RIP Marisol

Marisol, Self-Portrait Looking at the Last Supper, 1982-4, Wood, plywood, stone, plaster, aluminum, dye, charcoal, 121 ½” x 358” x 61”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo via the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marisol, Self-Portrait Looking at the Last Supper, 1982-4, Wood, plywood, stone, plaster, aluminum, dye, charcoal, 121 ½” x 358” x 61”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One of the most unique modern artists, Maria Sol Escobar, otherwise simply known as Marisol, died on April 30, 2016 at the age of 85. The French-born, Venezuelan artist first caused a sensation in the New York art world in … Continue reading

Whistler’s Mother

James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black, 1871, oil on canvas, 56.8” x 63.9”, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Artwork in the Public Domain, Photo from Wikipedia James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black, 1871, oil on canvas, 56.8” x 63.9”, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Artwork in the Public Domain, Photo from Wikipedia.

This old gal still holds a fascination for viewers 145 years after James McNeill Whistler painted her. The American expatriate artist gave the painting the title, Arrangement in Grey and Black because his primary interest was to create a balanced … Continue reading

Stonehenge: The Cosmic Cemetery

Stonehenge, bluestone, c. 3100 BCE – 1600 BCE, Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom Stonehenge, bluestone, c. 3100 BCE – 1600 BCE, Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Scholars are closer to unlocking the mystery of the ancient monument, Stonehenge. This month, Michael Parker-Pearson at University College London published an article in Antiquity supporting the “graveyard theory,” which is the idea that the site was used as a … Continue reading

What is the Barbizon School?

Charles-François Daubigny, Spring, 1862, oil on panel, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, artwork in the Public Domain. Charles-François Daubigny, Spring, 1862, oil on panel, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, artwork in the Public Domain.

The Barbizon School is a group of French painters who lived in the village of Barbizon near the Forest of Fontainebleau and worked roughly from 1830-70. A precursor to Realism, these artists’ subjects were taken from the French countryside, often … Continue reading

Lewis Hine Made Change Happen

Lewis Hine, Child in a Carolina Cotton Mill, 1908, gelatin silver print, photograph in the Public Domain. Lewis Hine, Child in a Carolina Cotton Mill, 1908, gelatin silver print, photograph in the Public Domain.

Trained sociologist Lewis Hine wanted to improve the working conditions for immigrants in America at the turn of the 20th century, so he picked up a camera. He met families on Ellis Island and then followed them to other regions … Continue reading

RIP Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid, MAXXI, 2009, Rome. Zaha Hadid, MAXXI, 2009, Rome.

Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid died last week at the age of 65. A recipient of the Prizker Architecture Prize, Dame Hadid enjoyed a series of prestigious commissions as well as a career teaching at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Universities. … Continue reading

Take a Minute: Botticelli’s Primavera

Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482, tempera on panel, 80" x 124", Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Public Domain via Wikipedia. Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482, tempera on panel, 80

The Italian painter Sandro Botticelli was a master of the Early Renaissance, which means that people saw a new naturalism in his art as well as the influence of Classical Antiquity in subject matter and style. Botticelli landed a great job working in Florence … Continue reading

Happy Birthday Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama, Floor Show, 1965/2013, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, photo by Christian Ramiro González Verón via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. Yayoi Kusama, Floor Show, 1965/2013, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, photo by Christian Ramiro González Verón via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama turns 87 today. Known for her irreverent and experimental work, Kusama probably is most famous for her Infinity Rooms in which she explores her obsessions with particular patterns and forms by setting them in a mirrored … Continue reading

Make the Time: Graffiti Artist SLOKE at testsite Austin

Graffiti by SLOKE, Photo by Rob Larsen (drunkenfist.com), Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Graffiti by SLOKE, Photo by Rob Larsen (drunkenfist.com), Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

If you are free on a Sunday afternoon in the near future, check out Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom: FATCAPPED at testsite in Austin. SLOKE is famous for his wildstyle graffiti, which is characterized by intricate and complex lettering that is virtually … Continue reading

Make the Time: Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun at The Met

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Portrait of Marie-Antoinette with the Rose, 1783, oil on canvas, 44.5” x 34.3”, Palace of Versailles, Versailles, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Portrait of Marie-Antoinette with the Rose, 1783, oil on canvas, 44.5” x 34.3”, Palace of Versailles, Versailles, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

An exhibition of works of art by the brilliant French portraitist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun currently is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Because her primary patrons were members of the French aristocracy, Le Brun had to flee France … Continue reading

What is Dada?

Marcel Duchamp, L. H. O. O. Q., 1919, pen on a postcard, 19.7 x 12.4 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, artwork in the Public Domain. Marcel Duchamp, L. H. O. O. Q., 1919, pen on a postcard, 19.7 x 12.4 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, artwork in the Public Domain.

Dada is an art movement that originated in the early 20th century in response to World War I, after which the artists and writers in this group felt society was morally bankrupt. The word, “Dada,” was picked randomly from a … Continue reading

Ma Yuan: Landscape and Poetry

Ma Yuan, Album leaf, A Mountain Path in Spring, c. 1190, silk painted page, 10.8" x 17", National Palace Museum, Taipei, Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons. Ma Yuan, Album leaf, A Mountain Path in Spring, c. 1190, silk painted page, 10.8

The Chinese court painter Ma Yuan explored the relationship between landscape painting and poetry. A Mountain Path in Spring depicts a scholar communing with nature. He stops for a moment to feel the breeze and watch a bird as it takes flight. He twists his beard as … Continue reading