Born on 21 June 1814: Charles-Théodore
Frère frère Bey, French painter specialized
who died on 24 March 1888. [Il aurait dü devenir moine: il aurait
été le Frère Frère...]
Frère began his career painting the French countryside, but during a stay in Algeria in 1837 he was attracted to the Islamic world and from that time on he exhibited only oriental scenes and landscapes, and views of Eastern cities and interiors. In 1861 he made his final visit to the eastern Mediterranean, travelling in the party of the Empress Eugénie.
A View of Beni Souef, Egypt (46x38cm) Interior of a Moorish Café (21x39cm)
Jerusalem from the Environs (1881, 75x111cm) _ This may be a work that Frère exhibited at the Salon of 1881, View of Jerusalem from the Valley of the Jehoshaphat. It was undoubtedly executed from an earlier study or a photograph. The meticulous style, like that of Gérôme, was based on the technique and paint handling of Ingres and his students.
Died on 21 June
Possum Tjapaltjarri, Australian aborigine painter
born in 1932.
Man's Love Story (1995, 25x51cm) _ This is a love magic story, an old man is singing to entice a woman to join him. (The older a man is, the more power he has with his tongue and the greater his tribal authority. He can even sing a law breaker to death.) He plans to use a string to secure her and bring her back to him. The central motif (the diagonal white line with four white "horns" in the upper left) is a hair string spindle with possum hair string wrapped around it. The string dangles through the center of the painting as if ready to catch the woman who the old man sings to. The red U shape represents the old man singing and the central white circle and line motif are his body paint designs. The footprints scattered throughout represent his tracks as he dances. This is one of Clifford's most important stories.
The Worm Dreaming _ This painting depicts the trail that the little yellow worms leave as they burrow underground. The ridges in the earth are shown by the wiggly lines. The lines also depict the trails of the Ancestor Worm-men as they travelled across the earth during the Dreamtime. The Worm Dreaming is the artists Dreaming and belongs particularly to a site, Narripi, approximately 100 kilometres east of Mt.Allan. Late in the afternoon the man prepare the camp and clear the ground for the ceremony. In preparation for the ceremony the man burn Spinifex grass ( ashes from Spinifex grass are mixed with Kangaroo or Emu fat and are used for body painting ) then they start painting the body designs. The ceremony starts after dark and continues till the early hours in the morning. During the ceremony the Worm-men and the Possum man dance and sit around the symbolic ceremonial circle (ceremonial site), chanting song - titles which tell the journeys of the ancestors. They then become one of the totem.
Human Tracks (81x130cm)
Born on 21 June 1640: Abraham
Mignon, German painter who died in 1679. He studied under
Davidszoon de Heem. [Ses tableaux étaient des natures mortes,
tout ce qu'il y a de plus Mignon.]
German painter who spent some time working in Jan Davidszoon de Heem's studio. Returned to Frankfurt in 1676 where Maria Sibylle Merian became one of his students.
Still Life with Flowers and Watch (1679)
Still-Life (after 1672, 92x73cm) _ Like van Schrieck and Ruysch, Abraham Mignon also composed dioramic situations in the form of forest still-lifes. Set against a dark background without clear spatial delimitations, we can see pedestals and stone plinths building up from the ground. These are covered with an abundance of fruit and vegetables, with delicate stalks of grain winding themselves around pumpkins and corn cobs with blue and yellow kernels. Together with peaches, plums and grapes they combine to form an arrangement which has an affinity to de Heem's religious fruit still-lifes. This painting, too, includes an encoded Christian message. Because of its many seeds and its rapid growth, the pumpkin had been interpreted as a symbol of growing Christian faith since the early Middle Ages. Similar ideas were probably associated - as far as can be determined - with corn cobs and its many kernels, though corn is not mentioned in the Bible. Grapes and corns are well-known references to the Eucharist again. In Mignon's painting the artist arranged the fruit in such a way that it is framed vertically by branches growing upwards from the ground. These branches, which are probably intended to indicate an oak tree, are completely covered with moss and seem almost dried up, though some shoots can be identified which indicate the tree's ability to survive.
Still-Life with Fruits (1665, 40x33cm) _ Notable among the artists Jan Davidszoon de Heem trained during his stay in Utrecht who then worked in his manner is the flower and fruit specialist Abraham Mignon.
Still Life with Peaches, Grapes, and Apricots
Fruit Still-Life with Squirrel and Goldfinch (81x100cm) _ This painting is a variation on the artist's style as seen in his other works. However, the individual objects are no longer scattered across the forest ground but are grouped together in an arched niche, to form a fruit-basket motif that resembles the display of a harvest festival. The painting contains both Eucharistic symbols and an element of transience, indicated by the small number of rotten spots of the fruit, as well as the presence of a clock, and the dualism of good and evil. The two rather cute little animals, a squirrel and a goldfinch, are also in opposition to each other. The squirrel seems to be chained up, but on closer inspection we notice that it has managed to free itself. It has cracked open a walnut and is now eating its kernel. The squirrel had been regarded as a symbol of the evil since the Middle Ages. In this painting it embodies the unleashing of evil in the form of harmlessness. The bell collar around its neck also identifies it as a 'fool' and thus a sinner. The meaning of a squirrel eating walnut becomes obvious when we consider that St Augustine saw the walnut as a symbol of Christ, with the shell as the wood of the cross and the kernel as the life-giving nature of Christ. Unlike the squirrel, the goldfinch is a christological symbol, particularly with reference to the Passion. Its positive meaning can be gathered from its position in the upper portion of the painting (top=sphere of salvation). The actions of the bird are worth nothing. Chained to an arched semicircle, from which it can peck food out of a small container, it is pulling up a thimble-sized receptacle from the left-hand edge of the shelf. It is filled with water or - more likely - wine (as a Eucharistic symbol of the blood of Christ), which has been scooped out of a conical glass without stem or base.
Died on 21 June
1940: Jean Édouard Vuillard,
painter, draftsman, and printmaker, born on 11 November 1868.
— He was brought up in Paris in modest circumstances, and his home life was closely involved with his mother’s and elder sister’s dressmaking work. He attended the Lycée Condorcet where his contemporaries included the musician Pierre Hermant and the writer Pierre Véber, as well as Maurice Denis. His closest friend (and future brother-in-law) was Ker-Xavier Roussel, and, on leaving school in 1885, Roussel encouraged Vuillard to join him at the studio of the painter Diogène Maillart [1840–1926], where they received the rudiments of artistic training. Vuillard began to frequent the Louvre and soon determined on an artistic career, breaking the family tradition of a career in the army.
— Vuillard's students included Lucia Dem Balacescu, Christian Bérard, Eugène Berman, Henri Catargi.
— Place Saint-Augustin (1913, 152x194cm; 796x972pix, 151kb — ZOOM to 1593x1944pix, 616kb) _ This painting is one of a pair of nearly identical compositions commissioned by the artist's friend Dr. Henri Vasquez, a cardiologist who lived near this city square.
— The Sunny Room (1920, 46x53cm; 872x1000pix, 125kb — ZOOM to 1745x2000pix, 681kb)
— La Pâtisserie (1899, 35x27cm; 1233x942pix, 131kb)
— Vase de Fleurs (1905, 32x24cm; 1250x903pix, 168kb)
Interior with Mother and Child (1900, 43x35cm; 2/3 size)
Chemin tournant à midi (1935, 37x29cm; 3/4 size)
Une Galerie au Théâtre du Gymnase (1900, 25x20cm; full size)
En chemin de fer (19x13cm; 3/4 size)
Le jardin devant l'atelier (1901, 63x47cm; 5/12 size _ ZOOM to 5/6 size)
The Reader (1896; 1000x914pix, 219kb)
Le Déjeuner à Villeneuve-sur-Yonne (1902; 1000x838pix, 179kb) _ detail
Madame Arthur Fontaine (1905) La Flambée (1935 rough sketch, 31x25cm; 4/5 size)
Born on 21 June 1882: Rockwell
Kent, painter, printmaker, illustrator, who died on 13 March
1971. He studied under William
Merritt Chase, Robert
Henri and Kenneth
Few artists become legends in their own time, but Rockwell Kent has been acclaimed as such and remains one of the great twentieth-century American artists. Persuaded against an art career by his family, he enrolled in the Columbia University School of Architecture in 1900. Still motivated by an interest in art, Kent took summer and night courses at Chase’s New York School and the New York School of Art. In 1902, he entered Chase’s on a scholarship and by 1908 he had his first one man art show and had married Kathleen Whiting. Together they explored Monhegan Island, MA, Newfoundland, Vermont and the Adirondacks, NY. A great artist-adventurer, Kent’s travels took him throughout America and to countries around the world including Ireland, Cape Horn, Labrador, Greenland, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. Kent was particularly interested in Russia and his outspoken socialist politics caused controversy throughout his life and cost him his passport in the 1950’s. A court battle restored his right to travel, and he eventually gave his own collection of his paintings, drawings and graphic works to the Soviet Union. In 1967 he received the Lenin Peace Prize and donated part of the award to North Vietnam. In testimony to his greatness as an American artist, his obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.
One of the most widely known US graphic artists and illustrators of the twentieth century, Kent established his reputation in the 1920s and 1930s. The stark contrasts and dramatic mood of prints such as Foreboding (1926) and Almost (1929) distinguish his work.
Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York. He initially studied architecture at Columbia University (1906-1910) but soon switched to art, becoming the student of such noted teachers as William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Kenneth Hayes Miller. By the 1920s, Kent had developed his style of bold, stylized patterns with dramatic contrasts of black and white. His prints and illustrations brought him wide popularity.
Kent loved adventure and travel. He spent one winter with his young son on a remote Alaskan Island, and he described his trips to Greenland, Alaska, and the Straits of Magellan in a number of books that he illustrated. His autobiography, It's Me, O Lord, was published in 1955.
Politics also interested Kent and he participated in the anti-fascist American Artists' Congress. Kent received the Lenin Peace Prize in Moscow in 1967, and was criticized in America for his sympathies with left-leaning radical causes.
Born into a genteel but financially insecure family in Tarrytown, New York, in 1882, Rockwell Kent enrolled in Columbia University in 1900 as an architecture student. But his enjoyment of painting classes at William Merritt Chase's summer school soon led him to abandon college, and he moved on to the New York School of Art, where he studied under Robert Henri.
In 1905, Henri introduced Kent to the summer artists' colony on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. Kent, unlike most of the artists, made the decision to remain on Monhegan through the winter, making friends with the residents, sailing with the lobster men, building his own house and painting canvases such as Winter, Monhegan Island and Village on the Island Monhegan.
In 1914, now married and a father, Kent moved to the small town of Brigus in Newfoundland, where he hoped to find an arcadian way of life and start an art school. His outspoken manner, socialistic views and love of German culture soon aroused enmity among the local residents, who suspected him of being a German spy. He was deported in 1915. The experience deeply depressing to Kent is reflected in powerful paintings, such as House of Dread.
Again feeling the need for solitude, in 1918 Kent went with his eight-year-old son, Rockwell III, to Fox Island, off the coast of Seward in Alaska's Resurrection Bay. There Kent found the isolation he'd been seeking for painting and reading, living with his son in a trapper's cabin. He also used his time in Alaska to perfect his skill as a woodblock engraver. The publication of his illustrated book Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska (1920), along with the exhibition of his paintings from Resurrection Bay, established Kent as a major US artist.
In 1922, Kent voyaged to Tierra del Fuego, on an unsuccessful attempt to sail around Cape Horn. The trip inspired a number of paintings and provided the material for a second illustrated book, Voyaging: Southward from the Strait of Magellan.
After a subsequent stay in a remote village in Ireland, Kent returned to New York State, where he purchased an 80-hectare farm in 1927. For the remainder of his life, it was to be his home, though not his resting place. In 1929, he was off again, sailing to Greenland in a small boat with two men half his age. The voyage ended in shipwreck; but it introduced him to the Greenland natives and gave him his third illustrated book, N by E (1930). Kent was to return to Greenland twice more, in 1931-1932 and 1934-1935, and settled among the Greenlanders, making paintings and gathering the experiences that he set down in two subsequent illustrated books, Salamina (1935) and Greenland Journal (1960). According to Constance Martin, Greenland life "totally charmed him." Kent wrote, "How rich in everything was Greenland!...And no more complete with majesty were the mountains, nor limitless the ocean, than human kind seemed what it ought to be." Martin adds, "For Kent, the Greenland paintings were the most important of his career. He continued to work on them until his death." Kent also illustrated his autobiography It's Me, O Lord (1955).
Kent poured his first-hand knowledge of wilderness and the sea into the images he created for Herman Melville's Moby Dick. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company published the deluxe, limited edition in 1930, featuring over 270 illustrations. A Random House edition was published the same year and was sold through the Book-of-the-Month Club, popularizing Kent's illustrations throughout the United States and the world.
There was one notable limit to Rockwell Kent's celebrity. When he was introduced to people, they frequently took him to be another artist known for his illustrations, Norman Rockwell. The latter, in turn, found that people often mistook him for Rockwell Kent.
After World War II, however, Rockwell Kent's fortunes declined. His art fell out of favor, as Abstract Expressionism became a dominant force; and his left-wing politics opened him to attack. During the years from 1950 to 1958, Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations subcommittee summoned him to testify, the State Department revoked his passport and many institutions withdrew their invitations to exhibit his works. In 1958, Kent won a Supreme Court decision restoring his passport. But in outrage against his treatment during the McCarthy years, and in gratitude to the Soviet Union for giving him a 1957 retrospective at The State Hermitage Museum, Kent decided in 1960 to donate more than eighty of his paintings and 800 watercolors and drawings "to the people of the Soviet Union."
In the spring of 1969, Kent's home in the Adirondacks was struck by lightning and destroyed. Although he immediately arranged for a new house to be built on the foundations, he subsequently suffered a stroke. He died in 1971, shortly before his eighty-ninth birthday.
5 by Kent Clover Fields, Asgaard Workers of the World, Unite!
Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis illustrated by Kent _ As artist, illustrator, Radventurer, and explorer, Rockwell Kent was a prolific and active individual. In 1903, he took his mother’s advice to prepare for a conventional profession by accepting a scholarship at Columbia University’s School of Architecture. However, after three years of study, Kent chose to pursue his lifelong love of painting with a scholarship at the New York School of Art. Under the tutelage of painters Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Abbott Thayer, Kent’s spare and distinctive style developed, which he applied to magazine covers, paintings, and prints.
While commercial illustrations provided Kent with a steady income in the 1920s, by the 1930s, he had perfected his technique in book design and typography. At the height of his popularity, Kent illustrated classic literature such as Candide, Faust, Moby Dick, Canterbury Tales, and Venus and Adonis. His illustrations for Venus and Adonis incorporate the flowing Art Deco line and the bold, simplified forms that were his hallmarks.
Hay Bales, Evening, Below Whiteface (1965, 88x112cm) Mountain Landscape (1939, 46x76cm)
Monhegan Harbor (1950, 71x96cm) Mount Whiteface Asgaard (1961, 51x61cm)
21 prints at FAMSF
Died on 21 June
1949: Edward Alexander Wadsworth,
English painter born on 29 October 1889. — [In terms of money, do
you get wads' worth with a Wadsworth?]
— He was raised in a northern industrial environment that was to appear with great forcefulness in his Vorticist work. He studied engineering in Munich from 1906 to 1907 and, like many other Vorticists, Wadsworth’s interest in the machine showed itself at an early age. He also studied art at the Knirr School in Munich in his spare time, before attending Bradford School of Art; he then studied through a scholarship at the Slade School of Art (1908–1912) in London. Early paintings like Harrogate Corporation Brickworks (1908) show a growing interest in industrial subjects. Under the impact of the Post-Impressionists, he turned for a while to portraiture, beach scenes and still-lifes. His work was included in the final month of the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition held at the Grafton Galleries in 1912, and in the summer of the same year he joined the Omega Workshops, although his alliance with Roger Fry was short-lived. Wadsworth’s new friendship with Wyndham Lewis led to an abrupt departure from Omega in October, when several of his works were included in Frank Rutter’s Post-Impressionist and Futurist exhibitions at the Doré Gallery in London. His painting L’Omnibus (1913) announced his involvement with motorized themes that clearly derived from Futurism.
— Landscape (1913, 28x30cm)
— Abstract Composition (1915, 42x34cm) _ Vorticism was a short-lived but radical movement that emerged in London immediately before the First World War. ‘The vortex is the point of maximum energy’, wrote the US poet Ezra Pound, who co-founded the Vorticist journal Blast with Wyndham Lewis in June 1914. The journal, opened with the ‘Blast’ and ‘Bless’ manifestos, which celebrate the machine age and Britain as the first industrialised nation. Edward Wadsworth was a contributor and painted this Vorticist abstract composition soon after. With its sharp diagonal lines converging towards a ‘nodal point’ it exemplifies Pound’s definition of the Vortex as ’absorbing all that is around it in a violent whirling – a violent central engulfing’. The group’s aggressive rhetoric, angular style and focus on the energy of modern life linked it to Italian Futurism, though it did not share the latter’s emphasis on speed and dynamism. Other artists associated with Vorticism included William Roberts, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, CRW Nevinson and David Bomberg. The First World War demonstrated the devastating reality of pitting men against machines and Lewis’s attempts to revive the movement in 1919 came to nothing.
— View of a Town (1918, 18x13cm) _ This is an impression taken from a woodblock Wadsworth first printed in 1914. Wadsworth was born in Yorkshire, son of Fred Wadsworth who ran an important worsted spinning concern at Broomfield Mill. Although he refused to follow his father's profession he nonetheless retained an affection for the industrial North of England. Wadsworth took Wyndham Lewis on a tour of some of Yorkshire's cities including Halifax where, Lewis recalled, 'He stopped the car and we gazed down into its blackened labyrinth. I could see he was proud of it. It's like Hell, isn't it?' he said enthusiastically'.
— Dazzled-Ships in Drydock at Liverpool (1919, 305x244cm) _ One of the founders of the Vorticist movement, Wadsworth was involved in the first edition of the magazine Blast. He was, along with Wyndham Lewis, among those who used Cubo-Futurism as a basis for developing an art that was geometrical to the point of abstraction. He was drafted into the Navy, and served in the Mediterranean and on the island of Mudros. Then, on his return to Britain, he was appointed to supervise the camouflaging of ships in Bristol and Liverpool. He relied heavily on his artistic experience in order to vary the zigzag patterns aimed at misleading enemy lookouts. This painting — a commemorative commission from the Canadian authorities — shows four men at work on a hull. Above them rise up the monumental bows to match the format of the canvas. Dissymmetry triumphs with fragmented rectangles and trapeziums, broken diagonals and divided surfaces, and is so effective that the superstructures are hard to make out in the centre of the painting. The workers themselves are lost in a mechanical landscape where only reservoirs and chimneys are recognisable. Using the pattern used by Campbell Taylor to produce just one precise illustration, Wadsworth succeeds in a more effective pictorial demonstration, applying camouflage to the canvas itself and playing on figurative legibility.
— Granite Quarries, Darby Hill, Oldbury (1919, 25x36cm)
— Seaport (1923, 64x89cm) _ In the early 1920s Wadsworth developed a new kind of painting that suited the widespread mood of restlessness and need for escape in the aftermath of the Great War (1914-1918). Hiking home from a holiday in Newlyn in 1920 he decided to paint a series of harbor scenes similar to Turner's engravings of 'The Harbours of England'. His interest in harbors was increased when an inheritance in 1921 enabled him to travel abroad. Seaport was painted early in 1923 from sketches made in France, probably at La Rochelle. Painted in tempera, a technique requiring swift and accurate handling, the composition combines realistic detail with a dream-like atmosphere redolent of the past.
— Still Life (1926, 36x25cm)
— Regalia (1928, 76x92cm) _ Regalia combines a still life of antiquated and modern marine instruments with a view of the open sea. The sailor’s equipment is elevated to royal status as the shapes subtly echo the regalia of sceptre, orb and chain. Wadsworth was fascinated by technical machinery and collected maritime equipment so that he could paint directly from it. The stark clarity of his style, which was influenced by the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico, injects a sense of mystery and gives the objects a presence that makes them seem like a monument.
— Dux et Comes I: Rebuff (1932, 51x61cm) _ In 1932 Wadsworth became a member of the Paris-based organisation of abstract artists, Abstraction-Création. He joined before both Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, and, on the Continent, Wadsworth was regarded as the leading English abstract artist. This work belongs to a series of paintings called 'Dux et Comes', a musical term used to describe choral roles in a fugue. It translates from the Latin as leader and companion. The leader (soprano) sings in one key, the companion (alto) replies in another. The series explores human relationships and moods, which are indicated by subtitles. The idea that painting can be like music was important to the development of abstract art.
— The Beached Margin (1937, 71x102cm) _ Wadsworth was never a Surrealist, although he was sometimes categorised as such by contemporary critics. His startling and sometimes threatening still lifes of the late 1920s and 1930s often have a surreal air. The fishing floats and starfish that hang from seemingly nautical constructions in this work have been painted on an unreal scale, and the whole scene has an hyper-clarity suggestive of an hallucination or dream. The vivacious serpentine line linking the constructions is a device derived from the eighteenth-century Rococo style, which enjoyed a revival in Britain in the late 1920s
— Bronze Ballet (1940, 63x76cm; 394x479pix, 30kb) _ This harbor scene is based on Le Havre in France. Despite its apparent calm it conceals an anxiety that is suggested by an unusually choppy sea. Wadsworth painted it in May 1940 at Maresfield, Sussex, where he could hear the bombardment of the French ports by the advancing German forces that were encircling the British at Dunkirk. Wadsworth was interested in animism – the attribution of life to inanimate objects – and metamorphism and painted many such collections of marine objects. Here the dynamic forms of the propellers suggest a dance, while hinting at the function they will perform beyond the harbor mouth on the horizon.
— Floats and Afloat (1928, 30x23cm) — Signals (1942, 102x71cm)
Born on 21 June 1859: Henry
Ossawa Tanner, Black US Realist
painter born in Pittsburgh PA, who died on 25 May 1937 in Paris, France.
He studied under Thomas
Laurens and Benjamin-Constant.
The son of a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Henry Ossawa Tanner was raised in an affluent, well-educated Black US family. Although reluctant at first, Tanner’s parents eventually responded to their son’s unflagging desire to pursue an artistic career and encouraged his ambitions. In 1879, Tanner enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he joined Thomas Eakins’s coterie. Tanner moved to Atlanta in 1889 in an unsuccessful attempt to support himself as an artist and instructor among prosperous middle-class African Americans. Bishop and Mrs. Joseph C. Hartzell arranged for Tanner’s first solo exhibition, the proceeds from which enabled the struggling artist to move to Paris in 1891. Illness brought him back to the United States in 1893, and it was at this point in his career that Tanner turned his attention to genre subjects of his own race. In 1893 most US artists painted US Black subjects either as grotesque caricatures or sentimental figures of rural poverty. Henry Ossawa Tanner, who sought to represent black subjects with dignity, wrote: “Many of the artists who have represented Negro life have seen only the comic, the ludicrous side of it, and have lacked sympathy with and appreciation for the warm big heart that dwells within such a rough exterior.”
The Annunciation (1898)
The Banjo Lesson (1893, 124x90cm) _ The banjo had become a symbol of derision, and caricatures of insipid, smiling US Blacks strumming the instrument were a cliché. In The Banjo Lesson, Tanner tackles this stereotype head-on, portraying a man teaching his young protégé to play the instrument — the large body of the older man lovingly envelops the boy as he patiently instructs him. If popular nineteenth-century imagery of the African-American male had divested him of authority and leadership, then Tanner in The Banjo Lesson recreated him in the role of father, mentor, and sage. The Banjo Lesson is about sharing knowledge and passing on wisdom. The exposition-sized canvas was accepted into the Paris Salon of 1894. That year it was given by Robert Ogden of Philadelphia to Hampton Institute near Norfolk, Virginia, one of the first and most prestigious black colleges founded shortly after Emancipation. Hampton lent it the next year to Atlanta’s Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, where it hung in the Negro Building. Contemporary critics largely ignored the work. Tanner painted another African-American genre subject in 1894, The Thankful Poor, but then abandoned subjects of his own race in favor of biblical themes. When Tanner returned to Paris in 1895, he established a reputation as a salon artist and religious painter but never again painted genre subjects of US Blacks.
The Two Disciples at the Tomb (1906, 130x106cm) _ Peter and the other disciple [John] started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. (John 20:3~9)
Here, John’s youthful face reflects the emptiness of the arched tomb. Next to him, bowing his head in awe, stands the bearded disciple Peter, who will later become the leader of the Christian church. The sense of spirituality is emphasized by the light radiating from the tomb. Born on the eve of the Civil War in a house that served as an Underground Railroad station, Tanner was six years old when slavery was abolished in 1865. At the age of 21 he was the only black student admitted to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, a noted art school. There he studied with Thomas Eakins, one of America's leading painters in the late 19th century. After struggling to establish a career as an artist in Philadelphia, Tanner moved to Paris, then the art capital of the western world. In Paris, Tanner was able to live and paint without battling the racial barriers of the United States. Although Tanner depicted a wide range of subjects — North African landscapes, portraits, and Black US genre scenes — he considered himself primarily a painter of religious subjects. Two Disciples at the Tomb became one of Tanner’s most well-known religious paintings in America, giving him at long last the kind of recognition that he had received abroad. Called "the most impressive and distinguished work of the season" in 1906, the painting competed against 350 other works to win the Harris Silver Medal at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Died on 21 June
2003: Moshe Kupferman (or Kupperman),
Israeli abstract painter, born in Poland in 1926.
— He fled with his family to the Soviet Union during World War II. His family died during the war and Kupperman came to Israel in 1948. He was one of the founding members of the Lohamei Haghetaot kibbutz in the north of Israel, where he lived until his death. His abstract designs — painted primarily in violet, black, white and occasionally green — were influenced by his experiences as a Holocaust survivor.
— Kupferman, an autodidactic artist, found his way to abstraction working in self-imposed seclusion in his kibbutz, Lohamei Hagetaot, almost completely detached from the shifring trends and processes of the contemporary art world. His work is represented in museum collections in Israel and abroad. Kupferman's painterly "handwriting" results from the combination of two fundamental elements: the obsessive superimposition of layer upon layer of paint in subdued shades ranging from soft violet to grayish mauve, and the repetition of parallel lines, freely brushed but "regulating" the canvas with at times almost drawing like precision. This work process is reflected in an uneasy grid, with the intersecting diagonals showing signs of erasure, and the alternate transparency and opacity of the layers affecting the saturation of the color. Many of Kupferman's works start out with spontaneous "first marks" and continue with the response of the brush to these or with a process of erasure and reconstruction. His compositions are fraught with tension between the revealed and the concealed, between the transparent and the opaque planes. At times they show signs of more extrovert work process related to Abstract Expressionism.
— The Rift in Time # 1 (1431x1337pix, 370kb)_ The Rift in Time # 2 (1432x1333pix, 315kb) _ The Rift in Time # 3 (1454x1353pix, 232kb) _ The Rift in Time # 4 (1444x1345pix, 312kb) _ The Rift in Time # 7 (1428x1320pix, 276kb) _ The Rift in Time is a series of eight paintings, each 200x200cm. Three of the paintings were made for Yad Layeled, the Children’s Memorial, an institution for teaching children and youth about the Holocaust, built in Kupferman's kibbutz. He called the series at first Di Kriye (in the language of his childhood, Yiddish), i.e. “the Rip” that Jews traditionally tear in their clothes in mourning (such “rips” with real or imaginary knife, indeed, appeared in Kupferman’s early paintings). It is meant both as a concrete gesture of defiance, a ritual of mourning, as well as an abstract concept, an irreparable, unbridgeable rift, like the “Syrian-African Rift,” the result of a geological catastrophe…
— Untitled (1974, 131x163cm) _ Kupferman’s vigorous and enigmatic abstractions well up from vivid life experiences: note, for example, the prevalence of architectural or structural idioms in this composition-resonant of his earlier work as a construction worker on his kibbutz in Galilee. His paintings record the often contentious process of wresting images out of paint. In this deceptively simple work, a freely painted grille defines the foreground plane-like a gate through which the eye roves into a pale, luminous space. The space is not vacant, but sectioned and animated by half-submerged systems of brushed and incised lines. Note the faint “horizon”, approached but never touched by lines from above and below. Even fainter lines inscribe wide arcs and a sideways rhythm of curves.
— Painting 1967 (390x482pix, 53kb) _ Painting 1967, a symphony of lively forms in a rich range of colors, brushed with dynamic strokes, demonstrates the expressionistic-dramatic aspect of Kupferman's art.
— Abstract (1969, 90x125cm) _ a blackboard with half-a-dozen white chalk lines, and roughly the bottom 30% smeared in green. Sold at Hammersite for $8200 on 19 Oct 2000.
— Composition (1995, 74x105cm) _ Sold at Hammersite for $3052 on 26 Mar 2000.
— Abstract (1975, 57x78cm) _ Right half of Composition 1995, stretched out horizontally and changed from black to gray. Sold at Hammersite for $1265 on 12 Feb 2001.
— Composition (1986, 30x26cm; 783x700pix, 95kb) _ Similar to Abstract 1975, but rotated 90º and the top 42% black, the middle 43% bluish gray, and the bottom 15% cream. Sold at Hammersite for $1035 on 19 Oct 2000.
— Abstract (28x37cm) _ Sold at Hammersite for $862.50 on 19 Jun 2003.
— Untitled black at top (26x19cm; 450x355pix, 42kb) — Untitled black at bottom (26x19cm; 450x358pix, 41kb) — Untitled dark gray (13x22cm; 300x492pix, 57kb) — Untitled medium gray (13x22cm; 289x492pix, 40kb) — Untitled dark purple (13x22cm; 300x492pix, 54kb)