Archive for May 7, 2012

Artists working the face and figure….Manuel Neri…

A clip from the San Jose Museum of Art with the artist’s agent talking about Mr. Neri’s work.

The artist was born on April 12, 1930. He has worked with many mediums over his years including painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The artist was born to Mexican parents who left Mexico during the Revolution. They took sanctuary in California and Manuel Neri was born in Sanger, California.

Neri started college at San Francisco City College for electronics, but after taking a ceramics class he switched his major to art, and began studying at California College for the Arts and Crafts and the California School for the Fine Arts. Two famous artists the reader might know about instructed the artist in college, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff.

Interestingly both Bischoff and Diebenkorn started off as realist painters, both went thru an abstract expressionist era, then both returned to the figure. Both artist’s work is loose but structured.

Neri taught ceramics at the California School for the Fine Arts from 1959 to 1965. The artist then was a professor of art at University California at Davis off and on from 1965 until 1990.

He is included in the  Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. , the Denver Art Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art in Texas, the Whitney Museum in New York City and the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.

Was married to a figure painter named Joan Brown in the 1960s. He had three children that all became artists. His daughter Rubi Neri became known for her graffiti style using the tag “Reminisce.”

In 2006 won a lifetime achievement award for his work in the field of sculpture.

mediums used: watercolor, gouache, oils, charcoal, ink, and sculpture with bronze and plaster and even uses “junk” such as cardboard or burlap

low price range: for paintings and drawings on paper $3000 bronzes start around $5,000

high price range: paintings and works on paper or canvas, $15,000 bronzes go to $70,000    His record is $289,000 for a marble sculpture!

on line and land based galleries:   Robischon Gallery on Wazee St. in Downtown Denver.                              Includes sculpture and paintings for sale.

John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, California.

The artist uses very bright colors when painting his sculptures. He does this to honor artists that  inspired him such as Pablo Picasso, Mariano Marini, as well as Willem De Kooning. He enjoyed the latter’s use of color in expressing himself.

The artist still keeps a residence and studio in Carrera, Italy where he likes to do sculpting with marble.

How about making a loose interpretation of your next figure in a three dimensional medium!

Keep on learning!


Artists working with the face and figure……..Robert Liberace…


Clip from the Artist’s Alla Prima painting DVD.

Excerpt from a drawing in 3 chalks DVD made by the artist.

Short gallery of the artists paintings and sculptures.

I have seen this artist’s paintings in person and they are a joy to behold. He mixes in just the right amount of anatomic detail and soft edges. Also the compositions are very unique in that many times it shows one figure making multiple movements.

The artist works in a variety of mediums including drawing with graphite, making studies using ink washes which are very similar to old master works done by the great artists of the past, and also sculpture. He produces these wonderful animated creatures that look so lifelike its hard to imagine they were imagined.

He is included in New York’s Arnot Museum.

Has been in many national art magazines including American Art Collector and American Artist magazines.

Impressed many judges and won the Portrait of the Year by the Portrait Society of America in 2003.

For his sculpture he was elected to the National Society of Sculpture.

The artist attended George Washington University earning both a bachelors and masters degree in the fine arts. He started college on a baseball scholarship.

online and land based galleries:   John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, California.

Arcadia Fine Arts in New York City. ( Great site to see his smaller works, wonderful figures as small as 8 by 6 inches)                                      

Make sure and see some of the artist’s three chalk drawings. Simplistic in design but wonderful variety of line work and different edges.

The artist and his wife Lina now make Virginia their home. The couple have spent fourteen years there already!

The artist loves to teach and teaches in Virginia’s Art Student’s League and gives many workshops and classes around the world throughout the year. He has been included in the American Artist top workshops magazine.

The artist has also started to make some fantastic DVDs that help the artist improve their painting and drawing skills. The DVDs cover many different aspects of creating including drawing, drawing with three tones of chalk, anatomy, and even drawing the human torso. Its great fun to see the artist capture the figure and movement with the end result very moving and lifelike. You will learn new things each time you watch the DVDs!

Next time you think about doing some figure work how about taking your subject and doing a composition showing the same figure in two or three different poses like this master artist! If you feel up to it do two figure works and a smaller hand or foot study.

Keep on learning!