Posts Tagged ‘diego rivera’

Artist of the moment………Hale Woodruff



Hale Aspecio Woodruff was an outstanding African- American artist renown for his works with the figure. Hale Woodruff was born in the year 1900. Woodruff was a muralist whose artwork represented the hard work ethic of the lower and middle classes. The artist was also a prolific printmaker.

He also spent four years studying in Paris, France. The artist also studied in Mexico with renowned muralist Diego Rivera.

In this clip we view murals commissioned by Talladega College in Alabama. Woodruff also painted many murals at Atlanta University located in Atlanta, Georgia:

The artist also taught at the collegiate level as part of the faculty at New York University. Hale Woodruff passed away in 1980.

Price range information: Works range from $10,000 for a print to $170,000 for an original oil.

I love the emotion and especially the hands and feet of the characters portrayed by Hale Woodruff. Woodruff reminds me of another African American artist who was first an professional football player, Ernie Barnes.

Both artists were great at designing works packed with emotion and many figures. Barnes’ most renown work was his painting titled the Sugar Shack, seen in the credits of the 1970s hit television show Good Times, and on the cover of a Marvin Gaye record album.



Artist of the moment…….Seymour Fogel


Seymour Fogel was an American painter whose career spanned several movements including Abstract Expressionism and Social Realism. Seymour Fogel was born in New York, New York in the year 1911.

Fogel studied at the Art Student’s League of New York. Fogel also attended the National Academy of Design. He left before graduating saying that he learned how to copy subjects and not how to be a painter.

Fogel served as an apprentice to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Fogel helped in Rivera’s mural at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

After serving as an apprentice the artist went on to receive many mural commissions from the government including the Treasury Department.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Fogel enjoyed experimenting with new mediums and created art using plastic, wax, oils, acrylics, and watercolor.

Fogel passed in 1984.

The artist had a great mind for creating organic shapes.



Artist of the moment………Emmy Lou Packard


Emmy Lou Packard was a wonderful printmaker and also a close friend of Frida Kahlo. Emmy Lou Packard was born in the year 1914 in El Centro, California. Packard began her artistic career assisting Diego Rivera in some of his art. Packard studied formally at the California School of Fine Arts and earned a degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

I enjoy the wonderful shapes the artist creates in working with flowering plants and vegetables. Each one is the same basic shape, but changed just slightly so that it becomes a field  full of movement and lively shapes. Even in works with a view of a field from far away, the rows of vegetation are each made unique. Even the lines of a telephone pole are made to look very artistic, even Art Deco in style.

The artist worked in oils and gouache.

Packard passed away in 1988.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Packard was a fantastic artist who used her art to promote causes she cared deeply for including children and women. Art can be powerful!




Artist of the moment…….Jose Clemente Orozco

Jose Clemente Orozco was born in the year 1883 in Zapotlan el Grande, a small city in the Jalisco region of Mexico. His father was a businessman and his mother occasionally sang for money. His parents worked hard to support him and two other siblings, but the family was on the poverty line. It was difficult time for much of the country, in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. Whilst he was young he was able to view the famous Mexican artist Jose Posada at work. This provided a never ended source of fuel for the man who wanted to become an artist.

He was originally in school to study agriculture, but gave this  up after his father died and began taking art lessons. Like many other artists from the this region Orozco attended the San Carlos Academy of Fine Art.

In order to help earn some money for his family after his father died, Orozco took many odd jobs including hand coloring portraits of people that had passed. He was also able to find employment as a draftsman for an architecture firm.

This is when tragedy struck the artist at this time. Orozco was making some home made fireworks to help celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Something went wrong and a chemical explosion occurred. It was during the national holiday so he was unable to see a doctor immediately. By the time he got to the doctor his hand was so infected they had to amputate the hand.

He would work various smaller jobs in the art world including as a caricature artist and even painting dolls to help pay the bills.

Along with George Sisquerios and Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozc was among the most well known Mexican artists renown for their mural paintings.

In this clip from PBS we view a brief documentary about Jose Orozco:

Some wonderful footage here! We get to see some of the many murals painted by Orozco, not in a museum, but on the sides of buildings out in the open as they were painted decades ago:

Orozco illustrated the book titled “The Pearl” which was written by John Steinbeck.

Jose Orozco passed away in 1949.

What a multi-talented artist with an incredible life story.



Artist of the moment…..Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson was an American artist born in the year 1899 in the city of Kiev, Russia. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1905 and as a child she grew up around Rockland, Maine. The United States Postal Service produced a commemorative stamp featuring the artist  in 2000 which is below. Louise Nevelson was most famous for her very large sized works made with wood. These works look like three dimensional puzzles. Some mediums used other than wood by Louise Nevelson include aluminum, metal, and plastic.


Nevelson’s father own a lumberyard when the family lived in Russia. When the family came to the States her father also would run a lumberyard and was made several successful real estate investments.

In this clip we view some of Louise Nevelson’s sculpture works:

She was married briefly to the owner of a shipping company. The couple divorced but had one child. The child’s name was Myron or “Mike” Nevelson who would go on to be a professional artist. As an artist Mike Nevelson focused on modernism and abstraction. I love this families of artists! Below some examples of Mike Nevelson’s style of art (born in 1922.)

For her artistic education Nevelson enrolled at Hans Hoffman’s School of Art located in Munich, Germany. In later years Nevelson studied the art off etching and printmaking with Stanley William Hayter. Hayter was an educator and world renown printmaker and below an example of his art. Nevelson also enrolled at the famed Art Student’s League of New York City.


Nevelson worked as an assistant to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He also worked for the WPA as a teacher.

Nevelson was a participant in the Venice Biennale.

Her first solo exhibition was in 1941, whilst in her early 40s.

Louise Nevelson passed away in 1989.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Louise Nevelson that took place in Rome, Italy:

Louise Nevelson was also known for her unique and flamboyant style of dress. Often the artist would black mink eyelashes, silk scarves, and a black cap.

Louise was grandmother to another artist profiled here already, Neith Nevelson. What a creative family!

Its just amazing to see how many multiple generations of artist families exist worldwide. Myron worked with wood, but loved working with the figure.

Price range information:  Works in graphite, monoprints, and etchings can be found starting at $3,000 up to larger sized paintings reaching as a high as $400,000. Many works in wood range from $10,000 to the low six figures.


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.


Artists working with the face and figure….Diego Rivera…

I am really impressed with the works of this artist known for his murals.  A wonderful expressionist painter that seem to capture the mood of his subjects perfectly.

A short clip showing a short portfolio of works by Diego Rivera.

A collection of murals painted by Diego Rivera.

An extremely rare clip showing both Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo having fun in their leisure time.

The artist worked in many mediums. Pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, oils, and egg tempera.

Diego Rivera was born on December eighth of 1886 in Guanajuato, Guanajuato. His large mural works in Mexico helped him become the leader of the Mexican Renaissance Movement. The artist was born to a very wealthy family and Diego Rivera was descended from Spanish royalty.

The artist started professional art classes at the very young age of ten years old.  He attended the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. After this he was sponsored by a governor to attend art academies in Europe.  He studied with artists Eduardo Chicharro and even had a portrait of himself painted by Modigliani.

At this time in Paris(1913- 1917), Cubism was making a big push led by Pablo Picasso. Rivera became interested in the new wave of Impressionism and started to exhibit and sell his works.

In 1920 the Mexican ambassador to France sent Rivera to Italy from France  to study the frescoes and different styles of art. At the urging of the Minister of Education Rivera returned to Mexico from Italy in 1921 and began his work for the Mexican Mural program. In 1922 he painted his first significant mural titled “Creation” in Mexico City, he even wore a revolver to guard himself from the right wing students.

In 1922 he joined the Communist Party and after that his work always had a heavy social aspect to it.

In 1927 he traveled to Russia to help celebrate Communism. He was commissioned by the Red Army Club but was thrown out of the country for taking part in some anti-Soviet political ideas. The artist returned to Mexico.

His second wife was Frida Kahlo, they are shown together in a clip above. They were married in 1929, she was his second wife.

Among his commissions were the San Francisco Stock Exchange, the American Ambassador to Mexico, the Rockefeller Center, and the Detroit Institute of the Arts.This series of works in Detroit was during the McCarthy period of the United States. You could be found guilty of being a communist sympathizer.

high price range: $1 million

low price range: lithographs for 2,000 and small watercolors 5,000 to 7,000

The artist died in 1956 due to heart failure.

Keep on learning!