Orville Bulman’s paintings are joyful, whimsical and playful. It’s hard to imagine that his paintings of lush jungles, tigers, giraffe and elegant Haitian women and men, were created by a businessman who was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lillian said that her husband Anthony Thieme often insisted that “‘he was born fifty years too late.” He was born in Rotterdam in 1888 and became an American citizen in 1935. “He disliked the rush and roar of the modern age” she said, “… this conflict was always within him, the longing to paint peace and quiet, beauty and harmony, yet confronted daily with the ugliness of modernity.”
Like his older brother, Louis, William Glackens began his career as an illustrator. McClure’s Magazine sent him to Cuba, to cover the Spanish-American War. His drawings, like The Night After San Juan, clearly illustrate the devastation and sadness of war.
Tom Wesselmann spent much of his young adult life searching for his identity, both as an artist and a human being. Born and raised in a middle class family in Cincinnati, Wesselmann knew he wanted to be an artist, but wasn’t sure how to go about fulfilling his aspirations. “I had no point of view.” he said “I hadn’t seen paintings. I hadn’t seen anything. I hadn’t gone to galleries yet or to museums.”
Roy Lichtenstein was inducted into the US Army and sent to England just before Christmas in 1944. Although his induction interrupted his studies at the Art Students League, Lichtenstein’s time in London had a profound influence on his work.
The work of Jasper Johns has never fit into any category. Not a minimalist, abstract expressionist, Dadaist, modernist or Pop artist, Johns influenced all of those art movements, but his style remains distinctly his own. Jasper Johns in his Pearl Street studio. 1955 What Johns did for the artists who have come after him, was [...]
Alexander Calder turned 71 in 1969. He was still playful, energetic and continued to create fantastic drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures but, like all humans, Calder had to deal with the events that accompany the aging process. He lost two of his closest friends, Marcel Duchamp and Ben Shahn, and was beginning to feel the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. It was Duchamp who named Calder’s original works mobiles and who remained a great friend, until Duchamp’s death, in 1968.
From his studio window in Manhattan, Guy C. Wiggins could look down Madison Avenue and see the Metropolitan Life Tower which, in 1912, was the tallest building in the world. The design of the elegant Met Life Tower was based on St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice.
Andrew Wyeth would have been 100 years old in July and probably would have skipped the celebrations and gone out to paint instead. Wyeth died, in 2009, at age 91, at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Cushing, Maine, the place where he spent his summers and produced many of his greatest works, including Christina’s World .
When Grant Wood’s American Gothic was first exhibited, it was a hit in Chicago and a flop in Iowa. It won Wood a bronze medal at the 1930 annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, was purchased by the Art Institute for its permanent collection and made Wood famous. The response in Cedar Rapids, where Woods [...]
Cassatt moved to Paris in 1866, when she was twenty two years old. Her mother, sister Lydia and family friends acted as chaperones. Women were not accepted at the École des Beaux-Arts, so she studied privately and got a permit to copy paintings at the Louvre. Copyists at the Louvre, mostly women, were allowed to copy the works of the great masters but had to leave their work, unsigned, with the museum.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries American artists copied the techniques, and worked in the shadows of, European watercolorists. Watercolors in America were used to make maps, record forays into the country and illustrate texts. Winslow Homer’s watercolor paintings changed all that and influenced many other painters to produce such great works in watercolors that, [...]
George Bellows was not only one of America’s greatest painters and printmakers but also a chronicler of the social changes occurring in New York in the early twentieth century. Encouraged to draw the world around him by Ashcan painter and teacher, Robert Henri, Bellows painted urban landscapes which were often beautiful and, just as often, attacked by [...]
Looking at America He was larger than life, a brawler and a drinker, but Thomas Hart Benton’s prints, created during the Great Depression, spoke of hope and courage to the millions of Americans who had lost so much. While Benton’s public murals garnered him much acclaim, it was his prints that captured the quiet, melancholy, and sometimes, tragic [...]
David Hockney is one of the most brilliant and venerated artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Hockney set up residence in California in 1964, and painted the swimming pools that are commonplace in California but a rarity in his home country of England. His paintings resonated with people around the world and have become modern icons.