Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ned Martin - Time Passages

Jan 5-27, reception Sat 8 Jan:

Time Passages. STUDIO VOGUE Gallery is pleased to welcome Ned Martin as one of several artists featured in Time Passages, our winter exhibition of gallery artists. Martin transports the viewer to a familiar place through a universal language and gives pause, even for a brief moment, to celebrate the unique quality of his subject. Martin will be joined by Jackie Hall, J. A. Fligel, Donna Koster, Victor Oriecuia, and Vivien Schmidt among others. This eclectic selection is sure to warm up a winter's day with works in oil and acrylic, bronze and marble sculpture, and fine art photography.

Ned Martin is a Realism Oil Painter who lives in New York, New York. He spent his early life and his years as an art major at Towson State University in Maryland exploring various painting media including acrylics, watercolor, pastels, and gouache. Several years ago, he began painting in oils and furthered his formal art training at The Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore where he learned the traditional oil painting techniques and principles of Jacques Maroger and the Old Masters.

Ned has embraced the Schuler School experience and continues to meticulously prepare his own wood panels and grind his own paint. While his paintings appear realistic, upon close scrutiny the viewer is delighted with broken impressionistic layers of paint that imply realism. Ned invests considerably in scrubbing, scratching, and scrapping layers of textured paint until a realistic form reveals itself.

STUDIO VOGUE Gallery – representing mid-career and emerging artists from Canada and around the world.
274 Avenue Road, Toronto ON M4V 2G7 (just N of Dupont)
Wed-Sat 12-6. Mon & Tues by appointment
T: 416 459 9809

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Kingly Velázquez Is Discovered at the Met, Capping Off a Busy Year for the Old Masters

NEW YORK— Just in time for Christmas, scholars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art have given themselves a giant Velázquez, though in truth it is more of a re-gifting — the portrait of Philip IV of Spain had originally come into the collection nearly 100 years ago, but its attribution was downgraded in 1973 to the Old Master's studio. Now, a new cleaning effort has returned the work conclusively to the revered painter's column, according to the New York Times.
Despite possessing a 1624 receipt for the painting that was signed by Velázquez, the Met had reconsidered the portrait's authorship in the 1970s as part of a general auditing of its European painting collection that humbled attributions on 15 percent of its holdings, with the Philip canvas raising doubts in part because of over-varnishing inflicted by its previous owner, legendary dealer Lord Duveen. But a year-long restoration process of the work — which has not weathered the years well, losing an eye at one point, possibly to a vandal — has persuaded connoisseurs that the doubts had been misplaced. "One of the greatest painters of Western tradition — and a royal portrait to boot — is vindicated," Met European paintings chairman Keith Christiansen told the Times. Velázquez scholar Jonathan Brown has likewise welcomed the news. "Although it has suffered losses, what remains is by Velázquez," he said.
The reattribution comes improbably hard on the heels of another Velázquez discovery in the Met's collection, a circa 1630 "Portrait of a Man" that was determined to be by the artist's hand, and not his studio, in September of 2009. But the New York institution is not alone in finding treasures under its nose, and the Old Masters have been popping up everywhere this year. A third Velázquez was discovered by a specialist at the Yale University Art Gallery this summer — making for a remarkable spate of discoveries given that the painter is known to have made only about 110 works during his lifetime.
Then an enormous peasant scene by Pieter Bruegel the Elder was recognized by the Prado in Madrid, a Rembrandt was noticed hanging in the waiting room of the Rotterdam's Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, a giant once-waterlogged crucifix painting was attributed to Giotto in Florence, a potential Michelangelo pietà painting was spotted in an upstate New York home, and the Vatican even said it had uncovered a previously unknown Caravaggio just in time for the 400th anniversary of his death... but had to take back the claim when it was widely debunked

By ARTINFO Published: December 21, 2010
Image is courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme

The J. Paul Getty Museum is the first of three venues to present The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme (June 15-September 12, 2010). This much-anticipated special exhibition, the first of its kind in nearly 40 years, features 99 works by the French artist (1824-1904) and important contemporaries. In light of recent scholarship, the show reconsiders the life and oeuvre of the academic painter and sculptor whose brilliant career was eclipsed by the development of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Modernist avant-garde. In Los Angeles, California, the installation is organized thematically and chronologically by Mary Morton, Curator and Head of the Department of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art and Scott Allen, the Getty's Assistant Curator of Paintings.
Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824-1904). The Snake Charmer (ca. 1870). Oil on canvas. 83.4 x 122.1 cm. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Gérôme and Painting
During the early 1840s, Jean-Léon Gérôme excelled at the atelier (studio) of noted Parisian painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1856). He continued his education with his mentor in Italy. After his return to France, Gérôme attended the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts. He competed unsuccessfully for the Prix de Rome in 1846, having been disqualified in the final round because of inadequate figure-drawing skills. This disappointment profoundly influenced the artist's perpetual preoccupation with painting the perfect nude.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, 1827-1875). Portrait of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1872-73). Marble. H. 61 cm. J. Paul Getty Museum.

Despite the setback, the indefatigable Gérôme's The Cockfight (1847), a genre scene of adolescent sexuality set in a classical landscape, was well-received at that year's Salon. The recognition bolstered the artist's ambitions as a history painter throughout most of the next decade. He was foiled once again when the critics' disliked his monumental allegorical The Age of Augustus (1855), an official commission for French Emperor Napoleon III (r. 1851-70).

The disillusioned Gérôme then turned his attentions to small-scale historical and Orientalist compositions. The Death of Caesar (1867) was acknowledged for the artist's meticulous rendering of the immense Roman Senate's archaeological details as well as its portrayal of the dramatic events that unfolded following the ruler's cold and calculated assassination. The inventive imagery of Gérôme's subsequent The Snake Charmer (ca. 1870) was due, in part, to his 1853 trip to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey). There he derived inspiration from everyday life in the East to paint exotic scenes with the realistic clarity of photography, a new medium he greatly admired.
Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824-1904). The Death of Caesar (1867). Oil on canvas. 85.5 x 145.5 cm. Walters Art Museum.

The Lure of Sculpture
Always interested in antique art, Gérôme devoted much of his later career to sculpture, frequently cross-referencing his paintings and statues. The artist premiered his first bronze sculpture, a gladiator trampling upon his victim, at the Universal Exposition of 1878.

The current exhibition displays 10 of Gérôme's works in bronze, marble, ivory and mixed media. It also fittingly includes the painter's famous oil on canvas Pygmalion and Galatea (1890), in which he retells the ancient Roman myth about a sculptor who fell in love with his own creation brought to life by a goddess.

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Pygmalion and Galatea (ca. 1890). Oil on canvas. 88.9 x 68.6 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY.

After the J. Paul Getty Museum, "The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme" travels to the Musée d'Orsay, Paris (October 18, 2010-January 23, 2011) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid (March 22- June 12, 2011).

Morton, Mary and Scott Allen (eds.), et al. Rediscovering Gérôme. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This is Art definetely, and almost visual.

During one of my drives home, I switched the radio to the CBC radio2 station - one of my favorite listening spots. My car got instantly filled with a charming atmosphere of pulsating, living music fabric, almost picturesque with its sound.

The Maple Mountain Sunburst Triolian Orchestra is one of those albums that experiments with easy listening, and is on the verge of making you tap your foot to the subtle rhythm. To call it oriental would be to undermine its complexity, to call it oldies would be to understate its variation, and to name it after any genre than itself would be to disregard its very being.

Composed by Andy McNeill, and with the association of an odd group of individuals, The Maple Mountain Sunburst Triolian Orchestra is truly worth a listen to.

So, what are you waiting for? Go listen mp3 and order your CD. I already have it in my collection.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Julie Heffernan's Self-Portrait

The “Self-Portrait” is not only the woman centered in the picture plane but the entire canvas. Each of Heffernan’s paintings is compulsively constructed like that of a surreal automatic drawing, rendering a multiplicity of images like journal entries: the fruit canopies, knotted forests, ghostly wallpaper and vignettes encased in thought bubbles that float around the figure’s head. At the very least, her “self” extends to the canvas edge; at most, it cannot be contained. The amount of detail poured into each painting nearly overflows with life, and invites you in.

Her paintings are a constant dilemma of opposites between - the gorgeous and grotesque, attraction and repulsion. The series Booty amasses the spoils of war. It presents us with a bounty of enormous amounts of both wealth and waste of resources, energy and lives. Yet, the figure does not stoop under the weight of it all, but holds
herself upright among the surrounding foe, heavy ornaments and animal corpses with the most extraordinary grace.

Like the Old Masters that her work evokes, Julie Heffernan’s paintings give us a lot to look at, a wealth of sheer visual entertainment. Burnished with a pearly gloss concocted from a unique recipe of intelligence, fairy tale, art history and high fashion, each image engages us for a long time, and compels us to move closer, then further away , then closer again – as opposed to those paintings that we feel we know perfectly well, or well enough, from across the room.
-Francine Prose

Julie Heffernan, "Self Portrait as Booty" 2007, Oil on canvas, 68 1/2 x 65 inches

Julie Heffernan was born in 1956 and received her MFA from Yale University.
She has had numerous one-person exhibitions around the country and has shown
internationally. She has received a Lila Acheson Wallace award, NY Foundation for the Arts award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright-Hayes Grant.

Image is courtesy of P.P.O.W. Gallery

Monday, March 29, 2010

Winner of the 2009 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award.

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announced the Winner of the 2009 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award*. It is:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko
ISBN 978-0-88776932-0
US $22.95 / CAN $24.99
All ages

“…Oleg Lipchenko has turned this classic story into a rich expression for both the youngest reader greeting Alice for the first time and those who remember reading the original Alice as children...Lipchenko’s illustrations are more than images on a page, they are a homage to the surreality and humour of Carroll’s text as well as a meticulously and brilliantly constructed vision of a longstanding tradition in children’s literature.” – Jury’s comments

* The Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award was established in 1985 following the death of Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver, one of Canada's pre-eminent book illustrators. In her will, Cleaver left a fund of $10,000 dollars for an award to be given annually in recognition of outstanding artistic talent in a Canadian picture book. The recipient receives a cheque for $1,000 dollars and a certificate.

The Cleaver Award is administered by a committee of three members of the Canadian section of the International Board on Books for Young People. The recipient is a Canadian illustrator of a picture book published in Canada in English or French during the previous calendar year. To be eligible, the book must be a first edition and contain original illustrations. All genres are considered: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folk and fairy tales.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mutants, Darwin and manipulating with Nature - Ji Yong Ho

The modern Korean-born sculptor Ji Yong Ho creates sculptures of animals from truck, bicycle and automobile tires. “The product is from nature, from the white sap of latex trees. But here it’s changed. The color is black. The look is scary.” Ji Yong Ho considers that he promotes the revival of the used tree trunks, giving them new forms of a life. He says: “My concept is mutation—mutants.” His vision of mutants originates from the theory of Darwin, from genetic engineering, and from the means by which humans manipulate the nature utilizing the theory of evolution. Ji Yong Ho considers his art as a warning; if we’re not careful, we may soon lose the ability to see animals in their natural state altogether.

Ji Yong Ho about his unique technique: "I usually use cut tires, old tires, because I want to figure out my own unique materials. Tires have a lot of patterns and tires come from nature or laboratory or oil, so I want to give them second life. Usually for the chest or shoulders I need big tires, big size tires, so I use tractor tires, and then the body shape I use auto bike tires, and then the face I need more details, so I use the bicycles tires."

Ned Ryerson
Image courtesy of Gana Art Gallery

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Venetian Masquerade Masks - History and Uses

The use of Venetian masquerade masks originated from Venice, Italy for their festival. This kind of mask was worn during the Carnival that was first documented use was shown as far back as the 13th century.

During the carnival in Venice, people used masks to hide their true faces and be able to mingle with people of different social standings. This way their identity and social status are kept hidden. This is also true for today's masquerade parties where Venetian masquerade masks are worn. Wearing of Venetian masks was more favoured by the upper classes during the past centuries.

Aside from hiding the identity of the wearers, men and women are able to experiment sexually without the fear of being recognized. Anyone who admires somebody is able to express his or her love or affection without having to show his or her face. People tend to say more and become more honest when they wear masks. They can do what they want more freely and inhibitions are released.

The modern Venetian masks, just like the Venetian masks worn back in 13th century are characterized by their complex designs. They are featured with bright colors accented with gold or silver. Most of the designs of the Venetians are adopted from Commedia dell'arte. These masks are of different shapes and they can also be full-face masks such as Bauta or eye masks such as Columbina.

Venetian masquerade masks can be made from several materials such as plasters, leather and paper mache. They are usually hand painted that have fabric trims, jewels and other materials to enhance them.

Aside from the examples of Venetian masquerade masks that were mentioned, other kinds of these masks are Volto or Larva, Moretta, Medico Della Peste or "The Plague Doctor" and others. The classical long nose style of masks is still a popular kind of Venetian masquerade masks that are worn at many events.

These kinds of masks have been used and are famous in the Hollywood. They were used in the film Eyes Wide Shut where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are the lead actor and actress.

Venetian masquerade masks are still being worn by many people who attend masquerade balls to bring elegance and beauty to the ones who wear them.

Serena Mason is a masquerade masks expert with years of experience in the industry. Check out her sites on masquerade ball masks by clicking the links now!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Will Gorlitz: nowhere if not here

Organized by the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in partnership with Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to present Will Gorlitz: nowhere if not here. Spanning a period of nearly twenty years, nowhere if not here presents a comprehensive cross-section of the work of contemporary Canadian artist Will Gorlitz. In conjunction with this exhibition, MOCCA will present a new, previously unseen body of work by Gorlitz in the project room.
Through a rigorous painting practice, Gorlitz has examined a range of iconographic subjects. His choice of subjects – as seen in his Road Paintings, Numerals, and Not Everyone series – broadly evoke considerations of place, both within the internal context of the painting but also in terms of geographic, social and theoretical positioning. Curator and writer Peggy Gale has observed: "For Will Gorlitz, perception is both visual and physical: image and touch. The technology of handling and representation – form, structure, medium, texture – is always at issue." To examine the practice of Will Gorlitz is to carefully consider the specific purpose of representation, presentation and interpretation in the world of images and image-making.

Exhibit Feb 4-Mar 28:
Will Gorlitz: nowhere if not here.
Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M6J 1G8
Tues-Sun 11-6
admission: pay-what-you-can
T: 416 395 0067 F: 416 395 7598

Friday, January 22, 2010

Modern art curator donates 32 works to AGO / CBC News

Ydessa Hendeles, founder of the Ydessa Gallery and a significant collector of contemporary art through her art foundation, has donated 32 works to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Toronto-based gallery says it is the most significant gift of contemporary art in the 110-year history of the AGO.

Hendeles has played a role in bringing Canadian contemporary artists to international attention, including Kim Adams, Liz Magor, Ken Lum and John McEwen, whose works are among the collection she is donating to the gallery.

The Hendeles gift also adds works by:

* James Coleman of Ireland.
* Gary Hill of the U.S.
* Thomas Schutte of Germany.
* Bill Viola of the U.S.
* Krzysztof Wodiczko of Poland.
* Giulio Paolini of Italy.
* Ian Carr-Harris of Toronto.
* Betty Goodwin of Montreal.
* Ron Martin of London, Ont.
* Ian Wallace of Vancouver.

AGO chief executive Matthew Teitelbaum said the gift "boldly augments the art we hold in the public trust."

"It adds key works by significant Canadian artists who are important voices in our time, and highlights the many ways that artists use media to create their identity," he said in a statement released Thursday.

Hendeles is a member of the AGO board of trustees and founder of the Toronto-based Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, a privately funded exhibition space for contemporary art. She has been curating and mounting exhibition program from works in her collection for the last 22 years.

The daughter of parents who survived the Holocaust, Hendeles came to Canada after the Second World War and grew up in Toronto. She recalls visiting the AGO with her parents as an important part of her early life.

Her father became affluent in real estate and she became an art historian and curator.
'Art is a civilizing force'

She founded the Ydessa Gallery, a commercial contemporary art gallery, and operated it from 1980 to 1988.

As her collection grew, she opened the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation to the public and it became a forum to advance the cause of contemporary art in Canada.

"My ongoing goal has been to integrate the works of Canadian artists in the context of the international art community. Art bypasses that which is socially acceptable. It helps us live our lives by giving expression to what we cannot do or say. In this way, art is a civilizing force," she said in a statement.

She has been generous in the past, donating works such as Rebecca Horn's The Yellow-Black Race of the Pigments, Barbara Kruger's Untitled (Jam Life into Death) and Kim Adams's Decoy Homes to the AGO.

The AGO plans to exhibit the new collection within the next 18 months.
Image  1 - Untitled (Orfeo) by Guilio Paolini of Italy is among the works donated to the AGO by Ydessa Hendeles. (Art Gallery of Ontario) 

Image  2 - Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place, an audio-video, closed-loop installation for 16 black-and-white TV tubes by Gary Hill of the U.S., is also among the works donated. Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place, an audio-video, closed-loop installation for 16 black-and-white TV tubes by Gary Hill of the U.S., is also among the works donated. (Art Gallery of Ontario)