Archive for October 14, 2013

Artist of the moment…….Francis Picabia

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Francis Picabia was a French artist born in the year 1879 in Paris, France. Over his career Picabia painted in a wide variety of styles including Surrealism, Abstraction, and realism. I enjoy his realist works as much as the abstract works and feel he does a great job at capturing the look of beautiful women. The artist was not only a great painter, but also enjoyed working with the art of typography and even wrote poetry.

The artist worked in many mediums including watercolor, gouache, crayon, and oils.

Sadly the artist lost his mother due to tuberculosis when he was only seven years old.

When he was younger he took original oil paintings of his dad’s collection. His dad was an aristocrat by family name so the family was wealthy. Picabia the son copied the original paintings, replaced the ones in his dad’s collection  without the knowledge of the father, sold the originals and kept the money for himself.

Picabia attended a private atelier run by Fernand Cormon. Cormon was a painter of religious themes and classical realism. Below a fine example of his style.


Francis Picabia also attended the School of Decorative Arts located in Paris, France.

Started his painting career with the thought of painting in an Impressionistic style.

Francis Picabia was part of the Puteaux Group. You may remember the name as it contained the Duchamp brothers. I wrote about Jacques Villon who changed his name so as not to be confused with other artists in his family. The group met at the house and studio of Jacques Villon, his birth name was Gaston Emile Duchamp. The Puteaux Group’s main objective was to show the world the ” Cubist” way of painting.

Visited America and became taken by the 1913 Armory show and the style of Modernism. This way of painting soon faded for the artist and he returned to capturing the female face and figure.

In this clip a selection of works by Francis Picabia set to music:

Francis Picabia passed away in 1953.

Again with the great James Kalm we visit a show featuring the works of Francis Picablia:

price range information: At auction a piece sold for $1.6 million dollars.


Artist of the moment….Leon Berkowitz

Leon Berkowitz was associated with the Washington D.C. Color Field painters. Leon Berkowitz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1911. For his collegiate education Berkowitz attended the University of Pennsylvania. In addition Berkowitz took classes at New York City’s famed Art Student’s League.

Berkowitz participated in World War 2 as part of the Army.

Professor at the Corcoran Gallery School of Art.

First wife was a poet named Fox.

The works in the gallery are mainly from the artist’s later years. He spent a few years in Europe and this is where he developed his works that deal with color and soft and dappled light.

The artist passed away in 1987.

price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $15,000.


Artist of the moment……James Siena

James Siena is an American artist associated with Abstract Expressionism. James Siena was born in the year 1957 in Oceanside, California. For his artistic education James Siena attended Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York. The artist works with gouache on paper or with enamel on aluminum in most works.

To get the organized abstraction appearance of his work Siena often works with a premeditated algorithm. An algorithm is used in mathematics and is a procedure used to develop calculations. The artist already has in mind his basic unit of measure before he starts, so the piece has  great sense of rhythm is far more organized than many other abstract painters.

price range information: Works range from $2,000 for prints and $50,000 for original works.

James Siena is a renown printmaker. Below we have a brief interview with the artist talking about working on a print series. The artist has created more than 100 print works over his lengthy career.

The artist has won awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

With the great James Kalm we visit a show featuring the work of James Siena. This is a great clip because when you get really close up to the paintings, as Mr. Kalm is able to, Siena’s work looks like an intricate maze!:

Siena is based out of New York City. After college he thought about attending graduate school, but found plenty of real life working professional artists that were able to mentor him. One of these artists was Chuck Close.

Has had his work shown at the Whitney Museum of Art.

Is the sole creator of his art, uses no assistants in his creative work.