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DEATH: 1839 BEECHEY
BIRTHS: 1761 GÉRARD — 1912 POLLOCK
^ Born on 28 January 1761: Marguerite Gérard, French Romantic portrait and genre-scene painter who died on 18 May 1837.
— After the death of her mother in 1775 she left Grasse to join her elder sister Marie-Anne and her sister’s husband Jean-Honoré Fragonard in their quarters in the Louvre in Paris. Marguerite became Fragonard’s protégé and lived for the next 30 years in the Louvre, where she was exposed to the greatest art and artists of the past and present. By 1785 she had already established a reputation as a gifted genre painter, the first French woman to do so, and by the late 1780s came to be considered one of the leading women artists in France, the equal of Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Anne Vallayer-Coster and Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.
_ Marguerite Gérard was the sister-in-law of Jean-Honoré Fragonard as well as his student and protégée. Gérard, one of the few women artists of her time, developed a sentimental style of domestic genre scenes that greatly appealed to her contemporaries.
— Daughter of a Grassois perfumer, Claude Gérard, Marguerite, barely sixteen, goes to Paris where she lives with her sister Marie-Anne, Jean-Honoré Fragonard's wife. Though she can barely read or write; the young girl nonetheless shows great artistic disposition and learns to draw, paint, and even engrave. Initially her brother-in-law's student she will quickly become his collaborator and more, according to several unfounded rumors. This collaboration ends with the close of the 18th century. Marguerite Gérard continues painting calm, intimate, and happy family scenes which she regularly exhibits in the Salons, up until 1824. Tired of the criticism of her repetitive style she then retires from artistic life and ends her days comfortably in Paris.
— Although she also produced oil portraits, portrait miniatures, and etchings, Marguerite Gérard is best known for her intimate domestic genre scenes. In the hierarchy of subject types in 18th-century France, such paintings ranked higher than portraits or still lifes but considerably lower than history paintings. Yet Gérard, who was something of a rebel (she never married and apparently never demonstrated any interest in joining the Academy), was tremendously successful in her career, which lasted more than 40 years. Gérard won three medals for her work, which she exhibited regularly once the Salons were opened to women in the 1790s; her pictures were acquired by such luminaries as Napoleon and King Louis XVII; she also acquired considerable wealth and real estate.
Mauvaises Nouvelles      Gérard was born in the Provençal town of Grasse. Her interest in art was shaped by her brother-in-law, the popular rococo painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, beginning in 1775, when she moved to Paris to live with her sister's family. As part of the Fragonard household, Gérard had considerable financial freedom, along with the opportunity to further her artistic training as her brother-in-law's unofficial apprentice. By her mid-twenties Gérard had developed her signature style, which featured painstakingly accurate details rendered with subtly blended brush strokes, both traits borrowed from 17th-century Dutch genre specialists, notably Gabriel Metsu. Gérard's work is not only technically impressive but also practical: these relatively small-scale, portable canvases were designed to appeal to wealthy collectors who preferred to display in their homes meticulously painted still lifes and genre scenes rather than large history paintings. The numerous engraved versions of Gérard's paintings made them accessible to less affluent art lovers and helped increase her reputation.

LINKS
Bad News (1804, 63cmx50cm) [>>>] _ The subject, rather than the technique, is a perfect illustration of the artist's pre-Romanticism. Women fainting was a recurrent theme in literature of the period: "this morning's conversation had deeply upset me... my head and my heart ached... I felt myself growing faint... would Heaven take pity on me? ... I could no longer stand up..." (Letter XII from Julie d'Étange in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's La Nouvelle Héloïse).
L’Enfant Chéri (1790) _ This painting presents an idealized vision of the world and an idyllic interpretation of elegantly dressed women fulfilling their roles as mothers and protectors that is typical of Gérard’s manner. From a technical standpoint, the painting displays Gérard’s virtuoso skills in reproducing subtle tonalities and various textures of fabrics.
First Steps (1788) _ A subject which Gérard had painted before (1785), and would paint again for the 1804 Salon.
Artist Painting a Portrait of a Musician (before 1803)
 
^ >Died on 28 January 1839: Sir William Beechey, British painter born on 12 December 1753.
— He was trained as a lawyer before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1772. He is thought to have studied under Johan Zoffany, and his earliest surviving portraits are small-scale full-lengths and conversation pieces in Zoffany’s manner (e.g. The Custance Conversation Piece, 1786). Beechey first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776. In 1782 he moved to Norwich, where he gained several commissions, but he was back in London by 1787. In 1789 he exhibited a portrait of John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle that is remarkable for its facility of handling. Beechey would occasionally paint similarly inspired works, but his career is marked by a succession of unflamboyant but competent portraits in the tradition of Joshua Reynolds.
— Born in Burford, Oxfordshire, Beechey was trained for the law, moving from his first employer in Gloucestershire in the late 1760s to London. After meeting some students at the Royal Academy, he entered that school in 1774, exhibiting there from 1776 to 1839, one of the longest careers in the history of the academy, though overshadowed first by Reynolds and later by Lawrence.
      After some instruction from Johann Zoffany, well known for his conversation pieces, Beechey moved to Norwich in 1782 and set up a successful practice with the financial assistance of his patron, Dr. Strachey, a clergyman. Here he began to paint life-size portraits. He returned to London in 1787, entering into a professional rivalry with John Hoppner and Thomas Lawrence. In 1793 Beechey was named painter to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, who became a personal friend of the Beechey family and acted as godmother to one of their children. The artist was elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1798, the same year he was knighted. Beechey's ability to achieve a conscientious but aristocratic likeness, probing subtly into the characters of his sitters, made him a favorite portraitist in Georgian society.
— Beechey was trained as a lawyer before entering in 1772 the Royal Academy Schools, London, where he may have studied under Johan Zoffany. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776 and throughout his career he produced competent portraits since he had no shortage of clients throughout his long career. In 1793 he was named portrait painter to Queen Charlotte, and undertook a number of royal commissions. His straightforward style perfectly suited the stolid and conventional taste of the royal family. In 1795 the painter John Opie [May 1761 – 09 Apr 1807] described Beechey's pictures as “of that mediocre quality as to taste and fashion, that they seemed only fit for sea Captains and merchants”.

LINKS
–- Self-portrait (75x62cm; 600x489pix, 17kb _ .ZOOM to 967x978pix, 59kb)
–- Master James Hatch as Marshall's Attendant at the Montern Eton (1796, 185x133cm, 767x527pix, 47kb _ .ZOOM to 1150x790pix, 97kb _ .ZOOM+ to 2300x1581pix, 262kb _ .ZOOM++ to 4758x3382pix, 2764kb)
–- Sir Francis Ford's Children Giving a Coin to a Beggar Boy (1793, 180x150cm; 512x425pix, 25kb) _ Images of poverty were widespread in the late eighteenth century, but tended to be prettified. Unusually, this picture shows a particular act of charity, and stresses the misery of the beggar, contrary to the prevalent opinion that images of the poor that were too realistic would disgust people rather than encourage acts of charity. The father of these children, Sir Francis Ford, was a plantation owner and a politician who actively supported slavery. The existence of this painting of his children’s kindness towards the poor highlights the hypocrisy at the heart of the ideals of Sensibility.
The Oddie Children (1789, 183x182cm) _ This painting depicts Henry, Jane, Sara, and Catherine, the children of Henry Hoyle Oddie, a London lawyer who commissioned the portrait. At the time, Beechey was the foremost portraitist in Britain; four years later, he was appointed official painter to Queen Charlotte. Beautifully painted, The Oddie Children is also noteworthy for its composition. Beechey masterfully links the four children through their poses, yet accords each of them individual prominence by placing the fair-haired children against dark backgrounds and the dark-haired daughter against the pale sky. It was Beechey's ability to capture the innocence and charm of childhood that must have especially delighted his patron. — {What would you call a pimple one of these children might develop? And what to you think of the preceding question, odd is it? Oddie zit?}
Adm. Charles Hamilton [1767-1849] (1800, 102x71cm) _ This half-length portrait in kit-cat format shows the sitter with his head turned to the right. He wears a captain's full-dress uniform, 1795-1812, and a high white stock. His left elbow rests on a rock and his sheathed sword is held in the gloved left hand. The background is sky. A piece of paper with the family arms on it is stuck to the top right-hand corner of the canvas and varnished. At the time this portrait was painted the sitter was senior naval officer on the west coast of Africa. He later became Admiral of the Red.
Capt. George Ralph Collier [1774-1824] (1814, 127x102cm) _ A three-quarter-length portrait wearing captain's undress uniform of over three years, 1812-1825. He carries his sheathed sword in his right hand and points purposefully to the left of the picture with his left. He is portrayed standing on deck with a carronade to his right, and San Sebastian in Northern Spain in the background. Early in 1814, he took the two new frigates Newcastle and Leander, each 60 guns, out to the American coast, flying his broad pendant as Commodore in the Leander. His last service was in 1818 and he committed suicide six years later.
Capt. Robert Stopford [1768-1847] (1791, 76x63cm) _ A half-length portrait to the left, in a painted oval, wearing captain's full-dress uniform, 1787-95. He was promoted to captain at the age of 22 and fought at the Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794. He received a gold medal for his conduct at the Battle of San Domingo in 1806, took part in the Rio and Copenhagen expeditions of 1806-1807, attacked Rochefort in 1808, was Commander-in-Chief at the Cape of Good Hope in 1808 and reduced Java in 1811. His last active post was as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet and he was present at the Bombardment of Acre in 1841. From that year until his death he was Governor of Greenwich Hospital, in the rank of Admiral.
Rear-Adm. John Jervis [1735-1823] (1790, 76x63cm) _ A head-and-shoulders portrait, full-face, in a painted oval. Wearing rear-admiral's undress uniform 1787-1795, and the ribbon and star of the Bath, the former worn inside his coat. The background has been painted as sky. In 1795, he was put in command of the British Mediterranean fleet, and in 1797, with Nelson as his commodore, led his forces to victory over a Spanish fleet off Cape Saint-Vincent. Jervis later became First Lord of the Admiralty, 1801-04. The sitter and the artist became friends and this is reflected in the directness, warmth and intimacy of this portrait, particularly notable since Jervis had a public reputation as a strict disciplinarian.
Rear-Adm. Thomas Troubridge [1758-1807] (1805, 127x102cm) _ A three-quarter-length to left in Rear-Admiral's full-dress uniform, 1793-1812. His right hand is outstretched on his sword hilt, and he wears the medals for St Vincent and the Nile together with the collar decoration of the Order of a Knight Commander of St Ferdinand and of Merit. He was briefly a Captain in St Vincent's fleet and in 1805, as a Rear-Admiral, he went to the East Indies with orders to take command of part of the station. This painting is a replica of the original by Beechey, done for Lord Egerton.
Rev. Edmund Nelson (1800, 75x61cm) _ A half-length portrait facing slightly right, wearing clerical bands and a plain black coat. The sitter was Edmund Nelson [1722 – 26 Apr 1802], village rector in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England, who, with his wife, Catherine, had 11 children of which Admiral Horatio Nelson was the sixth. This portrait was painted at the request of the admiral's wife during the sitter's last visits to her in London. Beechey made it a rule that all his sitters except the king and royal family should come to him for their portraits to be painted. He broke the rule on this occasion in honor of Admiral Nelson and out of deference to the age of the sitter.
Vice-Adm. Horatio Nelson (1801, 41x34cm) _ Nelson [29 Sep 1758 – 21 Oct 1805] was a British naval commander in the wars with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, who won crucial victories in such battles as those of the Nile (1798) and of Trafalgar (1805), where he was killed on the HMS Victory . In private life he was known for his extended love affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton [1761 – 15 Jan 1815], while both were married (not to each other). This picture is a head-and-shoulders sketch facing right, for a full-length portrait which is in St Andrew's Hall, Norwich. The portrait was painted after Copenhagen in 1801, when Nelson destroyed the Danish fleet and with it the Armed Neutrality of northern powers, engineered against Britan by Tsar Paul of Russia, who was assassinated just after the battle.
Vice-Adm. George Cockburn [1772-1853] (1820, 241x148cm) _ Full-length portrait facing left, in vice-admiral's full-dress uniform, 1812-1825, with the ribbon and star of the GCB. On the table to the left is his hat behind some books and papers. He wears a sword to his left which was presented to him by Nelson in 1797, which is also in the NMM collection, and a group of seals hang from a fob at his waist. His right hand holds a pair of kid gloves and rests on a map showing Cockburn Land, Baffin Island. Behind him is a low stone wall, red curtain and a fluted pillar to the left. Sir George Cockburn served under Nelson in various engagements and took an important part in the Anglo-American war of 1812. He showed his skill as a naval commander in the operations on the Chesapeake, Sassafras, and Potomac rivers. He co-operated with General Ross at the battles of Bladensburg and Baltimore, and after the former battle entered the City of Washington and burnt the public buildings including the Senate and what is now the White House, so-painted thereafter to hide the damage. He was selected to convey Napoleon to Saint-Helena in the Northumberland in 1815. Promoted Vice-Admiral in 1819, and Admiral in 1837, he was an important figure in the British Navy's early adoption of steam-power and became First Sea Lord in 1841.
–- Thomas Law Hodges (77x64cm) _ Hodges [1776-1857] of Hemsted Place, Cranbrook, Kent, was for many years a Member of Parliament for that county. An old inscription on the back states that the sitter is 18. This would date the picture to 1794, so that it is probably the portrait of ‘Mr Hodges’ which Beechey exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1795. He was patronized by the royal family. With its strong likeness and vigorous rendering of youthful vitality, this picture is one of Beechey's best male portraits.
Paul Sandby (1789, 76x63cm; 600x498pix, 49kb) _ Sandby [Jan 1731 — 07 Nov 1809] was an English draftsman who became a prominent watercolorist.
—(061202)
^ >Born on 28 January 1912: Jackson Pollock “Jack the Dripper”, US Abstract Expressionist painter who died on 11 August 1956 (details).
— Pollock was the commanding figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement. He began to study painting in 1929 at the Art Students’ League, New York, under the Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton. During the 1930s he worked in the manner of the Regionalists, being influenced also by the Mexican muralist painters (Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros) and by certain aspects of Surrealism.
      From 1938 to 1942 he worked for the Federal Art Project. By the mid 1940s he was painting in a completely abstract manner, and the ‘drip and splash’ style for which he is best known emerged with some abruptness in 1947. Instead of using the traditional easel he affixed his canvas to the floor or the wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can; instead of using brushes he manipulated it with ‘sticks, trowels or knives’ (to use his own words), sometimes obtaining a heavy impasto by an admixture of ‘sand, broken glass or other foreign matter'. This manner of Action painting (“tachisme” in French) had in common with Surrealist theories of automatism that it was supposed by artists and critics alike to result in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods of the artist.
      Pollock's name is also associated with the introduction of the All-over style of painting which avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas and therefore abandons the traditional idea of composition in terms of relations among parts. The design of his painting had no relation to the shape or size of the canvas — indeed in the finished work the canvas was sometimes docked or trimmed to suit the image. All these characteristics were important for the new US painting which matured in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
     During the 1950s Pollock continued to produce figurative or quasi-figurative black and white works and delicately modulated paintings in rich impasto as well as the paintings in the new all-over style. He was strongly supported by advanced critics, but was also subject to much abuse and sarcasm as the leader of a still little comprehended style; in 1956 Time magazine called him ‘Jack the Dripper’. By the 1960s, however, he was generally recognized as the most important figure in the most important movement of this century in American painting, but a movement from which artists were already in reaction (Post-Painterly Abstraction). His unhappy personal life (he was an alcoholic) and his premature death in a car crash contributed to his legendary status. In 1944 Pollock married Lee Krasner (1911-84), who was an Abstract Expressionist painter of some distinction, although it was only after her husband's death that she received serious critical recognition.
Breaking the ice
      It was Jackson Pollock who blazed an astonishing trail for other Abstract Expressionist painters to follow. De Kooning said, “He broke the ice”, an enigmatic phrase suggesting that Pollock showed what art could become with his 1947 drip paintings. It has been suggested that Pollock was influenced by Native American sand paintings, made by trickling thin lines of colored sand onto a horizontal surface. It was not until 1947 that Pollock began his “action” paintings, influenced by Surrealist ideas of “psychic automatism” (direct expression of the unconscious). Pollock would fix his canvas to the floor and drip paint from a can using a variety of objects to manipulate the paint. The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle (1943; 110x104cm) is an early Pollock, but it shows the passionate intensity with which he pursued his personal vision. This painting is based on a North American Indian myth. It connects the moon with the feminine and shows the creative, slashing power of the female psyche. It is not easy to say what we are actually looking at: a face rises before us, vibrant with power, though perhaps the image does not benefit from labored explanations. If we can respond to this art at a fairly primitive level, then we can also respond to a great abstract work such as Lavender Mist. If we cannot, at least we can appreciate the fusion of colors and the Expressionist feeling of urgency that is communicated. Moon-Woman may be a feathered harridan or a great abstract pattern; the point is that it works on both levels.

— In 1947, influential art critic Clement Greenberg wrote the following in the English magazine Horizon: "The most powerful painter in contemporary America and the only one who promises to be a major one is a Gothic, morbid, and extreme disciple of Picasso's Cubism and Miró's post-Cubism, tinctured also with Kandinsky and surrealist inspiration. His name is Jackson Pollock." Raised in the American West, Pollock became the most important of the New York School Abstract Expressionists and is credited with completely transforming modern art. Prone to heavy drinking and possessing a volatile personality, the artist developed a reputation (especially among European artists) as a "cowboy," the kind of rugged individualist found only in the American West.
      Jackson Pollock was born on a farm in Cody, Wyoming, and grew up in Wyoming, Arizona, and California. Pollock's first exposure to modern art came in the form of a journal entitled Dial, copies of which he obtained from his brother Charles, who had begun painting a few years earlier. Pollock's first paintings were created emulating those of his brother's. While studying painting at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, Pollock read the writings of Krishnamurti and Rudolf Steiner and was introduced to theosophy. He also saw the work of Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siquieros, both of whom came to have a profound and lasting influence on Pollock's work. When Pollock was 17, he dropped out of high school and moved to New York City. From 1929 to 1931 he received instruction at the Art Students League, where he was mentored by Thomas Hart Benton, who introduced the young painter to both Renaissance art and "American scene" realism. It was around this time that Pollock first became familiar with the work of Mexican painter José Clemente Orozco. Pollock also spent a few years traveling the country by train and car, sketching the American landscape. Of his time with Benton, Pollock later told the New Yorker that his teacher "drove his kind of realism at me so hard I bounced right into non-objective painting." From 1938 to 1942 Pollock existed on the money he received from painting murals for the WPA Federal Arts Project, and his work began to be included in exhibitions in New York as well as the middle and far west. Pollock also entered Jungian analysis for treatment of his alcoholism and in 1938 was briefly institutionalized at Bloomingdale Asylum in White Plains, New York. Pollock's early work borrowed imagery from Picasso, the muralists, and Jungian symbolism.
      Pollock's first one-man show took place in 1943 at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of this Century gallery, which subsequently hosted three additional exhibitions. Guggenheim provided Pollock with a monthly advance on the future sale of his paintings, an arrangement that allowed him to paint full-time. Pollock would be the subject of 10 solo exhibitions over the course of the next 11 years. From 1943 to 1947, in pieces such as She Wolf, Guardians of the Secret, and There Were Seven in Eight, Pollock's painting focused on totems and symbols in human animal form that were directly inspired by Jungian analysis. In 1945 Pollock moved into a house at the Springs in East Hampton, Long Island; he and painter Lee Krasner were married on 25 October. Krasner's work was also categorized as Abstract Expressionist, but for many years her career was overshadowed by her husband's. A devoted wife and passionate promoter and defender of her husband's work, Krasner introduced Pollock to several important artists, such as Hans Hofmann (Pollock and Hofmann were among those who congregated at the Cedar Bar in New York).
      Pollock worked in an upstairs bedroom of the house at the Springs for one year before relocating to the barn, which he moved and transformed into a studio. Between 1947 and 1950 Pollock developed the working method that characterized the style he would be most remembered for: placing unstretched canvas on the floor, he placed a stick or trowel into a can of enamel paint and dripped the paint onto the surface from above. Through the development of extraordinary control in his hands and wrists, Pollock was able to manipulate seemingly endless and intricate webs of curls and splatters. The artist often began with recognizable shapes and figures that he slowly obscured through the application of many layers of abstract patterns. From 1948 to 1950 Pollock was represented by the Betty Parsons gallery, which presented his work on four separate occasions. On 08 August 1949, Life magazine published the sarcastically titled "Jackson Pollock: Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" The article brought the artist to the attention of the mainstream US.
      With curator Peter Blake, Pollock designed a museum in which all of the walls would consist of drip paintings. The museum never found a patron, but Pollock did receive a commission to create a wall-size painting for Marcel Breuer's new home. Although Parsons raised the price of Pollock's paintings, it would be several years before they began to sell with any regularity. His only consistent patron was Alfonso Ossorio, who bought two of Pollock's paintings and shared his Manhattan townhouse with Pollock and Krasner.
      In the early 1950s Pollock began painting much larger pieces and rejected titles in favor of numbers to mark individual works. One of seven painters representing the U.S. at the 25th Venice Biennale International Exhibition in June 1950, Pollock also had several exhibits in locations such as Milan and Paris. That year Hans Namuth began work on the photographs and films that later became a primary source for Pollock scholars, providing a rare firsthand account of the painter's creative process. In order to take advantage of the better lighting conditions, filming took place outside on weekends. Pollock painted Number 29, 1950 on a plane of glass; Namuth placed his camera beneath the glass for a most unusual view of the artist's process. The experience drove Pollock over the edge, and when filming had completed, he ended two years of sobriety. On the eve of the most important exhibition of his life, Pollock flew into a drunken rage and turned over the dinner table. The pressure Namuth's film had placed on the artist sent Pollock into a rapid descent that eventually led to his death. Additionally, the staged nature of the film coupled with Pollock's scripted narration may have led the artist to believe that he had rendered himself inauthentic.
      Disappointed by what he saw as the poor representation he was receiving from Betty Parsons, Pollock took his work across the street to the Sidney Janis gallery. In November 1952, the latter gallery hosted an exhibit that featured Number 10, Number 11, and Number 12, examples of Pollock's larger-scale work. In 1951 and 1952, respectively, Pollock's work was featured in two shows hosted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York: "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America" and "Fifteen Americans." The works exhibited at the Janis gallery in 1954 included Sleeping Effort, The Deep, and Portrait of a Dream, paintings created in 1953 that represented a further advancement in Pollock's style: the integration of brush strokes and recognizable shapes. Between 1953 and 1956 Pollock finished fewer than 10 paintings, afflicted by jealousy and finding it harder to paint as his wife came into her own as an artist.
      Abstract art was often met with hostility, as Michigan Congressman George Dondero declared modern art to be Communist and an affront to American values. Nonetheless, Pollock's reputation benefited equally from derision as well as from praise. Earlier in his career, Pollock claimed not to know where his work came from. However, as he developed the drip painting process some referred to as "action painting," he found himself defending his skill against attacks from critics who claimed that the paintings appeared to be randomly constructed. Pollock always claimed that he was drawing on his unconscious for inspiration, but this admission did not presuppose that he lacked control over the application of the paint. It was nearly impossible for critics to ignore the physicality of Pollock's methods, but the artist saw these techniques as nothing more than the means through which he arrived at a particular aesthetic statement.
      Pollock struggled with alcoholism throughout his life. He considered himself to be the greatest painter in the world, but even this knowledge did nothing to allay the deep melancholy that had haunted him since childhood. Pollock often became violent when drunk and sometimes sped his car down Long Island's country back roads. His decision to agree to allow photographer Hans Namuth to film him apparently drove the artist over the edge, and in November 1950 he ended two years of sobriety in a drunken rage. After walking away from car crashes in 1951 and 1954, perhaps it was inevitable that his drunk driving would lead to his demise. As his relationship with Krasner worsened, Pollock engaged in an affair with aspiring artist Ruth Kligman. In July 1956 Krasner left for Europe. On the evening of August 11, 1956, Pollock and Edith Metzger (a friend of Kligman's) were killed while driving an Oldsmobile he'd acquired by trading in two paintings. Kligman survived the accident.
      Pollock was a force of nature who changed the face of modern art. The artist's legacy is forever determined by the documents left behind by Hans Namuth, which provided the public with a sense of the intense physicality of Pollock's approach to painting. These documents later inspired the performance art of Yves Klein and Herman Nitsch, and the work of sculptors including Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, and Bruce Nauman. Pollock's work was also highly influential on the hand-painted films of filmmaker Stan Brakhage. The non-representational painting of Pollock and others of his generation such as Willem de Kooning led to a change in perception regarding US art, and in the latter half of the twentieth century the United States replaced Europe as the international center of modern art.
wikibio

LINKS
Self-Portrait (1933)
Going West (600x800pix, 213kb _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix)
Blue (Moby Dick) (1943, 48x61cm; 600x800pix _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix; 486kb)
The Flame (1938; 600x800pix _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix, 484kb)
The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle (600x800pix _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix, 473kb) _ The pseudonymous Jokeson Coalfish has combined these last two pictures, made them symmetrical, thoroughly transformed them into further abstractions and thus created
      _ The Circle-Woman Cuts the Flame aka Trace Cart (2006; screen filling, 324kb _ ZOOM to 1414x2000pix, 1507kb),
      _ The Flame-Woman Cuts the Moon aka Track Cart (2006; screen filling, 266kb _ ZOOM to 1414x2000pix, 1053kb),
      _ The Circus Woman Cuts the Flim-Flam aka Truck Curt (2006; screen filling, 304kb _ ZOOM to 1414x2000pix, 1358kb), and
      _ The Cute Woman Circles the Flame aka Trap Art (2006; screen filling, 266kb _ ZOOM to 1414x2000pix, 1054kb).
Search (600x800pix _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix, 693kb)
There Were Seven in Eight (600x800pix _ ZOOM to 1200x1600pix, 863kb)
Number 13A: Arabesque (1948, 94x297cm)
Harbor and Lighthouse (1936)
Shooting Star (1947, 600x364pix _ ZOOM to 1400x849pix)
Guardians of the Secret (1943, 124x190cm; 613x993pix, 240kb)
Lavender Mist: Number 1, 1950 (221x300cm; 384x521pix, 179kb) _ Action painting: Pollock was the first “all-over” painter, pouring paint rather than using brushes and a palette, and abandoning all conventions of a central motif. He danced in semi-ecstasy over canvases spread across the floor, lost in his patternings, dripping and dribbling with total control. He said: “The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.” He painted no image, just “action”, though “action painting” seems an inadequate term for the finished result of his creative process. Lavender Mist is 3 m long, a vast expanse on a heroic scale. It is alive with colored scribble, spattered lines moving this way and that, now thickening, now trailing off to a slender skein. The eye is kept continually eager, not allowed to rest on any particular area. Pollock has put his hands into paint and placed them at the top right-- an instinctive gesture eerily reminiscent of cave painters who did the same. The overall tone is a pale lavender, maide airy and active. At the time Pollock was hailed as the greatest American painter, but there are already those who feel his work is not holding up in every respect. Lee Krasner (1908-84), who married Pollock in 1944, was not celebrated at all during his lifetime (cut short in 1956 by a fatal car crash), but it was actually she who first started covering the canvas with a passionate flurry of marks. The originality of her vision, its stiff integrity and its great sense of internal cohesion, is now beginning to be recognized. Cobalt Night (1962; 237x401 cm) is even larger than Lavender Mist and has the same kind of heroic ambition.
 _ In 1947 Jackson Pollock introduced a radically innovative method of painting in which he poured paint directly onto unprimed canvas that he tacked to the studio floor. Deploying sticks or hardened brushes, Pollock circled around the canvas, flinging, dripping, and splashing skeins of paint onto its surface, layer upon layer, until a dense web of color was formed. Although his process, which was filmed in 1950 by the photographer Hans Namuth, was spontaneous and intuitive, Pollock exercised remarkable control over it and insisted, "there is no accident." Number 1 (Lavender Mist), one of Pollock's most important "drip" paintings, attests to the artist's pure virtuosity of paint handling. One can trace his rhythmic movements in the long arcs, staccato dribbles, or coagulated pools of color that accrue into a rich, shimmering interlace. With only a few hues he achieved a soft tonal effect, not by the actual use of lavender but with aluminum and salmon-colored paint. The weave of long black and white strokes implies an inherent linear structure, but the "allover" composition exhibits an even density throughout, with no discernible focal points. Pollock, who spoke of being "in" his paintings, left very literal traces of his presence in the multiple handprints at the upper edges of the canvas.
Pasiphaë (1943, 143x244cm; 278x450pix, 70kb) _ compare
     _ Pasiphaë (885x1128pix, 64kb) by Picasso;
     _ Pasiphaë and Daedalus (520x680pix, 73kb) by Giulio Romano;
     _ Pasiphaé et le Taureau (1880; 572x1131pix, 171kb) by Moreau;
     _ Pasiphaé (885x1128pix, 64kb) by Matisse; and
     _ Pasiphaë et Daedalus (700x487pix, 74kb) Pompei wall fresco.
—(091026)

Died on a 28 January:

2007 Elizabeth Yegsa Tashjian [1912–], US painter who painter who turned into a nut nut, collecting nuts and talking about them, and was declared legally incompetent in her old age. She debated whether she was a nut culturist or a nut artist, but she was indisputably nuts enough about nuts to win fame (but not fortune) as matriarch of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, Conn.. She hated being called ''the Nut Lady'' and died without fulfilling her dream of opening a nut theme park certain to surpass Disneyland. (Her reasoning: Squirrels are cuter than Mickey Mouse). In 2002 Christopher B. Steiner, a professor of art history and museum studies at Connecticut College, rescued Tashjian's nuts, nut art, nut jewelry and a Nativity scene made completely of nuts from being thrown away. That collection, the Nut Museum, had filled a room of Tashjian's 17-room Gothic Revival mansion. Steiner is dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and communicating Tashjian's legacy. She became a visionary avant-garde artist, who began as an academic painter who liked nuts as a subject and started her museum in 1972 as a ''cabinet of curiosity.'' She sang her composition 'Nuts Are Beautiful,' the nut anthem, for visitors, to whom she also gave free cider and coffeecake. She told stories about a bearded dwarf dwelling within every peanut embryo. (Admission at first was one nut, later rising to $3 and one nut.). Her museum aspired to be an art museum. It contained mainly artworks by Tashjian, including her 'Mask of the Unknown Nut' sculpture. The many varieties of nuts, including the 16-kg Coco de Mer, which resembles buttocks, from the Seychelles, were gifts from patrons. So were many of the artifacts, like toys derived from nuts. Tashjian's second act in life was as a public personality on television and radio. She appeared on the shows of Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Howard Stern and Chevy Chase. She often took along her huge, disturbingly suggestive Coco de Mer nut. It is arguable whether she was exploited by the news media, exploited it or played it to a draw. The suspicion that she was the joker, not the joke, is reflected in the title of Steiner's book Performing the Nut Museum: Elizabeth Tashjian and the Art of the Double Entendre.' In Tashjian's last years as a gaunt, four-foot-tall woman with a sing-song voice, she became a symbol of defiance, as she vainly fought to keep her home-cum-museum. A court declared her incompetent, and named guardians who sold it to pay her bills. In 2005 the filmmaker Don Bernier made a documentary, 'In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian.' The lovely, touching film asks the question “was she really nuts?”' Tashjian was born in Manhattan, the daughter of Armenian immigrants. Her father was a prosperous rug trader, and her mother came from an aristocratic family with a castle. They divorced when she was 7. She studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women and the National Academy of Design. She was also a gifted violinist. As a child, she played with nuts, then painted them. One of her student paintings showed a nutcracker chasing Brazil nuts. Until falling ill in 2002, Tashjian lived alone. She never married, held a regular job or learned to drive. She claimed not to know the word ''nut'' meant crazy until a patron shocked her by offering his wife for the ''nut'' portion of her admission fee. She resolved to end this pejorative use of her favorite word, in the process becoming, she said, a nutty philosopher. In a 1999 interview she said an that: “to reveal its inner self, the nut needs the nutcracker”.
Wally at Sea (1938; 1139x1204pix in 1827x1768pix image, 4663kb) half of a walnut shell, filled with plaster, on what looks like a crumpled blue sheet. _ The pseudonymous Jan Nogas Tache has transformed this into a amazing series of eight interrelated abstract pictures which can be reached by clicks of the mouse from any one of them, for example the asymmetrical:
      _ Wall at C* (2009; 656x928pix, 553kb _ ZOOM J to 928x1312pix, 1026kb _ ZOOM K to 1312x1856pix, 1938kb _ ZOOM L to 1856x2624pix, 3887kb _ ZOOM M to 2624x3712pix, 7401kb) or the symmetrical
      _ See the Walrus? (2009; 656x928pix, 544kb _ ZOOM J to 928x1312pix, 990kb _ ZOOM K to 1312x1856pix, 1904kb _ ZOOM L to 1856x2624pix, 3826kb _ ZOOM M to 2624x3712pix, 7297kb) —(090128)

>2003 Cícero Dias [05 Mar 1907–], Brazilian painter who moved to France in 1945. He came from a family of sugar plantation owners from the state of Pernambuco, in the northeast of Brazil. In his teenage years, he left behind his birthplace and its archaic rural economy to go to Rio de Janeiro and, later on, to Paris, where he spent most of his life. Throughout his career as an artist, Dias carried with him the colors and themes that he kept from his childhood in Pernambuco. In 1921, Dias moved to Rio de Janeiro. It was there that he did his most well-known work, Eu vi o mundo...ele comecava no Recife (I Saw the World...it Started in Recife), 1931. This long panel (approximately 8 by 49 feet) was shown in the Salon of 1931, at the School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro. It shocked the public and the critics of the time for its bold visual vocabulary, combining dream-like images and folktales from the artist's memories. Dias's style soon became associated with the Russian-born French painter Marc Chagall for its whimsical and lyrical qualities. Despite the similarities between the two artists, Dias denied any influence by Chagall and, moreover, insisted that he did not know much about Surrealism at the time. His hallucinatory images--with figures usually floating freely in the air--were vestigial impressions from the landscape of the Brazilian northeast--its luminosity, women, flora and fauna. A friend from Pernambuco--the famous Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre--coined the term Surnudismo, meaning "surreal nudity," to characterize Dias's style from the '20s and '30s. Freyre was referring to the magic and erotic overtones of the female figures depicted in the artist's early work. Around this time, Dias also illustrated the first edition of Freyre's celebrated Casa Grande e Senzala (The Masters and the Slaves), published in 1933--a landmark book about miscegenation during colonial times in Brazil. In 1937 Dias left for Paris. There he saw Picasso's Guernica and later he was instrumental in convincing Picasso to show this monumental work at the II São Paulo Biennial in 1953. Later Picasso became the godfather of Dias's only daughter, Sylvia, whom he had with his French wife Raymonde. Dias also befriended the poet Paul Éluard. In Paris Dias worked for a while at the trade bureau attached to the Brazilian consulate, and when Brazil entered the war against Germany and Italy, he, along other members of the diplomatic corps, was detained by the Nazis in Baden-Baden in 1942. After six months there, he was released in exchange for German prisoners that were being held in Brazil. He soon left for Lisbon where he stayed for the next two years. There he incorporated traces of Picasso and Matisse into his Surrealist-tinged canvases, combining flowing feminine figures with flowers and fruits, and giving them vibrant and colorful tones. After returning to Paris in 1945, Dias transformed his style radically, abandoning figuration to become the first Brazilian artist to move into geometric abstraction. In so doing, he became one of the forerunners of the so-called Concrete art movement in Brazil. In Paris, he exhibited periodically at Galerie Denise René. His move from a figurative mode into an international style did not appeal to some renowned Brazilian critics of the time, such as Antonio Bento, who always saw the landscape of Pernambuco as a reference in his abstract phase. Bento argued that through the vivid colors of his geometric shapes, the atmosphere of the Northeast would always be present through its architectural facdes, its coconut and banana trees, its women and the carnival. During the '60s, Dias went back into figuration, emphasizing once again the female figure, its sensuality and sexuality. Being at the same time regional and international, local and worldly, abstract and figurative, Dias always kept an aura of fantasy and lyricism about his work. He lived in Paris until his death in 2003 when he was buried in the Cemetery of Montparnasse--along with Baudelaire, Man Ray, Brancusi, Cortázar, Sartre, and Beckett.
Untitled (50x39cm)
Duas figuras (1944)
Bagunça (1928)
La pensée rêveuse (1944) —(090127)

1976 Marcel Broodthaers, Belgian poet, filmmaker and artist born (main coverage) on 28 January 1924. —(090127)

1905 Lemuel Maynard Wiles, US artist born on (main coverage) on 21 October 1826. —(100127)

^ 1882 Alexander Hugo Bakker-Korff, Dutch painter born (main coverage) on 03 August 1824. —(060127)

>1874 John Christian Schetky, Scottish painter born on 11 August 1778. Schetky came from a cultured family: his father, Johann Schetky [1737–1824], was a German composer, and his mother, Maria, was the trumpeter Joseph Reinagle’s sister. J. C. Schetky took drawing lessons from Alexander Nasmyth and received a good education in Edinburgh before embarking on a Continental tour in 1801. After a spell as a drawing-master at the Royal Military College, Great Marlow, he was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, in 1811, a post he held for 25 years. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1805 and 1872, his subjects ranging from ship portraits and royal embarkations to reconstructions of earlier sea battles of the time of Nelson. In 1820 he was made Marine Painter in Ordinary to George IV and was granted the same title by Queen Victoria in 1844. He frequently traveled on board the royal yacht and assisted the Queen with her own sketches {which could not compare with the sketchy Schetky sketches?}.

>1856 Albert Edouard Moerman, Belgian landscape painter born in 1808. — Relative? of Willem Moerman [1855-1937]?
Winter Landscape (800x1044pix, kb) —(100127)

>1831 Wybrand Hendriks, Dutch painter, draftsman, curator, and collector, who was baptized as an infant on 21 June 1744. He was the son of a sculptor of modest means, and presumably he, together with his brothers, first trained in his father’s workshop. In 1765 Wybrand became an active member of the Amsterdam Drawing Academy, where from 1772 to 1774 he won top prizes. Until 1772 he worked as a landscape painter in the Amsterdam wallpaper factory of Johannes Remmers. The staffage in Hendriks’s landscapes was added by Willem Joseph Laquy [1738–1798]. In 1772 Hendriks bought his own small wallpaper factory in Amsterdam, which he ran until 1776. About 1775 he made a short trip to England with Hendrik Meijer [1737–1793], a Haarlem painter, etcher and wallpaper manufacturer, and in 1776 moved to Haarlem, where he painted still-lifes and made for collectors watercolor copies after 17th-century masters. From 1782 to 1785 Hendriks was in Ede, where he drew and painted mostly landscapes. He returned to Haarlem in 1785 and until 1819 was curator of the art collections of the “Teylers Physische en Naturalien Kabinetten en Bibliotheek”, which was inaugurated in 1784, the earliest Dutch public museum for the arts and sciences. It houses the collections of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst []. Hendriks took great care in extending the museum’s drawings collection. He also painted and drew various subjects connected with the museum, such as the famous little panel: .
The Oval Room of the Teylers Foundation. (1810; 594x800pix, 129kb _ ZOOM to 1601x2158pix, 1164kb) _ The apparatus in the foreground is the “electriseermachine” of van Marum [].
–- Still Life With Flowers and Fruits (960x728pix, 135kb _ .ZOOM to 1440x1092pix, 303kb) There are grapes, peaches, prunes, a melon, a pomegranate, raspebbires, together with morning glory, an opium poppy, hollyhocks, and a rose, all on a stone ledge, together with butterflies, a fly, and ants, a terracotta vase displaying a classical scene behind.
–- Still Life of Spring Flowers (60x47cm; 892x702, 108kb) There are roses, tulips, narcissi, peonies, carnations, fritillaries, gentians, irises, daffodils, irises, morning glory, and bluebells, in a carved stone urn on a marble ledge in a garden. —(080620)

^ 1667 (burial) Jacob Duck, Dutch painter born in 1600. — {He was a Duck but he was NOT a quack} — Duck was probably born and trained in Utrecht, where he was listed as an apprentice portrait painter in the Utrecht Guild of Saint Luke in 1621. He was a student of Joost Corneliszoon Droochsloot [1666 – 14 May 1666]. About ten years later, he was a master in the guild. Between 1631 and 1649, Duck's presence is documented in Utrecht, Haarlem, and Wijk bij Duurstede. By 1656, he was living in The Hague. While not many Dutch soldiers actually fought in the Thirty Years' War—-they hired mercenaries for that—paintings of soldiers became popular. Duck specialized in guardroom pictures, though like most genre pictures they did not command high prices, and he made etchings depicting gentlemen in contemporary dress. His painted subjects ranged from domestic activities to tavern scenes of boorish soldiers drinking, smoking, and flirting with pretty, young women of dubious virtue. They were often meant to convey moral messages, though much of the symbolism familiar to seventeenth-century audiences is unclear today. Duck often painted large crowds gathered in spacious halls, using every device then known to create the illusion of space: curtains or large objects in the foreground to establish the front plane, orthogonal lines made by the tiles or boards on the floor, vistas into rooms beyond, and aerial perspective. — Duck represents the guardroom tradition in Utrecht. He prefers large crowds gathered in spacious halls and exploits all the tricks known to artists of his time to create the illusion of space: curtains or large piles of weaponry in the foreground to set the front plane, an emphasis on the orthogonal lines made by the tiles or boards on the floor, vistas into rooms beyond the one in which the main action takes place, and aerial perspective. If mutual influence is a criterion, he was as unimpressed by the Utrecht followers of Caravaggio as they were by him. His subjects range from boorish episodes in taverns to a lovely picture of a woman ironing in a kitchen. — LINKS
Guardroom with Soldiers Playing Cards (1647, 42x36cm;_ ZOOM to 2369x2024pix, 520kb) _ In this painting , although the soldiers are playing cards they are fully dressed, wearing hats and boots, their swords, breast-plates and banner in readiness beside them. The gray, undecorated walls of the guardroom suggest the discipline and boredom of their lives, the monotony of which can be relieved only by practice on the drum. The genre painters preferred not to show soldiers on guard - perhaps because they seemed ill at ease when performing this duty.
Soldiers Arming Themselves (1635, 43x57cm; 103kb; ZOOM to 1780x2300pix)
Breakfast (600x476pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1111pix)
Card Players and Merrymakers (1640; 85kb)
Sleeping Woman (1650; 115kb)
Enjoying the Loot (1635, 84x55cm; 458x700pix, 171kb) _ Intérieur d'un corps de garde dans une ancienne église romane, ce tableau évoque les compensations de la vie militaire : femmes de petite vertu, joueurs de cartes fumeurs, trafics et pillages.
Delousing the kid (B&W; 600x492pix) — (060127)


Born on a 28 January:


1929 Claes Oldenburg, Swedish-born sculptor and print maker who became a US citizen in 1953. —(090127)

1924 Marcel Broodthaers [–28 Jan 1976], Belgian poet, filmmaker and artist. —(090127)

^ +1813 Johannes Hilverding, Dutch painter, draftsman, curator, and collector, who died on 01 October 1902. He was the son of a sculptor of modest means, and presumably he, together with his brothers, was first trained in his father’s workshop. In 1765 Wybrand became an active member of the Amsterdam Drawing Academy, where from 1772 to 1774 he won top prizes. Until 1772 he worked as a landscape painter in the Amsterdam wallpaper factory of Johannes Remmers. The staffage in Hendriks’s landscapes was added by Willem Joseph Laquy [1738–1798]. In 1772 Hendriks bought his own small wallpaper factory in Amsterdam, which he ran until 1776. Around 1775 he made a short trip to England with Hendrik Meijer [1737–1793], a Haarlem painter, etcher, and wallpaper manufacturer, and in 1776 moved to Haarlem, where he painted still-lifes and made for collectors watercolor copies after 17th-century masters. From 1782 to 1785 Hendriks was in Ede, where he drew and painted mostly landscapes. He returned to Haarlem in 1785 and until 1819 was curator of the art collections of the Teylers Foundation, the earliest Dutch public museum for the arts and sciences. He took great care in extending the museum’s drawings collection. He also painted and drew various subjects connected with the museum, such as the famous little panel of The Oval Room of the Teylers Foundation (1810).

^ 1749 Jacques-Henri Sablet “du Soleil”, Swiss French painter who died (main coverage) on 04 April 1803. —(060127)

=1688 Jan Morits Quinckhardt, Dutch painter and dealer who died on 11 November 1772. — {He painted quick and hard?} — He was the son of Julius Quinkhard, a local portrait painter in Cleves, then part of Germany. He studied with his father for six years before moving to Amsterdam in 1710. There he continued his studies, working successively with Arnold Boonen, Christoffel Lubiniecki and Nicolaas Verkolje [11 Apr 1673 – 21 Jan 1746]. In 1723 Quinkhard became a citizen of Amsterdam and remained there until his death. Among Quinkhard's students were Jurriaan Andriessen, Jan de Beyer [1705-1768], Willem Bartel van der Kooi, Tibout Regters.

1674 Jean Ranc, French painter, active also in Spain, where he died (main coverage) on 01 July 1735. —(060127)

>1587 Andrea (or Andries) Snellinck, Flemish artist who died on 12 September 1653.
–- Soldiers in a Wooded Landscape (48x62cm; 838x1111pix, 73kb)
Blumen in einer Porzellan-Bol
Orpheus unter den Tieren
A hunting party with their dogs in a wooded river landscape (480x612pix, 36kb) —(100127)


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On 11 August 1956, at 22:15, driving drunk, Pollock ran off Fireplace Road, in East Hampton about 1km from his home, and into a tree in the company of his mate, Ruth Kligman, and her friend Edith Metzger, a weekend visitor who had never before met Pollock.
     Pollock was driving a 1950 Oldsmobile 88. After years of driving a dilapidated Model A Ford, he briefly owned a beat-up Cadillac that he totaled while driving drunk. It was succeeded by the Olds.
     The vehicle was big, heavy and powerful, with an open cab from which Pollock was lethally ejected, and under which Edith Metzger was crushed. Ruth Kligman survived badly injured.
back to Pollock article