Archive for March 30, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Lois Mailou Jones….

Price range information: The artist worked in many mediums including watercolor $3,000 to $10,000. Oils range from $5,000 to $25,000.

The artist has sold work to President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary.

Lois Mailou Jones was a fantastic African American painter and one of few women of color to succeed as an artist during this time.  Jones was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1905.  Her father was among the first persons of color to obtain a law degree from college.

They are several artists who work in capturing at some level the African American lifestyle. I have profiled many including Dean Mitchell, Mary Whyte,  Mario Robinson, and Stephen Scott Young. However, Lois Mailou Jones was painting African American themes and capturing their life when no one hardly any artists painted people of color.

One inspirational artist and mentor for Jones was the African American artist Meta Vaux Fuller. Fuller was among the first artist to capture the life of African Americans in sculpture. Born in 1877 she attended college and was a factor in the Harlem Renaissance. Below is an example of Meta Vaux Fuller’s sculpture work.


In this clip an interview with Lois Jones when she appeared on CBS television.

A great montage of works by the artist.

Another mentor for the artist was the American painter Celine Tabary. Tabary enjoyed painting landscapes with an emphasis on color. Below is an example of Tabary’s work.


Was married to a well known artist coming from Haiti named Louis Pierre-Noel. Pierre-Noel was born in Haiti and educated at Columbia University in the U.S. He designed postage stamps for Haiti, below is an example of his style.


Jones  took advantage of a grant to study abroad in Paris, France in 1937. The artist fell in love with the country and culture. There was seen as a great talent, not a person who skin was too dark to appear in galleries. It was here that she enjoyed freedoms she couldn’t embrace in her home country like eating and drinking where she wanted to.  Jones experienced tremendous success with art and was diverse painting landscapes, portraits, and still lifes.

Lois Mailou Jones also did a fair amount of time painting and depicting the landscape of Haiti. She enjoyed the colors of the region.

She passed away in 1998 at the age of 92 years old.

Artist of the moment……….James Houston

James Houston was the main figure involved in introducing new methods of art to the Inuit such as print making. Houston also helped to promote their artwork. In addition to being a great drawer and printmaker Houston was a skilled artisan when it came to glass.  James Archibald Houston was born in Toronto, Ontario in Canada in the year 1921.

Price range information: For the most part Houston produced prints such as woodcuts and lithographs which can be found for less than $1000. He also helped design glass and his most famous work is above in the gallery titled “Arctic Fisherman.” These works range $500 to $3000 for sophisticated limited edition works. Houston was a lead designer for Steubens glass.

Houston was able to mentor under the tutelage of Arthur Lismer whilst still a child. Lismer was renown teacher and advocated seeing the world through the eyes of a child. This would help Houston to become well respected author of children’s books. Below is an example of Lismer’s modernist style of painting.


For his collegiate studies Houston attended the Ontario College of Art, the Academy de la Grand Chaumiere in Paris, and also in Japan. The asian experience was key in developing his printmaking techniques which he would pass on to the Inuit peoples.

Tired of city life he went off in 1948 to find a great wilderness location to explore. He found it in a somewhat remote location in the Baffin Islands of Canada. He would go on to live with the Inuit people for years eating caribou and whale. Learning to live off the land and as a nomad. Eventually returning to the big city life Houston obtained a government grant to purchase some Inuit sculptures. The first show of  Eskimo art, a term later changed to Inuit art, was a grand success! A sell out!

Was married until 1962 to Alma Houston but the couple split and he went to New York to follow his dreams.

His book the White Dawn has been made into a feature length movie which he helped produce. A link for the film:

Below is an montage Houston’s artwork.

In this clip we  hear from James Houston in his own words what the experience was like after seeing the Inuit sculptures for the first time.

Houston passed away in 20905 at the age of 83 years old.

Houston was the author of a book titled ” The White Dawn.” Below is the cover of this novel.


Houston was not only a great artist, but also a great promoter of art. What a combination of skill sets to have. The annual market for Inuit art sales is between $10 and $12 million per year. A great boost to a people who have seen their main source of income the fur trade, fall for decades and decades.


Artist of the moment…Alexander Ney…

Alexander Ney is a wonderful sculptor that was born in Leningrad, Russia in the year 1939.  The artist came to the United States in 1974 and settled in New York city.  Ney is renown for using terra cotta as his medium of choice. He has unique forms in these works as well, my favorite in this series is the bird skulls. Some artists enjoy working with certain forms for their curves and their design aspect. Many of his heads seem like they are from a different planet as the features are so unique.

price range information: Sculpture in his special terra cotta porcelain mixture sell between $5,000 and $25,000.

Born just at the cusp of the outbreak of the second world war at only two years old Ney was forced to take part in the Siege of Leningrad. Many people were killed including hundreds of thousands of children. Luckily for us the artist survived this terrible ordeal.

As a child the artist mentored with artist V.V. Lishev.

For his collegiate studies Nay attended the Art School of the Leningrad Academy of Arts and the Art School of the Surikov Moscow Institute.

As you can tell from his works, he was very modern thinking in his artistic views, very progressive. He eventually came to clash with those in power and decided to leave his home country for France in 1972. Two years later he would head for the United States.

One of the artist’s sharing his same theories on art was Alexander Kosopalov. Kosopalov was one of the first artists of Russia to make social comments on political events and society. In this picture by Kosopalov we see him pay homage to Abstract master Kaspar Malevich, at first glace it reminds  me of the Marlboro brand logo.


In this clip we see the son of Alexander Ney deliver a sculpture to a satisfied client! Joel the artist’s son tells us briefly about his father’s working method. He starts with a  special company made mixture of clay and terra cotta.

I enjoy Ney’s work for the fact its so unique and you can tell one of his works at first glance because of his great and style that has evolved over the years. He makes the imagined heads  seem very real with his technique.