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Showing posts from January, 2019

Painting Performance by Chicago Artist Dimitri Pavlotsky

Just before Christmas, I wrote a  blog post about a show of paintings by Chicago artist Dimitri Pavlotsky. A video has just been posted on YouTube of a live action painting performance he did during the course of the exhibition:




Artists at Sea: Gauguin in Brittany

After writing a 1,000 word piece about Winslow Homer's eighteen month stay at an English fishing village, I'm writing a series of primers about other artists who made similar journeys.

Who

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), French painter.

Coastal association

The coast of Brittany in western France, specifically in and around Pont Aven.

First coastal visit

Around 1885. Though note that this is just the date of Gauguin's first visit to Brittany. He actually had a lifelong association with the sea, having been born and raised in Peru, and spending time as a sailor on a merchant ship when young. And then, of course, spending his last years on an island in the South Pacific.

Reasons for visiting

From an 1888 letter: "I love Brittany. I find a certain wildness and primitiveness here. When my clogs resound on this granite soil, I hear the dull, matt, powerful tone I seek in my painting."

Dates visited

1885 to 1895.

Effect on Work

In reality, Gauguin rarely painted the sea, which is s…

Seen at the Musee Picasso, Paris

I didn't intend to write about Picasso yet again after my recent trip to Paris. But my wife and I were passing the museum anyway, and when we went into the museum shop to look for gifts to take back to the USA, I saw that it was the final day of a "masterpieces" exhibition. That is, it was a survey of Picasso's eight decades of making art, with lots of pieces on loan from museums in other parts of Europe, making up a show that might not be repeated in exactly the same form for a long time.

So, for example, the first room displayed the teenage Picasso's "Science and Charity," a show painting completed in the hopes of being exhibited at a national exhibition in Madrid in 1897. And the last room contained one of his last paintings inspired by Rembrandt, together with a Rembrandt self-portrait on loan from the Louvre.

Two things really took my attention during this visit, because they were items I had never seen before. The first was a selection of the act…

Paris Update

I've been in Paris for nearly two weeks, teaching a class for the study abroad program of Columbia College Chicago. Instead of visiting the monuments and major tourist sites, I've picked up where I left off last year, wandering around without much of a plan, except to change direction as soon as I see a view down a side street that takes my interest.

Last weekend, I meandered through the southern part of the fourteenth arrondissement towards the Parc Montsouris. On the way, you come across several buildings that were home to many artists and writers at seminal stages in their development.

The first is the Villa Seurat, on the Rue de la Tombe Issoire:

The site originally contained a house used by the great Post-impressionist painter Seurat, which is renown enough. But the current building, constructed in the 1920s in an art deco style, became a warren of studios that was home to an impressive hothouse of creative people: the great painter Chaim Soutine, writer Henry Miller, wr…

Publicizing One's Art

While thinking ahead recently to what I want to achieve in 2019, I remembered something that I did in 2005 -- very much the internet era, but just before the advent of social media. In order to generate some interest in my work at the time, I had a tri-fold brochure printed, and physically mailed a copy plus cover letter to dozens of galleries and university museums around the United States. The results, as far as I can recall, were something like the following:
Reply rate 16% (the average is much lower than that for a mailer).One Chicago gallery took some big pieces of art on consignment.It led to three exhibitions at small museums in Maryland, Illinois, and Wisconsin. With that in mind, I've had a simpler glossy handout printed up. It's 9 inches by 6 inches, printed both sides on glossy card stock:
The text is in English and French, because I intend to leave it with some galleries in Paris during my teaching trip there. 
I'll do a follow up blog post on how this works ou…