John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was one of the greatest portrait artists of his time. While he is best known for his powerful paintings, he largely ceased painting portraits in 1907 and turned instead to charcoal drawings to satisfy portrait commissions.
The Morgan Library & Museum presented a major exhibition of his beautiful portraits of beautiful people, in charcoal.
Second day in Mass MoCA, because it would have been impossible to absorb so much art, all at once!… (tickets were valid for two consecutive days then, this may have changed post-Covid).
…”Each wall drawing begins as a set of instructions or a simple diagram to be followed in executing the work. As the exhibition makes clear, these straightforward instructions yield an astonishing—and stunningly beautiful—variety of work that is at once simple and highly complex, rigorous, and sensual. The drawings in the exhibition range from layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, to rows of delicately rendered wavy lines in colored pencil; from bold black-and-white geometric forms, to bright planes in acrylic paint arranged like the panels of a folding screen; from sensuous drawings created by dozens of layers of transparent washes, to a tangle of vibratory orange lines on a green wall, and much more. Forms may appear to be flat, to recede in space, or to project into the viewer’s space, while others meld to the structure of the wall itself, like gauze.” [source]
Images of wall drawings:
793A – Irregular wavy color bands 340 – One of a Six-part drawing 396 – A black five-pointed star, a yellow six-pointed star, a red seven-pointed star, and a blue eight-pointed star 414 – Drawing Series IV (A) with India ink washes (detail of 24 drawings) 527 – Two flat-topped pyramids with color ink washes superimposed 439 – Asymmetrical pyramid with color ink washes superimposed (plus us in playful mood, trying to agree which wall would work best in our home)
Where he was born and grew up, drew his first impressions and sketches, pictures that were imprinted on his memory working to make him the artist he became.
On the ground floor, an additional exhibition of works by Alastair Noble, inspired by Hopper’s boyhood fascination with yachts and other sailing boats; an installation of paper boats and poetic messages, a weightless flotilla flowing across the gallery.
Kirstein sat for this portrait while he was in London for a New York City Ballet performance at Covent Garden and to organize the exhibition Symbolic Realism in American Painting: 1940-1950 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
“I have a live eye,” proclaimed Lincoln Kirstein, signaling his wide-ranging vision. Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern explored this polymath’s sweeping contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s and ’40s. Best known for cofounding New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine, Kirstein (1907–1996), a writer, critic, curator, impresario, and tastemaker, was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history. With his prescient belief in the role of dance within the museum, his championing of figuration in the face of prevailing abstraction, and his position at the center of a New York network of queer artists, intimates, and collaborators, Kirstein’s impact remains profoundly resonant today. [source: MoMA]
Travelling in time and space in just a few steps, from gallery to gallery, at The Morgan; when three fantastic exhibitions ran simultaneously through May 2019.
By any means: Contemporary drawings from The Morgan
This work is part of a series in which Vitiello explored the relationship between sound – his primary medium – and drawing. He placed pigment in a speaker that was embedded in a table, laying a sheet of paper on top. Vibrations from a synthesizer’s low-frequency oscillator moved the pigment from the speaker to the paper, creating an image that contrasted in its minimalism with the density of the aural event.
Cage often relied on chance to determine the forms of his works. The present sheet belongs to a series inspired by the Zen rock garden of the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, in which fifteen rocks are carefully arranged. The selection of stones, the number of tracings (here 30, as denoted by 2R, where R is equivalent to 15, the number of stones at the temple), their placement, and the number of pencils of different softness that he used (4) were determined by the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination manual, by way of a computer simulation developed by Bell Labs in New York.
Although Cottrell uses a computer to make her work, she does not use a computer programme to determine composition but instead passes Japanese paper through a printer numerous times, each time changing or rearranging the shapes on the screen to generate dense, layered images.
Invention and Design: Early Italian Drawings
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth
”He was the sort of painter who can paint leaves better than trees. He used to spend a long time on a single leaf, trying to catch its shape, and its sheen, and the glistening of dewdrops on its edges. Yet he wanted to paint a whole tree, with all of its leaves in the same style, and all of them different.”
This extract from Tolkien’s allegorical short story, ”Leaf by Niggle”, is a poignant expression of his own creative struggle as he sought to bring his works, both literary and academic, to completion. The story was written in the early 1940s as he worked fitfully on The Lord of the Rings, his Elvish languages and his wider legendarium, all of which seemed very far from completion. His perfectionism often resulted in numerous revisions and rewritings, whilst his interest in the minutiae led him down interesting but distracting side roads.
The only snapshot I could steal; so long were the lines, the guards had to usher Tolkien’s devotees, or the gallery would burst from overcrowding!
From February through April 2019, David Zwirner presented The Young and Evil, a group exhibition featuring significant works from the first half of the twentieth century by Paul Cadmus, Fidelma Cadmus Kirstein, Charles Henri Ford, Jared French, Margaret Hoening French, George Platt Lynes, Bernard Perlin, Pavel Tchelitchew, George Tooker, Jensen Yow, and their circle.
Among them, some works by Pavel Tchelitchew, to which I was particularly drawn.
Robert Crumb is an unblinking witness to and graphic critic of the dysfunctional strangeness of the Disunited States. He is peerless in that regard because there’s simply no one like him and no one is as ”far out”. – Robert Storr
Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb
Free listening and free download (mp3) chill and down tempo music (album compilation ep single) for free (usually name your price). Full merged styles: trip-hop electro chill-hop instrumental hip-hop ambient lo-fi boombap beatmaking turntablism indie psy dub step d'n'b reggae wave sainte-pop rock alternative cinematic organic classical world jazz soul groove funk balkan .... Discover lots of underground and emerging artists from around the world.