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Showing posts from December, 2018

End of Year Round-Up

As I look back on 2018, the notable points in the artist calendar were:

Taught 115 art-related classes, which expanded on 2017, which was the previous record holder for most teaching in one year.
Made art sales that reached four figures, for the first time in a LONG time.
Ended my writing gig at Hyperallergic, the celebrated New York-based art blog (or let's just say I began a long hiatus).
Returned to painting in oils on canvas in a satisfying way.
For the first time since 2010, I didn't exhibit my work in any venue other than my own studio. Instead, I concentrated on making work, and getting further along the road of assmelbing a new body of work in various media that I can start to put into the world in the coming year.
Here's to 2019!

The Remarkable Life of Milein Cosman

Earlier this month, London-based artist Milein Cosman died at the age of 96. She lived one of those lives that it's hard to imagine being duplicated: fleeing Nazi Germany as a child, learning to be an artist in post-war London, finding her way into the artistic set of the time, marrying musicologist and broadcaster Hans Keller, and having the great good fortune to spend time at rehearsals drawing some of the greatest musicians and composers of the mid-twentieth century, such as Stravinsky, Rostropovich, and Britten.

Speaking as someone whose typical daily listening is (to cite yesterday's playlist alone) Beethoven's late string quartets and Schumann's Dichterliebe, I think my ideal day job would be to sit with a graphite stick and a sketchpad in the rehearsal room of, say, the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

She was also a skilful printmaker, and from the 1960s on was a member of the Camden Printmakers group.

For a fuller accounting of this fascinating personality, please rea…

Two Chicago Exhibitions

In the last week, I saw two terrific exhibitions of work in and around Chicago.

The first was at a small but beautiful gallery space in Evanston. The work on display consisted of prints by Socorro Mucino and Janet Webber, who took one of my printmaking classes at the Lillstreet Art Center nearly two years ago. The title of the show, Paper Dolls, suggested a pun on the fact that these were works on paper depicting either a child's play-doll, or women as objects of desire (as in "hey, doll!").

Janet Webber's pieces were altered images of mannequins, ball gowns, and beauty queens, presented in rows or in combination with overprinted images and text. Very often the faces were obscured, and the image itself subjected to deterioration in the printmaking process, perhaps as a way of interfering with how these images of banal and old-fashioned female beauty would normally be seen by the male gaze.

Socorro Mucino's images of dolls struck me first as sweet and childlike, …

New Painting: II

With me standing next to it for scale: oil on canvas, 50" x 72".

This is the largest canvas I've started since the late 1990s. It's been a long time coming ...