Archive for September, 2013

Artist of the moment….Nesbert Mukomberanwa

Nesbert Mukomberanwa was born in Buhera, Zimbabwe in the year 1969. He learned to sculpt from his famous uncle, a first generation shona artist named Nicholas Mukomberanwa. The artist studied under his renowned uncle for two years before striking out on his own.

The family has at least 8 professional artists so look for their name to come frequently here the next couple of weeks. Gotta love those art family dynasties!

price range information: Works range from $500 to $4,000.

Nesbert Mukomberanwa works with the figure often. Many works include the mother and child theme. What I love most about his work is the floral work. Its odd that we find a shona artist or Inuit artist work that shows us a flower. Very elegant and unique at the same, just like a real flower!


Artist of the moment……Jacob Kainen

Jacob Kainen was an American artist born in the year 1901 in the city Waterbury, Connecticut. Kainen would experiment with both realist and abstract painting, but its his abstract works with basic geometric shapes he is associated with for the most part. The artist was one of three children and the family came to the United States from Russia. In 1918 the Kainen family relocated to New York City.

Kainen was a very smart individual finishing high school at the age of sixteen years old. As he was too young to begin college Kainen enrolled at New York City’s famed Art Student’s League. During this period he honed his drawing skills. Kimon Nicolaides was a key mentor and you may even have read a book of his. This book is in my permanent collection as its chock full of tips on drawing the human figure.


Eventually Kainen enrolled at Pratt Institute. He didn’t get along well as he disagreed with their ideas, he was far more modern in his color use and ideas than the institution. Kainen left school before he received a degree. After leaving school he became immersed in abstract expressionism.

Kainen was a lifelong student copying master works from the age of 10 and throughout his career. He found it key in an artist’s development to study those that paint or draw the same subject matter better than they do.

Kainen was a participant in the United States program the Works Progress Administration.

Spent many years as a curator at the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian also includes the artist in their own collection.

Kainen also enjoyed boxing as a participant and as a fan.

A link to the website of Jacob Kainen:

I enjoy reading about artists who have outstanding collections, like American realist painter, Jeffrey Watts and his collection that includes paintings by Nicholai Fechin. Jacob Kainen enjoys collecting the style of the German Expressionist painters.

Kainen was based out of Washington D.C. and was associated with the Washington Color Field painters group.

price range information: Many works priced between $5,000 and $35,000.


Artist of the moment…..Joseph Stella

Joseph Stella was a painter who explored both realism and futurism in his work. Joseph Stella was born in Lucano, Italy in the year 1855. The artist came to the United States to seek a degree and career in the medical profession. Upon arriving in the states Stella discovered his love of art. Stella painted everything from people, to landscapes, and portraits. His most renown works are very modern paintings of New York city.

Stella worked in oils and pastels.

In this clip a great montage of works by Stella. The viewer can see his love of painting bridges.

Studying at the Art Students League of New York he was able to mentor under artist William Merritt Chase.

Joseph Stella was able to support himself as an artist by becoming an illustrator.

After this stint as an illustrator Stella returned to Italy where he saw modernist works for the first time.

The artist was included in the groundbreaking Chicago Armory Show of 1913.

A recurring theme in the artist’s work was bridges, in particular the Brooklyn Bridge.

Joseph Stella passed away in 1946 at the age of 69.

Stella is included in prominent museums the Chicago Art Institute, the Whitney Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts located in Boston, Massachusetts.

price range information: Works range from $2,000 for pencil drawings to $400,000 for original paintings.


Artist of the moment……Iyola Kingwatsiak

Iyola Kingwatsiak was a wonderful Inuit artist adept at drawing, printmaking, and carving. Iyola Kingwatsiak was born in the year 1933 in the Cape Dorset, Nunavut Territory, Canada. One of the first generation of Inuit artists brought on to the world art scene by James Houston. The artist was included in the first Cape Dorset Print collection. The subject he worked with most was birds.

Married an artist named Pootoogook Kingwatsiak.

The artist also had two other siblings that were professional artists named Tye Adla and Anna Kingwatsiak.

Had a brother named Mikagak also a professional artist.

Iyola Kingwatsiak passed away in 2000.

Iyola Kingwatsiak is included in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Below is a link to see these works:

price range information: Most prints can be found from $500 to $1,000. Carvings may reach as high as $4,000.


Artist of the moment….Rafael Canogar

Ralph Canogar is an abstract artist born in the year 1935. The artist was a co-founder of the art group El Paso. The group El Paso emphasized the art of action painting.

Many works are oil on paper on laid linen. Canogar also produces collages. Canogar is also an avid printmaker.

A mentor for the artist was the Spanish painter Daniel Vazquez Diaz born in 1882. Below an example of his style.


Canogar began painting in an abstract style in 1955.

In 1967 began painting in a Pop Art style.

In 1975 began using basic geometric shapes.

In this clip we view a great montage of works over the artist’s career. Canogar was an accomplished painter in a realist format, not only a great abstract painter:

price range information: Prices range from $5,000 to $225,000.


Artist of the moment…..Ned Vena

Ned Vena is a contemporary American artist born in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1982. Vena is  renown for his work with monochrome paintings. In many works the artist uses a variety of mediums including rubber, vinyl, and aluminum. When looking at his work the viewer catches glimpses of other past movements such as the minimalist works of Frank Stella and Op-Art look of artists Bridget Riley or Victor Vasarely.

For his artistic education Vena attended the Tufts University Boston School of Museum Fine Art.

Vena began exhibiting in 2006.

Another artist that comes to mind when seeing the work of Ned Vena is Gerhard Richter. Both artists enjoy the process of putting on paint, and scraping it or moving it aside.

price range information: Most works priced between $20,000 and $70,000.

Vena works with a variety of mediums including etching on mirrors, painting on aluminum, and even working with aluminum paints.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Ned Vena and other artists working in a monochrome fashion with our friend James Kalm. To see just the work of Ned Vena click ahead to 1:16 in the clip.

Ned Vena is now based out of Brooklyn, New York.


Artist of the moment….Cesar Domela

Cesar Domela was a fantastic Dutch artist born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in the year 1900. Domela was self taught as an artist. As a beginning artist he often times painted landscapes that reduced all elements to basic geometric shapes. In the early 1920s Domela made his first work that was devoid of a subject.

Part of the De Stijl movement, he was the youngest member. Mondrian is probably the most renown from this movement. Not only did his work lack a subject, he also began to use items like metal to make his work more three dimensional. The artist produced many relief works over his lifetime. His father was  religious leader and politician.

In this clip we take a closer look at a landscape painted by Cesar Domela in the year 1922. This is a great example of the path into abstraction his art was taking. A great mix of shapes, including organic shapes like the trees and leaves, and houses rendered as very simple box shapes:

And below a great montage of works by Cesar Domela:

Cesar Domela passed away in 1992 at the age of 92 years old.

price range information: Domela worked in many mediums including gouache, oils, and many mixed media relief works.  Serigraphs can be found for $3,000 and originals command prices as high as $550,000.


Artist of the moment…..Richard Mteki

Richard Mteki is a shona artist from Zimbabwe born in 1947 in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Had an older brother that was the first professional artist in the family, his name was Biora.

Took workshops at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to hone his skills. First exhibited work at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 1965.

Has many works included in the collection of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

The artist has completed commissions for the National Sports Stadium of Zimbabwe.

Collected by the Queen of England.

price range information: Most works priced between $1,000 and $5,000.


Artist of the moment….Photographer Ugo Mulas

Ugo Mulas was a fantastic photographer born in the year 1928 in Italy. Mulas was renown for his portraiture work.

For his artistic education Mulas attended the Brera Fine Arts Academy.

price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $25,000.

From 1954 to 1972 the artist worked as a photojournalist for the Venice Biennale. During one these “art happenings” he was able to meet some American artists and decided to make a trip to the United States and document it. These photographs are his most famous. Some very clever works featuring artists with their artwork.

My personal favorite is the Roy Lichtenstein!

Ugo Mulas also did a fair amount of work documenting Andy Warhol and his Silver Factory.

Mulas passed away in 1973 due to an illness he had been fighting for many years.

In this clip some great photographs from portfolio of Ugo Mulas:

Another selection of works from Ugo Mulas:

Artist of the moment…..Northwest Coast artist Ron Hamilton

Ron Hamilton is a northwest coast artist born in the year 1948 on the Ahaswinis Reserve. Ron Hamilton has mastered many mediums and is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. The artist still resides on the reserve where he was born.

Member of the Nuu-chah-nulth clan.

price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist was an apprentice under Northwest Coast Art master Henry Hunt.

Hamilton also works as a fisherman, so many works have a something to do with the sea.

His cousin is Northwest Coast artist Joe David. Joe David and Ron Hamilton were among the first artists to produce a large amount of serigraphs using designs taken from traditional Nuu-chah-nulth clan.



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