Archive for March 28, 2014

Artist of the moment…..Maximilien Luce

Maximilien Luce was a French painter associated with the Neo-Impressionism and Pointillist movements. Maximilien Luce was born in Paris, France in the year 1858. The artist worked with many subjects and two favorite subjects included nude bathers and the landscapes. In addition to painting and engraving Luce also produced a large amount of lithographs.

When he began his career he was an engraver. Luce then worked as an Impressionist, then a Pointillist, and then returned to Impressionism. His father was a railway clerk. One of his first jobs was working in the studio of artist Eugene Froment. Luce produced woodblock prints.

The artist often used his wife as his muse.

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 to $750,000.

In this clip a great montage of works by Maximilien Luce set to music:

For additional artistic input Luce attended the L’Academie Suisse and also studied with Carolus- Duran, the main teacher of John Singer Sargent.

The artist left his career as an engraver behind as newer printing presses signified an end to his profession as a whole. Luce then decided he would try to be a full time painter.

Was elected President of the Society of Independent Artists. He resigned the position as he didn’t agree with the way Jewish artists were not being allowed to join this group.

Price range information: Works range from $100,000 to $4.2 million at auction for an oil painting.

Artist of the moment…… Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez was born in 1887 in San Ildefionso Pueblo, New Mexico. She and her family helped to renew interest in the ancient black pottery made by her people. This area of Mexico is nearly 20 miles from Sante Fe. Its where the artist and her family live and execute their knowledge of pottery.  Martinez was a Tewa Native American.

Maria Martinez learned how to create her pottery by watching her aunt Nicolasa and another women from the area named Maraget Tafoya. Maria Martinez was given a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In this clip we watch as Maria Martinez and son go to collect the dirt to make her famous black clay pots. One of my favorite interviews!:

An excavation led by a Edgar Hewett led to some black on black pottery examples. Hewett wanted to find an artist who he could help teach to make a more modern version, perhaps for museums of these wonderful black vessels. He chose Maria Martinez as the artist to execute his plan.

Maria was disappointed as she could not get her black as dark as the ancient methods. She put these works out of view. However, when shown these works they sold very quickly and her method of making them “modern pottery!” And she was a very successful as an artist.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Maria Martinez passeda way in 1980.

Yet another great family of artists! Its great to see how in tune with their materials they use, just different parts of the earth and water. So simple yet so beautiful.


Artist of the moment….Photographer Elliot Erwitt

Elliot Erwitt is an amazing French photographer renown for his humorous black and white photographs of people and animals. Erwitt was born to Russian parents in Paris, France in the year 1928. For his collegiate education Erwitt studied photography and film at Los Angeles City College.

In this clip a great interview with the photographer:

The artist joined the U.S. Army in the 1950s and was stationed in France and Germany.

After his army stint the artist began a long career as a freelance photographer eventually joining the famous Magnum Photo Agency.

Price range information: Works range from $1,000 t0 $20,000.

In this clip some of Elliot Erwitt’s famed photographs of dogs:

As a fan of dogs I enjoy his humorous compositions using dogs and people. If you enjoy this type of photographer be sure and check out my article on William Wegman and his photographs of the Whippet dog.

Erwitt has produced some documentary films and also has done many celebrity shoots.