Sunday, May 31, 2020

Félix Fenéon @ MOMA



As part of their "Virtual Views" series, New York's Museum of Modern Art offers this 4-minute video, profiling Félix Fenéon, "an extraordinarily influential but little-known figure".

Anarchist, civil servant, art critic, publisher, dealer and collector, Fenéon "shaped the development of modernism". He is credited with coining the term "Neo-Impressionism", and championed artists like Georges-Pierre Seurat, Paul Signac, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, and Amedeo Modigliani.

To learn more about Fenéon, visit the MOMA website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Finding Beauty...

... while biking through the woods today.






Sunday, May 24, 2020

Michael West, Abstract Expressionist, 1908-1991


Michael West in her apartment, c. 1977

I was intrigued to read about the female abstract expressionist, Michael (Corinne) West, on Artsy.net. Little-known, her work and career have recently attracted renewed interest.


Michael (Corinne) West, Blue Figure, 1948

West died in 1991, with no heirs or even a will. The contents of her Upper West-Side apartment were auctioned by the City of New York. Stuart Friedman, an art photographer who had bought one of her paintings in a thrift shop a few years earlier, was the only bidder. Using his garage to store the many canvases he found in her apartment, he began to learn more about her, and to promote her work.

The Hollis Taggart Gallery in New York bought the whole lot last year, and staged a show of her work.


Michael West at Granite Galleries, 1963

an installation shot of "Space Poetry: the Action Paintings of Michael West",
Hollis Taggart Gallery, 2019

A student of Hans Hoffman, West had a number of gallery shows in New York in her lifetime. It is thought her lack of worldly success was, in part, due to her lack of interest in "networking".

You can read more about Michael West in the Artsy article, written by Karen Chernick. An on-line exhibition of her work, titled "We Come Alive and Dream", is also available.


Michael West, Stonington, Connecticut, c. 1955

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

art21.org





Recently I read about this non-profit and its website in the New Yorker magazine (May 4, 2020). Since the pandemic, the magazine's listings of art events have shifted to on-line resources for movies, dance, music and visual art.

Art21.org is a treasure trove of information about art in the 21st century. Among the more than 200 artists profiled on the site are Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, El Anatsui, Louise Bourgeois, Theaster Gates, William Kentridge, Maya Lin and Judith Scott.

The foundation of the Art21 Library is the nine seasons of Art of the 21st Century, produced by PBS and winner of the Peabody Award. Nearly one thousand hours of original documentary footage are available, and are supplemented with transcribed interviews, research materials, educational publications, web pages, books, and digital and analog artwork reproductions. The website also includes material for educators, and offers a free subscription to their weekly newsletter.

Interested in learning more about the contemporary art scene? This resource might be just what you're looking for.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

100th anniversary of Group of Seven

J.E.H. Macdonald, Apple Blossom, York Mills, 1919
oil on cardboard, 8" x 10"

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the first show of the Group of Seven. It is being celebrated on-line by the Alan Klinkhoff Gallery, which has been involved with the Group's artists for many years.

Robert Pilot, The Lane, Peel Street, Montreal, c.1950
oil on canvas, 28" x 22"

Some thirty of the Group's paintings are available for on-line viewing, here. Included in the virtual presentation are works by three Montreal artists who were invited exhibitors at the group's first show. Also included are some historical notes. Many of the paintings are available for sale.

The on-line show will continue until the end of 2020.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Colour with a U

The stunning cover for Colour with a "U" is credited  to my friend
Helena Scheffer, whose piece is a highlight of the show.

I was so pleased to have one of my cityscapes accepted into Colour with a "U". This show was open to Canadian members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association), and is intended to celebrate Canada's diversity.

The show is currently staged at the Homer Watson House and Gallery in Kitchener, Ontario, though the venue is closed due to the pandemic. Its sister show, Colour with a "U" Too, has been hung at Riverbrink Art Museum, Niagara-on-the-Lake, also currently closed.

A three-minute video of the shows has been created by juror Faith Heiblinger. It can be seen here.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

"Back to Basics" at BAdA




One of my favourite Montreal galleries is Galérie Beaux-Arts des Amériques, on St.-Denis.

Their current show, all works on paper, is a virtual show, which you can experience through the YouTube video above.  In less than 5 minutes one can tour all the highlights, accompanied by Gershwin's beautiful Summertime melody.

I am a big fan of Lorraine Pritchard's work, so watch for her piece, Listen to the Garden, acrylic on paper.  (I did a brief profile of Pritchard's work in an October post, here.)

And one of the largest works, Karen Thomson's Le Grand Nord, is also worth a close look. It is done with oil, beeswax, graphite and charcoal on paper. I was fortunate to see it on a recent visit to the gallery, with my Text'art friends, all of whom were quite transported by it.

Coming up on the gallery website is their entry into the annual show Papier 2020, which will be staged on-line this year, June 1 - 21.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hudson Artists virtual gallery

Floral #1, Michele Meredith, mixed media, 12" x 9"

Thanks to the inspired and diligent work of certain executive members, my local artists' group has launched a new initiative.


Colors on Winooski, John Vazalinskas, oil on canvas, 15" x 30"

The AHA (Artistes Hudson Artists) has opened a virtual showcase of members' work. It can be accessed here.


Just a Little Circle, Jane Wright, fused glass, 11" x 11"

This year's annual spring show was cancelled, and our monthly meetings have been discontinued, but seeing the recent work of members in our on-line gallery offers some consolation.





Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Great Realisation

This charming video, imagined as a bedtime story, allows us to explore the possibility of positive outcomes from our current crisis.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Art in the Time of Quarantine



Thanks to my cousin Lin for sharing this one-minute video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Finding beauty...

...while out for a walk yesterday morning. The snow and ice are melting here, the sap is running, and birdsong fills the air.






Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sometimes you just need to make something with your hands



In a recent article in the Lancet, a researcher suggested it would be "rational" for healthy people in self-isolation to wear a face mask if they need to leave home for any reason.

An appeal to make surgical masks arrived in my in-box this week. I had no intention of ramping up a production line at home, especially because I doubt that I can make a hospital-grade mask. I wouldn't want my mask to give someone a false sense of security. But in a pinch, it would be better than nothing.

The basic idea is that you make an outer envelope from woven cotton. The cotton is lined with a couple of layers of non-woven material, whether interfacing or batting. This kind of fabric is less permeable than woven cotton. 

So you want something that will block the passage of a microscopic virus, but still allow the user to breathe. You're also looking for a washable product, so that it may be re-used. Apparently the material used to make vacuum cleaner bags is very effective.

Mostly I relied on the first of the video links, below, for my instructions. I also made a few modifications:
- I zigzag-stitched some flexible wire to the upper edge of the finished mask. You can use floral wire, or the "twist-tie on a roll” available at the hardware store. This allows the wearer to mold the upper edge over the bridge of the nose. 
- I shortened the elastic to 6” for women.
- I made a mask for a 2-year-old that was cut about 6” x 6”, rather than 9" x 6”. Instead of elastic, I used some cloth tape (4 lengths of 12”) so it could be tied into place. The child wasn’t at hand for measurements but the mask fits quite well.

I chose cotton fabric suitable for each of the recipients, and cranked out a dozen or so. Yes, it was all rather morbid. Still, the activity was diverting, and let me feel I was doing something useful.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgHrnS6n4iA

www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask