A Kiss

Joan Brown, The Kiss, 1976, enamel on canvas, 96" x 78", Estate of Joan Brown, Photo via Wikiart Joan Brown, The Kiss, 1976, enamel on canvas, 96" x 78", Estate of Joan Brown, Photo via Wikiart

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” Ingrid Bergman Happy Valentine’s Day from The Art Minute  

The Uffizi’s Plan, Starting with Suor Plautilla Nelli

Suor Plautilla Nelli, The Lamentation, 1550, oil on canvas, Museum of San Marco, Florence, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Suor Plautilla Nelli, The Lamentation, 1550, oil on canvas, Museum of San Marco, Florence, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

On March 8, 2017, the Uffizi in Florence will dedicate an exhibition to the earliest known female Renaissance painter, Suor Plautilla Nelli. This is part of an initiative of the museum’s new director, Eike Schmidt, to highlight work by women … Continue reading

Just a Second: Kinetic Art

Alexander Calder, Mobile, 1941, 60 x 152 3/8in., Painted aluminum, steel, steel rod, and wire, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Alexander Calder, Mobile, 1941, 60 x 152 3/8in., Painted aluminum, steel, steel rod, and wire, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kinetic art is art that moves, and therefore optimally it engages a viewer. One of the early artists to make kinetic art was Alexander Calder, who created mobiles that were so carefully balanced that the slightest movement of air created by an approaching viewer … Continue reading

The Relevance of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Thinking About Death, 1943, oil on canvas, 17.5" x 14.5", Private Collection, Mexico City, Photo by Matthew Kirkland via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License. Frida Kahlo, Thinking About Death, 1943, oil on canvas, 17.5

Frida Kahlo’s compelling surrealist self-portraits that are filled with personal iconography have a broad relevance. Her work was championed by early feminists who adopted the slogan “the personal is political,” meaning that one woman’s experience is representative of the experiences … Continue reading

Connecting Through Abraham

Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham Entertaining the Angels, 1656, etching and drypoint, 6 ½” x 5 ½”, Image via Wikiart, artwork in the Public Domain. Rembrandt van Rijn, Abraham Entertaining the Angels, 1656, etching and drypoint, 6 ½” x 5 ½”, Image via Wikiart, artwork in the Public Domain.

Abraham is an example of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of the three monotheistic religions, meaning that followers believe there is just one God, either emphasizes Abraham or traces their origins to the tribal patriarch. Jews believe that … Continue reading

The Earliest Nativity

The Nativity, Sarcophagus lid, c. 408 CE, Basilica of St. Ambrose, Milan, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. The Nativity, Sarcophagus lid, c. 408 CE, Basilica of St. Ambrose, Milan, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The earliest Nativity scene in art is carved into a sarcophagus lid once thought to be for a Roman general, Stilicho, who died in 408 CE. The ox and the ass and two birds are the only figures that appear in addition … Continue reading

One Step at a Time

Morton Broffman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25th 1965 at the culmination of the Selma to Montgomery March, 1965, silver gelatin print. Morton Broffman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrives in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25th 1965 at the culmination of the Selma to Montgomery March, 1965, silver gelatin print.

When I write about photographs, I typically discuss the work of art, or the object, but today I want to write about an image. This is an image of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. leading thousands of demonstrators from Selma, … Continue reading

Which One?

Norman Rockwell, Which One?, 1944, oil on canvas, 37" x 29", Private Collection. Norman Rockwell, Which One?, 1944, oil on canvas, 37" x 29", Private Collection.

If you still have a sense of humor after Election Day, and you are willing to drop about $5 million, you can bid on Norman Rockwell’s Which One?, which goes up on the auction block at Sotheby’s on November 21st. … Continue reading

They Called Her George

Grace Hartigan, Grand Street Brides, 1954, oil on canvas, 73” x 102”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Grace Hartigan, Grand Street Brides, 1954, oil on canvas, 73” x 102”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Grace Hartigan exhibited under the name George Hartigan, following in the footsteps of female writers George Eliot and George Sand, so that she would be taken seriously as an artist. She was from the second generation of Abstract Expressionist artists, … Continue reading

Just a Second: Grisaille

Hieronymus Bosch, Arrest of Christ and Christ Carrying the Cross from the Exterior of the Triptych of The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1505-1506, oil on panel, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Artwork in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Hieronymus Bosch, Arrest of Christ and Christ Carrying the Cross from the Exterior of the Triptych of The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1505-1506, oil on panel, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Artwork in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

French for the word gray, grisaille is the technique of painting in a muted monochrome palette. As would be expected, this technique often was used for the underpainting of a work of art; however, in the 15th century artists painted many exteriors of … Continue reading

Make the Time: Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

Agnes Martin, Aspiration, 1960, ink on paper, 11 ¾” x 9 ⅜”, Photo by J R via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Agnes Martin, Aspiration, 1960, ink on paper, 11 ¾” x 9 ⅜”, Photo by J R via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Tomorrow a major retrospective of artwork by Agnes Martin (1912-2004) will open in the famous rotunda at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It is a brilliant space to enjoy the subtle variations in her minimalist and expressive … Continue reading