a few rare etchings at this show (they were not part of the last show), but he told me of an exhibit he saw this summer.

Mural, a work that Peggy Guggenheim commissioned Jackson Pollack to create for her New York townhouse, was on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa.  The piece belongs to the University of Iowa (it was a gift from Ms. Guggenheim.)  Mr. Dickens informed me that a thoughtful soul had donated two Eames lounge chairs to be placed in front of the piece so visitors could sit and enjoy.  And see.  Rather than, say, strolling by and snapping a pic with a phone.  When Mural travels the chairs travel with it.

Pollock struggled with the piece and finally pulled things together at the last minute.  The show!  The client!  Everything banging around in his head and then he painted.  And turned his work in on time.  Which I like in a person as I am deadline driven myself.  Myths have sprung up around it – it was cut down to fit Guggenheim’s wall, it was painted in a day – but the canvas does not support these tales.

Pollack said of the piece, “It was a stampede…[of] every animal in the American West, cows and horses and antelopes and buffaloes. Everything is charging across that goddamn surface.”  Seems that would warrant taking a moment to stop and wonder.

Pollock, as many of you know, was a student of Thomas Hart Benton, a native Missourian.

Mural, completed in 1944, was a turning point for Pollock and American art as a whole; he began his drip paintings in 1947.

Top two images of pieces by Jasper Johns in the Belger collection from here, next two images of Mural courtesy of the University of Iowa,  Pollock in his studio from Time Out Chicago, Persephone by Thomas Hart Benton courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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Cecil Beaton Profile

The days here are as crisp and clear as Granny Smiths and while my body is busy my mind is wandering. I’ve ambled down the path of the Mitford clan and settled in for a nice long visit with Winston Churchill and just when I thought I’d turned the corner and might rejoin the 21st century, I happened upon Cecil Beaton.

Beaton (1904 – 1980) was a creative force in England and the States, primarily known for his photography, but also a set and costume designer, artist and prolific journal writer.

A captivating character, his level of creativity is astounding. Still, while enchanted by his story, I can’t stop looking at the pictures.

And then yesterday on a walk, I began to wonder when the fashion of having your portrait done in profile began to fade.

Mr. Blandings’s aunt, a woman of inestimable taste, has a stunning black and white portrait of herself and her daughter in profile on her dresser.

It’s not a pose most prefer. A view of ourselves with which we are largely unfamiliar. We like to preserve the view that we prepare, the one that we perceive. Full on. Straight ahead. The nose slightly obscured by the energy of the eyes and, in some cases, the halo of hair.

But the world largely sees us from all angles. The jaw weak, the prominent beak, all pieces of a whole that we acknowledge and accept in others but avoid seeing in ourselves.
All images by Cecil Beaton. From top, the photographer’s mother, Sir Laurence Olivier, Lady Diane Cooper, Greta Garbo, all from Cecil Beaton, Memoirs of the ’40s. The photographer’s sisters, Nancy and Baba, and the last image of Beaton himself from The Wandering Years, Diaries: 1922-1939. Second to the last image, Doris Castlerosse from Cecil Beaton, a Biography by Hugo Vickers.
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As the World Turns

When Christopher Filley called last week to say, “Come see the windows,” this was not what I was expecting.

Forgive the glare, but Christopher has displayed an installation of televisions painted by Kansas City artist David Gant.

The televisions are functioning, though show only snow. They are always “on” and Chris tells me that the window at night is a knock-out.

Chris has had some of Gant’s pieces for a while. I have noticed this series of portraits on cardboard before.

They are encaustics, which I understand to be a process that is a combination of wax and pigment. Gant did them when he was 20. There are twice again as many as this and they would be fantastic in a large grid.

The images were taken from obituary pictures.
You can see Gant’s work here or at Christopher’s – 816/688-9974.
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