Category Archives: Modern 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

Just a Second: Kinetic 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

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

The Relevance of Frida Kahlo

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

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.

They Called Her George

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

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.

Make the Time: Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

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

Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978, Oil on canvas, 101 3/16 × 127 in., Whitney Museum of Art, NY, Photo by rocor via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic License. Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978, Oil on canvas, 101 3/16 × 127 in., Whitney Museum of Art, NY, Photo by rocor via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic License.

Elizabeth Murray is the Mother of the Day

Today is National Lazy Mom’s Day, so in honor of moms I’d like to share with you a painting that presents the unique perception of a mother. This painting by American artist Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007) presents the joyous play of … Continue reading

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913, bronze, 3' 8" x 2' 11", Museum of Modern Art, New York, Artwork in the Public Domain, Photo via Wikimedia Commons. Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913, bronze, 3' 8

What is Futurism?

Futurism is an artistic movement that originated in Italy in 1909 to become the “caffeine of Europe.” Futurism was inspired by Analytic Cubism, but with a focus on technology and “progress.” In the Futurist Manifesto, written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and published in … Continue reading

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.

RIP Marisol

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

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.

What is Dada?

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

Alma Thomas, Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 73¾” × 158½” × 2½”, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Photo by Cliff via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Alma Thomas, Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 73¾” × 158½” × 2½”, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Photo by Cliff via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Make the Time: Alma Thomas at the Tang Museum

“Do the trees near your house play music? Do the flowers in your neighborhood sing and dance?” asked African-American artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978). She perceived a vibrancy and vitality in her garden and she captured the inspiring performances on her … Continue reading

Archibald J. Motley Jr., ‘Blues,’ 1929, oil on canvas, 36 × 42 inches, Collection of Mara Motley M.D., and Valerie Gerrard Browne, Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Archibald J. Motley Jr., ‘Blues,’ 1929, oil on canvas, 36 × 42 inches, Collection of Mara Motley M.D., and Valerie Gerrard Browne, Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Make the Time: Archibald J. Motley, Jr. at The Whitney

A retrospective exhibition of the work of Archibald J. Motley, Jr. now is on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Motley was one of the first black artists to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where … Continue reading

Eva Hesse, Repetition Nineteen III, 1968, fiberglass and polyester resin, nineteen units, Each 19 to 20 1/4" x 11 to 12 3/4" in diameter, MoMA, New York. Eva Hesse, Repetition Nineteen III, 1968, fiberglass and polyester resin, nineteen units, Each 19 to 20 1/4

Eva Hesse Moved On

Eva Hesse, the German-born American artist, had only a ten-year career before her death of a brain tumor at age 34 in 1970, but she made an indelible mark in the art world as a Postminimalist. The artist cut her … Continue reading