Edward Hopper: Lonely Town

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, oil on canvas, 33 ⅛” x 60”, Art Institute of Chicago, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, oil on canvas, 33 ⅛” x 60”, Art Institute of Chicago, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The American artist Edward Hopper had the uncanny ability to make his brightly lit spaces rather cool.  It suited the desolate mood of his realist images of the urban environment in the 20th century. The fluorescent lighting in this painting … Continue reading

Just a Second: Depth of Field

Anton Stankowski, book jacket design, 1963, photo by Alki1 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. Anton Stankowski, book jacket design, 1963, photo by Alki1 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Depth of Field (noun) The distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a picture. The German photographer Anton Stankowski enjoyed using the depth of field creatively to compose engaging photographs.

San Vitale in Ravenna: Justinian’s Little Gem

Interior of San Vitale, 526-547 CE, Ravenna, Italy, Photo by sjmcdonoughvia Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 ShareAlike License. Interior of San Vitale, 526-547 CE, Ravenna, Italy, Photo by sjmcdonoughvia Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 ShareAlike License. 2

San Vitale is one of the first examples of Byzantine art and architecture in Western civilization. In the 6th century, under the reign of Justinian, Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) became the political and religious center of the Christian Byzantine Empire and … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecock, 1994, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel, 17 ft. 11 in. high x 15 ft. 1 in. crown diameter and 4 ft. nose cone diameter, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Photo by April Rinne via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecock, 1994, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel, 17 ft. 11 in. high x 15 ft. 1 in. crown diameter and 4 ft. nose cone diameter, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Photo by April Rinne via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

“I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.” Claes Oldenburg

Take Five: What’s So Great About Cubism?

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1910, oil on canvas, 39.4” x 28.7”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo by teadrinker via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License. Generic Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1910, oil on canvas, 39.4” x 28.7”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo by teadrinker via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License. Generic

By now you may have heard that cosmetics tycoon Leonard A. Lauder has promised the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York his large collection of Cubist art valued at over $1 billion.  This is an incredibly generous donation that … Continue reading

Make the Time: Arnold Newman at the Harry Ransom Center

Exhibition with two photographs of Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman, Photo by Pieter Musterd via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. Exhibition with two photographs of Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman, Photo by Pieter Musterd via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Now through May 12th, you can visit the first major retrospective exhibition of Arnold Newman’s remarkable photographic portraits at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX.  The exhibition includes over 200 of his masterworks in which he captured his celebrated … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Neue Nationalgalerie, 1962-1968, Berlin, Photo by seier+seier via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Neue Nationalgalerie, 1962-1968, Berlin, Photo by seier+seier via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Just a Second: Pietà

Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-1499, marble, 68.5" x 76.8", St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-1499, marble, 68.5

Pietà (noun) A representation of a sorrowful Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus, usually found in sculpture.  The most famous example was sculpted by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for the French cardinal Jean de Billheres.  The Pietà was an unusual … Continue reading