Archive for November 25, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Hassel Smith

Hassel Smith was a wonderful American abstract artist born in Sturgis, Michigan in the year 1915. For his artistic education Smith studied at Northwestern University and the California School of Fine Arts located in San Francisco.

In the beginning of his career Smith focused on portraits and landscapes. In the gallery the portrait is a self portrait to give you an idea of his realistic painting style.

A brief biography and some works by Hassel Smith:

A link to the website of Hassel Smith:

http://www.hasselsmith.com/

Hassel Smith began to paint in an abstract starting in 1947.

Price range: Works range between $5,000 to $60,000.

Smith also was part of the teaching faculty at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Whilst there a fellow teacher named Clyfford Still was a heavy influence as was another Expressionist painter, Mark Rothko.

Also taught at the University of California at Berkeley, U.C.L.A., and also in Bristol England at the British Polytechnic.

Hassel Smith passed away in 2007.

Though the artist is renown for his abstract work, Smith also created some abstract works based on basic geometric shapes. These works began in the 1970s. Below some examples of this type of abstract art:

We close with a look at a show that took place in 2011:

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Artist of the moment……Cornelius Zitman

Cornelius Zitman is an  internationally acclaimed sculptor born on November 9th of the year 1926 in Leiden, The Netherlands. He just celebrated his 87th birthday a few weeks ago! Zitman’s family worked in the construction industry.

As a young man Zitman began lessons at the collegiate level when he was only fifteen years of age. Zitman enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Art located in the Hague. When he was finished with school it was mandatory he serve a few years in his countries military. Zitman disagreed with his countries ideas on what to do in Indonesia and fled Holland for Venezuela.

The artist found work as a draftsman for a construction company. He also found work in his new country as a furniture designer.

Cornelius Zitman also taught at the collegiate level at the Central University of Venezuela.

In this clip we visit a show featuring works of Cornelis Zitman:

During all this time he had continued to paint and began sculpting. Zitman would go on to win a National Award for Sculpture in 1951.

In the late 1950s Zitman decided to leave the rat race and give up business. He decided to just paint and sculpt and moved to the island of Grenada.  Grenada is a great country consisting of around 110,000 people on 133 square miles. Grenada is located in the south of the Caribbean Sea.

In many works Zitman uses the human female figure for a basic idea, then will transform it so it is more of a mythological creature. Many of these myths or creatures directly from the culture of Venezuela.

Zitman has been awarded many international awards in his home country and abroad.

Corenlius Zitman was given the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Its the highest award a non military person can receive in his home country of Holland.

Price range information: The artist has done works in graphite and ink starting around $3,000 up to larger sized bronzes which can reach as much as $700,000.

I love his interpretation of the female figure. Very expressive!

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Artist of the moment….Nat Finkelstein

Nat Finkelstein was an American photographer who was lucky as he was able to shoot many works that show what life was like at Andy Warhol’s Factory in the middle of the 1960s. Nat Finkelstein was born in Brooklyn New York in the year 1933. His father drove a cab. Finkelstein learned a great deal from an art director at Harper’s Bazaar magazine under Alexey Brodovitch.

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $10,000.

A link to the website of Nat Finkelstein: http://www.natfinkelstein.com/

Finkelstein attended Brooklyn College for two years. but was suspended and never returned after throwing a filing cabinet through a window as a protest against censorship of a campus magazine.

Finkelstein’s early career saw him shooting around New York City making social commentary through his photographs. One recurring subject was the political climate around this time.

Beginning in 1964 Finkelstein shot the images of Andy Warhol’s famed Factory Studio. Warhol had seen some images of Finkelstein about another artist profiled here, Claus Oldenberg, in magazine. Finkelstein met Warhol at a party and agreed to document the goings on at the Factory.

In the late sixties Finkelstein became a supporter of the Black Panthers. He then felt that government officials might even rub him out and left he country. When the charges against him for drugs were dropped, he came back to the States in 1982.

After Warhol’s death Finkelstein rededicated himself to photography and this time he documented the burgeoning rave scene in London.

After this come back his work was in very high demand and the artist had many successful solo shows.

Nat Finkelstein passed away in 2009 at the age of 76 years of age.

I enjoy looking at works of artist’s studio’s. Especially one that many other artist’s enjoy visiting like the American artist Ed Ruscha or Warhol’s famed Factory Studio.

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Artist of the moment…..Louis Ritman

Louis Ritman was an American painter born in Russia in the year 1889. Ritman and his family emigrated to Chicago, Illinois in the year 1900.As a young man he began an apprentice with a sign painter. The sign painter recognized his artistic genius and encouraged him to further his studies. Ritman studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and even the Academie Julien in Paris, France.

Ritman was one of few American artists to be given in admission of a painting in the Paris Salon exhibition.

Ritman is associated with the Impressionist style of painting. Ritman enjoyed  painting the female figure and also lush gardens sometimes combining the two genres. Ritman enjoyed experimenting with the dappling of light.

The artist enjoyed working with the light of Giverny, France and often would summer there.

A great selection of works by Ritman below. Many examples of the female figure in various locales:

Price range information: Louis Ritman worked in oils and watercolors with prices ranging from $5,000 to $600,000.

Louis Ritman taught at the Chicago Institute of Art for nearly three decades.

Louis Ritman passed away in 1963.

What a wonderful mix of shapes and colors achieved by mixing the painting of flesh and clothes vs. the wonderful patterns and colors found in botanical subjects.

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Artist of the moment….Dorothy Dehner

Dorothy Dehner was an American sculptor born in Cleveland, Ohio in the year 1901. For her artistic education Dehner studied dance at the University of California at Los Angeles, California. In addition Dehner attended  the American Academy of Dramatic Art located in New York City.

Price range information: Works range from $4,000 to $50,000.

Dehner was married to a fellow artist named Roland David Smith. Smith was an Abstract Expressionist that worked with sculpture and worked on a very large scale. The couple were married from 1927 until 1952 but died young in a car crash in 1965. This interview features David Smith talking about his artwork:

Dehner would marry again, her second husband ran a publishing company.

Dehner also attended the Art Student’s League of New York City.For her printmaking studies she studied under Stanley Hayter at a private atelier. Below an example of Hayter’s abstract art.

hayter

Dorothy Dehner passed away in 1994.

Dorothy Dehner is part of many prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Art Museum.

What a great level of abstraction in both her printwork and sculptures.

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