Posts Tagged ‘chicago institute of art’

Artist of the moment…….Pearl Frush

Pearl Frush was an American realist painter who was renowned for her paintings of the pin up girl. Pearl Frush was born in Iowa in the year 1905. For her artistic education Frush attended the Chicago Institute of Art. Sometimes she used her married name of Mann in her work.

Frush was young and attractive and enjoyed playing tennis, sailing, and swimming.

Most of Frush’s work was done in watercolor, her medium of choice. Frush was quite prolific as she was an illustrator and also did many works in oils, pastels, and gouache.

Her most prosperous period as an artist was during the 1940s and 1950s.

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

In this clip we view a montage of works by Frush Pearl:

Frush is seen by many as one of the top three female artists working in the “pin up” girl genre. The other two would be Joyce Ballantyne and Zoe Mozert.

Sometimes people thought the paintings were so realistic they thought they were photographs that were airbrushed.


Artist of the moment….Surrealist master Dorothea Tanning….

Dorothea Tanning is well known for her Surrealist paintings and for the fact she lived to be nearly 102 years old!  I hope you read my previous posts about artists who broke the one hundred year barrier. Tanning was born in 1910 in Galesburg, Illinois. She went on to a successful career as a highly versatile artist. She not only painted and sculpted but also designed theater sets and costumes.

For her collegiate studies Tanning attended Knox University which is located in the artist’s hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. Tanning also studied at the Chicago Institute of Art.

Below is a brief montage of the Dorothea Tanning’s paintings.

Price range information : Tanning worked in many mediums over her very long life.  Collage works can be found for around $1o,000. Etchings and lithographs can be found from one hundred to $10,000. Oil prices range from $1,000 to $355,000. Works in watercolor can be found for less than $10,000. Tanning also made works using crayon, sculpture, and paper mache ,but not enough for consistent pricing schedule.

After her studies in Chicago the artist moved to New York in the mid 1930s. She became aware of the DADA and Surrealism movements. In the following decade Tanning started to produce her own Surrealistic works and also support with her commercial artwork.

Some of the management of the Macy corporation who liked Tanning’s fashion illustrations introduced the artist to gallery owner Julien Levy. Levy gave Tanning her first solo exhibition in 1944. Levy also introduced Tanning to the other artists who showed at his gallery. One such artist was the German painter Max Ernst. Tanning and Ernst met, fell in love, and got married. Below is a great photograph of the couple that recalls images of Steiglitz and O’Keefe.


Below is an example of Max Ernst and his Surrealistic style.


Tanning and Ernst lived mainly in Paris and Provence in France from 1949 until Ernsts death.

Tanning lived to be more than one hundred years old so her style changed from realistic to abstract and she also dabbled with the idea of soft sculpture and working with fabric or cloth rather than a harder material such as clay. Tanning’s husband Max Ernst passed away in 1976 ending 34 years of marriage.

In the 1990s and 2000s the artist focused on writing. Tanning published poetry and even a short novel titled “Chasm: ”

Tanning passed away at her home on January 31st of 2012 at the age of 101 years old!

Tanning reminds me of the British Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Carrington passed away in 2011 and was among the best painters of the Surrealist style. Below is an example of Carrington’s style.


Its great fun to study some artists that have lived to be a centenarian. Being that old means you have lived through many phases of the art world! Some other artist’s breaking the one hundred year barrier are Martha Walter, Grandma Moses, and Theresa Bernstein.


How will you be painting when you turn 100 years old?



Artist of the moment….Claes Oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg was born in 1929 in the  largest city in Sweden as well as the capital, Stockholm. He is known for his scupltures of ordinary everday objects. Some examples would be a sculpture of knees, a painting of an ice cream sundae, or a hamburger. Many of his works are located in public parks and he has done a great deal of public commissioned work.

Below is a clip showing the artist and his many food sculptures. His way of looking at food is similar to Wayne Thiebaud. Claes  talks about why he would rather paint than eat a hamburger!

His father was a diplomat that was stationed in New York. His father was moved to Chicago, and this is where Claes Oldenburg spent his childhood years.

The artist studied at Yale University and also took classes at the Chicago Institute of Art.

After college, he got a job as a reporter. In 1953 he became a naturalized citizen. In 1956 he returned to New York. He also worked part time in the library of the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts and Decoration. He would go on to meet such artists as Jim Dine and Red Grooms. In 1957 he started with the idea of created soft sculptures using socks and sacks stuffed with newspaper. In 1959, he began making figures and signs using paper mache.

In this clip check out a recent show featuring wide selection of works by Oldenburg made in the 1960s. Its a great selection including many food sculptures and some soft sculptures of toilets.

The artist made many collaborations with his wife Coosje Van Bruggen. Some of the duo’s themes were very large public sized sculptures of food also of musical instruments.

His first show featuring three dimensional objects was in 1959. It received excellent reviews. 1960s brought along Pop art and this movement was an additional springboard to success for the artist.

The artist also was created performance art, some of his fellow artists that performed with him were Tom Wesselman and Lucas Samaras.

In 1963 he moved to the West Coast and Los Angeles, California. In 1965 the artist started to work on ideas for large public works. At first, due to his unique subject matter, the artist received some criticism. But the public soon embraced the artist and his whimsical and fun style. In the 1970s the artist concentrated on public works and did several with his soon to be wife, Coosje Van Bruggen.  The artist has a wonderful work of a typewriter eraser sculpture made of steel and fiberglass at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. This work sold for $2.3 million dollars at a Christie’s auction.

Oldenburg has made several prints and lithographs during his career. These can be found for a few hundred to one thousand dollars at various sites such as:    ,%20CLAES

Here is a great site showing some very large size collaborations by the artist and his wife Coosje Van Bruggen:

Another great commission by the two was “Dropped Cone.” An inverted ice cream cone dropped atop a shopping mall located in Cologne, Germany.

In 2000 the artist received the National Medal for the Arts.

On line and land based gallery: A great website that has many artists and is located out of Aventure, Florida.

This artist is great for his work with “boring” subjects. When I look at his work it reminds me of also of the artist Jim Dine, another painter of “mundane” objects with fantastic results!  Below is a Jim Dine that is included in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Dine painted boring things such as spoons, ties, hearts, and bathrobes.

Try painting something “boring” around the house.