Archive for November 12, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Inagaki Tomoo

Inagaki Tomoo was a Japanese printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan in the year 1902. Like many other sosaku- hanga artists he was inspired and mentored by Koshiro Onchi and Un-ichi Hiratsuka. Tomoo was a renown printmaker working with many subjects from landscapes, animals, and florals.

For his working process Tomoo would make preliminary drawings using grid lines to make sure items were located with a great sense of design.

Inagaki Tomoo studied with print master Hamada Masuji. He also went to an art high school. After this he opened his own design studio, but this dream was interrupted by the demands of World War Two.

The artist began to have his work published in 1924 appearing in a leading arts magazine titled shi to hanga that featured sosaku- hanga artists and focused on visual arts  (printmaking in particular) and poetry.

Very few print artists during this era were able to make a living entirely from their prints. Inagaki Tomoo worked in a steel factory and also taught art at the high school art.

Tomoo is renown for his prints of animals. Tomoo was  legendary for his portrayal of cats. The artist worked with other animals, but his cats are the most renown. He began to print them in the 1950s.

Tomoo flourished the most in his career in the 1950s.

Inagaki Tomoo passed away in 1980.

Price range information: Works range from $500 to $5,000.

Love those cats!


Artist of the moment……Peter Sevoga

Peter Sevoga was an Inuit artist born in Baker Lake, Nunavut Territory, Canada in the year 1940. The artist was successful and well known in the art world before he was thirty years old. For his subject matter Peter Sevoga worked with the mother and child theme frequently. Sevoga also enjoyed creating works showing a shaman changing forms.

Price range information: Works range fromm $2,000 to $6,000.

Peter Sevoga worked in many mediums including fabric wall hangings and as a printmaker.

The artist had a half brother named Thomas Sevoga who was also based in Baker Lake.

Peter Sevoga passed away in 2007.

I love the mother and child theme with Kenojuak Ashevak’s work being supreme. Sevoga’s characters have wonderful facial expressions and the mother and child shape as a whole is very intriguing.


Artist of the moment…..George Biddle

George Biddle was an America artist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1885. Biddle was one of America’s first “social realist” painters and took part in the Works Progress Administration painting murals. Biddle received a college degree from Harvard where he studied law. The artist passed the bar in Pennsylvania.

George Biddle moved to Paris, France and enrolled at the Academie Julian. Biddle then moved back to the United States and enrolled at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. The artist then went to Munich, Germany where he studied printmaking.

Biddle moved back to the United States where he got married and joined the army. His marriage failed and Biddle traveled to Tahiti to forget his troubles.

Biddle moved to New York City and made a great name for himself as an artist with many successful shows. The artist also married for the second time.

Price range information:  Works range from $3,000 to $30,000. The artist worked in oils, watercolor, and also worked with lithography.

Biddle then moved back to Paris, France to further his art studies and worked as a printmaker. The artist met Diego Rivera and was moved by the messages of Rivera and his fellow muralist painters. Biddle was inspired to return to the United States and complete some murals of his own. He vowed to make his work political and social in nature, similar to what he saw in his travels with Rivera.

In this clip a great montage of works by George Biddle:

His second marriage ended and he would begin a new relationship with an artist named Helene Sardeau. The couple  moved to Rome, Italy where both artists worked vigorously exploring new medium. The couple then returned to Biddle’s estate in the U.S. Biddle prepared his idea to create a mural program similar to the one he saw implemented in Mexico. Biddle explained his idea to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president of the United States. The president favored the idea and began the program.

Biddle’s first mural was in 1933, for the Chicago World’s Fair.

Biddle was even assigned to be the head of United States War Artists. He produced several drawings and watercolors of the war front.

George Biddle passed away in 1973.

Though I have written before about the WPA and some of its artists, I had no idea the arts program here was patterned after what George Biddle had witnessed on his trips to Mexico and by being friends with Diego Rivera.