Tag Archives: art

“Mountains and Sea” by Helen Frankenthaler, 1952

Image

What I love most about this painting, arguably the most important of Frankenthaler’s career, is that it found the perfect point of intersection between landscape and abstraction. Frankenthaler was only 23 when she finished this piece (!!!) and her time studying with another great abstractionist, Hans Hofmann, is crystal clear in elements of this painting. But what is also evident is that she stakes her claim on her own version of Abstract Expressionism with a more varied color palette and a lighter application of paint to the canvas. Only 23 years old…

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Style Inspiration: Tamara de Lempicka

Image

There are few instances where fashion and art merge as seamlessly as in the work of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Known for her portraits of strikingly beautiful women (and men), de Lempicka mastered the concept of economy of line- neither the faces of her subjects nor their clothing was ever excessively rendered or overwrought. Her female subjects exuded a slight air of remote passivity, but maintained control of their situation and of the composition. What I have always loved most about these paintings is their specific brand of melancholy: a kind of luxe moodiness. The subjects are chic and their clothes are meant to be well-constructed without being ostentatious. They could have been fashion illustrations from the 30’s and they could be ad campaigns now. It goes without saying that de Lempicka herself was gorgeous and really did look like the woman driving the green Bugatti.  Above: Irene and Her Sister, 1925

Image

Portrait of Marquis Sommi, 1925

Image

Young Lady with Gloves, 1930

Image

Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti, 1925

Image

Image

Sharing Secrets, 1928

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

Image

One of the books that has been on my must-read list is Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. It tells the story of millions of African-Americans who left the South in order to make a better life for themselves in the north after World War I. Of course, many of them ran head first into the same racism from which they had fled, but major cities like Chicago and New York were forever changed by their influence; especially in the arts. 

Jacob Lawrence, the amazing figurative painter, captured the struggles of this exodus in his 60-panel collection of paintings called The Migration Series. His reductive style of painting still manages to honestly portray the full range of emotions that anyone would experience while uprooting your life to start anew. 

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Manet’s Olympia

Image

While making plans to check out the Fashion and Impressionism exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago, I started thinking about Edouard Manet’s Olympia (1863). If are familiar with this painting, you know that it is somewhat notorious for what the subject isn’t wearing- but in my eyes, it is what she is wearing that makes this piece so provocative. The fact that she has left on her jewelry and her shoes means that she is more naked than nude. Nude means idealized female body, while naked most likely means that Manet’s model is a courtesan. She holds the viewer in a direct, non-flinching gaze, unashamed by what she has just done or about to do. There is something deeply modern about her and the way she is rendered by Manet.  I don’t think that this piece is in the Art Institute exhibit, but maybe it should be-fashion can be just as powerful by virtue of its absence as it is by what we can see. 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Franz Kline

I am slowly starting to overload on the digital print explosion in fashion at the moment. The stark, lovely, black and white nothingness of the work of Franz Kline is a nice palette cleanser…

Image

Opustena, 1956

Image

Painting No. 7, 1952

Image

Untitled II, 1952

Image

Mahoning, 1956

Tagged , , , ,

Jewelry Edit Inspired By Martin Puryear

Image

During a recent edit of my jewelry collection, I realized that I have gradually drifted towards pieces that are more sculptural- jewelry that functions perfectly as stand-alone objects. I have been thinking of the work of Martin Puryear and how I would love to modify some of his work as pieces of jewelry…

ImageImageImageImage

Tagged , , , , ,